Joe and Katherine Jackson have spoken out to defend their son Michael -- for money.
The parents of the embattled pop star appeared in an interview, "Our Son Michael Jackson," which was broadcast around the world and on ABC’s "20/20" last week. But a well-placed source tells the Scoop that Joe and Katherine Jackson demanded cash for their participation in the show.
"They’re getting a percentage of the profit from the international sales of the interview," says the insider. "It was produced by a British company called Shine so ABC, for example, had to pay for Shine for the rights and Joe and Katherine will get a percent of that fee."
What’s more, says the insider, the singer’s parents asked that the money be paid to a third party. "They’ve had some financial problems, so they didn’t want the money going directly to them because they don’t want their creditors after it," the source told the Scoop. "It’s all being done through a third person."
An ABC spokesman wouldn’t address the issue of the alleged payment, saying only, "ABC acquired the broadcast from Shine because of its inherent news value." A Shine spokeswoman issued this statement: "We have not paid them anything." When asked if Shine planned to give a Jackson intermediary a cut of the profits, however, she would not comment further. A Jackson family spokesman didn’t return calls, but a decade ago, when PBS did an exposé on how checkbook journalism was fueling the Jackson scandal back then, Jackson’s parents said they’d be willing to speak out about it -- for $100,000.
Editor-ial decisionThe original cut of "Mona Lisa Smile" didn’t have studio execs smiling, says a source. The Julia Roberts flick, which will open Friday to mixed reviews, was directed by "Four Weddings and a Funeral" director Mike Newell, but a source says Revolution Studios -- which made the film, "wasn’t thrilled" with Newell’s work.
"They called in a new editor towards the end for some rescue work," says the insider. "They wanted to make it more commercially viable."
A rep for the studio denies the story, telling the Scoop, "Mike Newell was working on it through to the end."
Notes from all over
Memo to celebs who have a deal endorsing liquor: don’t explode into drunken rages in public. "Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels" star Vinnie Jones learned that the hard way. Bacardi has pulled ads featuring Jones after he was convicted of an episode of "air rage," slapping a fellow passenger 10 times and claiming he could have a flight crew murdered. . . . Penelope Cruz told reporters that sweetie Tom Cruise is a perfect lover. "On a scale of one to 10, he’s 10," Cruz gushed while in the U.K promoting "Gothica" -- but she then turned coy, adding, "But I don’t want to go into more details -- I’m too shy." Despite their gonzo sex life, Cruz says the couple have no plans to marry. . . . Cruise’s ex, meanwhile, is saying she’d like some curves like J.Lo’s. "I would love to have boobs and a butt like Jennifer Lopez," Nicole Kidman told the London Daily Mail. "I honestly would! But I can't get them and I'm not going to have surgery, so there it is guys."