DMX "done started something"
DMX is reportedly the star of his very own crime song. The rapper-actor was arrested last night on charges that he and another man tried to steal a car in a parking lot of New York's Kennedy Airport, The Associated Press reports. According to authorities, DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, and cohort Jackie Hudgins were arrested after Port Authority police interrupted a dispute between the two and another man whose car they allegedly tried to steal. Simmons and Hudgins were arrested on charges of attempted robbery, criminal impersonation and criminal mischief were taken to central booking in Queens late Thursday. Tony Ciavolella, a Port Authority spokesman, told the AP a preliminary investigation indicated that Simmons may have identified himself as a federal agent. This isn't Simmons' first run-in with the law. In 1999, he was fined and ordered to make public service announcements for the Humane Society after police found crack pipes, a pistol and 13 pit bulls at his home in Teaneck, N.J. At the time, Simmons pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Conservative group challenges Fahrenheit TV spots
The group Citizens United has asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether TV ads for Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 violate a campaign finance law that prohibits the use of corporate money to air ads identifying a presidential candidate in the 30 days before his party's nominating convention and the 60 days before the Nov. 2 election, the AP reports. Moore, whose documentary opens nationwide Friday, said he would fight the complaint. "It's a violation of my First Amendment rights that I cannot advertise my movie. It's a movie," he said. "I have not publicly endorsed John Kerry. I am an independent, I am not a member of the Democratic Party." It is unlikely the commission will act in time to affect the ad campaign for Fahrenheit 9/11 since issuing a ruling on the complaint could take months.
Ashley Olsen cancels trip to be with Mary-Kate
Ashley Olsen, who had been scheduled to attend next week's premiere of New York Minute in Melbourne, Australian, has canceled the trip to stay near her twin sister, Mary-Kate, who is being treated for "a health-related issue," the AP reports. "Ashley Olsen has decided to be with her family at this time," Robert Thorne, chief executive of the Olsen twins' Dualstar Entertainment Group, said in a statement Thursday. "While it is unfortunate that plans have been canceled, Mary-Kate and Ashley appreciate everyone's support and understanding at this time. They look forward to coming to Australia and New Zealand in the very near future." Earlier this week, Us Weekly and People magazines reported that Mary-Kate was being treated for an eating disorder.
Jackson hearing today to focus on sealed documents
The judge in the Michael Jackson child molestation case has scheduled a pretrial hearing today in Santa Monica, Calif., which will likely focus on the secrecy surrounding the case and the sealing of almost all documents, the AP reports. Prosecutors and Jackson's defense lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., have consistently sought to keep documents under seal, an effort strongly opposed by news media outlets, which are asking that a grand jury transcript, portions of a grand jury indictment and at least 47 sealed search warrants be made public. Jackson will not attend Friday's hearing. The 45-year-old singer has pleaded not guilty to committing a lewd act upon a child, administering alcohol and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
Madonna to tour Holy Lands
Kabala follower Madonna, who recently adopted the Hebrew name Esther, is set to visit Israel in October with a group of more than 100 students, AP reports. The trip is planned to coincide with the Jewish New Year, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported, and Madonna will stay in a remote guesthouse to avoid fans and TV cameras so that she'll be able to focus on her studies of Kabala, or Jewish mysticism, the newspaper reported. The singer also canceled three Israeli stops on her Re-Invention tour because of violence in the region. "It's not a good idea to go there and do concerts," she told syndicated entertainment TV show Access Hollywood in an interview last month.
The Cox/Arquettes take on TV producing gig
New parents Courteney Cox and David Arquette have created a production company, Coquette, inking a first-look deal with Warner Bros. TV, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Cox and Arquette made their TV series producing debut with Mix It Up, a home-decorating show for WE: Women's Entertainment. "We got our feet wet with our show Mix It Up which is going into its second season and enjoyed that process so much we decided to formalize our commitment by forming this company," Arquette told The Reporter. The new company already has a drama in the works, The Fall and Rise of Taylor Kennedy, being touted by HBO that will star Cox and be written and directed by Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook), the trade paper reports.
Lewinsky feels betrayed by Clinton memoirs
In an interview with British broadcaster ITV to be shown on Friday, Monica Lewinsky, best known for her affair with former President Bill Clinton, says she was disappointed at how their relationship is addressed in Clinton's smash hit memoirs My Life, Reuters reports. Claiming the scandal "destroyed" her life, the former White House intern said, "I really didn't expect him to talk in detail about the relationship. But what I was hoping, and did expect was for him to acknowledge and correct the inaccurate and false statements that he, his staff and the [Democratic National Committee] made about me when they were trying to protect the presidency," she said. "He says he was proud of the way that he defended the presidency, at my expense," she said. "In the process he destroyed me, and that was the way he was going to have to do that, to get through impeachment," Lewinsky added. "I was a young girl and to hear him saying some of the things he was saying today--it's a shame."
