Teri Hatcher was left in floods of tears on a recent taping of talk show Oprah when the mother of a teen suicide sent her a special thank you message for coming forward to help jail the dead girl's molester.
The Desperate Housewives star agreed to secretly testify against her own uncle, who had molested her 30 years before, when she heard he'd been named as the cause of 14-year-old Sarah Van Cleemput's suicide.
Hatcher's timely testimony in 2002 came just two days before Richard Hayes Stone was due to walk free. Instead, after the actress came forward, he pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Van Cleemput's family never knew of the identity of the woman who helped jail the child molester, whose actions prompted Sarah to shoot herself, until Hatcher called them in March on the eve of the release of a Vanity Fair article, in which she revealed everything.
Hatcher welled up on Oprah as she recalled the emotional chat she had with Van Cleemput's mother Ingrid, who referred to the actress' brave decision to come forward as "the miracle we had been waiting for".
Then she sobbed as Ingrid paid tribute to the Desperate Housewives star in a video message. Van Cleemput said, "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you a lot of strength."
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Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher has been hailed for her courage by the parents of her uncle's suicide abuse victim.
The actress only came forward to give evidence to police in 2002, more than 30 years after perverted Richard Hayes Stone molested her as a child.
She was prompted by the news that another of her relative's victims--14-year-old Sarah Van Cleemput--had shot herself dead after suffering four years of similar abuse.
Van Cleemput's parents are grateful that Hatcher had the strength to speak out, and have praised her recent frank interview with Vanity Fair magazine where she reveals her torment for the first time to the public.
Patrick Van Cleemput says, "This man devastated all of our lives.
"Teri has been battling with it for more than 30 years and is still suffering. To come forward takes great courage."
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Blake was 'laughing' with wife on night of murder
A witness in the Robert Blake murder trial claims the actor was laughing and smiling as he dined with his wife the night she was killed. Bonny Lee Bakley was shot on May 4, 2001, after eating at Vitello's restaurant in California. After the meal, Blake maintains he left Bakley in their car while he returned to the eatery to retrieve a handgun he carried for protection and returned to find her bleeding. Vitello's co-owner Joe Restivo told the Los Angeles court last Wednesday that he recalled Blake returning in distress and looking for a doctor - but that he did not retrieve his firearm. Restivo says, "He was out of it. He was in hysterics. He was saying, 'We need help', or 'Somebody hurt my lady'." However, Restivo admits he was busy that night preparing takeaway orders for customers. Prosecutors claim Blake killed his wife because he wanted sole custody of their daughter. The trial has been recessed until Jan. 4.
Stiller loves wife's lesbian kiss
Ben Stiller's most enjoyable moment in 2004 came when his actress wife performed a lesbian kiss in comedy movie Dodgeball. The Hollywood funnyman was left thrilled watching spouse Christine Taylor smooch with Scarlett Chorvat in the highly-charged sequence. Stiller says, "I loved the scene. What red-blooded man would not want to see that sort of action?"
DiCaprio unfazed by onscreen nudity
Leonardo DiCaprio remains unfazed by onscreen nudity, despite spending days being filmed naked for his latest movie. DiCaprio's role as Howard Hughes in The Aviator required him to strip off for a series of love scenes, most of which ended up on the cutting room floor. But being naked didn't bother DiCaprio: "I didn't think about the nudity that much. There was a lot more naked stuff in the movie that they didn't show. I was nude for a good couple of days being filmed."
Eastwood: 'only young actors need apply'
Clint Eastwood has dashed the hopes of thousands of twenty-something actors, after announcing he won't be casting anyone over the age of 26 in his new movie. The Oscar-winning director is determined to maintain historical authenticity when he casts World War Two epic Flags of Our Fathers, about the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima, early next year. Eastwood, 75, explains, "The average age of most of these fellows at that stage was 19, so in casting, I'll try to be very accurate about that. The oldest amongst them was 26, in fact, they call him the old man, so if he's old at 26, well..."
