News Roundup: Sept. 20


Top Story

Even though they’ve long been split up, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise joined together to file a lawsuit against a Spanish cosmetics chain, Sephora USA, for using their images to promote Sephora’s products without their consent. The suit claims Sephora, which is owned by the French conglomerate Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, put out ads in 2001 for their “Celebrity Scents,” featuring Cruise and Kidman as “Hollywood’s royal couple” and creating the impression the couple “used, preferred, endorsed or sponsored Sephora’s products,” The Associated Press reports. The lawsuit seeks $15 million in damages.


Former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson has been diagnosed with emphysema, but Reuters reports Carson’s spokesman says the 76-year-old television legend is “in great shape.” Jeff Sotzing, who runs the Carson Entertainment video production company for Carson, told Reuters, “He does have emphysema, but he’s dealing with it the best he can and it’s not causing him any major problems.”

Will Smith can have his name back. Carlos Lomax, who charged up to $33,000 in credit using the actor’s name, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of the use of an unauthorized access device. Lomax gained access to Smith‘s social security number and opened 14 credit accounts at various department stores in the Pittsburgh region. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.


Nicole Kidman is in discussions to star in Columbia Pictures’ Bewitched, a remake of the classic ’60s & ’70s television series. Starring Elizabeth Montgomery, the series centered on the beleaguered Samantha Stevens, a witch who just wanted to be the perfect–and normal–housewife to her mortal husband, Darren. Sounds perfect for Kidman since she’s already played a witch (Practical Magic).


F/X is getting into the world of politics. The News Corp.-owned cable channel, along with documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler (The War Room), director Jay Roach (Austin Powers) and producer Tom Lassally are developing a new reality series which would mount a huge campaign to look for the American public’s “people’s candidate” to run for president of the United States in 2004. “It’s like a cross between The War Room and American Idol,” Cutler told Daily Variety. “We will be making available to every American who is qualified, by virtue of the Constitution, the opportunity to run for president.” Wow. Look out, Bush!

In preparing for their new reality series The Real Beverly Hillbillies, CBS’ casting people are holding open auditions all over the rural South to try and find real-life counterparts to the fictional Beverly Hillbillies‘ Clampett family. “We’re looking for people who have country smarts, but maybe not so much sophistication,” casting agent Ken Billings told AP. One question, really–why?