21 February 2008
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Cage Accused of Tax Fraud
Actor Nicolas Cage
has been accused of using his production company to "wrongly write off $3.3 million in personal expenses." The National Treasure
star is fighting an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) payment after allegedly using his Los Angeles-based company, Saturn Productions, to pay for "limos, meals, gifts, travel," reports New York gossip column PageSix.com. However, a spokesman for the star says the items were "security needs." Cage has filed a U.S. Tax Court lawsuit disputing $814,000 in taxes and penalties while Saturn is refusing to pay the IRS $988,000.
Lopez Ready To Give Birth?
has reportedly checked into North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, New York as she prepares to give birth to twins. The news is the latest in a string of Lopez baby alerts, but sources close to the singer/actress and her husband Marc Anthony
insist this time it's for real. Lopez has reportedly been holding a private room, which has "been sitting empty for two weeks," a source tells gossip website and New York newspaper column Page Six. A patient at the hospital told the site she overheard excited staff members exclaiming, "J.Lo is here," early on Wednesday. The couple went public with the baby news during a concert in Miami, Florida late last year. Lopez' father confirmed his daughter was expecting twins last month.
Franklin Is Fur Foe for PETA
has topped a new list of fur felons. People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) has named the Queen Of Soul the Worst Dressed Celebrity because she refuses to stop wearing fur. The soul star joins Eva Longoria
, Lindsay Lohan
, Kate Moss
and Kylie Minogue
among those dishonored on the new list. Vegetarians, vegans and animal lovers voted for their fashion victims in an online vote via the FurIsDead.com website. In naming and shaming Franklin, PETA bosses have said, "How 'bout some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for animals? Aretha, when you waddled into the Grammys in yet another vulgar fur, you looked as if you were going to perform 'I Am The Walrus' by The Beatles. You might be a queen, but you don't know jack about compassion." Rocker Marilyn Manson
was also among those dishonored for his love of leather and Minogue landed on the list after she was spotted clutching a python purse.
China's State-Run Media Slams Spielberg
The Chinese state-run media has criticized Steven Spielberg
as "naive" and "unreasonable" after the filmmaker quit as artistic director to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Oscar winner announced his decision not to take part in the upcoming Games on February 12, accusing China of not doing enough to help end the genocide in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. On February 14, the Chinese government issued an official response, expressing "regret" at Spielberg's move. However, the state-run media hasn't been nearly so kind to the Munich
director, and Wednesday's overseas edition of People's Daily, the Communist Party's official newspaper, launched a thinly-veiled attack on the 61-year-old. Its editorial read: "A certain Western director was very naive and made an unreasonable move toward the issue of the Beijing Olympics. This is perhaps because of his unique Hollywood characteristics. (He) is not qualified to blame China because he knows nothing about the great efforts the Chinese government has made on Darfur. This renowned film director is famous for his science-fiction. But now it seems he lives in a world of science-fiction and he can't distinguish a dream from reality."
Judge Puzzled Over Lawyer's Spears Request
A federal judge has given an attorney claiming to be Britney Spears
' new lawyer until February 29 to explain why the singer's ongoing conservatorship case should be moved to a federal court. Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled Jon Eardley, who has practices in New York and Washington, D.C., has to prove why the conservatorship of Spears' estate violates her civil rights. Last week, Eardley filed a legal complaint in U.S. District Court, arguing the case should be moved from Los Angeles Superior Court to a federal court. But on Wednesday, puzzled Judge Gutierrez failed to follow Eardley's logic and set a deadline of February 29 for the attorney to explain his reasoning. The ruling followed arguments from lawyers, acting on behalf of Spears' estate, who claim the pop superstar couldn't have hired Eardley to represent her because she's unable to do so under the terms of the conservatorship. Spears' father Jamie was recently appointed conservator of his daughter's estate - he has temporary control over the Toxic singer's legal and financial affairs until March 10.
Farrell: "Playing Ledger's Part Is a Painful Honor"
Movie star Colin Farrell
has confirmed he'll be among the stars acting out scenes tragic Heath Ledger
never got to shoot in his final film, confessing it'll be an "incredibly painful tribute." The Irish actor, Jude Law
and Johnny Depp
will help director Terry Gilliam
complete the film he started with the late Ledger. The superstar trio will pick up the role Ledger was playing in The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus
before he accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs last month. And Farrell admits he was flattered to be asked to help Gilliam complete Ledger's last film. He tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, "I will be honored to be part of that. It makes me feel uncomfortable to think about it too much and to get into it really here, but it's an incredibly painful honor... and an honor I wish wasn't bestowed (on me), but an honor none-the-less. It's about getting Heath's work out there... He's too good for any of his work not to be seen, you know, and I'm really keen and looking forward to doing it and just doing the best job I can do." The film, about a magical traveling theatre, also features movie veteran Christopher Plummer
. Production on the London set has been suspended since just before Ledger's death.
Faris Settles Divorce
star Anna Faris
is officially single after finalizing her divorce from actor Benjamin Indra
on Tuesday. The 31-year-old actress married Indra in June 2004, but the couple split in March last year citing irreconcilable differences. As part of their divorce settlement, Faris has agreed to pay the 28-year-old $900,000 in addition to other property and acting royalties, reports People.com. The couple has no children.
Actor Lionel Mark Smith Dies
Actor Lionel Mark Smith
has died following a battle with cancer. He was 62. Smith, who is best known for appearing in seven of playwright/director David Mamet
's films including Homicide
, State And Main
, and Oleanna
, passed away at his home in Inglewood, California on February 13. He also had roles in Paul Thomas Anderson
and Bob Rafelson
's cult 1981 movie The Postman Always Rings Twice
, starring Jack Nicholson
. Smith also appeared in numerous TV shows including Hill Street Blues
, NYPD Blue
and LA Law
. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1946, Smith later revealed his father was a heroin dealer and his mother died of alcoholism. Following a stint in the U.S. Army, he met Mamet while pursuing a stage career in Chicago. Smith's last film role was in 2007's Stuck
Gene Simmons' Sex Tape Shame
Kiss star Gene Simmons
has been left fuming after a video allegedly showing him having sex with a model was posted on the Internet. The rocker, who has been dating long-term partner Shannon Tweed
for over 20 years, is alleged to have made the tape while carrying out promotional duties as a spokesman for Frank's Energy Drink. The video showing a man who appears to be Simmons has been posted on website AVN.com, which is selling the recording to those who wish to download the footage. According to the site, the woman in the film is not Simmons' girlfriend Tweed, with whom he has two children, naming her only as a model called Elsa who is reported to work for the drinks company the star was hired to promote. Simmons and Tweed have been a couple since 1985 and are parents to son Nicholas, 19, and daughter Sophie, 15.
Fergie To Front Calvin Klein?
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Pop singer Fergie
is set to become the new face of fashion house Calvin Klein
. The Black Eyed Peas star wore a lemon-colored Calvin Klein
dress to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month and is now lined up to join Eva Mendes
as a spokesperson for the company. A source tells American magazine OK!, "She's a perfect fit. She loves Calvin and they think she is beautiful and fun and brings a lot to the brand."