16 February 2005
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Jury Selection Delayed As Jackson Battles Flu
Jury selection in Michael Jackson
's child molestation trial has been postponed for a week as the star battles influenza. Judge Rodney Melville told jurors yesterday morning that the 46-year-old Bad
singer had fallen ill and that jury selection would be postponed until February 22. The initial announcement came 15 minutes after Jackson was supposed to appear in court at 8:30am. The singer was on his way to the courthouse when he became ill and was taken to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, California. The star's illness comes just a day after his lawyer told prospective jurors that witnesses in Jackson's defense could include Elizabeth Taylor
, Stevie Wonder
, comedian Jay Leno
, pop siblings Aaron Carter
and Nick Carter
, basketball star Kobe Bryant
, illusionist David Blaine
and actor Chris Tucker
. Jackson has pleaded not guilty to charges of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient.
Cage and Wife Expecting Child
Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage
and Alice Kim, his wife of nearly seven months, are expecting their first child together. Cage and the 21-year-old former waitress, whose due date has not been announced, met at a nightclub last year before marrying on July 30. The Oscar-winning Leaving Las Vegas
actor, 42, already has a 14-year-old son called Weston from a prior relationship with actress Kristina Fulton
. Cage was previously married to actress Patricia Arquette
and singer Lisa Marie Presley
Ashley Olsen To Take Legal Action Against Tabloid
Teen actress Ashley Olsen
is set to sue American tabloid the National Enquirer
for defamation of character, and is seeking multi-million dollar damages. The 18-year-old beauty, twin sister of Mary-Kate
, is outraged over a story that alleged she was caught in a drug scandal. US TV show Access Hollywood
reports that the suit will charge that even the tabloid's cover photo is misleading, making the star appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Enquirer
claims to have discovered documents that link Scott Sartiano, Ashley's boyfriend of five months, and co-owner of the New York nightclub Butter, to alleged drug dealing.
P. Diddy Sued by Publisher
Rap mogul Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs
has been accused of failing to pay back a $300,000 advance for a memoir he never completed. In papers filed on Monday at the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, New York, publisher Random House Inc alleges that Combs and his corporation, Bad Boy, have "simply kept the money they never rightfully earned". Random House is seeking the advance's return, plus interest. The publisher says in a statement: "Random House has seldom resorted to a legal course of action with its prospective authors who don't write the books we have contracted for, but Mr. Sean Combs has left us no choice. He signed an agreement with our Ballantine imprint in 1998 to write his autobiography, which he agreed to complete and deliver to us in 1999. We now have waited for over five years and have received neither the manuscript nor the return of the money we advanced Mr Combs." Combs' publicist, Rob Shuter, says, "(There was a) disagreement with Random House that we hoped would be resolved without litigation. We anticipate that this will be resolved quickly."
Blake Weeps in Court
was escorted from his murder trial at Van Nuys, California court on Monday, after breaking down in tears at the sound of his own voice. The prosecution wrapped up their case against the former Baretta
star by playing jurors a jailhouse interview the actor recorded with TV interviewer Barbara Walters
which aired on US news show 20/20
in February 2003, and audio recordings of Blake talking with an unnamed visitor while he was in jail. Blake broke down after he heard himself saying, "What the f**k are they going to do to me? God's been on my shoulder since I was born. God's been on my shoulder since Rosie (his daughter) was born. When this s**t is over, no matter what happens, they're going to be all right financially. Rosie is safe. Those monsters will never get her." Deputy District Attorney Shellie Samuels argued "monsters" was a direct reference to Blake's late wife Bonny Lee Bakley
's family. Blake was removed from the courtroom by his concerned legal team, but his distress could be heard down the hallway. He later returned looking calm and composed. The 71-year-old is charged with shooting Bakley on May 4, 2001 as she sat in a car near their favorite restaurant.
Crowe "Fallout" with Weinstein Almost Ended 'Cinderella Man'
almost missed out appearing in his forthcoming movie Cinderella Man
- after falling out with movie boss Harvey Weinstein
. The Miramax founder made the fateful error of calling the temperamental Oscar-winning actor too early in the day to arrange a meeting to discuss him playing depression-era fighter Jim Braddock
in the drama. Crowe tells American magazine GQ
Weinstein told him to "get f**ked" after the actor responded moodily to his wake-up call. "I rang my agent and said, 'Hey, Harvey just told me to get f**ked before 9am." Weinstein, who is actually friends with his leading man, comments, "Good trash talking is at the core of this strong friendship I share with Russell. Yes, I did chase him down and as you will see from Cinderella Man
, it was worth it."
Vaughn Clarifies Relationship with Aniston
Starsky & Hutch
star Vince Vaughn
has spoken out to declare he and Jennifer Aniston
are just friends, after a business meeting between them was portrayed as a romantic date. Aniston, who split from husband Brad Pitt
last month, was pictured with Vaughn at the Posh Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel on February 2. And while rumors have circulated about a possible romance between the pair, Vaughn insists it was strictly business. He says, "We had a meeting about one of the projects that I'm doing and discussing. People wanna try to sell magazines. You can't take it personal that's just their job."
Perry Home Following Hospital Stint
is back home from his brief hospital stay after suffering a series of severe drug-induced seizures. The Friends
star, who played Chandler Bing in the defunct TV comedy, stayed overnight for doctor-ordered observation at Los Angeles' UCLA hospital after being admitted last Wednesday following an adverse reaction to prescription medicine. Perry's publicist Lisa Kasteler
says, "He's home. He's fine." While Perry has been in-and-out of rehabilitation since 1997 for prescription drug addiction, Kasteler says last week's hospitalization is unrelated to those incidents.
Fonda's 35-Year Battle with Bulimia
Hollywood actress Jane Fonda
struggled with bulimia for 35 years in a quest to attain physical perfection. The 67-year-old double-Oscar winner has told an audience for Montana State University's Girls for a Change Conference on Saturday of her life-long battle against a negative body image. Fonda says, "The reason I've been excited about coming here is because I believe if we're going to solve the problems confronting the world on every level, it's going to have to be the girls who do it. I was bulimic for 35 years. I mistook the physical hunger for spiritual hunger. I knew intuitively that to be loved, I have to be perfect." Fonda explained how her feelings of inadequacy stemmed from her adolescence, when she first started to become aware of her body. She adds, "That leaves a dark hole in the center of ourselves."
Brosnan "Wanted $42 Million" To Play Bond Again
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was dropped from playing James Bond because he demanded $42 million to reprise his role as the superspy for a fifth time. Producers balked at the demand and axed the 51-year-old Irishman - in favor of finding a new 007 for the upcoming 21st Bond blockbuster Casino Royale
. Brosnan has spoken of being "surprised, disappointed and saddened" that Die Another Day
, which grossed $456 million will be his last outing as 007 - but claims his wage "was an honest fee in terms of how much blood, sweat and tears I put into the role". But industry magazine Variety
's editor-in-chief Peter Bart
says Brosnan "priced himself out of the market" with a reported "compensation package" that "would total north of $40 million".