News Roundup, Nov. 11: Liza Minnelli Slams VH1


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Liza Minnelli and husband David Gest are railing against VH1 for scrapping their reality TV show. VH1 announced in late October that it was not moving forward with the series Liza and David, which would show the entertainer and her husband in their home, because they were not given access or cooperation from the couple. According to Reuters, Minnelli and Gest say the claims are absurd and in fact, the TV camera crews ruined their apartment and a VH1 programming executive was rude to them. “We didn’t hide anything,” Minnelli said in a news release. “Listen, I came out of the womb and somebody slapped me on the ass and I’ve been in the public ever since.”


A preliminary report pertaining to actress Winona Ryder, who was convicted of grand theft and vandalism last Wednesday, is missing. According to Reuters, the report, which details some personal information about the actress and possible probation recommendations, was not among the files for Ryder in a locked cabinet. Ken Kondo, a spokesman from the Los Angeles County Probation Department, told Reuters the loss of the report was “unusual.” “From our standpoint, we’re concerned,” he said.

Film and television actor Merlin Santana, 26, who most recently appeared with Robert De Niro and Eddie Murphy in Showtime, was shot and killed while sitting in a parked car early Saturday in South Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department told The Associated Press Santana was sitting in the passenger seat around 2:38 a.m. when at least one gunmen approached the vehicle and fired. The driver escaped injury and drove off to find the police. No arrests have been made as yet.


Mexican actress Salma Hayek may need a little help pushing her film Frida in her homeland. Reuters reports several Mexican film critics have panned the movie, which depicts the turbulent life of famed artist Frida Kahlo, for being too Americanized and for trivializing some of Mexico’s most revered artists. The critics’ main objection is that Frida should have been made in Kahlo’s native tongue. “The money the film was made with is American. To be able to recoup that, the film had to be in English … but Frida’s art is for everyone,” Hayek told Reuters. “It’s a language that transcends divisions.”

After flopping at the U.S. box office, the Guy Ritchie/Madonna film Swept Away will not be released in U.K. cinemas, according to distributor Columbia TriStar. Reuters reports British moviegoers will have wait for the video release to see what all the negative fuss is about.

In an effort to stop copyright piracy, similar to the what the music industry is currently battling, five major movie studios have come together to launch a new Internet site,, which will sell and rent DVD titles. This venture, backed by Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM, should be a lucrative move to market the studios’ libraries of movies.


Al Gore will reprise his role as his own perserved head on the season premiere of Fox’s animated TV series Futurama. “I think I may have a future as a disembodied head,” Gore joked in an interview with the Associated Press on Friday. “I’m not sure that any political calculation would have steered me toward this part, but it was great fun doing it.” The show airs Sunday.


Guns ‘N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose may want to hire a bodyguard. The band was to begin their first concert tour since 1993 in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, but Rose failed to show up, inciting the fans to riot. Dozens of people threw rocks at the police and security guards when promoters canceled the show at the last minute. “Axl is going to pay!” one man screamed at a television camera, Reuters reports. Rose apparently had airplane problems in California.