19 October 2005
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Kidman Photographer Wins DNA Appeal
A photographer accused of planting a listening device in Nicole Kidman
's Australian home has successfully appealed against an order to submit a DNA sample. Jamie Fawcett
is alleged to have used the device to tap into conversations between the Bewitched
star's security guards so could predict her traveling plans. The device was discovered wrapped in protective plastic and partly submerged in water and foliage on a footpath a short distance from the actress' Sydney mansion in January. Police found two different DNA profiles on the listening apparatus and hoped to link one to Fawcett. But Justice Michael Grove ruled in favor of Fawcett, insisting there is no evidence to suggest Fawcett had successfully used the device to record a conversation and therefore had not committed an offence. Justice Grove said, "Assuming that it is desired to focus the relevant suspicion upon an inference of earlier possession, accompanied by an intention at that time to use the device to commit an offence. (There is) no evidence before the court that the device was ever used. That that must happen is an essential ingredient of an offence of using a listening device." Fawcett commented outside the court: "I am pleased with the result. I am only happy that common sense has prevailed. I thought for a long while this has gone on and on and I'm glad it's over."
Sizemore Has His Probation Reinstated
Troubled actor Tom Sizemore
had his probation reinstated on Monday, a month after he was ordered to spend another 30 days in a rehabilitation centre for possessing amphetamines. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paula Mabrey told the Natural Born Killers
star she had seen "remarkable improvement" in his fight against drug addiction. Sizemore's lawyer Michael Rovell told the hearing, "He is licking his problem. It is not an easy problem to overcome, but right now he is winning the battle." Judge Mabrey told Sizemore, "I believe that you know what you need to do to stay out of prison." Until Monday, Sizemore had been living at a rehab clinic in Pasadena, California, since July. Last month, he had his probation revoked after using a prosthetic device to fake a drug test in May. Sizemore is due to appear in court again on November 4.
Madonna Thanks ABBA for the Music
Pop queen Madonna
wrote a begging letter to Swedish supergroup ABBA asking for permission to sample their hit "Gimme Gimme Gimme" on a new track. And the shameless groveling paid off when the 47-year-old singer became only the second artist ever allowed to use their work. The song, which features on new single "Hung Up," sees Madonna join the Fugees as the only other musicians to be given the ABBA seal of approval. The group used part of "The Name Of The Game" on their 1996 track "Rumble In The Jungle." Madonna says, "I had to send my emissary to Stockholm with a letter begging them and telling them how much I love their music. They never let anyone sample their music. Thank God they didn't say no." ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson
and Bjorn Ulvaeus
admit the decision was tough but they are impressed by Madonna's acclaimed career and the quality of her track. Andersson says, "We admire Madonna so much and always have done. She has got guts and has been around for 21 years. That is not bad going. 'Hung Up' is really good. If it wasn't any good we would not have said yes. It is a wonderful track - 100 per cent solid pop music."
Beyonce Caught Up in Skin Scandal
has been thrust into a magazine cover color war in America after a new pop culture publication claimed her skin had been lightened for the cover of style bible Vanity Fair. Radar magazine's editors poked fun at the new cover of Vanity Fair because they felt it tried to make the Destiny's Child stunner "less black". Vanity Fair bosses have denied the allegations, calling them outrageous. The magazine's publicist, Yvette Noel-schure, says, "There are very fair-skinned black people in the world and Beyonce is one of them."
Jackson Ditches 'King Kong' Score Just Weeks Before Premiere
Hollywood director Peter Jackson
has ditched the score to his upcoming remake of King Kong
with only seven weeks to go before the movie is scheduled to premiere. Jackson has hired a new composer after he failed to reach an agreement on how to score the highly-anticipated film with longtime collaborator Howard Shore
, who wrote the music for his Lord Of The Rings
trilogy. James Newton Howard
, who has scored numerous movies including Batman Begins
and The Sixth Sense
, has stepped in to replace Shore. King Kong
stars Jack Black
, Naomi Watts
and Adrien Brody
and is due to premiere in New York City on December 5. Jackson has issued a statement, saying: "During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realize that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of King Kong
. Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film."
