Stephen King, John Grisham and James Patterson are among 900 of the world's most famous authors who have waded into an ongoing publishing dispute with bosses at book retailer Amazon. Hundreds of writers, also including blockbuster novelists Lee Child, Philip Pullman and Suzanne Collins, have signed an open letter informing readers about the row and urging Amazon to bring the dispute to an end.
In the letter, the group accuses Amazon executives of using "unusual tactics" in a bid to push through a deal with publishing house Hachette, alleging they have been boycotting the company's authors, refusing to apply discounts to their books and slowing delivery of works by Hachette's writers to customers.
The letter reads, "As writers - most of us not published by Hachette - we feel strongly that no bookseller should block the sale of books or otherwise prevent or discourage customers from ordering or receiving the books they want. It is not right for Amazon to single out a group of authors, who are not involved in the dispute, for selective retaliation... Many of us have supported Amazon since it was a struggling start-up... We have made Amazon many millions of dollars and over the years... This is no way to treat a business partner. Nor is it the right way to treat your friends...
"We call on Amazon to resolve its dispute with Hachette without further hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers."
Hachette boasts some of the publishing industry's biggest names on its roster, including Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, the writer behind the Twilight franchise.
The stars of hit British comedy The Inbetweeners are celebrating after their new sequel movie smashed a U.K. box office record on Wednesday (06Aug14). The Inbetweeners 2, starring James Buckley and Simon Bird, received a special midweek opening at 495 cinemas across Britain, and the hugely-anticipated comedy netted $4.6 million (£2.7 million) in ticket sales.
The haul beat the previous opening day tally for a comedy movie set by the first Inbetweeners film in 2011, which took $4.2 million (£2.5 million).
It also ranked as the third-highest midweek opening of any film in the U.K., behind Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009 and 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Michael Jackson's estate executors are demanding the dismissal of another child molestation accusation, insisting the alleged victim has no grounds to sue. James Safechuck's accusations were added to a 2013 lawsuit filed by dancer Wade Robson, who claims he was repeatedly molested as a kid by the King of Pop.
Lawyers for Safechuck insist their client also had an inappropriate relationship with the Thriller hitmaker when he was a pre-teen, after appearing with Jackson in a 1987 Pepsi commercial.
In court papers, they write, "(Jackson) engaged in a calculated course of conduct to lure both (Safechuck) and his parents into a false sense of security and normalcy that was far from reality.
"And (Jackson) was successful in his efforts to the point that (Safechuck) endured repeated acts of sexual abuse of a heinous nature and was brainwashed by the decedent into believing they were acts of love and instigated by James himself rather than the decedent."
Safechuck's representatives are seeking permission from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to file the late claim, reports the Los Angeles Times.
A hearing on the petition has been set for 4 September (14), but Howard Weitzman, Jackson's estate attorney, is adamant the case should be dismissed as the statute of limitations has long expired.
He has also called Safechuck's account into question, telling TMZ.com that he had previously "given sworn testimony that Michael never did anything inappropriate to him".
Jackson was acquitted of child molestation following a lengthy trial that began in 2004. The singer passed away in June, 2009.
Actress Jaime King struggled to become a mother for five years before she successfully gave birth to her son last year (13). The Hart of Dixie star and husband Kyle Newman welcomed their first child James in October (13) and King has now revealed she suffered from conditions including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, which meant she struggled to have a baby for nearly five years.
She endured five miscarriages and five rounds of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) before she finally had a child, but even then, her problems were far from over.
King revealed her health woes on Instagram.com on Friday (25Jul14) to assure other women struggling with infertility that they are not alone, writing, "8 yrs of pain & undiagnosed PCOS & Endometriosis. 5 miscarriages, 5 rounds of IVF... most with no outcome, 4-1/2 years of trying to conceive, 26 hours of brutal labour, early delivery b/c (because) of sudden preeclampsia, tearing and tearing after the stitches were in once I was home, milk supply issues... uncontrollable crying while breastfeeding, worked until the day before I have birth and went back after 6 weeks after because I was afraid of letting others down."
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
Funnyman Will Ferrell is to be feted at the Deauville American Film Festival in France for his contribution to comedy. The Anchorman star joins Jessica Chastain and director James Cameron as honourees at the annual event.
Organisers of the festival, which celebrates American cinema, will show a retrospective of Ferrell's work throughout its run in September (14).
Festival director Bruno Barde calls Ferrell "a king of comedy" and adds, "The Deauville American Film Festival is, as its name suggests, the festival of all kinds of cinema, of every genre, and therefore considers nothing off-limits... Zany, caustic, satirical, off-the-wall and over-the-top, he is all that and more - a pure delight for the audience."
Previous Deauville honourees include Susan Sarandon and Julianne Moore.
