20 August 2007
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Seagal Seeks FBI Apology for Derailing His Career
Actor Steven Seagal
is seeking an apology from the Federal Bureau Of Investigation, for allegedly harming his career by implicating he hired a private detective to intimidate journalists from writing unflattering stories about him. The 56-year-old has made 12 movies since 2001's Exit Wounds
- all have been released directly onto DVD, bypassing cinemas, and Seagal is convinced the leaked release of an October 2002 FBI affidavit linking him to the mob is responsible for his decline in popularity. The affidavit detailed how Seagal hired private eye Anthony Pellicano
to threaten reporters, before the investigation focused entirely on Pellicano, who is now in prison awaiting a trial on charges including wire-tapping, But Seagal has never been publicly cleared by the FBI, and the actor wants this done so his reputation is immediately restored, reports the Los Angeles Times. Seagal recently said, "False FBI accusations fuelled thousands of articles saying that I terrorize journalists and associate with the Mafia. These kinds of inflammatory allegations scare studio heads and independent producers - and kill careers." He added, "I was sick of hearing my name associated with a crime the government knew I had nothing to do with. Until it happens to you, you can't imagine what it does to your life."
Hilton's Fashion Launch Causes L.A. Chaos
caused chaos in Los Angeles on Thursday when she launched her new clothing line at a fashionable boutique. Police had to be drafted in to help control a surging crowd desperate to catch a glimpse of The Simple Life
star at Kitson in Beverly Hills, and a lane of traffic on Robertson Boulevard was closed to accommodate the thousands of star-spotting pedestrians. Hilton said during the launch of her own shoes, T-shirts and jeans, "It's a dream come true to have my own clothing line. It's just Paris style: fun, bright and flashy. They are really comfortable and really affordable. It's just from my closet to their closets."
Winfrey Defends Obama Funding
Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey
has defended her generous donations to presidential candidate Barack Obama
's campaign, insisting her money won't secure him the White House. Jennifer Aniston
and Halle Berry
have already donated $2,300 - the maximum amount allowed for the Democratic primary - to Obama's team, and wealthy Winfrey has followed suit. But she insists it's the influence she wields, not the money she gives, that will be the real help. She tells fellow TV host Larry King
, "My money isn't going to make any difference. My value to him, my support of him is probably worth more than any other check that I could write."
Pregnant socialite Nicole Richie
agreed to marry boyfriend Joel Madden
on Thursday, a U.S. radio DJ reported. Hot 99.5 morning show host Kane made the announcement at a Friday party in Virginia, where Madden performed with his band Good Charlotte. Following the set, Kane told guests, "He got engaged yesterday. Congratulations, Joel!" And despite receiving no reaction from Madden, the DJ is sticking to his story, telling People.com, he offered his congratulations to the rocker earlier in the night and "He said, 'Thank you so much.'" Kane adds, "They're very excited about the baby and the wedding. They want to keep their personal life personal." It seems the secret is already out though - while quizzing Madden about his relationship with Richie on his show on Thursday, TV personality Regis Philbin
asked, "You're going to present her, maybe, with... A little ring, or something?" A shocked Madden replied, "I was hoping it would be a surprise, but now..." Richie is four and a half months pregnant with her first child with Madden.
Spears' Rehab Facility Receives Subpoena
Troubled pop star Britney Spears
has received another blow in her custody battle with Kevin Federline
- her ex has delivered a subpoena to the rehab facility she attended, according to reports. The 25-year-old singer and Federline's divorce was finalized last month, with the couple agreeing to joint custody of their sons Sean Preston, 23 months; and Jayden James, 11 months. However, following Spears' erratic behavior in recent weeks, Federline is now seeking full custody of the two boys and has already subpoenaed her assistant Alli Sims, her former sidekick Shannon Funk, and her bodyguard Daimon Shippen
to testify in the case. California's Promises Treatment Center - which the singer entered in February for a month - was allegedly served with a subpoena on Saturday morning. A spokesperson from Promises refused to discuss developments, saying, "This is a confidential facility and we cannot comment." Meanwhile British newspapers report Federline has also hunted down a mystery brunette girl who was snapped frolicking with Spears in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2004 on her Onyx Hotel tour.
Lohan's Parents Praised by Judge Over Divorce
's parents Michael and Dina Lohan
have been praised by the judge presiding over their divorce battle for finally settling their case. The couple went their separate ways in December 2005, but a battle over joint assets and custody has drawn out the divorce almost two years after they originally split. The divorce was made official on Friday, when Judge Robert Ross granted the Lohan divorce at Nassau Matrimonial Court in New York - and thanked the pair for their resolution of the issue. He told the couple, "Mr. and Mrs. Lohan, you both demonstrated to me extraordinarily good judgment in resolving this matter as you did." The judgment doesn't include custody of Lindsay Lohan
's two younger siblings Dakota, 11, and Aliana, 13, which will be decided in court in September.
Brooks Comes Out of Retirement
Superstar Garth Brooks
has confirmed he's making a country comeback, seven years after he announced his retirement. The 45-year-old declared his intention to cease touring and recording in 2000, but has now changed his mind with a new single and a greatest hits collection, which includes a further three new tracks, coming out later this year . And Brooks, who is married to singer Trisha Yearwood
, is looking forward to seeing how he fares against a new generation of country stars. He says, "Sure I'm scared to death - I'm rusty and I've seen these young guys. But I'm a competitor and when it's game day you start competing. Keith Urban
is a beautiful guy, and he's just one of about 50 guys out there I'll have to face this fall so if you don't bring your A game you're going to get run over. And I'm Mr. Yearwood now so I want to make her proud." But Brooks has no plans to tour and hints he may head back to retirement after the new material's release. He says, "We'll go back to what I was doing before and sit on our butts for a while after the promo work for the new album is complete."
Parker Almost Backed Out of Snake Poster Shoot
Actress Mary-Louise Parker
was happy to be photographed naked for a promotional campaign for TV show Weeds
, but almost backed out of the shoot when she found out she'd be posing with a snake. The 42-year-old is pictured with a snake coiled around her naked upper-body in the edgy poster. But Parker even came to like her slithering photo partner. She says, "I didn't think I was going to do it actually. But then, they (the photography team) were there and the snake was there, and I didn't want the snake to win, so I put the snake on. And I grew to really love the snake - by the end of the day." Parker adds, "I've been naked quite a bit, actually. You Google me, you'll see it all."
Allen Cancels U.S. Tours
's battle to renew her U.S. visa has forced her to cancel a series of concerts next month. The singer was allowed to enter the country earlier this month, but officials refused to renew her visa, reportedly because of her assault on a photographer earlier this year. Now back in London she has been forced to cancel a string of gigs on the America's west coast next month because "the (visa) reinstatement process has proven lengthier than anticipated," according to a statement from concert presenter Live Nation. Allen says, "I am so disappointed that I won't be able to come to the States at this time. I was really looking forward to playing these shows and being part of the Video Music Awards. I want my fans to know that I'll be back as soon as I possibly can!"
'Idol' Winner Sparks Jumps to Jive
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winner Jordin Sparks
has signed to Britney Spears
' record label Jive. The teenager - the TV talent show's youngest winner ever - has become the first Idol
winner to join the label. Her first single, "Tattoo," will be released at the end of August, and her debut album is slated for a November release. In a statement from her new boss, Barry Weiss, he says, "Her poise, her amazing vocal ability, her relentless optimism has been apparent to millions of fans all around the world. We're honored to have this burgeoning worldwide superstar on Jive Records."