Talk-show guru Oprah Winfrey called up The View co-host Star Jones yesterday to clarify recent reports that she turned down a tour of Afghanistan schools arranged by the White House because she was too busy. Winfrey told Jones she was approached about the trip by the White House several weeks back and was told that the plans were ultra-sensitive. When Winfrey explained that she had already made other commitments, Bush adviser Karen Hughes told her they were going anyway. Oprah, Jones said, thought they had already gone: "She said, 'So imagine my surprise, I wake up and read in the newspaper that I'm being cavalier, I'm too busy!...Star, I felt extremely used by the Bush administration.'"
Oscar winner Halle Berry apparently had a falling-out of some sort with Revlon owner Ron Perelman at an Oscar party. According to the New York Post, Perelman congratulated the actress after her win for Best Actress and told her he was happy to have her as a Revlon model, to which Berry reportedly replied, "Of course, now you'll have to pay me more." Perelman, the paper claims, stormed off in a huff and is now telling Revlon's attorney to capitalize on Berry's fame at no extra cost.
Original shock-jock Howard Stern has reportedly listed his Millennium Tower apartment--a combination of two penthouses--for $16 million, PageSix.com reports. Stern, who bought the place for $5.8 million two years ago after he separated from his wife Alison, reportedly wants to move back to Long Island.
Pilot error and blizzard conditions are what caused a plane carrying Sandra Bullock to crash land at Jackson Hole Airport two years ago, the Associated Press reports. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the pilot failed to follow approach procedures when he decided to land even though the runway was not visible. Bullock suffered slight whiplash when the plane missed the runway and crashed into 2 feet of snow.
Upset over the television coverage of the Saturday death of England's Queen Mother, Prince Charles has snubbed the BBC by giving an exclusive interview to ITN. At issue is that BBC anchor Peter Sissons did not wear the traditional black tie during the announcement of the Queen Mother's death, and his on-air grilling of the Queen Mother's niece about her aunt's final moments, Variety reports.
After a number of guest appearances on Ally McBeal, Jon Bon Jovi has decided to leave the show. According to the New York Daily News, the show's producers gave Bon Jovi an ultimatum: "They either want me to marry Ally, or it's over," he told the paper. "But I have a day job. I've already started a record with my band. I want to finish it and go on tour. I have four other guys in Jersey going, 'Hey, what the...?'" Bon Jovi's character will leave the show after nine episodes.
The ratings war between CBS and NBC remains interesting even though the players have changed. Although Survivor and Friends are still battling it out, the more intense race seems to be between CSI and ER. While ER was the No. 1 series for adults aged 18-49, CSI won the overall viewer ratings with 25.2 million.
Eminem will not be participating in this year's Black College Reunion in Daytona Beach, Fla., which features some of the biggest names in rap and R&B, the AP reports. Last year, Mayor Bud Asher ordered a halt to Eminem's performance at the annual event and said the rapper was not welcome back. Eminem's shows generally include profanity and drug references. Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, Ludacris and Master P are all scheduled to perform at the event, which will take place at the city's oceanfront band shell.
Former Culture Club singer Boy George will join the cast of Taboo, a West End musical based on his life, Reuters reports. In the musical, Boy George will play a 1980s performance artist, a role that he will take over for Matt Lucas around the end of April. Boy George, whose hit singles include "Karma Chameleon" and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," also wrote the music and lyrics for the show.
Glenn Close, Nathan Lane and Barbara Walters were some of the celebrities honored at the 13th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awards ceremony recognizes people and projects in the media that offer fair and inclusive representation of the gay community. Close was awarded for making a significant difference in promoting equal rights for lesbians and gay and transgender people, Lane for his contribution in combating homophobia and Walters for a 20/20 segment on gay parenting.
Comedian Dudley Moore received a modest send-off Tuesday when some 30 friends and family members gathered under a tent and tossed roses onto his grave at the Hillside Cemetery in Scotch Plains, N.J., Reuters reports. No high-profile celebrities attended the ceremony, which was tightly guarded. Moore died last Wednesday of pneumonia after a long battle against a rare degenerative brain disorder.
