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Hollywood's latest star vehicle

Published Oct. 4, 2005

An actor gets arrested for having sex in his car with a prostitute, and Hollywood responds in character. Track that woman down and sign her up! Book deal! Movie of the week!

A star is born.

The old Hollywood would have tried to cover it up, fearing a ruinous sex scandal would destroy a studio's investment in its star. The motivations haven't changed, but the result certainly has. Today's Hollywood just tries to cash in.

"The obvious is a book deal," said Sheri Spillane, an agent with the Ruth Webb Talent Agency. "I would be surprised if there wasn't a movie of the week in the works already."

The rest of the country can be forgiven if a book or movie deal was not the first thought that came to mind. Nor, for that matter, the promotional possibilities.

Hollywood seems intent on proving Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole right. If it wasn't obvious before, it certainly is now: There is no low deep enough for some Hollywood promoters to sink in their shameless quest for profits.