Boxing legend Muhammad Ali's annual Celebrity Fight Night gala is set for a trip to Italy. Every year, stars gather in Arizona to honour the boxer at the charity bash, but this year (14), the event is on the move - it will be staged in Italy for the first time, at the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.
Andrea Bocelli has been booked to perform with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra directed by Zubin Mehta, and Italian actress Sophia Loren will be the guest of honour.
Leading up to the 7 September (14) gala, Bocelli will host a tribute to Loren at his Tuscany home, Forte dei Marmi, just days before the big screen beauty turns 80.
The gala itself will feature a charity auction, with items including a dinner with Robert de Niro and Billy Crystal.
All proceeds will benefit the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
"You could tell that he was gonna be a star. I didn't know him until he did the show... It was like Muhammad Ali in the Olympic Village, like, he just knew he was gonna get the gold." Comedian Dave Chappelle recalls Kanye West's first TV performance on his show.
Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines is about to join America's most famous family after becoming engaged to Robert Kennedy, Jr.
The actress and the attorney have been dating since 2012 and reports suggest they confirmed their engagement news at Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night in Phoenix, Arizona on 29 April (14). The marriage will be the second for Hines and the third for 60-year-old Kennedy.
"Did you ever hear Muhammad Ali curse? Would you curse in front of your kids? To your mother? (Collaborators) Marsha (Ambrosius), Lianne (La Havas), Janelle (Monae)... They're all my sisters. We shouldn't curse at them. We need to treat all of them, and all people, like royalty." Prince insists he won't be swearing in his songs anymore.
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been jailed for eight years for a series of sex attacks dating back to the 1970s. The public relations guru was convicted of eight charges of indecent assault on Monday (28Apr14) following a trial in which several women told how he groped and molested them after dazzling them with his showbiz links.
Some of the attacks took place at his office in London, and Clifford was accused of luring several victims with the promise of movie or modelling work.
Clifford, whose clients have included Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali, Simon Cowell, and Frank Sinatra, had told Southwark Crown Court in south London that all the women were lying, but on Friday (02May14) he was sentenced to eight years behind bars.
Judge Anthony Leonard told Clifford the offences were "not trivial but of a very serious nature" and he had "shown no remorse" throughout the trial and led a "double existence".
The judge told him he would serve half his sentence before being considered for release.
Speaking before the sentencing hearing, Clifford told Sky News, "It's not the best day of my life, is it? But that's how it is. I just have to face up to it."
Clifford had been cleared of two further charges of indecent assault, and a single charge on which the jury could not reach a verdict has now been left on file and will not be proceeded with.
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford is facing a possible jail sentence after he was convicted of eight sex assaults on Monday (28Apr14). The public relations guru, whose clients have included Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Simon Cowell, and Marlon Brando, used his star status as a cover to abuse young women in a series of attacks dating back to the 1960s.
Clifford had denied the allegations, telling Southwark Crown Court in south London that his accusers were all lying and had invented the incidents.
However, on Monday, the 10-strong jury found Clifford guilty of eight charges of indecent assault. He was cleared of two other indecent assault charges, and the jury failed to reach a verdict on an 11th count.
Speaking outside court after the verdict, Clifford said, "I have been told by my lawyers to say nothing at all."
Clifford is due to be sentenced on Friday (02May14).
The Hall of Justice is sure getting crowded. Joining Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman Vs. Superman film is Cyborg (per The Hollywood Reporter), a half man/half machine superhero who is fitted with cybernetic limbs after an accident destroys most of his body. Theater actor Ray Fisher has been cast in the role as the Justice Leaguer. A virtual unknown in Hollywood, Fisher is best known for portraying Muhammad Ali in a Broadway production of Fetch Clay, Make Man. Warner Bros. and DC have been accused of adding too much too fast to their cinematic mythos, and not taking the slow and steady route a la Marvel, but the studio's brazen pace shows no signs of slowing down with this latest announcement.
If the name "Cyborg" doesn't ring any bells, we wouldn't blame you. The character was a solidly B or C list DC superhero for years, but has enjoyed a recent upswing in popularity thanks to an upgraded role in the comic book universe. For those who are a little fuzzy on the details, we've provided a guide to tell you everything you need to know about the hero.
— Cyborg first appeared in DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980
— In the original comics continuity, Cyborg was originally a member of the Teen Titans, but in the recently rebooted DC comic book universe, The New 52, the character has been retconned into one of the seven founding member of the Justice League.
— In his original comic book origins, Victor is the son of Silas and Elinore Stone, married scientists who decide to use their child as a test subject for various scientific experiments. They boost his intelligence through various procedures, and Victor's IQ explodes to genius-levels. With a growing intellect, Victor becomes resentful of his parents. He loses interest in school and begins to get into trouble at school and with the law. While visiting his parents at S.T.A.R. Labs, an experiment in cross-dimensional portals goes awry. A monster crosses through a portal and kills Victor's mother. The monster then destroys much of Victor's body before Silas can send the creature back through the portal. Desperate to help his son, Silas outfits Victor's damaged body with experimental technology that saves his life, but permanently alters his physical appearance.
