Madonna and Guy Ritchie have finally tied the knot.
Avoiding the hundreds-strong media pack, the couple took their solemn vows and exchanged rings in front of family and friends on Friday night, the Rev. Susan Brown, who presided over the ceremony, confirmed today.
It is believed that the couple wed at 6:30 p.m. London time.
Many guests arrived at Skibo Castle in Dornoch, Scotland, after dark, covering their faces. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Bryan Adams and Elton John were reportedly invited to join the celebration, but some reports said that Pitt and John were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.
The marriage of the Queen of Pop and the British director has been reported on daily up to the actual nuptials, but strategic planning has ensured that Madonna would keep her big day private.
Security surrounding the castle was so tight that it was virtually impenetrable. Bodyguards protecting the wedding party brought in heat-seeking equipment to hunt down intruders on the grounds of the Highlands castle.
Two uninvited guests caught hiding in nearby 13th century Dornoch Cathedral, where the couple's 4-month-old son Rocco was christened Thursday night, have been arrested and released with court dates in their future. The unnamed men, one of whom reportedly hid in an organ, were not members of the news media, local police said.
Madonna ordered private security for her wedding day rather than turn over the arrangements to local police. The Rev. Brown, who conducted Friday's service in Skibo Castle, also presided over the baptism of Rocco on Thursday.
Former Police frontman Sting, who donned a kilt, and wife Trudie Styler were among the first guests to arrive for the wedding. They are guests of honor after introducing the couple at a dinner party two years ago. Sweeping into the driveway of the 76,000-acre estate in a navy blue Mercedes, Sting and Styler waved to the crowds of well wishers and media.
Designer Stella McCartney, the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney, was also an early guest. She has been secretly working on a wedding dress believed to be a stunning gothic design. The bride chose a sparkling $72,000 French diamond bracelet to complement the wedding gown, according to London jeweler Susy Lauder.
Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow was reportedly maid of honor at the ceremony. Other guests said to be in the Highlands today included Chris Ciccone, Madonna's brother; sister Melanie and father Silvio; Madonna's close girlfriend, fashion designer Ingrid Casares; rock star Jon Bon Jovi; fashion scion Donatella Versace; actor Rupert Everett; and Ritchie's family.
Carlos Leon, the father of Madonna's 4-year-old daughter Lourdes, was also on the guest list.
Other reported wedding details included:
The menu for the wedding breakfast included haggis, a spicy Scottish meat dish.
A Caillie band was booked for traditional Scottish dancing and music in the great hall of the stone castle.
Instead of jetting off to warmer climates for a honeymoon, the couple plans to stay in their suite at the castle.
The cake, prepared by a French baker, was flown to Scotland to a nearby Royal Air Force base after flights into the passenger airport were diverted due to fog.
No more cheesy poofs? Say it ain’t so! Word comes today from the New York Post that the creators of “South Park,” that flatulence-obsessed, toilet-minded (and really funny) cartoon, are seriously thinking about calling it quits. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are reportedly being courted by both NBC and Michael Ovitz’s ATG agency to produce a network show -- and if that happens, you can say bye-bye to Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and the gang.
Parker and Stone are under contract to make six more “South Park” episodes this year for Comedy Central. After that, they might well take flight and fry some bigger fish. The Post says the duo is being offered a budget in the $1 million-per-episode range for a network show, while Comedy Central affords them about $400,000 to $500,000 to make each “South Park.”
If only they’d won the Oscar for that “Blame Canada” song. …
FAMILY MATTERS: Barbra Streisand and Whoopi Goldberg will co-executive produce a lesbian-themed movie for the Lifetime network, today’s Variety reports. “What Makes a Family” is about a lesbian’s battle for custody of her late partner’s child.
LADY OF THE EVENING: Susan Lucci finally won a Daytime Emmy last year, after waiting for nearly two decades. This year she’ll show her thanks to the soap world by hosting the awards show May 19, according to today’s New York Post.
BACK HOME IN OHIO: Drew Carey will deliver the keynote speech at Cleveland State University’s commencement May 7. The Cleveland native is no neophyte when it comes to inspiring students: In 1996, he delivered the keynote address to dental graduates at Case Western Reserve University.
