18 December 2006
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O'Donnell Slammed for "Racist" Comments
Comedienne Rosie O'Donnell
has come under fire for offending the Chinese community on her US talk show. The actress-turned-TV host has been criticized by ethnic groups for using the phrase "ching chong" to represent the Chinese language on The View
earlier this month. But 44-year-old O'Donnell says she was unaware the remark was racist and offensive to Chinese people. She says, "To say 'ching chong' to someone is very offensive, and some Asian people have told me it's as bad as the n-word. Which I was like, 'Really? I didn't know that.' I'm sorry for those people who felt hurt or were teased on the playground. But I'm also gonna give you a fair warning that there's a good chance I'll do something like that again, probably in the next week, not on purpose. Only 'cause it's how my brain works." However, Unity:Journalists of Color, which represents ethnic groups in the media, says O'Donnell's remarks "really didn't sound like an apology," and are calling for The View
producers to publicly condemn the host's comments.
Actress Lyonne Turns Herself In
star Natasha Lyonne
turned herself in at a Manhattan, New York court on Friday almost a year after a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. The warrant for the 27-year-old actress was issued after she missed four court hearings on charges from harassment to trespassing. She also stands accused of making threats to sexually molest a neighbor's dog during an argument two years ago. Lyonne's drug counselor accompanied the actress to court and told the authorities she was still attending outpatient rehab groups after checking into an in-patient drug program in February. Judge Anthony Ferrara declared all the charges against Lyonne would be dropped if she continued with her rehabilitation and stayed out of trouble for the next six months.
Christian Groups Fume Over Christmas Horror Film
Christian groups have slammed the remake of cult 1974 movie Black Christmas
, because they find the horror movie "offensive." The Glen Morgan
-directed film stars Oliver Hudson
, Katie Cassidy
, Lacey Chabert
and Michelle Trachtenberg
and centers on a group of US college students who battle a slasher over the Christmas holidays. The movie will be released on Christmas Day in US cinemas, much to the horror of Christian groups. Mathew Staver
, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, says, "To have a movie that emphasizes murder and mayhem at Christmas, a time of celebration and joy around the world seems to be ill founded." Jennifer Giroux, co-founder of Operation Just Say Merry Christmas, adds, "The use of religious music 'Silent Night' and the nativity set on the front porch in one scene are insensitive to Christians. It's not enough to ignore and omit Christmas, but now it has to be offended, insulted and desecrated. Our most sacred holiday, actually a holy day, is being assaulted."
Moynahan and Brady Split
actress Bridget Moynahan
and American football player Tom Brady
have split after dating for three years. The 35-year-old beauty, best known for playing Mr. Big's wife Natasha in seasons two and three of Sex And The City
, released a statement through her publicist on Thursday. The statement reads, "They amicably ended their three-year relationship several weeks ago. We ask for your respect and consideration of their privacy. No further comments will be made." Brady, 29, is the quarterback for the New England Patriots and was voted one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People four years ago. Moynahan was most recently seen in ABC drama Six Degrees
and will co-star in upcoming thriller Prey
Campbell To Appear on 'Oprah'?
has reportedly agreed to appear on Oprah Winfrey
's talk show in a bid to show the world she does not deserve a reputation for aggressive behavior. On Wednesday, the British supermodel was cleared of attacking her former counselor - but she still faces lawsuits from former employees who allege they were physically abused by her. A friend tells British newspaper The Mail On Sunday, "Naomi and Oprah have been friends for a long time and have been talking for a while about her coming on the show." Former maid Gaby Gibson claims Campbell beat and racially abused her earlier this year, while former housekeeper Ana Scolavino alleges she threw a mobile phone at her in January. Campbell's former assistant Amanda Brack is also suing the beauty for verbal and physical abuse.
Estevez Planning Globe Celebration with Father
was thrilled to hear his movie Bobby
was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards - and plans to celebrate the triumph with his actor father Martin Sheen
. Sheen is currently studying for a degree in English Literature at the National University Of Ireland in Galway, while his actor/director son lives in Los Angeles. Estevez's movie about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
is up for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Original Song for "Never Gonna Break My Faith." The Breakfast Club
star enthuses, "I'm having to pinch myself this morning. I'm really thrilled for my pop, too. The Hollywood Foreign Press has been a wonderful supporter of the film since our spectacular first screening in Venice, Italy." Sheen stars alongside Sharon Stone
, Demi Moore
, Sir Anthony Hopkins
, Helen Hunt
and a host of other big names in the movie, which is directed and written by Estevez.
Garland's "Forgotten" Childhood Recordings Fail To Sell
The Wizard Of Oz
star Judy Garland
's childhood recordings failed to sell at a Los Angeles auction yesterday when bidding did not match the minimum price. The songs were taped in a Hollywood recording studio in March 1935, when a 12-year-old Garland sang "Good Ship Lollypop," "Object Of My Affections" and "Dinah," accompanied by her mother on piano. But bidding at Bonhams And Butterfields auction house reached just $22,500 - well short of the $40,000 expected price. The unnamed owner of the two previously-unheard acetate discs, which were discovered in the rubbish at one of Garland's former homes in Beverly Hills, is expected to attempt to sell them again in the near future. Garland died in 1969 of a prescription drug overdose. She was 47.
'Girls Gone Wild' Makers Fined
The company behind the raunchy Girls Gone Wild
franchise has been fined $1.6 million after releasing DVDs featuring underage girls. Mantra Films Inc, who offer T-shirts in exchange for breast-bearing on film, was found guilty of preying on two drunken 17-year-olds during the spring break holiday in 2003. According to the New York Daily News, founder Joe Francis
was forced by judge Richard Smoak to read aloud one of the plaintiff's statements in the Panama City, Florida court. In the testimony she detailed her "emotional torment" after appearing in the video. Francis was sentenced to community service because Smoak did not believe the fine was significant enough, as it represents only 12 per cent of Mantra's 2005 profits. Smoak said, "It does not take a very brave man to go out and corner a girl in the middle of spring break who had four drinks." Francis claimed the two girls had lied about their ages.
Perez Hilton Hit with $7.6 Million Lawsuit
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton
has been hit with a $7.6 million copyright infringement lawsuit by a Los Angeles photo agency. Bosses at X17 claim Hilton, real name Mario Lavandeira
, used 51 photographs without permission, payment or credit, including images of a pregnant Katie Holmes
and Britney Spears
partying. X17 co-owner Brandy Navarre says, "We've had trouble with a lot of bloggers. But he's the biggest, and the most arrogant and pigheaded about it, frankly. He is stealing our images and costing us money every day." However, Lavandeira claims he has done nothing illegal, insisting, "I am going to vigorously defend myself. I am willing to step up to the plate and fight for my rights and fight for the rights of all bloggers."
OJ Publisher Fired
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The publisher at the center of a planned OJ Simpson
book, in which the former American football star would hypothetically discuss how he would have killed his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, has been fired. Judith Regan
publicly defended the controversial book project, If I Did It
, despite pleas from the families of the deceased not to go ahead with publishing plans. The book and an accompanying TV special were pulled when it became clear the controversy was too great. And now Regan is looking for work after she was unceremoniously fired over the weekend. In a terse statement from HarperCollins Ceo Jane Friedman, the publishing house's boss, writes, "Judith Regan's employment with HarperCollins has been terminated, effective immediately. The Regan publishing program and staff will continue as part of the HarperCollins General Books Group."