Rock icon Billy Joel is set to be honoured with America's prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The Piano Man star has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Library of Congress award, which is named after iconic composer George Gershwin and celebrates the lifetime achievements of a living musical artist.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says, "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order. There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music. When you listen to a Billy Joel song, you know about the people and the place and what happened there. And while there may be pain, despair and loss, there is ultimately a resilience to it that makes you want to go to these places again and again."
"Importantly, as with any good storyteller, the recognition experienced in a Billy Joel song is not simply because these are songs we have heard so many times, but because we see something of ourselves in them."
A flattered Joel adds, "The great composer, George Gershwin, has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career and the Library's decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member will be presented with the accolade at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November (14).
Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Carole King, who made history last year (13) as the first woman to ever claim the Gershwin Prize.
Getty Images/Bruce Glikas
Actor Zach Braff has denied rumours he's dating Taylor Swift, insisting he has sworn off dating "super-famous girls" after becoming a tabloid target while romancing singer/actress Mandy Moore.
Speculation recently surfaced that the former Scrubs star and the serial celebrity dater had become an item, but in an interview with U.S. shock jock Howard Stern on Monday (21Jul14), Braff quickly shot down the story. Calling the Love Story singer "a sweet girl" the actor explained he has only met Swift twice and romance reports are nothing but "Internet bulls**t".
Braff, who recently split from his model girlfriend Taylor Bagley after five years together, revealed he vowed never to date another celebrity after breaking up with Saved star Moore in 2006. He told Stern, "When you date another famous person, that's when they really hound you. That's when the paparazzi are outside your house and that's when you can't ride your bike through Manhattan because they follow you."
"When my relationship with Mandy ended, (my publicist) said, 'I'm going to give you a hint that you should know. If you don't date these 25 girls, your life will be so much easier.' And she was kind of exaggerating because there's more than those 25 girls, but in so many words, if you can, don't date other famous people because then all the tabloids pretty much leave you alone."
He added, "I could walk down the street, I don't get followed. Well, if you're going to hook up with a famous girl, that might be fun for your ego, but you don't want to be out in public dating a famous girl because then they follow you everywhere you go."
And Braff admitted he'd hate to have pal Harry Styles' life, adding, "He can't walk two f**king feet or a crowd forms and the paparazzi forms (sic)... He's the sweetest kid, but I don't want that existence."
Ironically, Styles briefly dated Taylor Swift at the end of 2102.
Dan Aykroyd has added his tribute to late friend and co-star James Garner, branding him a "first class actor and man". The old pals teamed up with another movie great, the late Jack Lemmon, for 1996 adventure comedy My Fellow Americans and Aykroyd admits he will cherish the time he spent with The Rockford Files star, who died on Saturday (19Jul14).
Remembering Garner during an appearance on U.S. breakfast show Today on Monday (21Jul14), the Ghostbusters star said, "What a classy guy. He was just the old school Hollywood. Gracious and generous...
"(He had) no pretensions at all. (I) got to work with him and Jack Lemmon in that picture My Fellow Americans, and James was just first class; (a) first class actor and man... He will be missed."
Moviemaker Ron Howard, singer/songwriter Carole King, actress Marlee Matlin and Garner's TV granddaughter Kaley Cuoco from 8 Simple Rules were among the first celebrities to offer up their tributes after news of the 86 year old's death broke on Sunday (20Jul14).
Moviemaker Ron Howard, Carole King and Marlee Matlin have led the early tributes to TV and film veteran James Garner, who passed away on Saturday (19Jul14), aged 86. The Rockford Files star died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday evening (19Jul14), and celebrities have flooded Twitter.com with their last respects.
Howard recalled the actor's role in 1966 movie Grand Prix, noting, "RIP James Garner. Admired by all who knew him. When starring in Grand Prix the people around F1 (Formula One) said he had the talent to be a pro driver," while singer/songwriter King remembered working with Garner on the set of Murphy's Romance, adding, "He was one of the nicest people".
Matlin tweets, "Now sad to read my dear friend & costar James Garner passed. RIP sweet Jim Rockford," and Forrest Gump star Gary Sinise, writes, "R.I.P James Garner. Such a lovely man I had the pleasure of working him in 1989 in My Name Is Bill W with James Woods", while Kaley Cuoco - Garner's TV granddaughter in 8 Simple Rules - adds, "I say this with a heavy broken heart. Was an honor working beside u receiving ur bear hugs every day. (love) u Grampa Jim (sic)."
Other tributes have come from singer LeAnn Rimes, Alan Cumming, Stephen Fry, former child star Haley Joel Osment, and Sally Field, who writes, "My heart just broke. There are few people on this planet I have adored as much as Jimmy Garner. I cherish every moment I spent with him and relive them over and over in my head. He was a diamond." Field starred alongside Garner in Murphy's Romance, which earned the actor an Oscar nomination.