After the first day of the Michael Jackson trial, you may be wondering who will testify for the defense.
I can only tell you who won't be: the five unnamed co-conspirators listed in the district attorney's indictment.
Ironically, they are the only people who really know anything about the case — probably even more than Jackson does.
I told you recently that Vincent Amen's attorney told me he would not be testifying. But you can add to that list the other four as well: Marc Schaffel, Dieter Wiesner, Ronald Konitzer and Frank Tyson.
Three of those four live outside of California and have no plans to go there any time soon. In state cases, witnesses who live out of state cannot be compelled into the courtroom by subpoena.
A number of potential witnesses are keeping it on the down-low and staying beyond the reach of process servers. I'll tell you more about those names very shortly.
The weirdest part of the defense so far is the complete bypassing of Tyson. Many thought he might be able to help Jackson, but neither side has called the 24-year-old family friend and aide de camp.
The mother of the 15-year-old accuser is expected to claim that Tyson and Amen restrained or kidnapped her family. But the two have been conspicuously absent from the case so far.
Jackson's attorney, Tom Mesereau, evidently feels it is best not to include them at all rather than have them be cross-examined.
Meanwhile, despite the many press reports I've read or heard in the last couple of days, let me reassure you that Jackson still owns his own song catalog and half of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing company, aka "the Beatles catalog."
The New York Times, among others, got it wrong yesterday. One more time: Jackson and Sony are 50/50 partners in Sony/ATV. Michael borrowed $200 million against his half, then another $150 million, from Bank of America.
I am told that by the fall, when ownership of the catalog must be resolved, a new entity may be formed. But so far Jackson isn't selling to Sony, or vice versa.
"You've been through this before, but I haven't," Alan Alda told Leonardo DiCaprio last Thursday night after a screening of "The Aviator" for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Screen Actors Guild.
Alda was referring to Leo's best-supporting-actor Oscar nomination for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" in 1994.
Believe it or not, Alan Alda's was never nominated for an Oscar before his current performance as Sen. Ralph Owen Brewster in "The Aviator." He might very well be the Martin Landau ("Ed Wood") or James Coburn ("Affliction") of this Oscar season.
Alda said he was "thrilled and flattered" to be asked by Martin Scorsese to be in one of his films. Then he saw a picture of the real Senator Brewster.
"The ugliest man I ever saw. He was ugly inside and out. A lot of the flattery dribbled out," Alda said.
Alda said that for the scene in "The Aviator" in which Brewster is kept waiting by Howard Hughes for lunch, DiCaprio in fact kept him waiting — for a long time.
"I always thought Leo did it on purpose, to make me mad in the scene," Alda said. "I said I'm not going to let him get to me. Later I said, 'Leo, did you do that deliberately?' He said 'No, no. I had trouble getting the mustache on. But that's a good idea.'"
Charlize Theron can read.
Of course, we know how smart she is. But it's nice to know that the Oscar-winning actress doesn't sit around flipping through Vogue or US Weekly when she has downtime.
Recent tabloid stalker photos of Charlize and boyfriend Stuart Townsend were agog because they were both "topless." Headlines!
But what the caption writers missed was that Charlize was clutching her copy of a great and much acclaimed book.
It was Rian Malan's "My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience," published by Grove Press.
Theron and Malan are both South African Afrikaners, which is no doubt the root of the movie star's literary interests.
Like Theron, Malan — at least in the book — is also something of an expatriate who travels the world, but leaves his heart in Cape Town.
So forget Charlize's largely exposed derriere — which was caught by a telephoto lens, and not like she was putting it out there on purpose — and be happy that she's feeding her brain and not her swag bag.
You kind of imagine that she's also reading Alan Paton, Nadine Gordimer, J. M. Coetzee, etc.
Anyone who's lapping a book that begins with the sentence: "I'm burned out and starving to death, so I'm just going to lay this all upon you and trust that you're a visionary reader," has more going on upstairs than your average thespian.
It looks like all the hype from "Desperate Housewives" may be paying off.
My sources tell me that Eva Longoria, whose character is having an affair with an 18-year-old gardener on the hit ABC show, has landed a role in a big Hollywood studio film.
Longoria is set to join Michael Douglas, Kim Basinger and Kiefer Sutherland in "The Sentinel."
The movie is based on a bestseller by Gerald Petievich about a first lady (Basinger) who's having an affair with a Secret Service agent (Douglas).
They're still casting the role of the president, in case anyone's interested. He's described as having "gray hair." Well, being president would give anyone gray hair, no?
Not bad for Longoria. Prior to "Desperate Housewives," she had a small and undistinguished role on the CBS soap "The Young and the Restless." But "Housewives" has made all of its leads overnight sensations — that is, "overnight" after working for years to get the recognition.