24 January 2008
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Investigation Into Ledger's Death Continues
Police investigating the death of actor Heath Ledger
have found a rolled-up $20 bill in his apartment, suggesting the late actor was a hard drug user. The Brokeback Mountain
star, 28, was found dead in the bedroom of his New York home on Tuesday afternoon. The $20 bill will now be tested by scientists, although police said no drug residue was visible on it and refused to comment on speculation that the bill was used to snort cocaine. An autopsy carried out on Wednesday failed to reveal how Ledger died, although police believe his death is drug-related as sleeping pills were found strewn around his apartment. No illegal drugs were found. Officials will now have to wait for the results of a series of toxicology tests which may hold further clues into what caused the 28-year-old's death. A spokesman for the medical examiner assigned to the case insists it may take up to 10 days to conclude their investigation. Meanwhile, Australian Ledger's body has been released to a New York funeral home.
Nicholson Warned Ledger About Joker Role
has hinted he warned tragic Heath Ledger
against taking on the role of The Joker in the new Batman film. Ledger, 28 - who was declared dead at 3:30pm at his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday - publicly declared himself exhausted and sleep deprived in November following the grueling shoot for The Dark Knight
. He also revealed in an interview with the New York Times he'd resorted to taking sleeping pills - an overdose of which is believed to be the cause of his death - in a desperate bid to catch up on rest. And Nicholson, who famously portrayed the menacing Joker in Tim Burton
's 1989 movie Batman
, implied to the waiting crowd outside plush London restaurant The Wolesley on Tuesday night he spoke to Ledger about his role in The Dark Knight
- and warned him about the pitfalls of taking on such a demanding challenge. When asked by the London crowds for his reaction to Ledger's untimely demise, a defeated Nicholson simply replied, "I told him so." Batman Begins
prequel The Dark Knight
is due to be released in July.
Johansson Not Engaged to Reynolds
has denied reports she is engaged to marry boyfriend Ryan Reynolds
. The Hollywood couple has been dating for 10 months following 23-year-old Johansson's split from Josh Hartnett
and the end of 31-year-old Reynolds' engagement to fellow Canadian, Alanis Morissette
, in February last year. But the Lost In Translation
beauty insists claims published in the New York Daily News last week alleging they are to wed are premature. Her representative tells America's OK! magazine, "There is no truth at all to the Daily News piece."
Judge Gives Richards Green Light for Reality TV Show
has lost a bid to prevent his ex-wife Denise Richards
from including their two daughters in a new reality TV show, after a Los Angeles judge ruled in the actress' favor. The Two And A Half Men
actor is objecting to letting the former couple's girls, three-year-old Sam and two-year-old Lola, take part in the ex-Bond girl's TV plans. But after a closed hearing at Los Angeles family court on Tuesday, Commissioner Harvey A. Silberman ruled Richards was allowed to include the kids in the program, subject to a number of rules. The details of which have yet to be released. Richards was represented in court by her attorney, who participated via telephone, while Sheen attended the hearing with his lawyer. The TV show will reportedly revolve around Richards' life as a working single mum in Hollywood.
Cage Hits Back at Turner's "Difficult" Claims
Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage
has hit back after Kathleen Turner
accused him of behaving like a diva when they starred in 1986 comedy Peggy Sue Got Married
. The film - which earned Turner a Best Actress Oscar nomination - was directed by Cage's uncle Francis Ford Coppola
and Turner insisted the actor went to great lengths to disobey his famous relative. In her forthcoming autobiography, Send Yourself Roses
, Turner, writes, "Everything Francis Ford Coppola
) wanted him (Cage) to do, he went against to show that he wasn't under his uncle's wing. Which was ridiculous. Oh, that stupid voice of his and the fake teeth! Honestly, I cringe to think about it. He caused so many problems." She also went on to accuse the National Treasure
star of getting in trouble with the police while they were filming. She adds, "He was arrested twice for drunk driving and, I think, once for stealing a dog. He'd come across a Chihuahua he liked and stuck it in his jacket." But Cage, insists the 53-year-old's book is inaccurate. He tells New York Post gossip column PageSix, "While I recall Kathleen Turner being a great lady and wonderful actress, the credibility of her biography and her memory is at stake . . . Fact credibility should have been exercised on (her) part."
