Top Story: Mel Gibson's Father Calls Holocaust "Fictional"
As if Mel Gibson needed any more controversy over his upcoming religious epic The Passion of the Christ, now his father is adding his two cents. In an interview with the radio program Speak Your Piece!, airing Monday on the small New York-based Talkline Communications Network, Hutton Gibson stated he thinks the Holocaust was mostly "fiction." According to The Associated Press, which published excerpts of the transcript released by the network, Hutton Gibson told host Steve Feuerstein, "It's all--maybe not all fiction--but most of it is," when asked about the Holocaust. "They claimed that there were 6.2 million (Jews) in Poland before the war and after the war there were 200,000, therefore he (Hitler) must have killed 6 million of them. They simply got up and left. They were all over the Bronx and Brooklyn and Sydney and Los Angeles," he added. Hutton Gibson also suggested Jews want to take over the world, adding, "It's all about control. They're after one world religion and one world government." When asked in media interviews whether he shares his father's views, Mel Gibson, who has said repeatedly in the media that he is not anti-Semitic, says only that he loves his father and will not speak against him. Alan Nierob, a spokesman for Mel Gibson, declined to comment.
Academy Keeps a Lid on Gift Bags
While award shows have always freely lavished celebrities who appear at their ceremonies with gifts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is keeping the contents of its goody bags to Oscar presenters under wraps. "We do not talk about gift bags," an AMPAS spokeswoman told Reuters. No kidding! According to industry sources, the Academy sent an e-mail threatening to ax anyone involved with the bags if they leaked the contents before a Feb. 23 media ban. In recent years, gift bags have become somewhat of a phenomenon, often containing extravagant presents, including trips, jewelry, electronic gear and leather goods, a valued total of up to $25,000. Nice payday for simply reading out the winners' names.
Sizemore Ordered To Stay Away From Fleiss
Court Judge Antonio Barreto Jr. told actor Tom Sizemore Thursday to stay away from his ex-girlfriend, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, and ordered him to undergo counseling for domestic violence and anger management. Details on what prompted the warning were not disclosed, but according to the AP, Sizemore was ordered to return to court on March 30 for a hearing to determine if he violated his probation. The Black Hawk Down star was sentenced to six months in jail in October on misdemeanor charges of harassing, annoying and physically abusing Fleiss during the course of their two-year relationship. His jail term was postponed, however, so that the actor could complete a live-in program at a drug rehabilitation center.
Pam Anderson: Single and Loving It
Could Pamela Anderson finally have found happiness as a single woman? The former Baywatch star, fresh off high-profile romances with rockers Tommy Lee and Kid Rock, told the AP in a phone interview Thursday that being a full-time mom is her main focus. "Maybe I won't date again until my kids are 18. I'm very happy," Anderson said. "I only have room for my kids, so that's taking all of my time. I'm a full-time mom and I focus on that." The 36-year-old actress, who is currently doing voice-overs for Spike TV's animated series Stripperella and writing a column for Jane magazine, has two sons, Brandon, 7, and Dylan, 6, from her marriage to Lee.
O'Donnell Won't See Damages
In the contract dispute between Rosie O'Donnell and her ex-publisher Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing over the magazine Rosie, a judge ruled Thursday that neither side was entitled to damages and that each should pay their own legal fees, Reuters reports. "We respectfully disagree with this decision," a Gruner + Jahr spokesperson said, adding that the firm would explore its legal options. Publicist Cindi Berger told Reuters O'Donnell was pleased the judge ruled that the publisher had tried to wrestle editorial control from the comedian and was unconcerned about having to pay her hefty legal fees--believed to be about $8 million. G+J sued the former TV talk show host for breach of contract in 2002 when she walked away from the magazine. O'Donnell countersued for $125 million, saying the publisher had taken away her editorial control. The two-week trial ended in a stalemate last November with the judge claiming both suits were ill conceived.
Bill Moyers Says Adieu to PBS
Bill Moyers, who has had a 30 year career in TV journalism, is leaving his PBS magazine show Now after the November elections, the AP reports. Moyers is planning to write a long-proposed book about Lyndon Johnson, whom he served before and during Johnson's presidency. "It isn't because I feel old," Moyers, 69, told AP of his decision. "It's because I feel compelled to do something else now, that only I can do--which is that book."
Ozzy Doesn't Think He'll Perform Again
His rocking days may be over. Headbanger Ozzy Osbourne, who is still recovering from an all-terrain vehicle accident which left him in a coma for several days, says he may not be able to perform again, Reuters reports. "In my left shoulder I have a piece of metal approximately that long, that deep and screws in," Osbourne said in an interview with ABC's Primetime, to be broadcast on Thursday evening. "And I'm really frightened that I won't be able to perform again 'cause that's the love of my life."
