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News, Oct. 14: Kidman Wins Damages Against Tabloid, Miramax To Downplay Bennifer in "Jersey Girl" Ads, Actors Join Screener Ban Opposition, More…

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Oct 15, 2003 | 1:13pm EDT

Top Story: Kidman Wins Damages Against Tabloid

Star Nicole Kidman, who won an Oscar for her performance in the 2002 drama The Hours, won undisclosed libel damages and an apology Tuesday from the British tabloid Sun that reported in March she had had an affair with her Cold Mountain costar Jude Law, which led to the breakup of his marriage. In London's High Court, the Sun admitted the allegations about Kidman were untrue. "The defendants are here today to publicly set the record straight and through their solicitor to personally apologize to the claimant for the distress and the embarrassment they have caused her," said the Sun's lawyer Daniel Taylor. He added that the paper vowed never to repeat the allegations and would pay fines and damages. Kidman was not in court but said in a statement: "I am glad that this has finally been resolved." According to BBC News, she will donate the balance of the damages received from the case to a charity that helps Romania's abandoned children.

Miramax To Downplay Bennifer in Jersey Girl Ads

Miramax Films has decided to spin the advertising around their upcoming film Jersey Girl around director Kevin Smith instead of its stars, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Launch.com reports that the studio decided to rethink its marketing strategy following a supposed Bennifer backlash with the bomb of Affleck and Lopez's Gigli. Jersey Girl was originally set for release this fall but was pushed back to a 2004 release date. The promotion for Smith, who has directed Clerks, Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, is likely to be the biggest he has ever received.

Actors Join Screener Ban Opposition

Variety reports actors Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Frances McDormand, Rosanna Arquette, Hilary Swank, Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, Ellen Burstyn, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Don Cheadle, Willem Dafoe, Olympia Dukakis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, and Selma Blair have all signed on to protest the Oscar screener ban. "This is an acknowledgement that actors are often the triggers for financing and distribution decisions on independent movies so it's really important their voices are heard," said IFP's executive director Michelle Byrd. "The ban creates a disadvantage for actors in films released by the studio divisions, which often are the ones that need real support campaigns."

Martha Stewart Doubtful She Will Serve Jail Time

Lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart, who is facing criminal charges in an insider trading scandal, told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview with ABC News that although she is feeling scared about going to prison, she doubts she will end up behind bars. Stewart came under fire last year for selling shares in biotechnology firm ImClone Systems Inc. just before the company reported some bad news that sent its stock plunging. She is a close friend of former ImClone chief executive Sam Waksal. Reuters reports the interview, the first broadcast TV interview Stewart has granted since her June indictment on obstruction of justice charges, is set to air during the November ratings sweeps, but the network declined to give an exact date.

Tommy Hilfiger's Daughter Stars in MTV's Rich Girls

MTV is set to debut a new reality series tilted Rich Girls, which follows two wealthy young women as they dash around New York City mindlessly spending money. According to The Associated Press, one of the girls is Ally Hilfiger, the daughter of designer Tommy Hilfiger. "We just prance around this damn city like it's, like, our shopping haven," Hilfiger says in the first episode. But she adds, "Just because we're rich doesn't mean that we're not good people." In the premiere scheduled to air at 10:30 p.m. ET Oct. 28, cameras capture Hilfiger and her friend Jamie Gleicher riding in a limousine as they shop for prom dresses. Gleicher, however, says she has learned "money does not buy happiness."

Role Call: Wilson-Sampras Joins Shopgirl Cast

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras has joined the cast of the Steve Martin comedy Shopgirl, which is being directed by Anand Tucker and co-stars Jason Schwartzman and Claire Danes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film is based on Martin's best-selling novella of the same name. The Shopgirl role marks a return to acting for Wilson-Sampras, who took some time off after having a baby with her tennis champ husband, Pete Sampras.

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