News, July 28: Minnelli and Gest Split, MGM Releases “Bond” DVD Special Edition, Heckerling To Helm “Sweat,” More…

Top Story: Minnelli and Gest–And They Said It Wouldn’t Last

After a star-studded wedding ceremony and 16 brief months of marriage, entertainer Liza Minnelli and her fourth husband, producer David Gest, have separated, their publicist announced Friday. No reason was given for the split, The Associated Press reports. The announcement came on the same day that the couple unexpectedly canceled their Tuesday appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live. The couple was introduced by pop singer Michael Jackson when Minnelli appeared on Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special, produced by Gest. They wed in an elaborate ceremony in New York City in March 2002; Michael Jackson was best man and Elizabeth Taylor was matron of honor. But Minnelli, 57, and Gest, 50, had a turbulent year. Their plans to adopt a 3-year-old girl never happened. In February, VH1 sued the couple, alleging Gest’s eccentric behavior ruined plans for the planned reality show Liza and David that would offer a peek into their daily lives. A month later, they postponed plans for a lavish April 15 anniversary party in Times Square with 1,200 guests who were expected to receive an invitation that started with the words: “And They Said It Wouldn’t Last…”

More Bond for Your Buck

MGM Home Entertainment is releasing all 20 of the James Bond films together in a three special-edition gift, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Vol. 1, which includes seven titles, was first released in October but will be repromoted and released together with Vols. 2 and 3 on Nov. 18. Each gift sets will cost $124.96, with each title getting the full treatment, including commentaries, featurettes, documentaries, music videos, theatrical trailers, storyboards and other material.

Bravo Not Catering to Gays

When Bravo president Jeff Gaspin was asked at a press conference this month if its two hit series, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Boy Meets Boy, meant the network was catering to a gay audience, he replied: “Absolutely not! Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” quoting from the famed Seinfeld episode. The reason, according to Vivi Zigler, senior vp of marketing and advertising services at the NBC Agency, is “Gay men are not measured by Nielsen (Media Research). Women 18-49 is a more salable demo,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

Havel Opens for Stones at Prague Concert

Five months after leaving the Czech presidential office, playwright Vaclav Havel was on hand at a Rolling Stones concert in Prague, Czech Republic, to warm up the fans–13 years after the Velvet Revolution that ended Communism. The Rolling Stones were the first major western rock band to visit Prague after the 1989 revolution, a peaceful political coup that brought down Communism in the former Czechoslovakia. The band has returned to Prague three times since. Frontman Mick Jagger also celebrated his 60th birthday at a private party Saturday in a club on Wenceslas Square, where the Havel and other dissidents promoted democracy in 1989.

P. Diddy’s Bad Boys II Good News

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs‘ new deal through the Universal label has produced the rap mogul’s biggest Nielsen SoundScan week since 1997, reports. CombsBad Boys II soundtrack sold 324,000 units in its first week of release, beating last year’s 255,500 start for We Invented the Remix, the final Arista album for Combs‘ Bad Boy label. Bad Boys II is only the fifth soundtrack to debut at No. 1 in the history of The Billboard 200. The only other soundtracks to have debuted at No. 1 were 8 Mile, Murder Was the Case, Private Parts and Gridlock’d.

Role Call: Harrelson Joins Sunset, Heckerling To Helm Sweat

Woody Harrelson, who has mainly focused on smaller, independent films in recent years, is set to join the cast of New Line’s After the Sunset starring Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek. The studio is looking for a director to stick to the project’s October start date … Director Amy Heckerling, best known for helming the satirical comedies Clueless and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, has come aboard to direct Sweat for Fox 2000 Pictures. The film is described as Shampoo set in the world of athletic personal training.