Robin Thicke's lawyers are fighting back by insisting critics are exploiting the singer's "personal vulnerability" by taking aim at his drug use while writing Blurred Lines. The R&B singer, along with producer Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I., is at the centre of a lawsuit from the family of the late Marvin Gaye, who accuse the trio of ripping off the music icon's song Got to Give it Up in their 2013 huge hit Blurred Lines.
As part of the sworn testimony Thicke gave earlier this year (14), revealed for the first time in a Los Angeles federal court on Monday (15Sep14), he claims he has a lesser part in writing the track, since he was "high on Vicodin and alcohol" when he recorded the song at the studio.
Thicke continued, "My recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted... I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was... but the reality is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song... (I was) lucky enough to be in the room."
After his deposition hit headlines, Thicke's lawyers have come forward claiming the focus has been more on the singer's admission of drug use and is taking attention away from the main focus of the infringement suit.
Lawyer Howard King, managing partner of King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner, released a statement to Billboard.com which reads, "Robin's moment of personal vulnerability is being exploited in the hope of diverting attention from the obvious weakness of their legal claim."
Actress Gabrielle Union wed sports star Dwyane Wade in an intimate ceremony in Florida on Saturday (30Aug14). The Bad Boys II star wore a Dennis Basso gown as she exchanged vows with the basketball ace in front of a small gathering of family and friends at the 'Chateau Artisan' moated castle in Miami.
R&B singer John Legend performed for guests, who were also treated to a 1930s-style juke joint-themed reception, according to People.com.
Union and Wade, who have been dating since 2009, have both been married before - the actress divorced U.S. football star Chris Howard in 2006 after five years of marriage, while Wade's union to Siohvaughn Funches, the mother of two of his sons, lasted from 2002 until their divorce in 2010.
The Miami Heat star also fathered another boy with longtime friend Aja Metoyer during a brief split from Union last year (13).
Live Aid hero Midge Ure will perform Ultravox's hit Vienna with a full orchestra as part of an upcoming concert to launch this year's (14) Ryder Cup golf tournament. The singer, who is currently on tour with Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey in America, will perform the classic track with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Glasgow's SSE Hydro on 24 September (14).
He won't be the only Scot on the bill - Texas, Amy Macdonald and Eddi Reader will perform, while Chic's Nile Rodgers will hit the stage with the orchestra for classical versions of his Daft Punk collaboration Get Lucky, as well as Chic tunes Good Times and Le Freak.
The concert will help launch the Ryder Cup's Europe versus America clash at Gleneagles in Perthshire.
Former Ultravox frontman Midge Ure is hoping to meet dance music star Moby for the first time when he tours America on the Retro Futura Tour later this month (Aug14) after collaborating with the hitmaker last year (13). Moby reached out to the If I Was singer while he was working on his latest album Innocents and asked him if he'd be interested in teaming up.
Ure was working on his own new album, Fragile, and by the time he got to working on tracks Moby had sent him, the Porcelain hitmaker had completed work on the album, so the two stars agreed to work on music for the Live Aid hero's new release instead.
After months of emails and interactions via social media, the pair completed work on new track Dark Dark Night, and now Scottish star Ure is hoping to actually meet Moby on tour.
He tells Billboard.com, "He sent me a couple of tracks he was working on, one of which is the core of Dark, Dark Night. Although I was in the middle of working on Fragile I eventually did my thing to it, adding lyrics and keys and guitar - by which time he had finished and released his album.
"I asked much later if he minded if I include it on my album, as it then felt a part of what I was doing. It works seamlessly with the feel of Fragile.
"We have never met nor spoken, but I'm hoping to change that in the not too distant future."
Ure's Retro Futura Tour with Howard Jones, Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins and other '80s stars begins next week (19Aug14) in New York, ahead of a solo acoustic tour, which begins in Canada next month (Sep14).
Michael Jackson's estate executors are demanding the dismissal of another child molestation accusation, insisting the alleged victim has no grounds to sue. James Safechuck's accusations were added to a 2013 lawsuit filed by dancer Wade Robson, who claims he was repeatedly molested as a kid by the King of Pop.
Lawyers for Safechuck insist their client also had an inappropriate relationship with the Thriller hitmaker when he was a pre-teen, after appearing with Jackson in a 1987 Pepsi commercial.
In court papers, they write, "(Jackson) engaged in a calculated course of conduct to lure both (Safechuck) and his parents into a false sense of security and normalcy that was far from reality.
"And (Jackson) was successful in his efforts to the point that (Safechuck) endured repeated acts of sexual abuse of a heinous nature and was brainwashed by the decedent into believing they were acts of love and instigated by James himself rather than the decedent."
Safechuck's representatives are seeking permission from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to file the late claim, reports the Los Angeles Times.
A hearing on the petition has been set for 4 September (14), but Howard Weitzman, Jackson's estate attorney, is adamant the case should be dismissed as the statute of limitations has long expired.
He has also called Safechuck's account into question, telling TMZ.com that he had previously "given sworn testimony that Michael never did anything inappropriate to him".
Jackson was acquitted of child molestation following a lengthy trial that began in 2004. The singer passed away in June, 2009.
Singer B. Simone is reportedly set to play late R&B star Aaliyah in a big screen biopic. Nickelodeon regular Alexandra Shipp has been tapped to replace Zendaya Coleman in an upcoming TV movie based on the singer's short life, but Aaliyah's uncle and former manager, Barry Hankerson, is working with author Zane on a second film, which may also feature actors Terrence Howard and Wood Harris, according to S2S magazine.
