News, Sept. 2: Witherspoon Puzzled by Tabloids, Paris May Opt Out of “Simple Life 3,” VMA Ratings Down Again, More…

Reese Witherspoon puzzled by tabloids

Star Reese Witherspoon, whose new movie Vanity Fair opened Wednesday, said she doesn’t understand the appeal of the tabloids. “I can’t believe someone is so interested particularly in all the pictures of me in the grocery store or at the preschool,” Witherspoon said, according to AP Broadcast. “I’m wearing the same sweatsuit, and is this really interesting? And to who?” The 28-year-old actress, who has two children with her husband, actor Ryan Phillippe, said they usually try to laugh at the photos and stories in the tabloids. “It just doesn’t matter to me. It’s amazing the kinda things the people make up in their minds,” she added.

Paris may opt out of Simple Life 3

What is Paris Hilton not doing? Reuters reports the hotel heiress, who launched a jewelry line Wednesday on, is filming a National Lampoon movie comedy Pledge This!, in which she plays the president of an elitist sorority at South Beach U and presides over a group of unlikely freshman girls who are trying to gain entrance and acceptance into the sorority. Plus, she’s got plans to cut a pop-rock album. Her schedule is so hectic, the 23-year-old Hilton said she may have to bow out of a third season of . “I’m not sure yet about The Simple Life,” Hilton told Reuters. “They want to do a third season, but I don’t know if I have time.”

VMA ratings down for third year in a row

Ratings for the MTV Video Music Awards, which took place at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, fell for the third consecutive year despite airing on a Sunday, when TV viewership is at its highest, Reuters reports. According to Nielsen Media Research, the Aug. 29 telecast drew 10.3 million viewers; compared to 10.71 million viewers in 2003, when the Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera kiss-fest occurred. The record of 11.95 million was set in 2002. But the telecast, which had to compete with NBC’s Summer Olympics closing-night ceremony, attracted enough viewers to give MTV the highest-rated program of the night among both broadcast and cable competition in its core demographic of persons 12-34.

Kilmer loses tax case

Actor Val Kilmer has lost the tax case in which he and his ex-wife, actress Joanne Whalley, claimed they were due a $300,000 tax refund, AP reports. An Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the Taxation and Revenue Department had no authority to act on the refund claim because the time period for doing so had expired. The refund claim was for $304,217 in personal income taxes paid for the year 1995. The couple said they were due the refund, which they filed in 1999, because Whalley–who had filed for divorce–had moved to California in the latter part of the year. The amended 1995 New Mexico return claiming the refund, which was filed by the couple’s accountant, was not processed because the department lost it, AP reports. While the court said it was “sympathetic to taxpayers’ plight” and did not approve of the department’s conduct, it rejected the claim that the couple’s accountant had been misled in conversations with department employees.

Vivendi-Universal launches Scarface game

Vivendi-Universal Games announced the company will release a video game based on the 1983 movie Scarface. According to, the game, set for release next fall, will be a third-person shooter in which users get to play Al Pacino‘s Tony Montana. Players will travel through Miami’s often-violent streets, the Florida Keys and Bahamas and interact with a world full of seedy and dangerous characters, Vivendi-Universal said. The game will also recreate the Scarface’s time period and touch on politics, news and events of the day.

Naked Chef’s restaurant bombs with critics

Food critics aren’t liking the trendy, not-for-profit London restaurant, Fifteen, owned by the Food Channel’s Naked Chef star Jamie Oliver, Reuters reports. The restaurant, which starred in the hit TV series Jamie’s Kitchen and aims to train would-be chefs, was awarded the lowest possible ratings for food, service and ambience in the latest edition of Harden’s London Restaurants guide. A spokesman for Oliver said the restaurant had recently taken steps to improve standards of service and that reviewers had likely visited before this had happened.

Kit Bowen contributed to this report.