Top Story: More Evidence Surfaces in Jackson Case
Investigators in New Jersey have seized memorabilia of pop star Michael Jackson, including Calvin Klein briefs, as evidence in the child molestation case against the singer, authorities told Reuters Monday. The owner of the items, Henry Vaccaro, told investigators he obtained the memorabilia as part of a default judgment in a lawsuit and found the items as he was repackaging the collection for resale, said Robert Honecker, a New Jersey prosecutor. Reuters reports the briefs allegedly could contain trace body fluids that might provide a sample of Jackson's DNA, but Honecker would not confirm. "That's not for me to say. It's for Santa Barbara," he said. Jackson, 45, pleaded innocent last Friday to charges of conspiring to commit child abduction, extortion and false imprisonment in a 10-count indictment handed up by a Santa Barbara County grand jury.
Pitt's Ready for His Mid-Life Crisis
Brad Pitt, starring as the tortured Achilles in the upcoming epic Troy, says he's ready for a mid-life crisis, if it ever hits. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the hunky actor admitted there could be a "mid-life crisis on its way," and that he is not sure "it really is in our nature to be with someone for the rest of our lives," claiming he and his wife Jennifer Aniston "always made a pact, that we'll see where this thing is going." Pitt also added, "You keep going as long as you keep growing. When that dies, we do. But it constantly surprises me. Just when you think you've gotten all you can out of it, you get knocked upside the head ... It's complicated but that's what keeps it interesting…I'm not a big proponent of happiness. I think it's highly overrated. I think misery is underrated. There's so much value in that. You can't have one without the other." Profound.
Wayans Files for Divorce
Actor/director Keenen Ivory Wayans, the eldest brother of the Wayans clan, is divorcing his wife of three years, Daphne, citing irreconcilable differences, The Associated Press reports. The couple has been married since June 2001. Wayans is requesting joint custody of his five children.
Priestley Gets Engaged
On the opposite side of that coin, former Beverly Hills 90210 pretty boy Jason Priestley, now starring in Fox's TV series Tru Calling, is getting hitched to his longtime girlfriend Naomi Lowde, AP reports. No other details of the engagement were immediately available, according to Priestley's spokeswoman Annett Wolf. Lowde is a makeup artist.
The Donald Gives Life Advice
With a new radio show, a hit TV show and oodles of money, it makes sense real estate mogul Donald Trump would publish a book handing out advice on how to get rich. AP reports Random House is releasing Think Like a Billionaire, an advice book Trump describes as a fast path to the good life and a follow-up to his current bestseller How To Get Rich. "I'm an ambitious guy," Trump said in a statement Monday. "I want to give readers everything they need to be successful in life in fewer than 300 pages."
Recording Companies To Pay Back Artists' Royalties
Under a settlement being announced today, 10 major recording companies have agreed to return nearly $50 million in unclaimed royalties to thousands of musicians including Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan and Dolly Parton. The AP reports a two-year investigation by the New York state Attorney General's office found that scores of artists were not being paid royalties because the record companies had lost contact with them. Under the agreement, recording companies will make good-faith efforts to track down artists to whom royalties are due. The companies, which include Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Universal Music, and EMI Music Publishing, will divert any monies from artists it cannot locate to the state.
Gwen Stefani Says No Doubt Not Breaking Up
No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani told Cosmopolitan magazine in its June issue that the band is not breaking up. "I thought it would be a good publicity stunt to say we were breaking up, but really we're not," she said. "We decided after our album Rock Steady that we were going to take some time apart to pursue independent projects and I really wanted to do a movie." Stefani has a small role as Jean Harlow in director Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Stefani, however, does have a new solo album coming out in August, which she describes as "a fun, '80s-inspired, retro dance album."
Role Call: O'Donnell Rides Bus, Romano Gets Grilled, Schneider Becomes Fearless
Former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell will play a retarded woman in the CBS TV movie Riding the Bus With My Sister, based on a book by Rachel Simon. The novel chronicles Simon's relationship with her mentally retarded sister, who fills her days riding city buses … Ray Romano and Kevin James, who co-starred in early episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond before getting his own show, The King of Queens, will star in the New Line comedy Grilled for director Jason Ensler. Romano and James will play meat salesmen who stop at nothing to make a sale … Rob Schneider, meanwhile, will star in and produce the comedy Fearless for Revolution Studios. The story revolves around a meek soldier (Schneider) who is transformed into a fearless fighting machine when he becomes the subject of a top-secret experiment.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report