We know from Martha Stewart's TV show and magazine that she likes to plan ahead, so this story doesn't seem so far-fetched.
According to my sources, Stewart — who is convinced she will definitely be sent to Danbury Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn. — is taking no chances on her prison stay. She has apparently sought out and found an inmate who is already incarcerated there and willing to work for her.
This woman, who is serving time for embezzlement, is supposed to be Martha's eyes and ears — sort of a glorified assistant — during what could be a 16-month run in the big house, sources said.
It's not like there won't be compensation. Stewart, or she told friends recently at a dinner, has offered remuneration to the woman's family on the outside of prison, sources said. Of course, anyone in prison who's been convicted of embezzlement must pay restitution, so finding a patron saint in Martha Stewart would be a windfall.
Who is the new assistant? It turns out (and it surprised me, too) that there are a lot — and I mean a lot — of women who've been convicted of embezzlement and are serving time.
I spoke to the husband of one new Danbury inmate who fit the description. He said that neither Stewart nor her attorneys had contacted him.
"But my wife's down there, and she'd be a great friend to Martha if she needs one," he told me. "She's a fan."
Stewart will be sentenced on June 17 and should start serving her term two weeks later. Just so you know, it's not a fait accompli that Martha is definitely going to Danbury, even though it's the closest federal prison to her home. But should she go there, Stewart will be one of 1,300 women, some of whom are embezzlers, and some who are doing time for far more unsavory offenses.
No, the Courtney Love story is not getting better. It's getting much worse, and fast. (Are we enabling her? Isn't there someone who can get her the help she desperately needs?)
Yesterday was a busy day for Courtney. The glass coffin she used for her new video, "Mono," is for sale on eBay. Bids start at $500. According to the description, it's 7 feet long, 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. It contains a pink satin pillow, with the word "Sugar" written on it, and pink flowers.
Love is also using the Howard Stern radio show as a forum, although if you used to only get him on a Clear Channel station I suppose you're out of luck.
She likes to call around 6:30 a.m., right after Howard goes on the air. A couple of days ago, she said some potentially slanderous things about right-wing rocker Ted Nugent which I can't repeat here but involved a meeting she says they had when she was 12 years old.
Yesterday she called again and cried when Stern told her there was a negative article about her in the New York Post that morning. To end the tears, Stern then lied and said the article was in The Onion, which is a parody newspaper full of prank articles. This went on for some time.
Here's a good question: Why is Courtney Love down near Little Italy and not on the West Coast trying to get custody back of her 11-year-old daughter? I'm told she spends the day yelling out her windows at people on the street.
You know, it's not funny, and it's not cutting-edge. Love's mother, Linda Carroll, is supposedly a psychologist. Carroll's mother is Paula Fox, a famous novelist. Certainly either of these people has an idea about how to stop this woman, who is clearly quite bright but incredibly troubled, from continuing to self-destruct.
I'm not the first to observe that Disney's big "Finding Nemo"/"Pirates of the Caribbean" year is over. And now what do we have? "The Alamo," a movie that Ron Howard backed out of at the last minute. "The Alamo" opens in a couple of weeks and should be, by all accounts, a spectacular dud.
Directed by John Lee Hancock ("The Rookie") instead of Howard, the tale of Texas' famous battle stars Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton and the disagreeable Jason Patric. Otherwise, the huge cast is composed of mostly unknowns, with the exception of Wes Studi, who I think has to be in every Hollywood film with Indians for good luck.
"The Alamo" cost between $95 million and $105 million to make, which means it's really around $150 million after marketing costs are thrown in. It rolls out on April 9 in the U.S. and then in a lot of other places where scenic vistas will mean more than dialogue — such as Argentina, Norway and Iceland.
Ron Howard, by the way, bailed on this project when he saw it was getting out of hand. His public reason was that he couldn't get the budget he wanted, but you have to think that even he could have made a good movie for a paltry $95 million.
No, Howard is one of Hollywood's smart guys, and I think he realized this was a losing situation for him. Instead, his name goes on as one of the producers, but otherwise he's out of it. We'll see if he was right or wrong shortly.
In the meantime, I do think Disney should take a look at the merchandise they're selling at Disney/MGM in Orlando, Fla. At the Indiana Jones pavilion, across from The Muppets 3-D Movie Theater, guests can purchase working air rifles that look amazingly like real rifles from several large kiosks.
I guess they're for parents who've just had enough at the end of a long day and need to let off some steam. Duck, kids!
Another soul man is in heaven. Johnny Bristol joins Doris Troy and dozens more R&B stars who've died too soon. He passed away on Monday at age 65.
The Motown writer/producer has 101 songwriting credits according to the ASCAP database, including Gladys Knight's hit, "Daddy Could Swear (I Declare)," and the Motown classic "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You."
Johnny Bristol co-wrote the wonderful hit "Twenty Five Miles (From Home)" with Motown's Harvey Fuqua (of the Moonglows fame) and the late Edwin Starr, who had the hit with it.
Bristol also co-wrote Junior Walker's constantly covered "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)?" It's his uncredited voice you hear trading vocals with Diana Ross on the original version of "Someday We'll Be Together."
And Johnny, of course, had his own memorable top 10 hit with the Barry White-ish "Hang On In There Baby."
He isn't in any halls of fame, but we're not going to forget Johnny Bristol. God bless.