News Roundup: April 12


Top Story

The owners of several Times Square buildings in New York have filed a lawsuit against Sony-owned Columbia Pictures, claiming the company digitally altered a Samsung advertisement in the movie Spider-Man. The Samsung ad, currently featured on one of the buildings, was changed to an ad for USA Today in the film. “We think it’s inappropriate to substitute your own image for the one that exists,” Anthony Costantini, a lawyer for building owners Sherwood 48 Associates, told New York’s Daily News. Samsung is one of Sony’s major competitors.


Elton John testified before Congress Thursday, the Associated Press reported, and urged the American government to use its resources to stop the spread of AIDS around the world. “This is the government of the richest nation in history, and I’m here asking you for more money to stop the worst epidemic in history,” Sir Elton told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, including panel members Sen. Ted Kennedy and Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Jennifer Love Hewitt told People that she had a slight earring emergency when she attended the Academy Awards last month: She nearly lost one of the two big diamond flower earrings she borrowed from Van Cleef & Arpels. Luckily, she said, “We found it. Van Cleef has superheroes who work there because, within probably a minute and a half, some guy was there, and he just popped out of nowhere and said, ‘What do we need to fix?’…It was hysterical.” Now we know where the CIA gets its super spies.

Jim Caviezel, currently starring in High Crimes, is getting the wish of a lifetime–he’ll be driving the pace car at the start of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. “From a Hollywood perspective, winning an Academy Award is the ultimate honor one can receive,” he told AP Wednesday. “For a race fan like me, being in control of the pace car ahead of those 33 race machines will be an adrenaline rush second to none.” Well, at least he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

In the Biz

Aussies actor Russell Crowe, director Baz Luhrmann and Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin get the big bucks. They made it into the top five on the Business Review Weekly magazine’s top 50 Australian entertainers chart, earning roughly $34.7 million among them last year.

Tube News

The creators of The Simpsons have apologized to the city of Rio de Janeiro for their not-so-favorable view of the Brazilian city in the recent episode in which Homer and the gang go for a visit. Lots of awful things happen to them while they’re there, including Bart being swallowed by a giant snake and Homer getting robbed.

Sonny Corleone himself, veteran actor James Caan, is making his way to the small screen. He’s signed on for a Fox half-hour comedy pilot in which he’ll play a conservative man who clashes with his stepson after he returns home from the Peace Corps. Caan must really need the money.

Music News

Ozzy Osbourne is just everywhere lately. First, he has a hit show on MTV, The Osbournes, then he’s having dinner with President Bush and now he’s getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Life is good with Ozzy.

The family of Notorious B.I.G. has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department, claiming the police could have done more to prevent the rapper’s 1997 murder. B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was shot to death on March 9, 1997, while coming out of a music industry party. His murder has yet to be solved.