Monroe's Watch Gift To Kennedy Sells at Auction
A gold watch screen icon Marilyn Monroe
gave to President John F. Kennedy
has been auctioned for $120,000. The Rolex time-piece was sold at Alexander Auctions in Connecticut to an anonymous American collector who outbid a European competitor. The watch, inscribed with the words 'Jack with love as always Marilyn May 29th 1962', came accompanied with a poem Monroe wrote for the late US leader, titled "A Heartfelt Plea On Your Birthday." Monroe and Kennedy are thought to have had an affair. Her poem to him reads: "Let lovers breathe their sighs/And roses bloom and music sound/Let passion burn on lips and eyes/And pleasures merry world go round/Let golden sunshine flood the sky/And Let Me Love/Or Let Me Die!" Monroe died of a drugs overdose in August 1962; Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963.
Danes Worried About Martin Romp
initially found it hard to disrobe and shoot a raunchy sex scene with older co-star Steve Martin
in new movie Shopgirl
, before realizing her awkwardness was perfect for the film. The 26-year-old admits she was nervous when faced with the prospect of romping with 60-year-old Martin. She tells the New York Daily News, "The age difference seemed a little awkward, but the movie is about that. I didn't want to be coy about their relationship. It ultimately evolved into something more complex, but initially he wanted to have sex with her, and she wanted to have sex with him."
Blake Testifies To Three New Alibi Witnesses
on Monday testified there are at least three witnesses who can confirm his alibi that he was not present when his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley
was murdered - the first time the actor has made this claim. Bakley was shot in May 2001 in Blake's car outside a restaurant in Studio City, California. Blake says the killing happened as he returned to the eatery to collect a handgun he had left behind. At the restaurant, the Baretta
star told the court he was seen by three workers who never went to the police. The 72-year-old is battling a civil lawsuit brought by the children of Bakley. Blake was acquitted of fatally shooting Bakley in March, but her grown-up kids claim he is responsible for her death. Blake told the Los Angeles court three workers standing by a cash register saw him walk back into the restaurant. He claims they never gave police a statement because they did not speak English and were not legally allowed in the US. Eric Dubin, representing Bakley's children, dismissed Blake's testimony. He said, "It's a new jury, so I guess we have a new alibi. I would call it a desperate and insulting attempt to create an alibi that had never been there for four years." Earlier this month, Blake defended his decision to take a gun to the restaurant, telling the civil jury he was worried about people, including a man he called 'Buzz Cut', loitering outside his house. Yesterday, Blake described his late wife as someone desperate for fame and fortune. He also said Bakley had a relationship with Marlon Brando
's son Christian while she was with him. In one of her letters presented in court, Bakley wrote: "I don't feel it would be worth it to sever that relationship for anything less than an engagement. It might not be just your money I miss out on, it might be Marlon's as well via Christian."
Moviemaker McG's Fear of Flying Cost Him 'Superman'
passed on the chance to bring Superman back to the big screen because he's terrified of flying. The claustrophobic director was the first choice to make the fifth Superman Returns
movie but he refused to fly to Sydney, Australia, to begin work, and The Usual Suspects
director Bryan Singer
has taken charge of the project, instead. He explains, "I didn't want to fly down there... I don't really freak out that we're gonna crash but I freak out (when) everything's great and you're at 40,000 feet and then you realize you're in a steel tube and you can't get out of there and there's nothing but water everywhere when you look down." Fearing that his flying fears could impact the rest of his career, McG, real name Joseph Nichol
, is trying to conquer his fears with private lessons in keeping his cool while in the air. He adds, "I'm getting better. I mean I try to figure it out and charter a plane and get used to it and do some more flying... It helped me just figure out what was going on and just get more comfortable."
Storm Forces MTV To Move Latin Music Video Awards
MTV bosses have chosen to move the upcoming Latin American Music Video Awards after receiving storm warnings from weather experts. After they were forced to scrap the Video Music Awards in Miami, Florida, in August due to Hurricane Katrina, organizers have decided not to take any risks and have brought the LAMVAs forward a day. The star-studded awards ceremony on Mexico's Caribbean coast will now take place later today - before Hurricane Wilma is scheduled to hit the area this weekend.
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