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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 01/29/2007

Comment Box: Brandy, Tom Cruise and Our Fantasies

By Liz Kelly

RE: the Brandy accident/fatality incident... Why did it take nearly a month before this news came out? Doesn't California have local newspapers who do routine checks on the crime blotter? How could something like this pass them by. Of course, it's convenient now that Brandy's publicist is going to offer condolences. Heck, she's forced to now that the incident has gone public. -- Cynthia T.

Cynthia, it is pretty shocking -- considering the 24/7 paparazzi news coverage cycle -- that we didn't hear about a very serious car crash involving Brandy until almost a month after it took place on Dec. 30, 2006. And you're not the only one wondering why we're just finding out about it. According to entertainment news wire WENN, the attorney representing the husband of the woman killed in the incident criticized Los Angeles authorities for not making the investigation of the crash a priority and suggested the California Highway Patrol kept things quiet to protect a celebrity. No arrests have been made, which translates into no mugshots surfacing on or TMZ, aka Mel Gibson.

To recap, the collision apparently happened when the 27-year-old singer failed to notice cars slowing down in front of her on L.A.'s 405 freeway and slammed into a Toyota in front of her Land Rover.

Authorities have ruled out mechanical failure as a possible cause for the crash and Brandy's publicist says the singer was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the crash happened. Brandy did apparently admit fault at the time of the accident and recently issued a statement apologizing for her role in the crash.


A quick thank you to everyone who contributed to last week's Friday list. As many people mentioned, it truly is comforting to know dorky fantasies are pretty common. But can someone please explain the fascination with "The Babysitters Club?" Me no get it.


Finally, a little clarification about last week's Rumor Mill item about comparisons between Tom Cruise and Jesus:

This outrageous rumor started with a London tabloid well known for just making things up or accepting rumors without verifying them. As a local Scientologist I laughed at such a silly idea being circulated. Following is an official statement from the Church of Scientology International:

"This is completely, totally and utterly a lie and a total fabrication and has no basis in the theology of Scientology in the slightest. There is no scriptural background for anyone inside or outside of the Church to come up with such a concept. As well, Mr. Miscavige has never and would never characterize any church member or anyone related to Scientology in such terms nor has or would Mr. Cruise characterize himself as such.

"As well, Scientology is a world wide religious organization made up of over 7500 churches, missions and groups, in 163 countries and over ten million members and while the Scientology religion was founded by one man, L. Ron Hubbard, he himself insisted that he was just a man. He was the founder and there will only ever be one founder. He was not a prophet, nor is he deified in any way, nor would anyone else be.

"The Church has the largest non-governmental anti-drug program in the world, the world's largest human rights education campaign, the largest private tutoring and literacy network in the world, one of the largest global emergency response forces with over 95,000 strong and has grown more in the last five years than the previous 50 combined.

"Mr. Cruise's support of such humanitarian endeavors is widely known as well as the support given to such programs by millions of Scientologists and others alike from all walks of life and diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

"Again, this story has no basis in reality whatsoever."

FWIW, I couldn't find the denial on the official Scientology site.

By Liz Kelly  | January 29, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
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