Casino Faces Possible Fines for Star Treatment
A Jefferson City, Missouri, casino may have to pay a $50,000 fine for allowing hip-hop artist Nelly and his entourage to bet more than the regulated amount, AP reports. The commission alleges the casino violated some 10 state laws and rules while accommodating Nelly, who held a late-night birthday party last November in the casino and entered the establishment without first getting the required electronic identification cards that limit gamblers to purchasing no more than $500 worth of gambling chips or tokens every two hours, AP reports. Nelly will not have to pay any penalties.
Role Call: McG Reins in Pure Evel
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle director
Top Story: Britney Spears Bitter About Men
Pop princess Britney Spears says she became bitter with men after her very public breakup with ex Justin Timberlake. In an interview with Newsweek magazine in its Nov. 3 issue, Spears says she swore off dating for a while after the experience. "There was a time when I was like, 'OK, I'm over men. They're mean,'" she says. "For like six months, not a single thing happened. Not like they weren't drawn to me, but there wasn't a single real attraction. I'm like, 'What's happening? I know I'm not a lesbian.'" Spears says she is still not involved with anyone and denies reports that she hooked up with 21-year-old Columbus Short, a married backup dancer. Spears also talks about her suggestive layouts for Rolling Stone, British Elle and Esquire magazines. "I did feel kind of weird after those photos," Spears says. "I was in a moment. I had, like, eight Red Bulls and said, 'OK, let's do it.' I learned my lesson and you won't see me like that for a while. I'm kinda over it myself. Not that it's dirty or tacky, but it is really revealing and I wouldn't want my kid, at 21, to be dressing like that."
Price Is Right Announcer Dies
Veteran television announcer Rod Roddy died Monday at Century City Hospital of colon and breast cancer at age 66, The Associated Press reports. For 17 years, Roddy's voice was familiar to fans of the television game show The Price Is Right for the legendary phrase: "Come on down!" Host Bob Barker said Monday that Roddy, who taped his last show two months ago, stayed with the CBS show as long as his health permitted. "The courage he showed during those difficult times was an inspiration to us all," Barker said. "He was quite a character. He was important to the success of the show." A private funeral service will be held in Texas, with a memorial service planned sometime later in Los Angeles.
California Fires Destroy Part of Aviator Set
The Southern California wildfires, which have destroyed at least 1,134 homes, killed 15 people, forced thousands to evacuate and disrupted auto and air traffic, also partially destroyed a set for Warner Bros.' Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator in the Simi Valley area over the weekend. According to Variety, the blaze at Big Sky Ranch forced the production to switch to interior shooting in Long Beach, Calif. Mike Dilorenzo of Santa Clarita Studios said his facility is operating at full capacity with CSI and Carnivale shooting, but added that the studio was on full alert with fires hoses hooked up and ready to go.
David Bowie and Iman To Appear in Hilfiger Ads
Rock icon David Bowie and his wife, supermodel Iman, will appear in their first ad campaign together. According to Billboard.com, the couple will be the new faces for designer Tommy Hilfiger's new H Hilfiger line, to be launched in spring 2004. The collection, described as "sophisticated, sexy and refined," will be part of Hilfiger's high-end line. The ad campaign, shot this month in Amsterdam by renowned photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, will debut in American magazines in April 2004.
Rosie O'Donnell, G+J Court Date Delayed
The court battle between Rosie O'Donnell and her ex-publishing partner, Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing, was put on temporary hold on yesterday as a scheduling conflict caused the judge to delay Tuesday's start date. G+J charges that everything unraveled at the now defunct Rosie magazine when O'Donnell shut down her daytime TV show in 2002 and went from being known as "fun-loving" to becoming a self-proclaimed "uber-bitch." O'Donnell, however, claims the publisher seized control of the magazine, fired editors who were loyal to her and tried to smear her reputation. Manhattan Supreme Court officials told Reuters the breach-of-contract case over the messy demise of the entertainer's namesake magazine will likely open later this week.
Fox Pulls Plug on Luis
After only four airings, Fox has decided to pull the plug on its freshman series Luis. The show starred feature character actor Luis Guzman as a doughnut shop owner in Spanish Harlem, but it opened to poor reviews and ratings, averaging 3.6 million viewers in its four airings. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production on the series, which aired Friday at 8:30 p.m., was shut down Monday. Ten episodes of the comedy were produced overall. For the next two Fridays, Fox will air original episodes of Wanda at Large at 8 and 8:30 p.m. The network had previously scheduled movies to run on the last two Fridays of the November sweep.
