It's a hot, August Friday, and half the deal-makers we called today looking for grist had their assistants call back at 5 pm to say that they're in Kona or St. Bart's.
As such, we were left to fool around online, marveling at the myriad of mainstream press coverage of L'affaire de Moonshadows, when we came across Business Week's weigh-in.
"A chance encounter with Mel Gibson in a Malibu bar will likely turn into a major moneymaker for the three vacationing friends who snapped photos of the apparently pie-eyed movie star. Todd Hausberger, the 29-year-old Phoenix resident who was frolicking at Moonshadows that night with high school buddies Kimberly Lesak, 29, and Julie Smith, 27, has been told that the three stand to make between $80,000 and $120,000 from the sale of the photos."
Is that all?!
Apparently, Todd and his high school chippies weren't in the Honor Society: Sure, Star and US Weekly might be willing to pay six-figures, but I imagine a discreet call to Mel's publicist might have gotten them well into seven figure territory.
As Gary Morgan, co-owner of Splash News & Picture Agency observes in the BW piece, "The life of the [Hausberger] pictures will carry through any court proceeding [involving Gibson]. Unlike some paparazzi photos that have a short shelf life, they'll be used over and over."
So, I mean, what did Todd think Mel's saving it for? A "rainy day"? In terms of PR, it's looking remarkably like freaking New Orleans' Ninth Ward right about now. Why Todd the phone-a-razzi didn't offer the mugs to Mel and be done with it is beyond us. Then he could buy a proper pad and hang at Moonshadows as a regular, not a tragic Arizona interloper.
Eddie Mannix -- the PR overlord of MGM back in the day of Clark Gable -- is likely turning over in his grave: If Eddie could cover-up the bludgeoning murder of "The Three Stooges" creator, does anyone seriously doubt he could have gotten Todd Hausberger to part with his camera-phone?
Happily, a lesson in how you properly sweep a scandal under the rug is coming out shortly: Allen Coulter's "Hollywoodland," in which Ben Affleck plays the actor George Reeves, the guy who was having an affair with Mannix's wife, and who just "co-incidentally" wound up dead as a result.
Finally, we can understand why they refer to the Thirties as the "Golden Age of Hollywood."