27 November 2006
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Richards Apologizes on Radio Show
Troubled comedian Michael Richards
yesterday insisted he is not a racist and is "shattered" by comments he made to two black men at a comedy club. Richards appeared on Rev. Jesse Jackson
's radio show Keep Hope Alive, which is nationally syndicated in the US, as part of a series of apologies for an incident at a Los Angeles comedy club on November 17. The former Seinfeld
star said her knew his language has hurt the black community and that he hopes to meet with the two young men. Richards told Jackson he had never used that type of language before saying, "That's why I'm shattered by it. The way this came through me like a freight train. After it was over, when I went to look for them, they had gone. And I've tried to meet them, to talk to them, to get some healing." According to Richards' publicist, Howard Rubenstein
, he has begun psychiatric counseling to learn how to manage his anger and understand why he made the racist remarks. Jackson said he invited Richards on the show for a broader discussion about "cultural isolation" in the entertainment industry adding, "We might turn this minus into a plus."
Baldwin Not So Bitter Towards Basinger
has hinted his bitter divorce and custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger
is over after taking time to praise her mothering skills on Us TV. The movie star has been embroiled in a fraught legal battle with Basinger for years, but after winning a new "order" earlier this year, the Pearl Harbor
seems ready to stop fighting. Speaking on CNN show Larry King Live
last week, Baldwin said, "My ex-wife was somebody who was funny and she was fun... and she was a lot of fun to be with. She was a great, great person. And then all of a sudden I think we just wanted to live different lives. But I think she's a great mother, yes, good mom." In court, Baldwin accused his ex of refusing to obey by the terms of court-imposed custody and attempting to turn their daughter Ireland against him. But the actor star accepts he's won as much custody as he thinks is fair: "I have what I have now. I have the orders that I have now."
Cohen Nominated for Kazakh Award
British funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen
has been nominated for a national award in Kazakhstan, despite lampooning the country in his latest movie. Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan
was slammed by the central Asian state on it release earlier this year for portraying the country as ridden with superstition, incest, political suppression and religious intolerance. But Kazakh novelist Sapabek Asip-uly has called on his nation's Club of Art Patrons to give Cohen its annual award, according to a letter published by the Vremya newspaper. He says, "(Borat) has managed to spark an immense interest of the whole world in Kazakhstan - something our authorities could not do during the years of independence. If state officials completely lack a sense of humor, their country becomes a laughing stock." Earlier this week Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev added his support to the movie, insisting bumbling reporter Borat has raised Kazakhstan's profile around the world.
'Da Vinci Code' Sequel To Be Made
A sequel to the blockbuster movie adaptation The Da Vinci Code
is in the works. Scriptwriter Akiva Goldsman
, who adapted the Dan Brown
novel for the screen, has reportedly been paid $3.8 million to write the sequel. However, it's said the sequel will not be an original story, but will actually be based on Angels And Demons
, the book which precedes The Da Vinci Code
. Sources claim the plot, which sees cryptologist Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks
, help a woman to discover the links between her father's death and secret society conspiracies, will be altered so that it can follow on from the first film. It is expected the movie will be released in 2008.
Sheen Auctions Brando Apology
Actor Charlie Sheen
is auctioning a letter of apology sent to him by movie legend Marlon Brando
. The actor invited Brando to his 26th birthday party in 1991, but the heavyweight star - who appeared in Apocalpyse Now
with Sheen's father Martin - was too ill to attend. The letter reads, "I'm feeling like a very large turd on a very thin stick. I'm holed up in bed and taking everything from sled dog urine to powdered East Indian vulva. I really feel bad for not showing up at your birthday bash but I really feel s**tty and best stay in bed. I'm sure it will be a kick in the ass, and I hate to miss it - Happiest of birthdays to you, Charlie." The handwritten letter appears on auction site Lelands.com and has a reserve of $1,000, reports the New York Daily News.
Broadway Lyricist Betty Comden Dies
Broadway lyricist Betty Comden
died in New York on Thursday of heart failure following a long battle with ill health. She was 89. Comden enjoyed a formidable 60-year working relationship with Adolph Green
which produced the classic musicals Singin' In The Rain
and On The Town
. Comden's attorney Ronald Konecky says, "She was, in all respects, a very beautiful and legendary person. She was a dynamic figure in the arts, theatre and film." Comden and Green worked with a host of leading composers including Leonard Bernstein
, Cy Coleman
and Jule Styne
, and won five Tony Awards. Comden married accessories designer Steven Kyle in 1942 and they had two children together. Kyle died in 1979 and their son Alan passed away in 1990. Comden is survived by her daughter Susanna.
Blaine Escapes New York Shackles
US magician David Blaine
took just 15 minutes to escape from his shackles four stories high over New York's Times Square on Thursday after two days in a spinning gyroscope. The 33-year-old was strapped into the contraption and hoisted by crane above the streets on Tuesday. He spent 48 hours spinning while exposed to wintry weather conditions but still managed to thrill crowds on Thanksgiving with a dramatic exit. Blaine plunged through a plywood stage below him and, despite the heavy fall giving him a limp, he briefly greeted fans before being whisked away in a taxi. The stunt's success means 100 children selected by The Salvation Army will be treated to a Christmas shopping expedition. Each child will receive a $500 gift certificate from retailer Target.
Lopez Landed Luxury Seats
angered fellow passengers on a private jet taking guests to Tom Cruise
and Katie Holmes
' wedding ceremony by claiming all the best seats for her party. Other celebrity passengers including Jada Pinkett Smith
, Leah Remini
and Jerry Maguire
director Cameron Crowe
were shocked when they boarded the luxury 757 to find Lopez had taken over. A source tells American publication Us Weekly, "Jennifer Lopez sent her assistant to secure seats by laying her belongings on all the best seats!" The Maid In Manhattan
actress also flew her hairstylist, Ken Paves
, to Rome and set him up at the posh Hotel Hassler to do her hair for the big day. The singer ruffled more feathers at a group dinner at the restaurant Nino the previous Thursday night by refusing to stick to the informal dress code. The source adds, "The November 16 welcome dinner was supposed to be casual. But J.Lo, of course, wore a gown. So much for casual." Lopez also asked a waiter to prepare two "doggie bags" in the wee hours after the wedding, at 2:33 am, for her and husband Marc Anthony
as they made their way to the airport to return to the US.
Spike Lee Boosts Sports Journalism With New School
Moviemaker Spike Lee
has launched a new initiative at his former college in a bid to flood journalism with African-American sports writers. The sports fan is a member of the board of trustees Morehouse College in Georgia - a private, historically black liberal arts school - and used his weight to prompt a new journalism school and curriculum. Lee insists newspapers need more black sports writers to match the growing number of African-Americans playing professional sport. He says, "We started the Morehouse College School of Journalism and Sports Journalism. We were trying to do it for the last seven years and we finally got it through. Right now there's a dearth of representation of African Americans in the sports industry as far, as journalism is concerned. Seventy-five per cent of the players in the NFL (National Football League) are black, an even higher number of African Americans play basketball, but, if you look in the press box and the magazines and the newsrooms, you don't have that representation now, so that's what we want to do. It will start next semester. Registration is going on now."
Gyllenhaal Triumphs at Stockholm Film Festival
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