Hopkins set for music career in 2005
Anthony Hopkins is to embark on a music career after spending the past eight months composing songs on his piano. The Oscar-winning actor doubles as a talented pianist and hopes to have his compositions performed in 2005--firstly in America, then at London's famous Royal Albert Hall venue, where Hopkins plans to conduct an orchestra and choir. A source says, "Anthony has played the piano for a long time, and takes music very seriously, but in the past it has been a hobby. "Now he wants to concentrate on music, and is confident enough to put on a concert of his own work."
Schiffer hires Nepalese fighters
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer and husband Matthew Vaughn have hired five former British Army Gurkhas to help protect their $9 million English mansion. The German-born beauty and Layer Cake director Vaughn, who have been targeted by two stalkers this year, are strong supporters of the brave Nepalese fighters and are urging pals Madonna and Guy Ritchie to employ them as well. Vaughn explains, "The Gurkhas are among the most hard-working, loyal and skilled people I have ever come across. We are delighted to give them jobs."
Ferguson warns of child obesity
British royal Sarah Ferguson has warned the British government to wake up to the child-obesity problem facing the country. The Duchess of York, who earns $1.8 million each year as spokesperson for Weight Watchers in America, yesterday called for everyone to acknowledge the UK's fat epidemic. Ferguson says, "It's time for everyone to wake up to the fact that this obesity situation is not a diet, it's not about whether you are fitting into a pair of blue jeans. "The Government is going to have major health care problems if they don't realize they could have a lost generation because of the different diseases stemming from overweight."
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Harrison Lloyd (David Strathairn) is a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who has it all: a devoted wife two beautiful children and an illustrious career. Although his wife Sarah (Andie MacDowell) is supportive of his career she wishes Harrison would spend more time at home being a husband and father rather than gallivanting around the world taking pictures. Before long Harrison is whisked off overseas to cover bloody ethnic conflicts in Yugoslavia and is presumed dead after the Yugoslav National Army flattens the town he is in. Sarah however is convinced Harrison is still alive because "something would have broken inside if he were dead." She barricades herself into a room with half a dozen televisions determined to uncover something about her husband's whereabouts. Miraculously she sees an image of Harrison in a crowd of civilians being hoarded to the small Croatian town of Vukovar and decides to go there herself and bring him back alive. Despite warnings that war-torn Yugoslavia is not the place for her she manages to dodge bullets and Soviet T-55 tanks while waving around a 5x7 color glossy of Harrison yelling "Have you seen this man?"
As Sarah Harrison's devoted wife Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) is convincing but irritating. While we feel for her and desperately want her to find her husband alive there is nothing more annoying than watching her traipsing around yelling "Harrison? Harrison!" while the destruction of what was once the breadbasket of the region happens all around her. Adrien Brody (Summer of Sam) plays Kyle Harrison's archnemesis who ends up helping Sarah in her efforts to find Harrison. Brody is probably the most believable and well-developed character in the film despite hokey lines like "We better both pray that some day we find somebody that loves us the way she loves him." No one actually talks like that do they? In the role of Harrison's friend and colleague Yeager is Elias Koteas (The Thin Red Line). His character is supposed to be this famous photographer (we know this because he is credited for that famous photograph of the confrontation between a Chinese student and a T-59 tank during the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration) but he is completely despicable. He comes off as a pompous know-it-all rather than a good friend to the Lloyds.
Director Elie Chouraqui wants us to believe MacDowell's character is this brave devoted wife but I found it hard to sympathize with her predicament. Sure it's sad that Harrison is missing and all but forgive me if I found myself more troubled by the execution of thousands of innocent men women and children instead. And in Vukovar amidst the dead bodies of Serbs and Croats she still finds time to take pictures and send them back to the press in the United States. The pictures come out crisp and sharp despite the fact that she shoots most of them in the dark--without a flash. Come on! What takes the cake however is the blatant Schindler's List rip-off: We see a little girl in a yellow dress who stops and smiles for a picture only to end up dead later in the film with a photographer exclaiming "It's the girl in the yellow dress!" It is also hard to buy the film's plot when when all we really know about Harrison is that he likes flowers which are the only thing he photographs in color. Overall Sarah's plight to find her husband almost seems petty in lieu of what is going around her.