The members of Led Zeppelin are getting serious about a plagiarism lawsuit over their Stairway To Heaven hit by hiring top entertainment lawyer Helene Freeman to represent them. Freeman, who litigated a series of victories for Justin Timberlake's former boy band 'N SYNC, has signed on to defend Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones in a copyright infringement claim filed by a lawyer representing late Spirit guitarist Randy California.
Francis Malofiy filed a complaint in May (14), arguing that the opening notes of Stairway To Heaven are too similar to notes from a song written by his late client's 1968 song Taurus - and that California deserves credit for at least inspiring the track.
Page dismissed the lawsuit as "ridiculous", but it appears he's taking it seriously - and now Freeman has until 22 September (14) to answer the late California's claims via his estate attorney.
Robert Plant has urged his former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page to end his war of words with the singer and concentrate on recording new music. Guitarist Page has made no secret of his wish to expand on the Whole Lotta Love hitmakers' 2007 one-gig reunion with a full tour, but singer Plant is reluctant to revisit the past.
In an interview with The New York Times earlier this year (14), Page accused Plant of "playing games" and said he was "fed up" of the ongoing reunion saga, and Plant hit back in a recent Uncut magazine chat, during which he said, "I'm not my brother's keeper. And he, really, as a pro, should know better than that... I feel for the guy. He knows he's got the headlines if he wants 'em. But I don't know what he's trying to do. So I feel slightly disappointed and baffled."
Now, Plant tells the Telegraph it's time for Page to move on and give up on his plans to get the band back together.
The singer says, "He should get on and do something. He’s a superb talent. That’s the sad thing for Jimmy, he knows that I’m his guy, I’m his pal, but the warmth that he needs to actually enjoy the world, it’s all there. Come on and give it to us.”
Richie Sambora, Tico Torres and David Bryan accepted Bon Jovi leader Jon Bon Jovi's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by dunking freezing water over their heads. The former bandmates took the plunge to raise awareness about the condition and raise funds for the ALS Association after Bon Jovi nominated them to follow his example at the weekend (16-17Aug14), when he recruited New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to tip an ice bucket over his head at a garden party.
Celebrities have been taking the challenge, filming it, posting the footage online and nominating famous friends to follow suit for weeks, boosting the charity's coffers and raising awareness about ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Sambora, who quit Bon Jovi last year (13), took the challenge in his back garden and nominated his reported guitarist girlfriend Orianthi and "friends and fans around the world" to follow his lead, while Gavin DeGraw and Ryan Cabrera were picked by keyboard player Bryan after he was dunked in his swimming pool.
Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres posted his Ice Bucket Challenge on the band's Facebook page and nominated Alice Cooper, who took the opportunity to cool off on Wednesday (20Aug14) when he was chilled onstage during a concert in Virginia Beach.
He nominated tour co-headliners Motley Crue and movie star pal Johnny Depp to take the plunge. Motley Crue quickly accepted Cooper's challenge with their own onstage dunking, and named Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Kiss to follow suit.
Paul Stanley has already accepted on behalf of Kiss, insisting he'll take on the challenge on Friday (22Aug14).
Cooper is also hoping to raise more money for the ALS Association by selling the stars and stripes T-shirt he was wearing when he was iced onstage and the bathrobe he changed into backstage to raise cash for the cause.
Hollywood action man Bruce Willis and director Robert Rodriguez teamed up for a special musical performance at an afterparty following the premiere of their new movie Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The pair has reunited for the Sin City sequel, which they unveiled in Los Angeles on Tuesday (19Aug14), and they entertained the crowd during a bash at the city's Roosevelt Hotel after the red carpet screening.
Willis played harmonica and sang the blues as Rodriguez played guitar, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The crowd included Willis' castmates Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke and Josh Brolin.
Actor Jamie Foxx partied with politicians on Saturday night (16Aug14) by inviting former presidential candidate John Mccain and New Jersey governor Chris Christie to join him onstage for a dance at a star-studded fundraiser. The Ray star was a guest at the annual Apollo in the Hamptons bash and he made an extra special effort to get the party swinging.
He took to the stage and invited Christie to join him for a dance, before Senator McCain got up to join in, swiftly followed by Sir Paul McCartney and director Spike Lee.
After the stunt, Foxx told New York Post gossip column Page Six, "Its always the ones you don't expect. Republicans love to dance - in the Hamptons."
Other guests at the event, organised by business magnate Ron Perelman, included Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, Roger Waters, Anjelica Huston, and Don Johnson.
The audience enjoyed performances by Pharrell Williams, Sting, Gladys Knight, and Jon Bon Jovi at the fundraiser, which netted $4 million (£2.4 million) for development projects at New York's famous Apollo Theatre.
