News Roundup, Oct. 24: Wertmuller Upset Over “Swept Away”


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Because the Guy RitchieMadonna remake Swept Away is already being touted as the worst movie of the year, this is upsetting Lina Wertmuller, the Italian director who made the original 1974 cult classic. In an interview with the Washington Post‘s “Reliable Source” column, Wertmuller, 74, said she now regrets giving the Ritchies permission to remake her film. Her main fear is the less than favorable response she may receive on her plans to make a sequel. “I am very, very worried, because that’s a problem for me,” Wertmuller tells The Post. “Why did Madonna and her husband let it out? It’s very crazy. They saw the picture. So why open like that? I don’t understand. They lost money. For Madonna, it’s the name and the face. This is terrible for her.” Wertmuller added, “[But] I have written a very funny story for the sequel, and I am very worried that maybe this is a disaster for me.”


Tiresome, isn’t it? Ten months after Winona Ryderwas charged for shoplifting from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills, the actress is to appear in court Thursday to begin her trial. Her defense lawyers are claiming that Ryder has been singled out because of her celebrity while the prosecution may bring witnesses from other department stores to show “prior acts” by the actress, Reuters reports. Let’s just get it over with already.

Yahoo reports the Daily Mirror‘s apology posted in Tuesday edition to Steve Bing, the American producer who denied his paternity to actress Elizabeth Hurley‘s son earlier this year (DNA testing later proved he was the father), has been deemed less than sincere by Bing and his lawyers. Bing initially filed the suit after the London tabloid printed his phone number and urged readers to call and berate him for his behavior, but agreed to drop it if the paper posted an apology. However, Bing is not satisfied with what some rival papers have said is the apology’s over-the-top groveling and sarcastic tone and may reinstate the suit.

NBA superstar Michael Jordan has filed a lawsuit against a woman he claims is trying to extort $5 million from him in order to keep the affair they had 10 years ago quiet, the Associated Press reports. Jordan, 39, admitted to once paying Karla Knafel $250,000 to keep the relationship out of the public eye but never agreed to pay any more than that. It is unclear whether the affair occurred during his 13-year marriage to wife Juanita.

Celebrity publicist Lizzie Grubman, who admitted to driving her car into a crowd of people at a trendy club in the Hamptons last summer, started serving her 60-day jail term Wednesday. Sixteen people were injured during the July 7, 2001 incident, where Grubman, apparently upset she had to move her car, slammed her Mercedes Benz SUV into a group of people standing behind the vehicle. She is eligible for release after 40 days.


Comic-book hero The Phantom will fly into theaters once again, six years after the first Phantom adaptation, starring Billy Zane and Kristy Swanson, failed at the box office. The new film will have a more modern feel and will follow in the same vein as Spider-Man and The Matrix.


The 1999 $29.3 million jury verdict against The Jenny Jones Show, which held the raucous talk-show liable for the 1995 shooting death of show guest Scott Amedure, has been thrown out in a Michigan appeals court Wednesday. On the show, Amedure revealed his secret attraction to guest Jonathan Schmitz, which incited Schmitz to shoot and kill Amedure three days later. The Amedure family contends the show tricked a mentally unstable Schmitz into believing he was going on the show to meet a female admirer. Lawyers for the family intend to appeal the reverse decision.