15 June 2005
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Jackson Jurors Suspect He Molested Children
The jurors who found Michael Jackson
not guilty of child molestation on Monday suspected he did abuse children, but didn't have the evidence to convict him. The 12 jurors delivered a unanimous verdict at California's Santa Maria courthouse ending a 14 week trial - but two have admitted they believe Jackson probably did molest young boys at his Neverland ranch. Raymond Hultman says, "I feel that Michael Jackson probably has molested boys. I cannot believe that this man could sleep in the same bedroom for 365 straight days and not do something more than just watch television and eat popcorn. I mean, that doesn't make sense to me. But that doesn't make him guilty of the charges that were presented in this case - that's where we had to make our decision. That's not to say he's an innocent man. He's just not guilty of the crimes he's been charged with." Another juror says, "We had a closet full of evidence that always came back to the same thing - it was not enough." Another adds, "We expected some better evidence, something more convincing, but it just wasn't there. You hope that you will find a smoking gun, something you can grab on to one way or another and we had difficulty in finding that." Jury foreman Paul Rodriguez says, "The allegations of past abuse were considered credible to some extent. There are not too many grown up men we know who would sleep with children but we had to base it on the evidence presented to us. There were a lot of things lacking." The jurors claimed the prosecution case was damaged by the mother of Jackson's accuser, who they claim antagonized the jury with theatrical, over-the-top testimony. They also suspected her motives. Rodriguez adds, "As a parent you spend every moment of your day protective of what happens to your children. What kind of mother in her right mind would allow that to happen, to freely volunteer your child to sleep with anyone, not just Michael Jackson, but anyone?"
Crowe's Attack Threatens New Film
's assault on a hotel worker has damaged his new film's chances at the box office, according to movie experts. Cinderella Man
- in which Crowe plays Depression Era boxing hero Jim Braddock
- opened with $18.3 million in its first weekend at the American box office. But cinema-goers have stayed away since the actor attacked Nestor Estrada with a telephone last Monday, and the film struggled at the weekend with just $9.5 million, placing it sixth in the box office chart. And critics are convinced Crowe's actions are responsible for the film's nose-dive. Goldderby.Com writer Tom O'Neill says, "Russell Crowe plays a hero, but he's revealed himself as a bully. We've heard about Russell Crowe's brawls with paparazzi. But this time he went after an innocent victim. Russell Crowe has ended up in the lonely ring, taking on himself - and it could be a knockout." Columnist Jeffrey Wells adds, "Crowe has single-handedly turned Cinderella Man
into a financial disappointment. His ability to demand the big bucks may be in great peril (if) audiences are going to look at his films...and say, 'Screw it, I don't want to pay to see that thug.'"
Holmes' Religious Confusion
Fans of Tom Cruise
's new belle Katie Holmes
are baffled by her interest in Scientology - because she is a devout Catholic. The Dawson's Creek
actress has been reading about the controversial faith since she first stepped out with Cruise in April. She recently said, "I have looked into it (Scientology) myself and I really like it and I think it's really wonderful... I feel like I'm bettering myself." Cruise added, "She digs it." But earlier this year - before her romance with Cruise hit Front pages - Holmes talked about the importance of her faith and how it had helped her career. She told magazine CosmoGirl
, "I was raised Catholic and I've always had faith in God. It gives me a lot of security."
Kidman Attacks Snapper on Red Carpet
blasted a rude photographer at the New York premiere of her new film Bewitched
on Monday night after he booed her for not stopping to pose for him. The actress, who was still mourning the death of her make-up artist Rob McCann, initially asked her publicist to deal with the snapper, but then decided to confront him herself. Losing her famous cool for a moment, Kidman blasted, "You're very rude," before returning to the red carpet, visibly upset. Her publicist was overheard asking, "Are you OK?" - to which the Aussie actress replied, "No, I'm not," before hurrying into the cinema. A publicist for the actress insists Kidman was just reacting after having had a particularly bad day.