ABC News: Oswald Acted Alone
ABC said Monday that an in-depth investigation of the Kennedy assassination conducted by ABC News indisputably confirms that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The network said ABC News worked with an expert who created a computer-generated reconstruction of the shooting based on maps, blueprints, physical measurements, more than 500 photographs, films and autopsy reports. Through interviews and other documentation, ABC News also concludes that Jack Ruby, who later killed Oswald, acted simply out of his love for Kennedy, the AP reports. The two-hour special on the event is scheduled to air Nov. 20, two days before the 40th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Tim Robbins To Host Cash Tribute
Actor Tim Robbins will host the Nov. 10 musical tribute to country legend Johnny Cash, who died Sept. 12 at age 71 of complications from diabetes. According to the AP, The Bull Durham star did an audio interview with Cash for promotion of the singer's 2000 album, American III: Solitary Man. Cash also wrote and performed "In Your Mind" for the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking, a 1995 film Robbins directed. Tickets for the tribute concert, which will take place at the Ryman Auditorium, were free and distributed by lottery. John Mellencamp, Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Hank Williams Jr., Jack Clement, Steve Earle, Larry Gatlin and Cash's daughter, Rosanne, are scheduled to perform.
Top Story: P. Diddy Wants a Slam Dunk
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is interested in buying the New York Knicks, Reuters reports. A devout fan of the NBA team, the hip-hop mogul announced his desire to own the team on Howard Stern's syndicated morning radio show Tuesday. "I think I could do a good job," Combs told Stern, admitting, however, that his attempts to make contact with the team's current ownership has, at this point, been less than successful. "I'm publicly puttin' it out there, because they're not taking my calls…I'm not saying let's get rid of the owners, I'm saying put me down. Put me in the game... Because it's not going down right now." Combs' comments stem from the team's poor performance over the last few years. "[The team]'s making rush decisions," he said. "I think we need a team that also reflects the spirit of the city. We need an aggressive, fast team that knows how to run." Plus, Combs added, "I wanna make sure we gonna win."
Warner Bros. Hits Billion Dollar Mark Overseas
Fueled by the successful The Matrix Reloaded, which has grossed $432 million worldwide, Warner Bros. has earned a whopping $1.012 billion in overseas box office so far this year. Reuters reports it marked the sixth time the studio has hit more than $1 billion in the offshore market and also the fastest time it has ever racked up that sum.
Jackass Star Arrested
Stephen Glover, aka Steve-O of the now defunct MTV series Jackass, was arrested Saturday for urinating in front of autograph seekers at the Lollapalooza rock festival in Pennsylvania, CNN.com reports. He was charged with disorderly conduct and faces a $300 fine. Glover was arrested in Sweden last May when he claimed to have swallowed a condom filled with marijuana. The charges were later dropped.
Ben & Jen Fuel NBC's Ratings Win
NBC's Dateline interview with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez helped propel the network into the top spot in the ratings race, The Associated Press reports. NBC came in with 7.9 million viewers, followed by CBS with 7.8 million and Fox with 6.7 million. ABC came in fourth with 5.2 million.
Brown Advertises Separation
In a rather peculiar move, singer James Brown placed a full-page advertisement in Variety, announcing his separation to his third wife, Tomi Rae. Reuters reports the ad featured a photo of Brown with Rae and their two-year-old son, posing happily with Goofy at a Disney theme park.
O'Donnell Has Third Child
Batman star Chris O'Donnell and his wife have had their third child, a boy, AP reports. Charles McHugh O'Donnell was born July 11 in Los Angeles, weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. He joins siblings Lily, 3, and Christopher Jr., 2.
Citizen Kane Oscar Pulled Off Auction
The Oscar awarded to Orson Welles for co-writing his classic film Citizen Kane was taken off the auction block Tuesday after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences optioned their right to buy the statuette back for $1, Reuters reports. Welles' daughter Beatrice Welles had put the Oscar up for sale at Christie's in New York, but according to an agreement she signed with AMPAS which allowed them right of first refusal, the Oscar had to be withdrawn. John Pavlik, spokesman for AMPAS, said talks between lawyers for the Academy and for Welles were still ongoing about whether it would buy back the Oscar in this case, Reuters reports.
Role Call: Kidman Drops Manderlay, Tamahori Helms Deathlok, Cheech and Chong Take a Hit
Due to scheduling conflicts, Nicole Kidman has officially dropped out of Lars von Trier's film Manderlay, the second movie in his U.S.A. trilogy, which began with the controversial Dogville…Die Another Day director Lee Tamahori has taken the helm for the comic book actioner Deathlok. The Hollywood Reporter describes the story, about a suburban family man who is unwittingly made a test subject for technology research that slowly turns him into a living computer, as Robocop meets The Manchurian Candidate …Those pot smokin' buddies Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong are reuniting for another film after 20 years. According to The Reporter, the details of the film are still being ironed out. The comedy duo's last film was the 1984 Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers.