When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin confirmed that her teenage daughter, Bristol, and boyfriend Levi Johnston were expecting a baby, the celebrity weeklies knew that the first photos of the Palin-Johnston baby would incite a bidding war. Baby Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, born Dec. 28, proved those editors right.
According to one source, bidding for the baby photos began at $100,000. People won out in the end, but In Touch was the only other weekly to make serious bids, according to several sources involved in the process.
The price didn't soar immediately, according to the sources, because Sarah Palin stories just didn’t sell all that well for the weeklies on newsstands.
“Sarah was on the cover of People, Us Weekly, and OK! the same week, and really only People saw a bump in sales," says a source.
The drug-related arrest of Johnston's mother, however, caused the price tag for the photos to go up.
“The bidding started well before the baby was born, but once Levi’s mom was arrested — well, then you had a story,” says one editor.
As for how much teen parents Bristol and Levi made from the deal — most estimates hover around the $300,000 range (none of the magazines would confirm the exact figure in the end, which is standard).
No word on whether the money will go to charity, as sometimes happens in a celeb baby deal.
Mickey Rourke trash-texts Sean Penn“Wrestler” star Mickey Rourke had some rather vitriolic things to say about potential Oscar rival Sean Penn and his recent starring role as gay icon Harvey Milk in "Milk."
Rourke's reported typo-filled text reads as follows: “Look seans an old friend of mine and i didnt buy his performance at all — thought he did an average pretend acting like he was gay besides hes one of the most homophobic people i kno."
The text, which Rourke sent Dec. 28 to a “Los Angeles entertainment honcho” and was obtained by The Daily Beast, raises a number of questions. Among the most benign: is this part of some sort of Oscar showdown, as both Rourke and Penn are likely to earn nominations?
Rourke’s publicist says “there is no Oscar feud between Mickey and Sean. They have known each other and been friends for a very long time. Mickey attended the New York premiere of ‘Milk’ to support Sean and only has the greatest respect for him.” She also told The Daily Beast that Rourke is ”completely unaware of the text.”
A publicist for Penn couldn’t be reached by press time.
Mariah Carey, scientistMariah Carey has been accused of many things, but “misleading” the scientific community is a new one.
When Carey borrowed from Einstein’s famous formula and named her album E=MC2, she got some of the details wrong, according to a new study.
Mathematician Dr. David Leslie told the BBC that according to a study carried out by Sense About Science, Carey “misread the algebra, the ‘two’ in the equation means C squared, not MC multiplied by two. The correct reading of the formula is E=MCC, so perhaps Mariah's re-interpretation should have been 'emancipation equals Mariah Carey Carey'?" We’re sure Carey regrets the error.
Promises rehab not going under
Promises, the Malibu rehab of choice for Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, is now the facility where Tara Reid reportedly is seeking treatment.
According to Star magazine, the bad economy has Promises in need of some PR, so they’re comping Reid’s stay and not requiring her to abide by the facility’s standard rules.
A rep for Promises has spoken out, saying, “Promises is committed to keeping the identity of clients private to the best of our ability … does not comment on its fees … all clients are treated the same and expected to follow the same set of rules with no exceptions.”
Furthermore, the facility, which charges about $1,600/night, is financially secure, according to the rep. “Any suggestion that Promises is in any financial trouble whatsoever is patently untrue."
More on Bristol Palin
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.