London real-estate agents, beware: There's a new seller - and buyer - in the market. Madonna ("Evita"), who bought a $6.55 million mansion there a few weeks ago, is putting it back on the market in the wake of ex-Beatle George Harrison's stabbing Dec. 30 at his London mansion. According to the London Times, the Material Girl's security advisers told her that the four-story home she bought in the city's trendy Chelsea district was "perfectly visible from the road" and thereby unsuitable for a celebrity. But Big Ben shouldn't feel shafted; the singer/actress reportedly is back in London today searching for a new home with better security.
WOMEN ACCORDING TO WOOD: In the More Than We Needed to Know department, we find James Woods ("Any Given Sunday"), who likes talking about manhood - his manhood.
In an interview with Movieline, the 52-year-old Woods provides detail - whether you want to hear it or not - on his frisky Viagra tryout with a galpal. "We had sex for six hours, 37 minutes," he blabs. "I'm surprised I didn't die of a heart attack." (Well, we're glad you're OK, James.)
Since he's feelin' so good, Woods also decided to enlighten us with his perspectives on other women in Hollywood:
· Sharon Stone: "She has a bigger [unspecified bleep] than I do."
· Jennifer Lopez: "She always has to play the strong woman, like an FBI agent. If I want to [do a love scene] with an FBI agent, I'll turn gay."
· Gwyneth Paltrow: Would have put the moves on her, but "I acted with her mother [Blythe Danner] and I'd feel like I was robbing the cradle."
· Ex-girlfriend Heather Graham: The twentysomething "It" star supposedly told Woods she didn't want to marry or start a family until she was 40. "[I asked her,] 'How do you know you'll get the same attention from men when you're that age?'"
· Susan Sarandon: "Susan Sarandon ruined the world when she had a kid when she was, like [bleeping] 96 years old. Now every actress wants to have a kid at 90."
· Ex-girlfriend Sean Young, she of some notorious run-ins with Woods: "Most of the …whining and moaning chicks do, I don't really pay much attention to."
· Brooke Shields: "Would you rather go out to dinner with the person you love, or sit and listen to her [bleep] about what happened on the set of 'Suddenly, Susan'?"
Just to show, he thinks about guys, too, Woods had this to say about "Any Given Sunday" director Oliver Stone: "[He] eats Viagra like candy corn."
Again, more than we needed to know, James.
STALKED OUT: Today in Los Angeles, prosecutors declined to file stalking charges against a photographer arrested last weekend for allegedly trailing Barbra Streisand and hubby James Brolin.
According to authorities, Streisand and Brolin were cruising - actually, since it's Los Angeles, the term should be inching --- down Highway 101 on Saturday when they noticed someone following them in a van. Deciding it wasn't the traffic that was keeping the van on their tail, the couple pulled their vehicle into a nearby sheriff's station.
Later, as Streisand and Brolin drove on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, they noticed the same man - and the same van, reports said. Overall, the couple said they were trailed for more than 50 miles through five cities. The driver, photographer Wendell Wall, 28, was held for investigation of stalking on $1 million bail.
NO "GREEN CARD": French-born actor Gérard Depardieu ("The Man in the Iron Mask") has a bone to pick with Americans. (Gee, how unusual for the French.)
"Sometimes they get on my nerves, their way of controlling everything," the actor today told a Warsaw press conference. "Cinema nowadays has become an industry ruled by money and of course the Americans."
In protest of the big, ol' bad United States, the actor has refused an offer of citizenship, something he pursued in the 1990 comedy "Green Card."
"I prefer to remain a citizen of the world," he said.
But strangely, Depardieu's protest hasn't prevented him from cashing in on American cultural domination; Depardieu is set to appear in Disney's "102 Dalmatians."
French film controversy
Ricky on stage
"Weakest Link" video game
Sharon Stone drops restraining order
Sharon Stone (The Quick and The Dead, Basic Instinct, The Muse) has dropped her request for a permanent restraining order against Italian visitor Agostino P'omato, according to reports by People magazine.
