Brooke Fires a Cruise Missile

It's about time! Brooke Shields, target of Tom Cruise's antidepressant tirade, is fighting back. In an op-ed piece in yesterday's New York Times, the 40-year-old actress detailed her experience with postpartum depression and fired back at Cruise's "ridiculous rant" on the "Today" show last week.

The 42-year-old star of "War of the Worlds" has been criticizing Shields for taking Paxil after the birth of her daughter, Rowan.

"I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression," Shields wrote. She described her symptoms and said the medication "saved me -- and my family." She also said his suggestion that she should have taken vitamins and exercised to fight depression showed "an utter lack of understanding about postpartum depression and childbirth in general."

Shields finished: "So there you have it. It's not the history of psychiatry, but it is my history, personal and real."

Move over on that soapbox, Tom.

'Nightline' Team's Lineage

Like fathers, like daughters. On Thursday, CNN State Department correspondent Andrea Koppel and White House correspondent Dana Bash collaborated on a story about Iran's president-elect and the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Their fathers worked together on a similar piece 26 years ago.

In 1979, Koppel's father, Ted, and his senior producer, Stuart Schwartz (Bash's father), teamed up to report on the Iranian hostage situation every night at 11:30, leading to formation of ABC News's "Nightline."

Bash told The Post yesterday that she didn't know Andrea Koppel growing up but spent many Friday nights at the ABC studios as a kid with her co-worker's brother and sister. The two met in 1993 when Bash joined CNN, where Koppel was already working. Now the reporters are friends and "tag team often," Bash says.

Koppel told The Post that she didn't understand the significance of Thursday's broadcasts until Bash sent her a message: "I think it was one of those 'aha!' moments."

Will history repeat itself and lead to a Bash-Koppel collaboration on "Nightline"? Bash: "You never know." Koppel: "Wouldn't that be a hoot?"

End Notes

* New Yorker investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has signed a deal for a book on President Bush's foreign policy, due out before the 2008 presidential election, Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards confirmed yesterday. The deal is believed to be for between $750,000 and $1 million, according to the New York Post.

* That's a pretty hefty yard sale. The belongings of Marlon Brando sold for $2.4 million in the Christie's auction Thursday. Among the 320 items sold were his "Godfather" script, which garnered $312,800 (a record for an auctioned movie script), a telegram to Marilyn Monroe when she was hospitalized for depression ($36,000) and a pair of Brando California driver's licenses ($25,000). Proceeds will be split among the actor's nine children.

-- Compiled by Korin Miller

from staff and wire reports

In an op-ed piece, Brooke Shields whacks Tom Cruise for criticizing her use of an antidepressant. The "Today" show's Matt Lauer raised the issue during Cruise's recent appearance.

Seymour Hersh is writing a book on Bush.