Top Story: Paris Hilton Videotape Leaked
Paris Hilton, heir to the Hilton hotel fortune and star of Fox’s upcoming reality series The Simple Life, is trying to stop the distribution of a homemade video that reportedly features her having sex with Rick Solomon, who went on to marry former Charmed star Shannen Doherty in 2002. Hilton‘s spokesperson Siri Garber told The Associated Press the tape was made three years ago while Solomon and Hilton were dating. “Not everybody indulges in that, but couples do it sometimes and it’s just for themselves, for fun. She never intended for it to be seen by anybody other than the two of them,” Garber said. An unidentified person reportedly distributed the video to some gossip columnists and Hilton‘s lawyers are trying to determine whether Solomon, 33, was involved in releasing the tape. Solomon, who owns a clothing and DVD company that distributes amateur party videos of scantily clad women, has supposedly split with Doherty but the status of their relationship is unclear, the AP reports.
LAPD Fires Celeb-Tracking Officer
The Los Angeles Police Department has fired a police officer who used department computers to review confidential records on celebrities, including Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston and Dylan McDermott, the AP reports. Officer Kelly Chrisman, who was fired Oct. 27, said his superiors assigned him to look up the information as part of a project to map celebrity homes to help monitor potential stalkers, but the LAPD says no such project existed. Investigators say they do not know what Chrisman, 35, did with the information he accessed between 1994 and 2000.
Critics of Gibson’s Passion Harassed
Two scholars who have criticized Mel Gibson‘s The Passion of Christ said Thursday they have received hate mail in response to their comments. According to the AP, Sister Mary Boys, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and Paula Fredriksen, a Boston University professor, have received hateful e-mails from Gibson supporters. The women made the comments at a panel discussion about the film, which centers on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, at a national meeting of the Anti-Defamation League. The Passion of Christ is set for release Feb. 25.
Fox Releases Alien Quadrilogy
Twentieth Century Fox announced it will release Alien Quadrilogy, a boxed set of all four of director Ridley’s Scott’s Alien installments, on Dec. 2. According to Variety, the 9-disc set, priced at $99.98, contains the theatrical editions of all four movies in the series, including the theatrical version of Aliens, which has never been released on DVD before. Extras include nearly 45 hours of bonus features, directors’ cuts of three of the movies and a restored “pre-release” version of Alien3. Double-disc DVD sets of each film will be sold separately beginning Jan. 6 for $26.98 each.
CBS Sings Hilary Duff
CBS has signed a comedy pilot deal with 16-year-old Lizzie McGuire star Hilary Duff and will develop a starring vehicle for the young actress for the 2004-05 season, Reuters reports. Disney’s Lizzie McGuire wrapped production in July 2002 but Duff and her representatives had a public falling-out with the Mouse House after the two sides could not come to terms over a proposed sequel to The Lizzie McGuire Movie. CBS views signing Duff, who starts a national concert tour later this month to support her solo debut album, Metamorphosis, as an opportunity to cater to younger viewers.
VH-1 Updating Partridge Family
Music cabler VH-1 is planning an updated version of the 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, which ran on ABC from 1970-74. According to The Hollywood Reporter Sony Pictures Television, which holds rights to the show about a musical family, will produce a reality series for VH-1 chronicling the casting of the family as well as a scripted half-hour pilot featuring the winners. No production date has been set, but the network is aiming to make it a tentpole of its 2004 schedule.
Timberlake Wins Big at MTV Europe Awards
Justin Timberlake was the big winner Thursday night at the MTV Europe Awards, walking away with three top prizes, including best male, best pop and best album for his debut album Justified. Christina Aguilera, who hosted the awards ceremony, was named best female artist. Other winners included Jamaican dancehall reggae sensation Sean Paul, who was named best new act of the year, and Beyoncé, who took the best R&B award, while MTV viewers voted her single “Crazy in Love” best song of the year.
Role Call: Jackson, Arquette, Hershey, Christensen Set for King Thriller
Jonathan Jackson, David Arquette, Barbara Hershey and Erika Christensen have been set to star in Riding the Bullet, an adaptation of the Stephen King e-book, for writer/director Mick Garris, Variety reports. Set on Halloween in 1969, the supernatural thriller follows a 21-year-old New England college student (Jackson), who attempts suicide after his girlfriend (Christensen) breaks up with him. But when he learns that his mother (Hershey) has had a stroke, he hitchhikes through rural Maine to visit her bedside, and is picked up by a mysterious driver (Arquette).