21 June 2005
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Cruise Pranksters Released on Bail
The four practical jokers arrested for squirting Tom Cruise
with water at the London premiere of War Of The Worlds
were released on police bail yesterday. The film crew, who performed the prank for an upcoming comedy show to be broadcast by British TV network Channel 4, have been ordered to report back to police on July 4 and could be charged with assault if Cruise decides to take the matter further. The 42-year-old was giving interviews to journalists attending the celebrity screen at Leicester Square's Odeon cinema when he was soaked with water squirted from a bogus microphone. According to British newspaper the Daily Mirror
, rock matriarch Sharon Osbourne
was treated to a similar soaking at a film premiere in London last month - but she decided to take the law into her own hands and threw a bucket of water over the lead practical joker.
Holmes Dropped from 'Batman' Sequel
, Michael Caine
and Morgan Freeman
have signed to star in a second Batman
movie, but love interest Katie Holmes
has been dropped. Movie bosses are thrilled with the response to Batman Begins
- it took $46.9 million in its first weekend at the US box office - and have snapped up the film's stars for a sequel. Bale as Batman was the first to put pen to paper, followed by Caine as butler Alfred and Freeman as Bruce Wayne's business associate Lucius Fox. But Holmes won't reprise her role as district attorney Rachel Dawes - reportedly because Warner Bros is angry her engagement to Tom Cruise
has stolen media attention away from the movie. A source tells Pagesix.Com, "Everyone is in agreement that the movie's strength is with Christian Bale
, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman." Adding of Holmes, "She won't be in the sequel... the next romantic interest will be a much stronger actress. Warner is happy that people are now focusing on who'll be playing the Joker rather than Katie and Tom."
Affleck Laughs Off Weekend Wedding Reports
Hollywood couple Ben Affleck
and Jennifer Garner
have laughed off reports they married in West Virginia over the weekend. The Alias
actress, 33, was reported to have visited Brandon Tucker's Briarwood Flower Shoppe in the town of Wheeling on Saturday and purchased a bridal bouquet of ivory Virginia roses, Casablanca lilies and "of course gardenia", as well as six bridesmaids poseys, for an alleged ceremony at the nearby Greenbrier Resort. However, Affleck's spokesman Ken Sunshine
, tells the New York Daily News
, "He's totally lying. The guy got more publicity than ever in his life. Ben and Jen are not in West Virginia. They did not get married yesterday. They did not get married today." Daredevil
co-stars Affleck and Garner began dating in July 2004, only weeks after the actor ended his romance with Boston media sales executive Enza Sambataro and the actress split from Alias
co-star Michael Vartan
. Affleck reportedly proposed to Garner at her 33rd birthday party in April. The couple are reportedly expecting their first child together, although both stars' publicists have denied the claims. Despite their denials, Alias
creator JJ Abrams
recently appeared to confirm their baby plans, saying, "It'll effect it (the show)... I'm sure that kickboxing is probably out."
Cruise "Tried To Convert Johansson"
pulled out of appearing in the second Mission: Impossible
sequel after Tom Cruise
tried to convert her to scientology, according to reports. Cruise, who produces the action adventures, met with Johansson ahead of casting for the upcoming Mission: Impossible 3
and took her to one of the controversial religion's headquarters, claims Radarmagazine.Com. A source tells the website, "After two hours of proselytizing, Cruise opened a door to reveal a second room full of upper-level Scientologists who had been waiting to dine with the pair, at which point the cool-headed ingénue politely excused herself." Officially Johansson quit the film because of scheduling conflicts after the film was delayed so Cruise could make War Of The Worlds
Roy Scheider Undergoes Treatment for Cancer
star Roy Scheider
is recovering after undergoing hospital treatment to combat cancer. Scheider - who starred in a string of classic movies in the 1970s including The French Connection
and Marathon Man
- underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, last week. And the 72-year-old, who ironically played a boss of a powerful company who refuses to pay for a client's bone marrow transplant in The Rainmaker
, is now relaxing following the treatment. He tells the New York Daily News
, "It went well. They harvested my stem cells. I was my own donor. I won't be bouncing around like I usually do this summer. I'll be weak. I'll be recovering. But, to all those wishing me well, thank you very much."
