Top Story: Lopez Seeks Retribution From Former Manager
Jennifer Lopez filed a petition Wednesday with the California Labor Commissioner against her former manager, Benny Medina, and his company Handprint Entertainment, Reuters reports. The actress/singer is seeking millions in back commissions, claiming Medina violated the state's Talent Agency Act by procuring work for her without a license, thus voiding any contracts he was obligated to receive commissions for. In response, Reuter reports Medina issued the following statement: "The accusation that I misappropriated money from Jennifer Lopez is both untrue and offensive...Lopez, by making false allegations against me, is now trying to add me to the long list of people whom she has used and discarded after she took from them all she could get." He continued, "It is unfortunate that Ms. Lopez is using a Labor Commission suit as a means of mitigating her outstanding financial contractual obligations to my company and me ... I look forward to the opportunity to have the world come to know the real Jennifer Lopez. I will defend myself against these lies and will collect from her every dollar for which I am owed." Lopez is also seeking to dissolve any remaining partnerships with Medina and Handprint Entertainment.
Osbourne Explains Rehab
Young Jack Osbourne claims he made the decision to go into rehab because he realized he didn't want to turn out like his friends, he told MTV News. The 17-year-old son of Sharon and Ozzy said, "I took myself out of the picture for a second and I looked around at every single person in the room--at who they were, how old they were and what they had going on in their lives. A lot of them were near 30, unemployed, living off their parents," he said. "There were heroin addicts; there were the world's biggest couch potatoes. And it was like, I don't want to be like that. I don't want my life to be controlled by a drug." Osbourne returned home June 18 from a Pasadena, Calif., hospital after two months of treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, The Associated Press reports. He says he was addicted to OxyContin, a morphine derivative, and openly smoked pot and drank on the show.
No Divorce for Hunter and Stewart
Rachel Hunter apparently doesn't want to divorce husband Rod Stewart after all. Two days after filing a divorce petition against the singer, Hunter withdrew the court documents Wednesday, Reuters reports. No reasons were given for the change of heart. The couple, who has two children, were married 13 years ago but have been separated for the last four years.
Did He or Didn't He?
Rose Kogeman, a lawyer for Marion "Suge" Knight, told AP Wednesday that she had statements from eight witnesses who say Knight was not the one who punched a parking attendant June 21 outside a Los Angeles nightclub. Kogeman indicated it was another person, who couldn't be identified, who shoved the valet while waiting for a vehicle. The rap mogul was arrested last month for the alleged incident and could face another year in prison if it is determined he violated his parole.
Farm Aid Hits the Road
Farm Aid, which holds a benefit tour to raise money to keep families from losing their farms, is set to kick off Sept. 7 in Columbus, Ohio, AP reports. The lineup includes Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, who organized the first Farm Aid in 1985, and Dave Matthews, who joined the board of directors in 2001.
Jazz Flutist Herbie Mann Dies
Jazz flutist Herbie Mann, best known for ushering in the Bossa Nova craze in the 1960s, died earlier this week in Pecos, New Mexico after battling prostate cancer. He was 73.
Role Call: Fey's a Mean Girl, Hayek Loves the Sunset
Saturday Night Live's head writer, Tina Fey, has written and will co-star in Paramount's Mean Girls, an adaptation from Rosalind Wiseman's best-selling nonfiction book, Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film follows a teenager who has lived mostly abroad but returns with her family to the States and experiences firsthand how cruel girls can be in high school…meanwhile, Salma Hayek will star opposite Pierce Brosnan in New Line's After the Sunset, a caper drama which takes place after a big heist is over. According to the Reporter, the film is about a master thief (Brosnan) who sails off to an island paradise after his last big score only to run into his nemesis, an FBI agent, who wants to make sure the thief is retired for good.
Now that the parties are over, the hangovers slept off, the million-dollar jewels returned to their owners, it's time to take final inventory of the winners and losers of Oscars 2000. WINNERS
Steven Spielberg Dreamworks: Sure, the studio took home the most statues (five), but the real story is that the Studio That Spielberg And Friends Built won Round 2 of what's turning into its annual bout with Miramax for the top Oscar prizes. You'll remember that the two neo-arch-rivals split the two top honors last year -- Spielberg took Best Director and Miramax's "Shakespeare in Love" got the Best Picture nod -- but this year, Dreamworks kicked the Weinstein brothers' butts in every category where they competed.
Warner Bros.: "The Green Mile" may have come away with zilch, but who cares? "The Matrix" was the second-biggest success story of the night, taking awards in four technical categories. The way it was going, if it had been nominated for Best Picture, it probably would have won that, too.
Michael Caine Michael Caine and all the Supporting Actor nominees: Yes, Caine took the award in this category, but he also came up with the feel-good moment of the evening when he graciously acknowledged his fellow nominees, describing them with words like "astonishing" and "fantastic."
The Wall Street Journal: This newspaper displayed 12-pica cojones and bucked the status quo, polling Oscar voters and publishing its results the Friday before the Academy Awards. The Academy, royally ticked off, tried to downplay this breach-of-Oscar-decorum by saying the Journal had only talked to 6 percent of the voters, therefore rendering the poll unreliable. Well, anyone familiar with presidential polls knows that surveys far smaller than 6 percent are often quite accurate and -- guess what? -- the newspaper predicted five-and-a-half of the top six Oscar categories correctly. (We say five-and-a-half because in the Best Actor category, the Journal hedged its bets, saying it was too close to call between Kevin Spacey and Denzel Washington.)
Willie Fulgear Willie Fulgear: Despite his $50,000 reward and new black-tie attire, the Man Who Found Most of the Stolen Oscars refused to sell out to Hollywood. Inside the Shrine, he still had the black fedora he wears while rummaging around Los Angeles for scrap metal.
Fox Searchlight: The indie-minded arm of Rupert Murdoch's empire made its mark two years ago with "The Full Monty," which received several key Oscar nominations. Through savvy marketing, the company this year turned "Boys Don't Cry," a dark-themed movie that was once a dark horse for any Oscar consideration, into the heavy favorite and very deserving winner in the Best Actress category for Hilary Swank.
"The Sixth Sense" Disney, M. Night Shyamalan and Michael Mann: The Mouse's own Buena Vista Pictures distributed two of the Best Picture nominees, "The Sixth Sense" and "The Insider," both of which were nominated in lots of important categories but came away with donut holes. Perhaps their biggest liabilities were the films' directors -- nobody can pronounce Shyamalan's name, and Mann's films (e.g. "Heat," "Last of the Mohicans") are overrated.
Denzel Washington: "The Hurricane" was better than "The Bone Collector," but it didn't "touch a nerve" with audiences, as everyone keeps saying, the way "American Beauty" did. And that may have been the difference in a somewhat-bland contest for the Best Actor award.
"The Blair Witch Project" "The Blair Witch Project": Last summer, nobody talked about anything but this. On Oscar night, nobody even mentioned it.
Miramax: Everyone knows it's been a bad year for these guys. There were reports that they made less money, they didn't buy anything hot at Sundance and their big entry in the Oscar race was the low-wattage "The Cider House Rules." Sure, Michael Caine and writer John Irving won Oscars, but maybe the studio should've cranked up the hype machine and gotten a nomination for that kid who plays Fuzzy. Miramax's second-string Oscar contender, "The Talented Mr. Ripley," went home empty-handed despite five nominations.