Top Story: J.Lo Denies She’s Crying a River
Jennifer Lopez denies she gave an interview to Star magazine in which she was quoted as saying she was “extremely brokenhearted” over her breakup with fiancée Ben Affleck, The Associated Press reports, and that Lopez felt she had put “enormous effort” into the relationship with Affleck, but had to end it so she could put her “personal and professional life back together.” According to a representative for Lopez, she was never interviewed by Star magazine’s reporter Victoria Gotti, AP reports, but the tabloid stands by the story.
Crowe TKO’d on Boxing Film
Actor and new dad Russell Crowe suffered a dislocated shoulder while in training for his new film Cinderella Man, Reuters reports. Crowe is training for his upcoming role as world heavyweight champion James Braddock, a poor, local fighter who went on to beat reigning champ Max Baer in 1935. Universal Pictures told Reuters Crowe, 39, would immediately undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair the injury in Australia, followed by intense physical therapy.
Singer Manilow Suffers Chest Pains
Crooner Barry Manilow was rushed to the hospital Saturday night in Palm Springs, Calif., after complaining of chest pains, Reuters reports. Manilow, 57, was hospitalized after returning home earlier in the day from New York, where he “endured two of the most grueling days of arbitration” in a lawsuit in which he and co-writer Bruce Sussman are fighting to regain the rights to their stage musical Harmony, publicist Jerry Sharell told Reuters. Sharell said Manilow would remain in the hospital to undergo various procedures and tests.
Trebek Resumes Jeopardy! Post After Accident
Alex Trebek will resume his Jeopardy! hosting duties Tuesday after escaping serious injury when he fell asleep behind the wheel of his pickup truck Friday, AP reports. The 63-year-old game show host was driving in central Calif. near the town of Templeton when his truck drifted off the road, sideswiped a bank of mailboxes and sailed over an embankment into a ditch. Trebek was not hospitalized and was not cited, AP reports.
Real World Creator Dies
TV producer Mary-Ellis Bunim, who pioneered the age of reality programming by co-creating MTV’s The Real World, died Thursday in Los Angeles after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 57.
Press Want Cameras at Jackson Hearing
News organizations asked a judge on Friday to allow cameras into an upcoming Michael Jackson court appearance Feb. 13, claiming the chaotic mess of Jackson‘s arraignment Jan. 16 on molestation charges should be countered by images of orderly proceedings, Reuters reports. Lawyers for Court TV, Fox News Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and AP stated in a written motion that Jackson‘s arraignment undermined the court system. “The public did not see Mr. Jackson plead not guilty but instead saw only Mr. Jackson‘s dramatic entry into and exit from the courthouse followed by his interaction with a large crowd of supporters from atop an SUV and his invitations to a party at Neverland Ranch,” the court papers said. It was not immediately clear how Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville would handle the request, AP reports.
It’s All About Timing, Says Miramax Chief
Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein blames timing for Cold Mountain‘s failure to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. In an interview with Time magazine, Reuter reports Weinstein said, “With the early (Oscar voting) this year, we fell short. There’s a lot to do for Academy members and I don’t know how many members we got to. We just plain ran out of people who had seen this movie.” Even though Cold Mountain garnered seven nominations, including a nod to Jude Law for lead actor and one to Renee Zellweger for supporting actress, it is the first time in 12 years Miramax has not had a Best Picture contender. The studio did get the most nominations, however, with 15 in total, including nods for the Brazilian film City of God. But Weinstein says Miramax has learned its lesson, telling Newsweek the studio plans to move up the release of J.M. Barrie’s Neverland starring Johnny Depp, to October, as well as releasing Martin Scorsese‘s The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, in November rather than December.
Religious Groups Plan Counter Against Passion
Jewish and Christian groups alike are planning lecture series, interfaith talks and other programs to try to deal with the perceived impact Mel Gibson‘s controversial film The Passion of the Christ will have, AP reports, which is being released Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25. The American Jewish Committee, who viewed the film last week, said they believed it contained destructive stereotypes about the Jewish role in Christ’s death “It’s part of something larger, which is a hardening of religious conversation. It is such an absolutist movie. It undermines the progress that we’ve made in this country toward mutual respect and religious pluralism,” Rabbi David Elcott, the American Jewish Committee’s interfaith director, told AP. Meanwhile, several prominent conservative Christians, including the Rev. Billy Graham, said the film was among the most powerful depictions they’d seen of Christ’s last hours. They plan sermons and lectures related to the movie, and have even produced special Bibles that contain images from the film, AP reports.
Iommi Tops Greatest Guitarist List
Black Sabbath’s guitarist Tony Iommi was named the No. 1 metal guitarist of all time by Guitar World magazine, Reuters reports. According to Guitar World editor in chief Brad Tolinski, the criteria for the l