Spielberg Defends Cruise's Love Declarations
Movie-maker Steven Spielberg
has leapt to the defense of newly-engaged superstar Tom Cruise
, after weeks of media and public criticism of the actor's over-enthusiastic declarations of love for fiancee Katie Holmes
. The 42-year-old film hunk shocked America when he punched the air repeatedly and jumped on Oprah Winfrey
's famous sofa, while laughing manically as he shouted, "I'm in love" on the May 23 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show
. Nearly two weeks later he repeated his couch-surfing antics on Jay Leno
's Tonight Show
, saying, "When I start to think about her, things happen. So, cease talking." Subsequent polls in People
and Us Weekly
show a majority of readers believe the couple's romance is a publicity stunt to promote their latest films - Cruise's War Of The Worlds
and Holmes' Batman Begins
. But in an interview with Newsweek
magazine, director Spielberg lashed out at claims he and Paramount Pictures were concerned Cruise's public displays of affection would negatively affect the sci-fi epic. Spielberg says, "I was a little upset. I was a little upset (at the media attention). Not at Tom, but at the press for making such a big deal out of a kind of small thing. Tom lost his cool because he was deliriously happy, and now he was being punished for his public display of happiness. What Tom did on Oprah was exactly what Tom did with me when he first told me about Katie Holmes
. But the press didn't like the way Tom bared his soul." Cruise proposed to Holmes in the early hours of Friday morning at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
Allen and Jackman Join New Movie Cast
Oscar-winning film-maker Woody Allen
has added himself and Australian heart-throb Hugh Jackman
to the cast of his upcoming unnamed comedy. The Manhattan
director - who has surrounded his latest project in secrecy - and Jackman will join Scarlett Johansson
and veteran British actor Ian McShane
in front of the camera when filming begins. And Allen chose to shoot the project in London after he fell in love with the British capital while working with the Lost In Translation
beauty on Match Point
. He says, "The film is a comedy melodrama that is contemporary and takes place in London. Johansson plays a visiting American student who has a love affair with a British aristocrat. I play a low-grade American entertainer, which is perfect for me because that's what I am." Jackman will shoot his scenes for the movie before her stars as superhero Wolverine for the third time in X-Men 3
Alan Cumming Skips 'X-Men 3'
Scottish actor Alan Cumming
has stunned his fans by announcing his retirement from the X-Men
franchise. Cumming, who appeared in the series' second installment, will not be reprising his role as popular mutant Nightcrawler in X-Men 3
. A posting on the actor's site reads, "Alan will not be appearing in X-Men 3
. Fox has not picked up his option to play Nightcrawler for a second movie." A publicist for Cumming has confirmed the announcement. MTV News reports Cumming had earlier insisted he would be in the third movie, and director Brett Ratner
declared "everybody" would be returning earlier this month. The movie begins filming this summer in Canada, with Hugh Jackman
, Halle Berry
and Patrick Stewart
reprising their leading roles.
Jackson Jurors Were Briefly Deadlocked Over Alcohol Charge
The release of six notes from jurors in Michael Jackson
's child molestation case shows the members hit a brief deadlock over finding him guilty of furnishing alcohol to a minor. The jury foreman made a request to Santa Maria, California, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville for an opportunity to review Jackson's teen accuser's claims during deliberations and, as a result, a court stenographer visited the jury room and read back the boy's entire testimony. The notes, which have been disclosed in response to a news media request, also show jurors were briefly deadlocked on two lesser charges that accused Jackson of furnishing alcohol to a minor. They quickly broke that deadlock and agreed on an acquittal. One note reads, "We cannot agree on the lesser counts of seven and eight," which was quickly followed by another saying, "Please disregard our prior request with counts seven and eight." A short time later, jurors unanimously acquitted Jackson of all 10 charges against him as well as the lesser options that were offered to them if they acquitted him of the more serious counts. Melville has delayed the release of many items to give attorneys until Thursday to object to unsealing specific documents.
P. Diddy Fumes Over Historic Child Support Payout
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Rap mogul Sean 'P Diddy' Combs
is outraged a New York court ordered him to pay a record-breaking $250,000 a year in child support in April, claiming he's the victim of a "scam". The Bad Boy Records boss - who is currently appealing the decision, the largest child support order in the history of New York State - believes he has been unfairly treated by the order to pay the cash to his 11-year-old son with stylist Misa Hylton-Brim, Justin. Combs tells the New York Daily News
, "This is not about the money. This is about me as a father. And this is not about my son. My child is being used. There's a scam that's going on. To go and have a judge order me to do it as if I've been a bad father is unfair. A court doesn't have to tell me what to do to support my child. It's disrespectful. It's saying I don't take care of my kids. To put me in this position, when I feel I've even been a shining example as a father... it's ludicrous. It's ridiculous. It's so insulting. I know I'm talking very passionately. But when you have these ambulance-chasing lawyers who have publicists and do photo shoots in magazines saying, 'This is the man who's going to beat Puffy, ' for them it's about my money. This money is not going to be spent on Justin. This is about somebody wanting another car or another piece of jewelry, some new coats. And I'm going to fight it to the highest court there is."