Actresses Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie are among the many who will carry the Olympic torch on its journey around the world, The Associated Press reports. The flame was lit in Ancient Olympia on Mar. 25 and brought to Athens' marble stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. It will burn at the stadium until June 4, where it starts a 46,800-mile journey across six continents, 27 countries and 33 cities with some 11,000 runners and will return to Greece July 9 for the second half of its domestic relay. The Summer Olympics will take place in Athens Aug. 13-29.
Brown Stands Trial For Hitting Houston
Singer Bobby Brown has been ordered to stand trial on charges of domestic abuse against his wife, Whitney Houston, AP reports. The charges stem from an incident Dec. 7, when Houston called police to report that Brown threatened to beat her "and then struck the left side of her face with an open right hand," a police report said. Brown was ordered to turn himself in to authorities July 10 or 11 for fingerprinting when he would be released on a $2,000 bond. The judge also warned Brown again having "violent contact" with Houston. The couple left the courtroom walking arm-in-arm and made no comment to reporters and television cameras waiting outside, AP reports.
Supermodel Campbell Wins Privacy Case
Supermodel Naomi Campbell scored another legal victory Thursday against a tabloid newspaper, Reuters reports. Britain's Law Lords, the country's highest court, ruled against the Daily Mirror in the final round of a long legal battle which began when the paper ran a story three years ago saying, correctly, that Campbell, 33, had visited Narcotics Anonymous. Campbell originally sued the newspaper and won, citing invasion of privacy, but in 2002, an appeal court ruled in favor of the Mirror, thus stripping Campbell of the approx. $6,280 awarded to her. But on Thursday, the Lords allowed Campbell's appeal against that ruling, saying she had indeed endured an "invasion" of her privacy. "This is a very good day for lying, drug-abusing prima donnas who want to have their cake with the media, and the right to then shamelessly guzzle it with their Cristal champagne," Mirror editor Piers Morgan said in a statement. "If ever there was a less deserving case for creating what is effectively a back-door privacy law it would be Miss Campbell--but that's showbiz." The case has been closely watched by lawyers for the media, many of whom regard the development of privacy law in Britain as potentially more threatening than the tried and tested laws of defamation, Reuters reports.
In Other Supermodel News…
Supermodel Heidi Klum welcomed her first child, a daughter, Leni, Tuesday in New York, AP reports. The baby's father is Flavio Briatore, managing director of Renault's Formula One team.
Picasso Painting Sells For Pretty Penny
Pablo Picasso's "Boy With the Pipe" set a world record for the most expensive painting ever sold, when it was auctioned Wednesday at Sotheby's for $104.1 million, Reuters reports. The price, which included the auction house's commission, easily eclipsed the old mark of $82.5 million set by van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet," which sold in 1990. The Picasso painting was part of the collection of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, who had bought the painting in 1950 for $30,000. Sotheby's would not release the name of the buyer.
WGA Postpones Talks With Studios
The Writer's Guild of America postponed contract talk Wednesday with film studios and TV networks after rejecting the industry's latest offer, Reuters reports. The Hollywood's screenwriters proposed a salary-enhanced one-year extension of their labor pact-an offer similar to the yearlong contract deal reached earlier this year between the industry and the Screen Actors Guild. Nick Counter, the industry's chief negotiator and the head of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), said the studios they would respond to the offer when talks with the union resume talks May 12. The WGA and the studios have been in contract negotiation for about a month now. The main stumbling block in the negotiations are DVD residuals, with the union seeking a bigger piece of budding $16 billion digital videodisc market pie.
A Fifth Porn Actor Tests HIV Positive
In what has become the largest outbreak of the AIDS virus in Southern California's porn industry in six years, a veteran porn actress yesterday became the fifth adult film performer in Los Angeles to test positive for HIV. An industry health care official told Reuters the actress was one of 14 performers who worked directly with longtime porn star Darren James, who is thought to be the source of the outbreak. The woman, whose name was not made public, was one of about 50 porn actors under an industry wide 60-day quarantine for having worked directly with James or with the women who had onscreen sex with him after his suspected exposure to the HIV virus in March.
Role Call: Bochco Develops Iraq Drama; Noyce, Neufeld Take on WWII
Veteran TV producer Steven Bochco, co-creator of Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, will develop an hour-long war drama set in Iraq for the FX cable network-his first series for a basic cable network. The project is described as a contemporary drama exploring the lives of men and women in uniform both on and off the battlefield … Helmer Phillip Noyce and producer Mace Neufeld, who worked together on the Jack Ryan films Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, will take on The Bielski Brothers for Warner Independent Pictures. The project revolves around three Jewish brothers who heroically hid 1,250 Jews from the Nazis in a forest outside Belarus during World War II.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.