Top Story: Injured Snowboarder Gets Visit from Letterman
A champion snowboarder who was injured Thursday while performing a stunt on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman received stitches and a visit from host David Letterman. Tara Dakides, a 2004 X Games silver medalist who is considered one of the world’s best female snowboarders, was performing a stunt on the show when she fell 25 feet off a makeshift ramp onto the concrete pavement near the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City where the Letterman show is taped. Dakides, 29, was hospitalized immediately after the tumble and received stitches for a gash in her head but did not suffer any broken bones. Dakides, nicknamed the Terrorizer, is expected to leave the hospital today, and will reappear on the Late Show Monday night. “The only thing I am upset about is that the French judge only gave me a 5.6,” Dakides said from her hospital bed, in a statement by her manager. After the accident Letterman canceled the remainder of his show, featuring guests Drew Barrymore and pop band Fountains of Wayne, and ran a repeat instead.
Stage Set for Grammys
Don’t expect to see any presenters at this year’s Grammy Awards, which take place Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, because like last year, the 2004 ceremony will be hostless. According to Billboard.com, organizers will use music, film and television personalities to introduce performance segments of the show. Representing the world of music will be Madonna, Beck, Queen Latifah and Evanescence singer Amy Lee. TV and film personalities will include Samuel L. Jackson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Jessica Parker, Jack Black, and Ellen DeGeneres. A bevy of artists are set to perform, including 50 Cent, the White Stripes, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Jackson Browne, Prince, Sean Paul, Billy Bob Thornton and–yes–Justin Timberlake.
Jay-Z and Beyonce, Crazy in Love?
There may be wedding bells in the future for Jay-Z and singer Beyonce Knowles, who have been an item for almost two years. Jay-Z announced plans to marry Knowles last week while attending a party in New York last Wednesday Lyor Cohen, who recently left his post at Island Def Jam to head up Warner Music Group. According to Launch.com, the rapper took the microphone to congratulate Cohen and said, “You’ve been one of the best friends I could have had … Apart from this woman beside me (Beyonce), who I love and who I will marry very soon.” Neither Jay-Z’s or Knowles‘ camps have made official announcement yet.
Singer James Brown Seeks Annulment
Singer James Brown has filed papers seeking an annulment from his wife, 33-year-old Tomi Rae Brown, claiming she never divorced from her previous husband, whom she married in Houston in February 1997, The Associated Press reports. The annulment comes on the heels of an altercation between the 70-year-old Godfather of Soul and his wife. Brown was arrested last week in South Carolina on a domestic violence charge involving Rae Brown and released the following day. He has denied the accusations. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
MGM May Resurrect Orion Pictures
MGM may resurrect Orion Pictures, whose past releases include The Silence of the Lambs, Dances With Wolves, the Robocop films and several Woody Allen features, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Orion was established in 1978 by a group of former United Artists’ executives but was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1992. MGM acquired the Orion name and its film library five years later and now wants revive it as a genre arm to complement its United Artists specialty films unit. The studio is looking to team up with an outside partner to resurrecting Orion for theatrical and video releases.
Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, Round Two
NBC renewed Donald Trump’s hit reality series The Apprentice for a second season, Reuters reports. The show, in which 16 would-be protégés vie for a $250,000-a-year job as a top executive in Trump’s business empire, has been a ratings champ for NBC since it premiered last month. Aided by a lead-in from Friends, The Apprentice averaged 19.1 million viewers in its first three Thursday night telecasts. According to Nielsen Media Research, The Apprentice ranks as the season’s No. 3 series in the 18-49 demographic and No. 6 in total viewers.
Master P Pleads Guilty to Tax Crime
Rapper Master P, aka Percy Miller, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to failing to file a corporate income tax return seven years ago, The Associated Press reports. Prosecutors claim Bout It Incorporated, the company founded by Miller in 1996, failed to report its first-year earnings to the Internal Revenue Service. If convicted, Miller could face a fine of $200,000 or twice the financial gain or loss (whichever is greater), the cost of prosecution and five years probation. Before entering the courthouse, Miller, was approached by man attempting to serve papers relating to another matter. According to the AP, the man tried to block the building’s metal detector before finally throwing the papers at the rapper.
Role Call: Aniston Signs for First Post-Friends Project
Jennifer Aniston‘s first post-Friends feature film: An untitled project tentatively set to start in April. According to The Hollywood Reporter Aniston will play a woman who discovers her family was the inspiration for the book and the movie The Graduate–and she may actually be the biological offspring of the scandal.