News Roundup: Aug. 22

The Bond fans’ Web site,, dedicated to provide information about the latest James Bond movie, has failed in its mission, the producers told Reuters on Wednesday.

Eon Productions, responsible for the upcoming Bond film, said the script featured on the Web site does not belong to them. The production company added that the plot was the product of a fan’s overactive imagination.

“The film hasn’t got a name yet. It’s only in the very beginning of pre-production,” a spokeswoman for Eon Productions said.


Controversial Nazi-era film maker Leni Riefenstahl, recently told German magazine Bunte that she was taking morphine to relieve the pain for her severe back pain. She survived a helicopter crash in 2000 while vacationing in Sudan, Africa where she was taking photographs. Riefenstahl turns 99 on Wednesday.


The Early Show host Bryant Gumbel and his wife June Gumbel, ended their 27-year marriage on Tuesday. Accusations that the talk-show host cheated on his wife with a series of mistresses surround the proceedings, the Associated Press reports. Details on the agreement were sealed.


Academy Award winning actress Angelina Jolie will be named United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in Geneva next Monday, the U.N. refugee agency told Reuters on Wednesday. Jolie has already visited refugee camps in Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and is currently in Pakistan.


Former Survivor contestant Richard Hatch was arrested in Middletown, R.I. on Tuesday for a domestic dispute with his boyfriend, reports television entertainment show Access Hollywood. After turning himself in, Hatch was released on his own recognizance and was ordered to be in court on Sept. 7 to face misdemeanor charges of assault.

In Court

Kate Hudson‘s former personal assistant, Margaret Miller, is planning to counter-sue the film star for wrongful termination and defamation, her lawyer Arthur Barens told Reuters on Tuesday. Hudson has sued her assistant for spending $63,000 on limousines, hotel rooms, plane tickets, and other personal expenses.

In General

ABC anchorman Jack Ford says he is going elsewhere if the network doesn’t make him a host of Good Morning America or give him another high-profile anchor slot, the Associated Press reports. During his initial negotiations with ABC, Ford was told co-host Charlie Gibson was going to be on the show with Diane Sawyer temporarily to increase ratings, but the coupling turned out to be a match made in ratings heaven, removing the temporary tag from Gibson’s assignment.

Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell and his wife, Leighanne, have formed BriLeigh Prods., a music label and entertainment production company in association with Insight Entertainment Group, reports Reuters. The main focus is to launch a recording label, but the company has plans to produce both films and television shows by the end of 2002.

Pop group Destiny’s Child recently purchased a recording studio in Houston from Texas Justice star Larry Joe Doherty. “This town is thirsty for something natinal and what Matthew Knowles [DC's manager] has going is international,” Doherty told the Los Angeles Times last month.

Tony Danza will host the 81st annual Miss America Pageant, airing Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Bob Bain, the producer of the telecast, told The Associated Press that Danza‘s charm, enthusiasm and energy would complement the format changes of the show. This year the contest will feature quiz shows, reality TV, and an opportunity for contestants to vote for the winner.

Brendan Fraser will next be seen playing the role of Brick in the Tennessee Williams classic A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, when the play opens in London next month, reports Reuters. Ned Beatty will join Fraser on the British stage.

Having closed in 1996 after Burt Reynolds lost the property due to bankruptcy, The Burt Reynolds Museum might come to life again. Florida town council members gave the museum a new, temporary home in an old bank building, says The Associated Press. Reynolds‘ 160-acre estate, which served as the old museum, was bought by a Palm Beach County school district for $3.85 million in 1999. All the memorabilia has been in storage ever since.

Did you know that Eminem has Scottish roots? Neither did we. But Betty Kresin, the controversial entertainer’s grandmother, told the Daily Record (Kansas) newspaper that she was thrilled the rapper was giving a concert in the land of his forebears.

Steven Spielberg is set to direct and produce Catch Me, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. According to Reuters, the film is based on Frank Abagnale’s 1980 memoir about the youngest man ever placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. The project is eyeing a January production start.

Howard Stern is being considered for immortalization at the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum in New York City, the shock jock told his listeners on Tuesday’s show. “Why would someone do this unless their ego is massive?” Stern said.