A man seen prowling around the grounds of pop singer Britney Spears' home in the Hollywood Hills was held briefly by private security guards on Monday but later released when Spears did not press charges, police told Reuters Wednesday.
When the incident took place, Spears had been in New York City receiving the "Fun, Fearless Female of the Year" award from Cosmopolitan magazine. In an interview with the TV show Extra Wednesday, Spears said the home's security system had been turned off inadvertently during the weekend, "but they got the guy." Spears also added, "it makes you appreciate your security and the people that are protecting you."
Black Hawk Down star Ewan McGregor has decided to let life imitate art. He'll fly with his brother, a Royal Air Force pilot, in an RAF Tornado GR1 jet, one of Britain's fastest warplanes, to raise money for children's hospices in Scotland. Brave lad.
Director Lasse Hallstrom has dropped out of the Universal/Miramax drama Cinderella Man starring Russell Crowe and has committed to helming Miramax's screen adaptation of David Liss' novel A Conspiracy of Paper instead. The story centers around the inception of the stock exchange in 18th-century London. Hallstrom switched gears when production on Cinderella was delayed.
Ed Harris will be joining Nicole Kidman, Anthony Hopkins and Gary Sinise in Miramax/Lake Entertainment's The Human Stain. Based on the novel by Philip Roth, the story centers on a light-skinned black professor (Hopkins) who passed himself off as Jewish for many years. Let's hope the NAACP doesn't get upset that Hopkins is playing a light-skinned black man.
John Cusack will be starring in the new thriller I.D. with Amanda Peet and Ray Liotta, a whodunit revolving around a group of 10 strangers who find themselves running from a desert storm into a Bates-like motel, where they are then picked off one by one by an unknown killer. Sounds like these people are having an extraordinarily bad day.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is puzzled by the brief disappearance of Whoopi Goldberg's Oscar--and frankly, so are we. Apparently the little gold-plated guy was being shipped Friday via UPS to be refurbished by the Academy and was stolen sometime during the process. The Oscar turned up later in a Los Angeles International Airport trash bin and is now safe in a vault. Goldberg said she won't ever let the Oscar leave her house again.
Looks like Saturday Night Live alumni will be dominating the NBC 2002 fall comedy development slate. The network has greenlit several half-hour pilots, executive produced by such SNL players as creator Lorne Michaels and Adam Sandler. The network is also looking at casting old-school favorite Chevy Chase and Norm MacDonald.
Late night talk show host Conan O'Brien may be looking at a $8 million annual paycheck to stay on the air with NBC for another four years. If finalized, he'll be the highest paid host in the 12:35 a.m. time slot. Not bad for a guy everyone thought would fail miserably when he first went on the air in 1993.
Newswoman Greta Van Susteren told People magazine she decided to have blepharoplasty (more commonly known as an eyelift) on a whim, to do something just for her. "It's the first time since I was 17 that I had a month off and no responsibilities," she said. Van Susteren will be the new host of Fox News Channel's show On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.
Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, stars of the hit Broadway show The Producers, will be bowing out of the musical after playing to packed audiences for a year. Lane, who won the Tony for best actor, will be replaced by British actor Henry Goodman, while a replacement has yet to be cast for Broderick.
The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a full-scale investigation into the Screen Actors Guild election debacle last November, where poll administrators and union staffers allegedly mishandled ballots. A call for a new election was passed by a guild committee, but this investigation could result in a ruling on whether a rerun of the SAG election is actually necessary.
Country singer Alan Jackson's album Drive is still No. 1 on the album charts, with Creed's Weathered and Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory coming in at second and third, respectively. Mary J. Blige's No More Drama jumped from the 28th spot to No. 10.
French-Canadian diva Celine Dion launched her first new song in two years. "A New Day Has Come" was released for radio play on Wednesday, and her new album will reach stores March 26.
The Sopranos's Robert Iler will have to wait until an Oct. 25 court hearing to find out whether the charges of second-degree robbery and marijuana possession against him will be dropped, Entertainment Tonight reports. At a hearing Wednesday, a Manhattan judge delayed a decision citing insufficent information. Iler, who stars as Tony Soprano's troubled son, was arrested July 4 with three other teens for allegedly robbing two 16-year-olds of $40. Iler, who pleaded not guility, is out on $2,500 bail.
The Dixie Chicks want more money. Their record company, Sony Music Entertainment, wants more albums from the spunky country trio. Now both parties seem to be heading to court. Sony filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit Tuesday against the Dixie Chicks, a week after the Flygirls demanded that Sony renegotiate their contract, The Associated Press reports. Sony wants to enforce the current contract, which calls for up to four more albums. The Dixie Chicks, whose albums Wide Open Spaces and Fly sold a total 15 million copies, could not be reached for comment.
ODB, of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan, was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison Wednesday after he pleaded guilty in April to criminal possession of a controlled substance, The Associated Press reported. ODB, whose real name is Russell Jones, was arrested in July 1999 after police stopped him for running a red light and found cocaine and marijuana in his car. A New York state Supreme Court judge also recommended that state correction authorities determine whether Jones needs psychiatric or substance abuse treatment. Jones has been in and out of trouble with the law since 1987, having been arrested on charges of drug possession, shoplifting and threatening a former girlfriend.
Hong Kong's Jackie Chan, who has built a career on executing one death-defying stunt after another, will receive the Special Grand Prix of the Americans on Sept. 25 at the 25th Montreal World Film Festival. "If we are today keen on Asian movies based on martial arts, this is mostly thanks to Jackie Chan," festival spokesman Henry Walsh told the Hollywood Reporter.
Soul legend Al Green will receive the lifetime achievement award Oct. 4 from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation during the 12th annual Pioneer Awards ceremony at the Apollo Theatre in New York, Variety reports.
Supermarionation practitioner Gerry Anderson, who created the 1960s cult shows Thunderbirds and Stingray, received an MBE (Member of the British Empire) this week at Buckingham Palace, BBC News reports. There are no strings attached to this award.
An Asian-American watchdog group demanded an apology Tuesday from Late Night with Conan O'Brien after comedian Sarah Silverman used the racial slur "chink" in a joke on the July 11 show, AP reports. "It's not constructive to use such a hateful word and play it off for laughs. It just gives people permission to continue to use it," Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, told AP. A spokesman for the show had no comment.
Dave Matthews is hardly known as one of rock's bad boys, but even he isn't afraid to disregard the rules in the name of having a good time. University of Colorado officials fined Matthews and his band $15,000 after their July 11 concert ran past a 10:30 p.m. curfew by 15 minutes, AP reports. "They tend not to go over curfew that frequently, but they were just having a great time and wanted to keep playing a little longer," Ambrosia Healy, the band's publicist, explained.
To boldly teach where no android has taught before. Jerri Ryan, formerly Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager, has officially joined the cast of the high school drama Boston Public, Fox officials announced Tuesday.
Perhaps Iggy Pop has a thing for old Disney cartoons. The pioneer punk rocker's list of backstage demands for an upcoming Scottish concert in August includes seven dwarves and pack of American-made cigarettes, even though he doesn't smoke. He also demanded broccoli because he hates the vegetable and wants to throw it in a bin, officials with the Gig on the Green concert in Glasgow told Scotland's the Daily Record. Officials said that they are taking Pop's demands in good humor.