DVD-encrypted players in the works
Anti-piracy technology company Cinea is planning to produce 10,000 of its specially made DVD players, the S-View DVD player, by late this summer and will ship them to the 6,000 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences members by October, Variety reports. The special device works like a normal DVD player and is capable of playing off-the-shelf DVDs, but most importantly, will be able to play the encrypted DVDs distributed by studios during Oscar voting time, in hopes of avoiding any piracy issues. If any screeners do leak out with the new technology, watermarks would allow Cinea to trace a pirated copy back not only to the member who received the disc, but the time at which the illegal copy was made. Cinea execs stressed, however, that the only way pirated copies could be made would be with a camcorder recording the television screen or by a tech expert with access to one of the new S-View players, Variety reports.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee seem to be making a consolidated effort to contribute to a circus-like atmosphere in the custody fight over their two children. Lee is now seeking "primary physical custody" of Brandon, 6, and Dylan, 5, because Anderson's judgment is impaired, according to TheSmokingGun.com. In a declaration filed April 9 in Los Angeles Superior court, Lee claims his ex-wife filed frivolous reports with the Department of Children and Family Services, alleging "serious misconduct" by Lee. How frivolous? Their oldest son scraped his face on the side of the Jacuzzi while playing with Lee at his Malibu home, and now Anderson is using the incident to try to restrict Lee's access to the children. A hearing to modify the custody provisions is scheduled for May 15.
Will Russian tennis vixen Anna Kournikova, who has not won a tournament in 101 attempts on the Women's Tennis Asspciation tour, win her battle with Penthouse? The magazine claims its June issue contains topless photos of Kournikova; she says the photos are fake. And she's suing to prove it, Reuters reports. Decide for yourself when the issue hits newsstands Tuesday.
Frasier star Kelsey Grammer has been ordered to pay his former talent agency $1.8 million in disputed commissions plus interest, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A federal court of appeals upheld an earlier decision from a Screen Actors Guild arbitration panel that maintained the Artists Agency was entitled to ongoing commissions from Grammer's television work after his contract expired in 1998 because the deals were negotiated while he was still a client.
Actress Tawney Kitaen, best remembered for wriggling around on the hood of a car in an '80s Whitesnake music video, has pleaded innocent to charges of domestic violence, The Associated Press reports. A June 3 pretrial hearing on two misdemeanor charges--corporal injury on a spouse and battery--is set for Kitaen, 40. Her husband is Cleveland Indians' pitcher Chuck Finley.
In the Biz
MGM and Bruce Willis' production company, Cheyenne Enterprises, have teamed up for a first-look deal for new movies and television projects from Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment, Variety reports. Superhero action pics already in consideration are The Femizons, The Double Man and Nightbird.
Director Tim Burton will direct Big Fish for Columbia Pictures, according to Variety. The film, an adaptation of the Daniel Wallace novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, focuses on a complicated father/son relationship.
After two successful seasons, HBO has decided to renew its funeral-home series Six Feet Under for another 13 episodes, Variety reports. The show won a Golden Globe for best drama in January and continues to be one of HBO's top-ranked shows.
The series finale of Fox's Ally McBeal, which airs May 20, will apparently feature former stars of the show, including Courtney Thorne-Smith, Lisa Nicole Carson and Gil Bellows, according to zap2it.com.
Former ESPN sports anchor Craig Kilborn has signed a contract extension that will keep him on as host of The Late, Late Show for at least two more years, the AP reports. Viewership is up 25 percent in Kilborn's 12:35 a.m. time slot since he began hosting the show in 1999.
Paul McCartney won a court order Monday preventing Christie's auction house from selling his handwritten lyrics to the song "Hey Jude," according to the AP. The former Beatle claims the lyrics, which were expected to fetch up to $116,000 at an auction Tuesday, disappeared from his west London home.
The group Creed has been forced to cancel the remaining dates on their tour after lead singer Scott Stapp was injured in a car accident in the Orlando, Fla., area, the AP reports. Other details were not immediately known, but a spokesman for the band said, "We don't want people to believe that this is a situation where Scott will not recover."
Grammy winner R. Kelly says he will fight a third civil lawsuit that claims he had sex with an underage girl, the AP reports. Lawyers for Kelly, who has settled two similar civil suits in the past, said that "the cash machine is closed."
Now, we're not sure if this is bad news or good news, but "Basic Instinct 2" might never see the light of day.
The film, which is the sequel to the 1992 Sharon Stone thriller, is having problems finding a male lead and is consequently being put on hold, Daily Variety says.
Screen diva Stone -- who made her name with the original flick -- is the only person from the first movie to have signed on for the sequel. The film's original director Paul Verhoeven and lead actor Michael Douglas both declined to return.
Oft-troubled actor Robert Downey Jr. was offered the lead of a young shrink who comes into contact with Stone's ice-pick wielding psychopath, but he too said no.
The project was aiming for a March shooting date.
Stay tuned for more information.
SPLITSVILLE: It's only been five days since the New Year, and 2001 is already looking a little bit like Y2K in terms of broken Hollywood romances.
Erstwhile "Ally McBeal" actress Courtney Thorne-Smith has separated from her husband of seven months, the actress's people said Thursday.
"Andy and I have mutually decided to separate," Thorne-Smith said in a brief statement. "There are no third parties involved. We remain good friends and will share custody of our dogs."
Thorne-Smith, 32, and Andrew Conrad, 37, a genetic scientist, married on June 1, 2000.
Now, we don't make it a habit of quoting the National Enquirer because we're not supposed to believe such things, but this one sure looks legit: Ex-"Ally McBeal" lawyer Courtney Thorne-Smith wed her rocket-scientist beau (well, all right, he's a geneticist) June 2 in Hawaii. We say it looks legit because the Enquirer has pictures of Thorne-Smith wearing a wedding dress, standing next to a guy with a flower in his lapel.
We tried contacting Thorne-Smith's publicist Monday to confirm the nuptials, but no one answered -- much less took -- our calls.
For sure, Thorne-Smith, now 31, announced her engagement to one Andrew Conrad in November 1998.
The actress departed "Ally McBeal" at the end of this past season. She previously checked out of "Melrose Place."