At the close of the evening, Nicholson told Page Six, "That was one hell of a night. Christie really held his own. I told him, as he walked back to his seat, 'Governor, you can't let New Jersey down.'"
Disney bosses have paid a touching tribute to their Genie, Robin Williams, by painting an image of his animated Aladdin character in the stars.
The late actor's friends at the Walt Disney Company have released a photo of his magical character cleverly crafted from stars in the night sky. Disney chairman Robert Iger has also offered up a statement about Williams, which was released as the caption for the image.
It reads: "We're deeply saddened by the loss of Robin Williams, a wonderfully gifted man who touched our hearts and never failed to make us laugh. An incredible actor and a comedic genius, Robin will always be remembered for bringing some of the world's favorite characters to life, from his zany alien on ABC's Mork & Mindy to the irascible genie in Disney's Aladdin. He was a true Disney Legend, a beloved member of our family, and he will be sorely missed. We join Robin's friends and fans everywhere in mourning, and offer our thoughts and condolences to his family during this difficult time."
Meanwhile, the organisers of the annual Deauville American Film Festival in France have announced they will pay homage to Williams, who visited the event in 1988 and 1999. Calling the tragic star "an old friend", festival bosses have posted photos of the late actor at the event on Deauville's Twitter.com page. Will Ferrell, Jessica Chastain and James Cameron will he honoured with career awards at the festival, which begins on 5 September (14).
Rocker Robert Plant has hit back at his Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page in their ongoing spat over a reunion. Guitarist Page has made no secret of his wish to expand on the Whole Lotta Love hitmakers' 2007 comeback with a full tour, but singer Plant is reluctant to revisit the past.
In an interview with The New York Times earlier this year (14), Page accused Plant of "playing games" and said he was "fed up" of the ongoing reunion saga, and now Plant has hit back.
He tells Uncut magazine, "I'm not my brother's keeper. And he, really, as a pro, should know better than that... I feel for the guy. He knows he's got the headlines if he wants 'em. But I don't know what he's trying to do. So I feel slightly disappointed and baffled. The only game I play really is making great music with people who are really vibrant and positive."
Walt Disney Studios
Guardians Of The Galaxy writer/director James Gunn was upset when his casting boss called in Chris Pratt for an audition, because he felt sure he'd be wasting his time with the "chubby guy" from TV show Parks & Recreation.
The casting director kept suggesting Pratt for the role of Peter Quill, but Gunn just couldn't see the actor as his leading man - until he was right in front of him.
Gunn tells WENN, "I actually screen tested at least 20 people; big stars, no names... looking for the right person. I really wanted somebody to embody this character and take it beyond what was on the page - the same way Robert Downey, Jr. did for Iron Man essentially. Nobody blew me away."
"Our casting director kept putting Chris' picture in front of me and said, 'What about this guy? Why don't you meet with him'? I don't remember agreeing to see Chris and then she said, 'After this guy, Chris Pratt is here', and I was a little mad. I thought I didn't want to see him, but then Chris came in and within 20 seconds I was like, 'Holy s**t, that's the guy. That's who we've been looking for'."
"Sometimes a role and a person are meant for each other and that's what I thought this was. I turned to my casting director and said, 'He's the guy, chubby or not! If he's chubby, the world's going to have to be ready for the first chubby superhero because he's still gonna be better than all the other people we had!'"
Stars including singers Bono and Robin Thicke and supermodel Cara Delevingne helped raise more than $25 million (£14.7 million) for Leonardo DiCaprio's charity at a party in St. Tropez, France on Wednesday (23Jul14). The Titanic actor threw a star-studded bash in the French resort to boost funds for his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and the event attracted a slew of celebrities including Selena Gomez and Jared Leto.
An auction was held at the town's Domaine Bertaud Belieu winery, and the lots included a Harley-Davidson motorcycle signed by Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, which sold for more than $673,000 (£395,882), and a Damien Hirst artwork which fetched $6 million (£3.5 million).
U2 frontman Bono auctioned off a guitar and also performed for guests, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The inaugural fundraising gala was in aid of DiCaprio's foundation, which aims to protect the environment and save endangered species.
Actor Robert Downey, Jr. is set to become a father for the third time. The Iron Man star, 49, will welcome a daughter with wife Susan Downey in November (14), according to a brief message posted on his Twitter.com page on Wednesday (09Jul14).
He writes, "Yo. Susan. Me. Baby. Girl. November. Scorpio?"
The actor's representative has since confirmed the news.
The couple is also parents to baby boy Exton, who was born in February, 2012.
Downey, Jr. also has a grown-up son named Indio with actress/singer Deborah Falconer. The 20 year old hit headlines last month (Jun14) after he was arrested for cocaine possession in Hollywood.