Moore Surprised To Secure 'Sicko' Nomination
is amazed his movie Sicko
has received an Academy Award nomination, because he thought he'd never be invited back after slamming U.S. President George W. Bush
onstage in 2003. Moore outraged many with his controversial speech, which Oscars producers cut short, when picking up the Best Documentary award for Bowling For Columbine
. But the 53-year-old was pleased to hear his film about America's health care problems had picked up a Best Documentary Academy Award nomination on Tuesday. He says, "I'm appreciative that they allowed me back in the building (Kodak Theater). If I'm fortunate enough to stand on that stage again, I will be true to myself and very gracious and grateful for the acknowledgment, but I would start by finishing the last 10 seconds of the previous speech." And the famously unstylish filmmaker adds, "I would thank my wardrobe designer and hair stylist."
Paltrow Vows To Avoid U.S. After Paparazzi Scare
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow
has vowed to stay away from the U.S. after a recent traumatic confrontation with photographers in New York. The Oscar winner was pounced upon by the paparazzi during a visit to Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital last week. Paltrow insists the media attention in American is much worse than in London, where she lives with her husband, Coldplay rocker Chris Martin
and their two children Apple, three, and one-year-old Moses. A friend of the couple tells U.S. publication the Chicago Sun Times that the star has vowed to rarely "cross the pond, unless I absolutely have to for work." The source adds, "Gwyneth was truly frightened by the intensity of the whole thing. She was feeling fragile at the moment and didn't need to face that." The couple was overwhelmed by photographers when they left the New York medical centre where Paltrow was being treated for "a gastrointestinal situation." Martin was later videotaped chasing a member of the paparazzi and grabbing his camera while shouting, "You've gotta have some respect."
Britney Denied Access to Sons
Troubled pop star Britney Spears
has failed to regain visitation rights to her children after an emergency custody hearing in Los Angeles. The singer had been due to make a desperate plea to a judge at L.A. County Courthouse to allow her to see her sons but arrived at the building and then left before entering the courtroom. And her absence may have affected the outcome as it has been reported that the star's current visitation rights will remain the same, according to Tmz.com. The star allegedly entered the building through the basement to avoid the waiting paparazzi but turned and fled soon afterwards, without going into the room where the hearing was taking place. A member of Spears' legal team told a court official, "I don't know whether she'll be here or not. I don't want to delay the hearing." The star's ex-husband Kevin Federline
arrived on time and was sworn into the session before the media were cleared from the room. Spears was stripped of all her custody and visitation rights to Sean Preston, two, and Jayden James, one, earlier this month following a string of bizarre incidents including an apparent breakdown which saw the star hospitalized under a mental health order. The singer's lawyers reportedly scheduled Wednesday's hearing to ask for Spears to be allowed "monitored visitation in a therapeutic setting". It had been feared the hitmaker would not attend the session after she missed a previous hearing earlier this month. Spears' actions on Wednesday mirror those of January 14 when she arrived at Los Angeles Superior Court for a crucial custody hearing, but left without entering the courthouse.
Label Stands by Winehouse
's record label has pledged to fully support the troubled star after she was filmed taking Class A drugs. Fears for the singer's health were sparked last summer following a drugs overdose and were further fueled after she pulled out of her U.K. tour in November. Any hopes the volatile star had cleaned up her act were dashed this week when video footage surfaced of her apparently smoking crack cocaine and snorting ecstasy at her East London home on Friday. However, Universal
Music Group has no plans to ditch Winehouse - and has vowed to help the singer back to good health. A statement from the label reads, "We are deeply disappointed and upset by these latest revelations and are doing everything we can to offer Amy our full support in dealing with her problems."
Turner To Duet With Knowles at Grammys
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is coming out of retirement to make her first proper public live performance in eight years at the Grammy Awards. The 68-year-old superstar will duet with Beyonce Knowles
at the music awards show next month. Turner announced her retirement in 2000, but took the stage for a private charity gig at London's National History Museum last May. Now she'll make a spectacular comeback by performing a currently-unknown song with Knowles at the Los Angeles awards ceremony. Knowles, 26, is a long-term fan of Turner's and performed her song "Proud Mary" at a Kennedy Center tribute to the veteran musician in 2005.