PEOPLE

It’s a safe bet that condoms won’t be part of “Pie” promo

It is now official: The Motion Picture Association of America is staffed with dolts. On Monday, Universal Pictures, apparently wanting to keeping up with the Dolts, axed part of a marketing agreement with the maker of LifeStyles condoms because the MPAA didn’t like the commercial use of condoms for the teen sex comedy “American Pie 2.”

The studio and condom-maker Ansell Healthcare, Inc. were going to do a joint sweepstakes, product placement and TV commercial with the movie and condoms, said studio spokesman Terry Curtin. However, rating boards spokesman Rich Taylor says the MPAA to which studios must submit marketing materials for approval has a policy of not allowing condoms in commercials meant for general audiences. So even though living rooms everywhere can tune into a glimpse of two sets of parents inadvertently finding their respective kids having sex or a guy who tragically mistakes his glue for lubricant jelly, prophylactics are a no-no.

The New Jersey-based Ansell issued a scathing statement Monday accusing Universal of not wanting to be associated with a condom company, but the studio said it tried to get a compromise with the MPAA.

CRUISE CONTROL FEELS THE NEED FOR SPEED: Money may not buy you happiness, but it can put unhappiness on a tight schedule. A mere six months after the divorce papers got filed, Tom Cruise’s request for a quickie divorce from actress Nicole Kidman was granted by Superior Court Judge Lee Smalley Edmon. That means the end is really near Aug. 8 with an Oct. 4 hearing to settle remaining issues like financial and property claims. Neither actor was in court Tuesday, and neither had a comment on the ruling. Cruise had filed for divorce Feb. 7, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple married on Christmas Eve 1990 and separated in December 2000.

A PRESIDENTIAL SOUNDTRACK: Former president Bill Clinton might have only been slightly joking during opening ceremonies of his Harlem offices, when he said he still has a chance to play at the nearby Apollo Theatre. In exchange for being recruited to be on the advisory board of the International AIDS Trust, Grammy-winning record producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds wants to raise money for the organization by performing concerts in South Africa and New York City and producing a CD with a certain “guest” saxophonist.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER SPEARS: Britney Spears fulfills a childhood dream when she does a duet with Cher for “Britney Spears: Live from the MGM Grand Las Vegas,” to air Nov. 16 on HBO. “When I was younger, I sang all of her songs so it’s really bizarre for me to be on the same stage with her,” Spears told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena. “Since the HBO special came up, it just made sense for me to do a duet with someone, and she was definitely on the top of my list.” If that isn’t enough pain, Spears also added that she wants to be, like, hard core for her next special. “I really want this to be, like, shocking and in people’s faces and edgy.” Someone cash in on the Velcro and spangled bead market, quick.

TOUR CANCELED: The San Jose rock group Smash Mouth canceled immediate tour dates Monday after the death of its lead singer’s infant son. Presley Scott Harwell, son of frontman Steve Harwell and Michelle Laroque, died Saturday of complications from acute lymphocytic leukemia, tour manager Scotty Haulter said. The infant, born Jan. 26, became ill Thursday. The San Jose-based group was in Minot, N.D., when members learned that Harwell’s son was critically ill. Monday night’s performance in Great Falls, Mont., and Tuesday’s appearance in Kellogg, Idaho, were canceled. The group did not know when it would resume its schedule. A memorial service will be held Tuesday in Las Vegas, where Harwell lives. Presley Harwell was an only child.

Today’s People Column was compiled by Vera H-C Chan from staff and wire reports. Comments? Write to us c/o the Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099. Or call 925-943-8262, fax 925-943-8362, or e-mail spin@cctimes.com.

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