News Roundup, Jan. 16: Douglas and Zeta-Jones Head to Court

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Hollywood supercouple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are getting ready for their court appearance in London later this month to testify in a court case over the use of their wedding photos, Reuters reports. The couple wed in a lavish ceremony at New York’s Plaza Hotel in November 2000 and sold exclusive rights to the wedding pictures to Brit celeb mag OK! for one million pounds ($1.6 million). But rival mag Hello! beat them to the punch by publishing its own secretly taken photos of the ceremony. Douglas and Zeta-Jones claim Hello! invaded their privacy and confidentiality and caused distress because of the images’ poor quality. Hello!, meanwhile, denies the allegations and claims it was offered the pics on the open market and was entitled to publish them. Zeta-Jones, 33, and Douglas, 58, are expected to appear in person for the full hearing on January 27.


About 200 people paid tribute Wednesday to Bee Gee member Maurice Gibb, who died Sunday at the age of 53. Maurice’s twin brother, Robin, widow Yvonne and children Adam and Samantha were among the mourners at the private funeral at Riverside Funeral Chapel in Miami Beach, Fla., Reuters reports. Older brother Barry, 55, arrived an hour after the services with longtime family friend Michael Jackson, entered the chapel to pay their respects in private, and emerged about 15 minutes later. A family spokesman said that Barry was too distraught to attend the funeral.

Speaking of the pop oddity, The Associated Press reports that Michael Jackson is house shopping in South Florida and recently toured a 17,000-square-foot beachfront mansion on the market for $45 million. Nadine House, the real estate agent who represents the mansion’s owners, said Jackson, with six bodyguards, arrived two hours late and seemed more interested in relaxing on the couch and watching a show about the Academy Awards than discussing a deal. The singer decided against the luxury dwelling and is expected to decide whether to buy a home in the area within the next few months.

A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of R&B singer Bobby Brown after he failed to appear in court Monday, AP reports. Brown‘s attorney says the singer will turn himself in Friday. Brown was due in court to face six-year-old charges of driving under the influence and other driving charges in Decatur, Georgia. The charges surfaced when Brown was arrested in Atlanta last November on charges of marijuana possession, speeding and having no driver’s license or proof of insurance.

Mel Brooks, who has won virtually every show business award including an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony, will publish his memoirs in 2004. According to AP, the book will be an “anecdotal memoir” of Brooks‘ five decades in the biz. “I have always been a huge admirer of my own work,” Brooks, 76, said in a statement Wednesday. “I’m one of the funniest and most entertaining writers I know.”

Gwyneth Paltrow, who starred in London’s West End production of Proof last year, was nominated Thursday for one of Britain’s top theater awards, Reuters reports. Paltrow faces stiff competition for best actress at the Laurence Olivier awards from Emily Watson, who was praised for her performance in Uncle Vanya. The awards will be presented in London next month.


HBO will provide the majority of the financing for the documentary on Deep Throat, the 1972 porn classic starring Linda Lovelace, for Imagine Entertainment, Variety reports. It’s the first time the cable network has funded a documentary meant for theatrical distribution. HBO executive VP of original programming Sheila Nevins said Imagine co-chairman Brian Grazer “certainly didn’t need to be doing a documentary, but we were so impressed by his passion.” Grazer produced last year’s Oscar-winner A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe.


The WB TV network plans to revive The Gong Show, the 1970s television game show that featured amateur talent. A WB spokeswoman told Reuters the new show is close to signing a host and is looking for producers. The series has drawn renewed interest since the release of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which chronicles the life of Gong Show creator and host Chuck Barris.