— Victor is initially horrified by his new appearance. After being ostracized by his former friends and kicked off the football team, Victor joins the Teen Titans, a group of teenage heroes that are similarly outcast due to their gifts. On the team, he joins the likes of Wonder Girl, Robin, Speedy, Kid Flash, Raven, and Beast Boy. Victor's father, feeling guilty over the way he treated his son over the years, constructs the Titans Tower, a home base for the team of young heroes. Victor finds acceptance in this new group of friends, who appreciate Victor's abilities, and see past his disfigurements.
— In The New 52, DC's updated comic book canon, Victor "Vic" Stone is a promising high school football player with an strained relationship with his father, Silas, a gifted scientist at S.T.A.R. labs. Victor gets into a heated argument with Silas that ends with a laboratory explosion that kills several people and mutilates Victor's body. Distraught over his son's injuries, Silas uses various alien technologies to repair Victor's body, turning him into Cyborg. Soon after, Victor helps Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Flash defeat Darkseid. After battling alongside his fellow heroes, Cyborg becomes a founding member of the Justice League. Victor eventually comes to terms with his new body and is able to forgive his father.
— Thanks to his advance cybernetics, Cyborg possesses a genius intellect, superhuman strength, super speed, advanced weaponry, near-invulnerability, teleportation technology through boom tubes, flight, and can interface with nearly all forms of technology.
— Unfortunately, Cyborg's cybernetics also leave him vulnerable to hacking.
— Throughout his comic book history, Cyborg has gone through several different cybernetic transformations and aliases. Over the years, he has been referred to Cyberion, Technis, Omegadrome, Sparky, and Cyborg 2.0. As Cyberion, Cyborg slowly became less human in outlook before reverting back to his normal self.
— The character's first on-screen appearance was in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, the last incarnation of the Super Friends. His character was voiced by Ernie Hudson.
— Cyborg has appeared in several films and television shows throughout the years, but is probably most well-known from the Cartoon Network series Teen Titans, an anime-inspired take on the Teenage superhero team.
— The character has also appeared in the DC animated films Justice League: Doom, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League: War, JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, and Lego Batman: The Movie as well as the television series Smallville, and Teen Titans Go!. The Smallville version of the character is notable for having all of the cybernetics enhancements under the skin.
Broadway actor Ray Fisher has been tapped to play superhero Cyborg in the highly-anticipated Man Of Steel sequel. The stage actor, who starred as boxing great Muhammad Ali in Fetch Clay, Make Man on the Great White Way last year (13), is making his big screen debut in director Zack Snyder's as-yet-untitled film featuring Batman and Superman.
Fisher's role of Cyborg, the half-man, half-machine superhero, does not have a large part in the upcoming movie, but it is set to expand in the future as bosses at Warner Bros. and DC Comics plan to adapt more films related to The Justice League.
Fisher, who is also rumoured to be on the shortlist for the lead role in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII film, joins a cast of Hollywood A-listers, including Henry Cavill, who will reprise his role of Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot and Amy Adams.
Production for the new film is already underway and it is slated to hit cinemas in May, 2016.
Acting icon Robert De Niro and crooner Michael Buble were honoured for their philanthropic efforts at Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night on Saturday (12Apr14). The 20th annual event attracted stars from movies, music and sports to the Phoenix, Arizona gala, which raises funds in support of the legendary boxer's fight to find a cure for Parkinson's disease.
The Raging Bull star was given the night's big prize, the 2014 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Award, which was handed to De Niro by his Analyze This co-star Billy Crystal.
Singer Buble was also presented with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award by country artist Reba McEntire, who served as the host for the evening.
Ali himself was not able to attend his event due to a stomach bug, but other celebrities, including Sex and the City's John Corbett and politician Robert Kennedy, Jr., were on hand to support the cause.
Country music siblings The Band Perry took the stage to entertain attendees, while Buble, McEntire and Kenny Rogers also performed.
A live auction was also held during the event, where a VIP treatment package at the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 sold for $15,000 (£8,967), while two lucky bidders each paid $500,000 (£298,918) to have dinner with McEntire in her home. But the biggest draw of the night was a dinner with De Niro, Crystal and former New York Yankees general manager Joe Torre, which went for $1 million (£597,836).
Over $8 million (£4.8 million) was raised during the event, boosting the total raised in the 20 years of Celebrity Fight Night to $95 million (£56.8 million). Funds will benefit the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Medical Center's Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as other charities.
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford attempted to land a teenage model as a client after boasting of sleeping with superstar Diana Ross, a London court has heard. The British public relations guru, who previously represented Frank Sinatra and Muhammad Ali, is currently on trial on sex abuse charges amid allegations he molested seven young females, aged between 14 and 19, over an 18-year period from 1966.
During proceedings on Tuesday (18Mar14), a woman, whose identity has not been released for legal reasons, told the court she approached Clifford for career advice in 1983, when she was just 17, and was surprised when he bragged about bedding soul star Ross.
She testified, "For me, Diana Ross was a very beautiful, famous woman, I couldn't imagine why she would sleep with him."
She then accused Clifford of groping her breasts and arms after he encouraged her to strip off so he could see her figure, saying, "At this point I'm feeling utterly stupid, totally in shock, I'm just not doing anything."
The purported victim went on to reveal that Clifford had told her she could land a role in a James Bond movie, but may have to sleep with the film's producer.
The evidence detailing Clifford's alleged boasts about a Ross romp emerges five days after another witness claimed he had bragged to her about sleeping with movie beauty Julie Christie.
Clifford, 70, denies 11 charges of indecent assault between 1966 and 1984.
The trial continues.