A source says, "We're in a position where we can do the feature film and we can do the music. I think if we do our due-diligence, people will watch the TV movie and still say, 'I need to see the feature film'."
Coleman pulled out of the TV project in June (14) after she was bombarded with negative comments surrounding her casting.
Aaliyah was just 22 when she died in a plane crash in 2001.
Getty Images/Bruce Glikas
Actor Zach Braff has denied rumours he's dating Taylor Swift, insisting he has sworn off dating "super-famous girls" after becoming a tabloid target while romancing singer/actress Mandy Moore.
Speculation recently surfaced that the former Scrubs star and the serial celebrity dater had become an item, but in an interview with U.S. shock jock Howard Stern on Monday (21Jul14), Braff quickly shot down the story. Calling the Love Story singer "a sweet girl" the actor explained he has only met Swift twice and romance reports are nothing but "Internet bulls**t".
Braff, who recently split from his model girlfriend Taylor Bagley after five years together, revealed he vowed never to date another celebrity after breaking up with Saved star Moore in 2006. He told Stern, "When you date another famous person, that's when they really hound you. That's when the paparazzi are outside your house and that's when you can't ride your bike through Manhattan because they follow you."
"When my relationship with Mandy ended, (my publicist) said, 'I'm going to give you a hint that you should know. If you don't date these 25 girls, your life will be so much easier.' And she was kind of exaggerating because there's more than those 25 girls, but in so many words, if you can, don't date other famous people because then all the tabloids pretty much leave you alone."
He added, "I could walk down the street, I don't get followed. Well, if you're going to hook up with a famous girl, that might be fun for your ego, but you don't want to be out in public dating a famous girl because then they follow you everywhere you go."
And Braff admitted he'd hate to have pal Harry Styles' life, adding, "He can't walk two f**king feet or a crowd forms and the paparazzi forms (sic)... He's the sweetest kid, but I don't want that existence."
Ironically, Styles briefly dated Taylor Swift at the end of 2102.
Dan Aykroyd has added his tribute to late friend and co-star James Garner, branding him a "first class actor and man". The old pals teamed up with another movie great, the late Jack Lemmon, for 1996 adventure comedy My Fellow Americans and Aykroyd admits he will cherish the time he spent with The Rockford Files star, who died on Saturday (19Jul14).
Remembering Garner during an appearance on U.S. breakfast show Today on Monday (21Jul14), the Ghostbusters star said, "What a classy guy. He was just the old school Hollywood. Gracious and generous...
"(He had) no pretensions at all. (I) got to work with him and Jack Lemmon in that picture My Fellow Americans, and James was just first class; (a) first class actor and man... He will be missed."
Moviemaker Ron Howard, singer/songwriter Carole King, actress Marlee Matlin and Garner's TV granddaughter Kaley Cuoco from 8 Simple Rules were among the first celebrities to offer up their tributes after news of the 86 year old's death broke on Sunday (20Jul14).
Moviemaker Ron Howard, Carole King and Marlee Matlin have led the early tributes to TV and film veteran James Garner, who passed away on Saturday (19Jul14), aged 86. The Rockford Files star died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday evening (19Jul14), and celebrities have flooded Twitter.com with their last respects.
Howard recalled the actor's role in 1966 movie Grand Prix, noting, "RIP James Garner. Admired by all who knew him. When starring in Grand Prix the people around F1 (Formula One) said he had the talent to be a pro driver," while singer/songwriter King remembered working with Garner on the set of Murphy's Romance, adding, "He was one of the nicest people".
Matlin tweets, "Now sad to read my dear friend & costar James Garner passed. RIP sweet Jim Rockford," and Forrest Gump star Gary Sinise, writes, "R.I.P James Garner. Such a lovely man I had the pleasure of working him in 1989 in My Name Is Bill W with James Woods", while Kaley Cuoco - Garner's TV granddaughter in 8 Simple Rules - adds, "I say this with a heavy broken heart. Was an honor working beside u receiving ur bear hugs every day. (love) u Grampa Jim (sic)."
Other tributes have come from singer LeAnn Rimes, Alan Cumming, Stephen Fry, former child star Haley Joel Osment, and Sally Field, who writes, "My heart just broke. There are few people on this planet I have adored as much as Jimmy Garner. I cherish every moment I spent with him and relive them over and over in my head. He was a diamond." Field starred alongside Garner in Murphy's Romance, which earned the actor an Oscar nomination.
Filmmakers behind a new Michael Jackson documentary have stepped up their legal battle against the King of Pop's estate executors in a bid to clear the way for the movie's release. Director Craig Williams was recently slapped with a cease-and-desist notice over the rights to footage in Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot, which features clips he shot of the superstar at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City for Ebony magazine in 2007, two years before his death.
His film also includes interviews with Jackson's friends, photographers and stylists as the superstar prepared for the photo session.
Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Michael Jackson estate, claims the singer never agreed to have his "private moments... publicly and commercially exploited", but Williams hit back with his own lawsuit, insisting he and producers at Noval Williams Films legally obtained the rights after the Jackson family passed on the opportunity in 2011.
Williams and his fellow producers have now filed an injunction against estate bosses in New York's Manhattan Supreme Court, compelling them to respond to the suit within 21 days to speed up the process, according to the New York Post.
Williams is seeking declaratory relief that his film isn't infringing copyrights so they can press ahead with the film's sale and release.