Stone was granted a temporary restraining order on March 19 to keep P'omato at least 100 yards away from her, her husband and their son. P'omato allegedly arrived at Stone's house in the Los Angeles area saying that he wanted to "take her and marry her."
P'omato's family convinced him to return to Italy, which prompted Stone to drop the request for a permanent restraining order, said her lawyer.
Redgrave honored at GLAAD media awards
Vanessa Redgrave received the Excellence in Media Award at Monday's 12th Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in New York.
Redgrave's daughter, actress Natasha Richardson, made the presentation. In a report filed by People, Redgrave told the attendees, "If Anne Heche can play a lesbian, so can I. I think I have done my part for heterosexuality." The award honors a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Also at the ceremony, Kathleen Turner presented Liz Smith the Vito Russo Award, which honors a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered member of the entertainment or media community for their outstanding contribution in combating homophobia.
Other guests and presenters included: host Mo Gaffney, Joan Collins, Gina Gershon, Sharon Gless, Florence Henderson, Jill Henessey, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Susan Lucci and Eden Riegal (All My Children), Lou Reed, and John Ritter.
Splittsville for Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman's (Hannibal, The Fifth Element, Lost in Space) wife Donya Fiorentino filed papers to end their marriage due to irreconcilable differences. The AP reports that the couple of four years separated on Friday, the same day the papers were filed.
The Oscar-nominated Oldman (Best Supporting Actor for last year's The Contender) and Fiorentino have two sons together, Gulliver and Charlie. Oldman has had two prior marriages, with Lesley Manville and Uma Thurman (Gattaca, Pulp Fiction, The Avengers). Oldman has a third son with Manville.
Director Michael Ritchie dies
Director Michael Ritchie (Smile, Downhill Racer, The Golden Child) is dead of prostate cancer at the age of 62, says the New York Times.
Ritchie was often unconventional, as evidenced by the Holly Hunter feature The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, which aired on HBO in 1993. Ritchie also directed major flops, including The Island.
The last film Ritchie completed was last year's The Fantasticks.
French rape film sparks controversy upon arrival in U.S.
The controversial French film Baise-Moi (Rape Me) is set for release in New York and Los Angeles this June, reports Variety.
The film features two stars of the French adult film world, Raffaela Anderson and Karen Bach, and tells the tale of a prostitute and a rape victim who embark on a bloody, violent road trip. The film portrays a violent rape and its effect on the victim, who is spurred to acts of violence.
Censors, according to Variety, banned the film from mainstream movie theaters in France. In England, the film was screened only after the distributor cut 10 seconds of particularly objectionable footage.
The film is based on the novel of the same name, written by Virginie Despentes.
News blackout blankets resumption of WGA talks
No reporters, no cameras, no statements, no photo opportunities.
That is the "cone of silence" surrounding the negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the movie and TV alliance, as talks resumed at 2:30 p.m. yesterday.
Designed to keep negotiators focused on reaching an agreement, the blackout, according to Variety, allows for only a bare bones account at the end of the day. The arrangement takes the negotiations out of the public arena, where they have been since they began on January 22.
With the May 2 expiration of the current writers' deal, it is imperative that the two sides reach an accord as soon as possible. The last round of talks broke off on March 1, with the parties more than $100 million apart and a strike looming on the horizon.
Ricky's role call
It's curtains for singer Ricky Martin: the Latin heartthrob is in talks to star in Zorro, a stage production to premiere in London's West End, according to Britain's Sun tabloid. The musical, produced by Adam Kenwright, is also attracting singer Robbie Williams, who has expressed an interest in writing some of the show's lyrics.
Country crooners to wed
Two of Nashville's biggest stars--Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw --announced on Tuesday's Live with Regis and Kelly that they plan to get hitched. The couple has set a wedding date of Sept. 29. Morgan, 41, and Kershaw, 43, have both had previous marriages.
"Weakest Link" video game?
The latest game-show sensation to sweep America could invade stores later this year. According to Variety, British phenomenon The Weakest Link is being converted into a video game by Activision, Inc. The only catch: they're scrambling to get it produced before the hype surrounding the show dies down. Though typical video games take 18 months to produce, Activision is aiming for an October release.