French composer Jacques Loussier filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a Manhattan court Thursday claiming Eminem and his record label Interscope Records stole one of his tunes, the Associated Press reports. The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, accuses the Grammy-winning rapper and his label of lifting parts of Loussier's jazz fusion work "Pulsion" for Eminem's "Kill You" which appears on his best-selling album The Marshall Mathers LP. Loussier, 67, gained fame by fusing classical music and jazz with his Play Bach Trio. According to the suit, Loussier has released more than a dozen albums, selling six million copies worldwide.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey declined an offer from President Bush to join an official U.S. delegation to tour Afghanistan's schools because of her busy schedule. According to the AP, the White House has since postponed the trip, which was to celebrate young girls' return to school after the fall of the Taliban regime. It is not clear whether the delegation will replace with another celebrity. The trip was to feature Bush advisor Karen Hughes and possibly National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Richard Gere has canceled a planned appearance before the German parliament's human rights committee, the AP reports. Gere, a committed Buddhist, did not give an explanation for the cancellation. He was invited to a meeting of the panel in Berlin on April 17 because he is considered "knowledgeable about the political situation " in Tibet, the head of the parliament committee told German magazine Der Spiegel last month.
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is going to have laser surgery to remove two tattoos on her back, UK's the Mail on Sunday reports. The singer will reportedly visit Cher's doctor in California to discuss the procedure. "I've changed," she told the paper. "It's time to get rid of them and move on." The tattoos include an eight-pronged star between her shoulder blades and a black jaguar on her lower back.
Kylie Minogue has reportedly turned down a $1.7 million offer to pose nude for Playboy magazine. The singer told The News of the World: "I don't think I'll take it up. I'd never pose topless because it's not me." Minogue however is contemplating an offer from the Sultan of Brunei to sing at a private birthday party for his son, the paper reports.
In-flight publication SkyMall will distribute the first of 10 celebrity versions of the catalogue starting in April, the AP reports. The debut catalog, which will be distributed in the seatbacks of 24 airlines, will feature George Segal and Wendie Malick who star in the NBC comedy Just Shoot Me. The company said the stars were chosen because Segal, whose character Jack Gallo is a magazine publisher, is depicted as a SkyMall fan.
Clarkston District Court Judge Gerald McNally refused to disqualify himself in the crotch-rubbing case against shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Prosecutor Kenneth Frazee had asked McNally disqualify himself from the case because the judge had indicated he would likely charge Manson $4,000 without hearing all the facts. McNally says that his knowledge of some of the facts does not warrant his removal, the AP reports.
Iggy Pop, Perry Farrell and Ben Harper have reportedly been dumped by EMI's Virgin Records. According to the New York Post, the record company is experiencing a shake-up amid the arrival of new label head Matt Serletic and new EMI chief Alain Levy. The paper also claims Virgin insiders said Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger (as a solo artist) just missed the ax. EMI recently paid Mariah Carey $50 million to back out of her $100 million contract, and the label also announced 1,800 layoffs.
AMC Entertainment Inc. has completed the purchase of GC Companies, the parent company of General Cinemas. According to an AMC press release, the acquisition, which was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on March 18, includes 66 theaters with 621 screens in the United States. AMC is one of the survivors of a wave of cinema bankruptcies in recent years that include United Artist Theater Co., Edwards Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas and General Cinemas.
On the [Crime] Scene
Following reports that a plea bargain deal had been struck in PR princess Lizzie Grubman's road rage trial, one of the victims is speaking out. "I want the truth to come out, " the victim told the New York Post on the condition of anonymity. "I do want to see her stand trial. It's not fair to just see her walk away." Grubman, you may recall, was charged with assault and leaving the scene of an accident after she plowed down 16 people outside a Southampton's club last July. Grubman, a close friend of actress Tara Reid, represents a long list of clients, including Jay-Z.
Author Ray Bradbury, who wrote the classic science fiction novel The Martian Chronicles, will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday. The ceremony, which will be attended by Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn and actor Charlton Heston, will kick off the month-long reading campaign called "One Book, One City L.A." with residents being urged to read Bradbury's Farenheit 451. The book is about a futuristic firefighter who must burn books for a living.
Ed Turner, the man who helped establish CNN as a major respected news source, died at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., Saturday after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 66. One of the first professionals brought into the company in 1980, he was nicknamed "No Relation" Turner because he coincidentally shared the last name of founder Ted Turner, the AP reports.
Comedian and scriptwriter Barry Took died Sunday morning at a nursing home in London after suffering from cancer. He was 73. Took, who helped create the classic radio comedy Round the Horne, was responsible for bringing the Monty Python team to the BBC. He was also a successful TV and radio presenter, hosting Points of View and The News Quiz.
The man found dead in actor Art Malik's swimming pool Friday was his daughter's boyfriend, Daniel Williams, Reuters reports. Williams had attended the woman's 21st birthday and was later found unconscious in the pool. Malik, who starred in Passage to India and Jewel in the Crown, said: "Dan was a very special person and we very much considered him part of our family. He had been Jessica's boyfriend for seven months and they were very happy together." Williams' death is not being treated as suspicious.