Top Story: Hilton’s Sex Video To Be Released
Just when we thought this notorious scandal was put to bed, so to speak, Paris Hilton’s infamous home video of her having sex with former boyfriend Rick Salomon is going to be released in adult film stores, Reuters reports. Red Light District Video, a suburban Los Angeles porn production company, said on Thursday it has acquired rights from Salomon to distribute the full 45-minute video under the title One Night in Paris. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, Reuters reports. A spokeswoman for the company said the homemade tape, parts of which surfaced last year on Internet porn sites, will be released commercially in adult video stores on June 15.
Jackson’s Defense Takes Stand
The recent grand jury indictment against Michael Jackson is likely to be challenged by the singer’s defense team for being compromised by extraordinary secrecy precautions, The Associated Press reports. Jackson‘s attorney Mark Geragos, still on a mandatory gag order, has indicated in public hearings that he will argue on how authorities blocked sidewalks, hid and intimidated witnesses and delivered grand jurors to secret locations in buses with blacked-out windows to in order to keep the proceedings under wraps. “It’s an interesting argument,” Santa Clara Law School Professor Gerald Uelman told AP, who succeeded in getting a grand jury dismissed in the O.J. Simpson trial. “I think the courts are sensitive now to the criticism of the way grand juries are conducted.” The indictment was to remain undisclosed until April 30 when Jackson is scheduled to be in court in Santa Maria for a pretrial hearing, where he could be arraigned.
“Idol” Voting Under Fire
Storms causing power outages in the Midwest may have been a contributing factor to the surprising turn of events on American Idol Wednesday, AP reports. Favorites LaToya London, Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson–or “The Three Divas” as they’ve become known–were in the bottom three, with Hudson being voted off. More than 15,000 people in Hudson’s hometown of Chicago were unable to watch the show or dial in Tuesday night, when the vote turned out to be the closest in the show’s three-year history, TV’s Extra said. AP reports, however, that others, including many outraged voters, are claiming perhaps the voting has been rigged. “It simply seems inconceivable that the Idol results would turn out this way,” Sam Rubin, an entertainment reporter with local station KTLA, said on the air. “You would almost expect (boxing promoter) Don King to replace Ryan [Seacrest], it looked so fixed.” Idol executive producer Ken Warwick told AP, “You can never assume that any contestant is safe…that they have enough votes. It’s imperative that viewers vote for their favorite idol every week.”
Spacey’s Quips About Mugging
Probably wishing he had never opened his mouth to begin with, Kevin Spacey was again asked about his alleged mugging-turned-con job in which his cell phone was stolen while walking his dog at 4 a.m. in a London park last week. Reuters reports the actor laughed off the incident Thursday at a news conference to announce the agenda for his first season as artistic director of London’s Old Vic theater, joking it had all been a cunning plan to help the beleaguered soccer star David Beckham, whose face has been plastered on the tabloids due to his string of affairs. “Before I begin I would like to put to rest rumors that David Beckham offered 100,000 pounds to the Old Vic if I took him off the front pages for a few days,” Spacey said. “After this news conference I am going to text him myself if someone can lend me a phone,” he added.
Mr. Bean Settles With Newspapers
British actor Rowan Atkinson, best known as Mr. Bean and Johnny English, settled for undisclosed damages and a public apology Thursday from London newspapers Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail who had alleged he was suffering from depression and on the edge of a nervous breakdown, AP reports. Atkinson told reporters that such reports were “indicative of a continuing sensationalizing and stigmatizing of the issue of mental health, and of the condition of depression in particular–from which I am fortunate enough never to have suffered.”
Eminem Prevails in Cybersquatting Case
Eminem won a cybersquatting case against a British firm found to be misusing the rap star’s trademark on an Internet site selling mobile phone ring tones and picture messages, a United Nations agency told Reuters Thursday. The ruling was announced by the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization, who had been named an arbitrator to examine the rapper’s complaint against Tim Mcintosh and Visitair Ltd., which registered the domain name eminemmobile.com a year ago. Reuters reports Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, objected to his trademark name and hit songs including “Real Slim Shady” and “Stan” appearing on the site, which carries a disclaimer that it is unofficial and in no way connected with the five-time Grammy award winner, according to the ruling.
Role Call: Jackson Takes Over Lovely Bones, Weir Holds Pattern
Peter Jackson is in negotiations to take over the reins from exiting director Lynne Ramsay on the film adaptation of Alice Sebold’s best-selling novel The Lovely Bones. The novel is a heartbreaking tale narrated by a 14-year old girl–after she has been raped and murdered. From heaven, she observes her shattered family’s attempt to heal and acts as a detective to try to solve the case as her killer moves along his demented path…Master and Commander director Peter Weir is attached to direct the thriller Pattern Recognition, based on the novel by William Gibson. The story follows the adventures of a marketing expert who finds herself in a dangerous puzzle when she’s hired to track down the source of a strange collection of video footage on the Internet. No cast has been set as yet.