Reynolds Settles Legal Battle With Ex-Girlfriend
and his ex-girlfriend Pamela Seals have decided to give up their legal battles and settle the lawsuits they've filed against each other. In November, Reynolds sued Seals, 49, alleging that she was threatening to falsely accuse him of abuse if he didn't pay millions of dollars in extortion. Just a day later, Seals sued the Deliverance
star, 69, for abuse and broken promises. Reynolds' lawyer John McGovern says, "Neither side admits the allegations in the other's lawsuit, but both parties are committed to putting this matter behind them and moving on to whatever the future holds." As well as allegations of abuse from 1998 to 2000, Seals claimed in her lawsuit that Reynolds had promised to give her half of his estate in Jupiter, Florida, and maintain her lifestyle and take care of her mother indefinitely - even if their relationship ended.
'Lois & Clark' Star Dies
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman
star Lane Smith
has lost his battle with neuromuscular disease ALS and died in California, according to internet reports. The actor, 69, played Perry White in the hit TV series. In a posting on Superman fansite Kryptonsite.Com, a family statement reads, "Thanks for your concern and good wishes and prayers. We are sorry to tell you that my uncle Lane Smith died yesterday, a blessed relief from his ALS. Thank you so much for your support." Smith's other credits include roles in Red Dawn
, Air America
and The Mighty Ducks
Skywalker As The Joker? It's No Joke
Original Star Wars
star Mark Hamill
has joined the shortlist of favorites to play The Joker in the Batman Begins
sequel. The actor, who played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars
, The Empire Strikes Back
and Return Of The Jedi
, has become a fan favorite to play Batman's colorful foe. He joins Crispin Glover
and Aussie actor Lachy Hulme
on the three-strong internet shortlist. Hamill became an obvious choice for some Batman fans after voicing The Joker for the Batman cartoon series. A spokesman for top Batman website Darkhorizons.Com points out, "The net basically picked Christian Bale
to play Batman, so who knows." Batman Begins
opens across America and Europe this week.
Kylie Speaks Out About Cancer
Pop superstar Kylie Minogue
has spoken for the first time about undergoing surgery for breast cancer last month. In a message on her website, the Australian star thanks fans for their support, revealing she is getting through the ordeal "one step at a time". "I would just like to take a moment to say that above and beyond all your good wishes that keep flowing in and lifting my spirits I was delighted to learn that some good things have come of all this. I've been informed that since my diagnosis thousands of women have become more aware than ever of the risk of breast cancer. As for me, I am getting through this one step at a time and your messages of love and support have been greatly appreciated." Kylie is also keen to dispel rumors about her stay in hospital - particular concerning demands she is alleged to have made. She adds, "Please don't believe everything you have read as rumors of my condition and treatments are rife and generally incorrect. Unfortunately, it still seems that the truth doesn't get in the way of a story... the repainting of my hospital room pink... imported English body guards... an entire hospital wing for my entourage and other equally ridiculous stories. Rest assured I am being well looked after, though it will be a long road ahead. I will be receiving future treatment on my return to Europe. In the meantime, love to you all, as always."
Lohan: "I Didn't Trust Flirtatious Valderrama"
decided it was time to part ways with Wilmer Valderrama
when she realized she couldn't handle his constant flirting with other girls. The two went public with their romance last summer, before going their separate ways just months later. And Lohan admits that she found it hard being with the That '70s Show
star - who counts Mandy Moore
among his ex-girlfriends - because it was difficult trusting him. She says, "Wilmer was my first love. But the timing was bad. And there were all these girls around; he would flirt with them. And I couldn't handle that. I really didn't trust him. So that was hard too. My life was too out of order. I was too depressed. I was too concerned with Wilmer this, Wilmer that." While Lohan doubts she'd ever get back together with Valderrama, she's a little concerned that he's spending so much time away from Los Angeles and in her hometown. She adds, "My ex-boyfriend is in New York every weekend now - I don't know why - which is very uncomfortable."
Richie's Not So Simple Marriage
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star Nicole Richie
has a number of outrageous wishes for her upcoming wedding to Adam Goldstein - including elephant rides, swans, horse-drawn carriages and salsa dancing. The daughter of soul legend Lionel Richie
is reportedly in conflict with her DJ fiance, who is disgusted by her flamboyant plans and is desperate for a more modest ceremony instead. The 23-year-old is disappointed by her future husband's lack of enthusiasm: "I want elephant rides and swans. He wants, like five people at our wedding - our close friends and family only."