News, July 23: Keifer Sutherland Does Impromptu Striptease, Margaret Cho Uninvited from Event Near Democratic Convention, Joan and Melissa Shut Out of Emmy Pre-Show, More…

Keifer Sutherland does impromptu striptease

Kiefer Sutherland surprised club patrons in New Zealand with an impromptu striptease last week. A group of women were watching the male strip act Men of Steel at Raetihi’s Cosmopolitan Club, while Sutherland was drinking at an adjoining bar. According to the New Zealand Herald, the 24 decided to join the act and slipped out of his socks and whipped off his shirt, waving it above his head to the tune of the Tom Jones’ “You Can Leave Your Hat On” until he was ushered off the stage. “Kiefer had a hell of a night,” club president Danny Mills told The Associated Press. “He’s coming back in August, mate, and as far as we’re concerned we want him back in here.” Sutherland is in New Zealand filming River Queen, a historical drama about an Irish immigrant during the 18th-century wars between indigenous Maori and colonial settlers.

Margaret Cho uninvited from event near Democratic convention

The Human Rights Campaign, a gay and lesbian organization, has uninvited comedian Margaret Cho from a unity event scheduled to coincide with the Democratic National Convention. Human Rights Campaign spokesman Mark Shields told the AP Cho‘s invitation was rescinded because officials thought her material might take the focus off gay issues. As part of the unpaid benefit performance, Cho was going to use material from her new State of Emergency tour, a no-holds-barred interpretation of current events. Her comments on the Iraq prison scandal prompted her to be escorted from a recent show in San Diego. “I am not surprised at the reversal in light of how the Kerry campaign distanced itself from Whoopi [Goldberg]’s routine in response to the unrelenting media hype and Republican criticism,” Cho‘s manager told the AP.

Joan and Melissa shut out of Emmy pre-show

It looks as though Joan and Melissa Rivers won’t be handing out fashion citations on the red carpet at this year’s Emmy Awards. The veteran comedian and her daughter announced last month they were leaving E! Entertainment Television for the TV Guide Channel in a three-year deal valued at between $6 million and $8 million. But it turns out E! still holds exclusive rights to the Emmy’s red-carpet coverage under a contract with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A TV Guide insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that TV Guide knew about E!’s exclusive Emmy contract but had been hopeful they could work something out. E!, which does not have exclusive pre-show coverage deals for the Oscars or the Grammys, said it plans to hire fresh faces to anchor its Emmy arrivals coverage on Sept. 19.

Brandy’s ex says they were never married

Singer Brandy, who announced two years ago that she had been secretly married to music producer Robert Smith for months, was actually never married at all, the AP reports. Smith told New York radio station WBLS-FM Tuesday that he and Brandy were the marriage announcement was to protect Brandy’s image because she was pregnant at the time with their daughter, Sy’rai. The two broke up in early July of last year. In a statement released to the press, Brandy said she was hurt and shocked by Smith’s comments. “He is trying to destroy my reputation, while using me and our daughter to get publicity and radio airplay for his artists,” the statement said. “I am stunned that he is being so dirty about it.” Smith told he “was just stating the truth.”

“Girlie men” T-shirts go on sale

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger inadvertently set off a marketing blitz when he called state Democrats “girlie men” for failing to pass a budget by the state’s July 1 deadline. A San Francisco-based entrepreneur has begun selling T-shirts over the Internet with the slogan “Sacramento Girlie Men.” The T-shirts, priced at $24, are available at, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting “the California Democratic Party, which as you may have noticed, could use the help,” the Web site reads. The phrase comes from a Schwarzenegger-inspired Saturday Night Live skit about fitness gurus Hanz and Franz (“I’m Hanz und I’m Franz, und we are here to pump YOU up!”). Schwarzenegger‘s use of the term “girlie men” angered legislators, gays and women’s groups. Schwarzenegger has refused to apologize for the remark and has taken to campaigning for his budget among voters outside the capital in the past week.

Kristie Alley takes on tabloids, Hollywood and her weight

Kirstie Alley is set to star in Showtime’s Fat Actress, a reality-comedy series about the life of an overweight celebrity. Alley, who is often pictured in tabloids wolfing down bugers in her car, proposed the series to the cable channel as a “send-up of her own image as well as Hollywood’s obsession with weight and beauty,” Robert Greenblatt, entertainment president for Showtime Networks Inc., told the AP Thursday. Alley and Brenda Hampton (7th Heaven, Mad About You) co-created the series and will also serve as executive producers along with Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Sandy Chanley. The six planned episodes will be based on a story line but largely improvised. The half-hour series, set to begin production this fall, will air on Showtime sometime next year.

No charges in alleged Real World rape

The San Diego County district attorney’s office said Thursday no charges will be filed in the case of a 22-year-old woman who claimed she was raped on the set of MTV’s The Real World in November 2003, the AP reports. The woman, who was not a cast or crewmember on the show, told police she blacked out after accepting a drink from a man at a downtown San Diego nightclub and woke up fully clothed in the guest bedroom of The Real World house in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. She later told police she believed she was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance of a cast member. At the time, San Diego police seized taped footage for the show, bedding, towels and couch cushions from the house. No arrests were made. A spokesman for the D.A.’s office told the AP there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.

Robert Evans divorces wife No. 6

Meanwhile, a judge Thursday granted 74-year-old film producer Robert Evans a divorce from his sixth wife, former Versace model Leslie Ann Woodward. The couple was married for seven months before separating in June 2003. Woodward, 35, filed for divorce two months later, citing irreconcilable differences, the AP reports. Evans, whose life story was the subject of the 2002 documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture, began his Hollywood career as an actor and headed Paramount Pictures during its comeback in the 1960s and early 1970s with Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story and The Godfather. His ex wives include Love Story star Ali MacGraw, former Miss America Phyllis George and Dynasty co-star Catherine Oxenberg.