Top Story: David Blaine Emerges From Box
Illusionist David Blaine emerged Sunday from the transparent box hanging over London’s River Thames in which he spent 44 days for a starvation stunt and was taken to the hospital after making a brief statement, Reuters reports. Looking disheveled and visibly thinner, Blaine, who says he consumed only water during his ordeal, broke down in tears in front of a crowd of thousands. “I learned how important it is to have a sense of humor and to laugh at everything because nothing makes any sense,” he said. Medical teams checked the 30-year-old New Yorker on the scene before he was carried on a stretcher into an ambulance and taken to the London Independent Hospital. Doctors said Blaine faced disorientation, muscle loss and may have damaged his appetite, which could put him at a longer-term risk of eating disorders. Blaine sold the television rights to broadcasters Sky TV and Channel 4 in deals reportedly worth at least $1 million.
Prosecution Says Enough Evidence for Blake Trial
Prosecutors say there is “more than sufficient” evidence to try actor Robert Blake for killing his wife. According to The Associated Press, prosecutors, responding to the defense motion to dismiss murder charges against the actor, said testimony at a preliminary hearing showed that Blake discussed killing his wife “in a manner strikingly similar to the manner in which she actually was killed.” The prosecution added that Blake was in the area when she was killed and had gunshot residue on his hands and clothing. Blake, 69, is accused of shooting Bonny Lee Bakley to death on May 4, 2001, while she waited in his car as he allegedly went to retrieve a gun he had accidentally dropped under a table in a Studio City restaurant where they had just dined. But in September, the defense motion claimed there was no forensic evidence linking Blake to the shooting or the murder weapon and asked that murder charges against the Baretta star be dismissed. A hearing on the dismissal motion is scheduled for Oct. 31 with the trial set for Feb. 9.
Schwarzenegger Mural Gets Terminated
Los Angeles officials want a building owner to take down a giant mural of California Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger that went up a week after the Terminator star won the state’s Oct. 7 recall election, Reuters reports. The city attorney charged owner Robert Lusk Davis Thursday with failing to get a permit for the ad promoting the DVD release of Terminator 3 but Davis, who is no relation to outgoing Gov. Gray Davis, said he would take the case to court before taking it down. The mural, on Cahuenga Blvd. in Studio City, is about 40 feet high and about 100 feet wide. Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn told Reuters the apparent political implications of the case were coincidental.
Woody Allen Bio Doubtful
Woody Allen‘s publicist said Friday that, contrary to published reports, the filmmaker was not close to a book deal. “Many times over the past two to three years, they’ve asked him to write his memoirs and he said he wasn’t interested,” Leslee Dart told the AP Friday. “They then told him they could get a phenomenal amount of money for it, and he said that for a phenomenal amount of money he could see if he could get interested.” The New York Times reported last week that Allen was near agreement with Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin, for a deal worth around $3 million. Dart said Allen had turned down Riverhead and that no other offers were being considered, but added that he had not given up.
Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Against Eminem
A judge on Friday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by a former schoolmate of rapper Eminem. DeAngelo Bailey, 32, claimed that Eminem slandered him in the song “Brain Damage” on his 1999 album The Slim Shady LP. He was seeking $1 million. But Mount Clemes, Mich., Judge Deborah Servitto sided with the rapper, saying Eminem‘s lyrics are “stories no one would take as fact, they’re an exaggeration of a childish act.”
Ozzy Osbourne a New Man
In an in-depth interview with MTV, Ozzy Osbourne revealed he is a brand new man. Osbourne announced last week that he was postponing his upcoming European tour because of the effects of medication he’s taking to treat tremors. After seeking out Dr. Allan H. Ropper, who had treated famous Parkinson’s sufferer Michael J. Fox, Osbourne said he is feeling better than he has in years. “It turns out that it’s a hereditary thing that I have from my mother’s side of the family,” an animated Ozzy told MTV. “This guy in Boston fixed me great. He’s taken me off all the medication that I was on. I’m taking one medication now for this tremor.” So don’t expect to see Osbourne shuffling around his house on The Ousbournes anytime soon. The singer said that was simply a consequence of the constant pain he was in.
Afghan Film Wins Canadian Prize
Afghan director Siddiq Barmak‘s film Osama, which won the top prize Sunday at Montreal’s New Movie and New Media Festival, has become one of the first features produced in Afghanistan and nominated since the fall of the Taliban, Reuters reports. The film, named after Osama bin Laden who at the time was established in Afghanistan, tells the story of the social situation and women’s lack of status in society after the Taliban came to power in 1996.
Web Piracy Could Cost Hollywood Millions
A new survey by Britain’s Informa Media Group found Monday that selling films across the Internet could be an industry worth more than $800 million a year by 2010, but would be worth more than $1.3 billion if it were not for illegal downloads, Reuters reports. The survey found that Internet users with broadband connections download an estimated 144,000 films illegally every day worldwide. If 50 percent of those downloads is considered a lost sale worth an average $3.50, it means that this year alone Hollywood misses out on about $92 million in revenues, Informa added. The report also estimated that sales of hard copies of DVDs and video will remain by far the largest category of film sales: $2.62 billion in 2010, up from this year’s $804 million.
Role Call: Duvall and Farrell Play Ball, Warner Options Pearl Memoire
Robert Duvall, who starred as the coach of a