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News, July 15: Slim-Fast drops Whoopi Goldberg, Britney's Ex-Hubby Spills the Beans, Halle's Former Husband Dishes on Breakup, More...

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Jul 15, 2004 | 10:33am EDT

Slim-Fast drops Whoopi Goldberg

Diet aid maker Slim-Fast has sacked spokeswoman Whoopi Goldberg after the comedian made a vulgar riff on President Bush's name at a fund-raiser last week, the Florida-based company said Wednesday. According to The New York Post, Goldberg appeared at Thursday's star-studded John Kerry benefit at Radio City Music Hall in New York waving a bottle of wine while firing off a stream of sexual wordplays on Bush's name in a riff about female genitalia. Slim-Fast general manager Terry Olson said in a statement the company regrets that Goldberg's remarks offended some customers. Reuters reports Republicans have expressed outrage over the fund-raiser for Democratic nominee Kerry and his vice presidential running mate, John Edwards, in which entertainers lined up to skewer Bush.

Britney's ex-hubby spills the beans

Britney Spears' ex-husband and childhood friend Jason Alexander is finally spilling the beans about their 55-hour marriage back in January. In an interview with the British tabloid News of the World, which paid Alexander for the story, the former Mr. Spears said he decided to talk now because he realized the pop star wasn't coming back to him. According to Alexander's version of events, Spears proposed to him while they were lying in bed in their Las Vegas hotel suite after several nights of "mind-blowing and rough" sex. He claims they rushed to a local wedding chapel where their limo driver walked Spears down the aisle. But Alexander said their wedding bliss turned to doom and gloom after they returned to their hotel and started spreading the news. "Britney phoned her mom, and I heard Lynne screaming back at her. She went nuts," he said. Alexander claims the dissolution was underway immediately as Britney's family and a legal team went to work. "Britney and her brother came back in and he said we couldn't be married, it was wrong. Then one of her team said I was ruining her career, that her tour would be wrecked and her ticket sales lost. Britney and I just stood on different sides of the room and didn't speak to each other," Alexander explained. "They spread a load of papers on the desk and said if I cared about Britney I'd sign them."

Halle Berry's former husband dishes on breakup

Another ex singing the blues is Halle Berry's former husband, R&B singer Eric Benet. In an interview set to air Thursday on ABC's Primetime Thursday, Benet says his marriage to Berry didn't fall apart because of her stardom, although he admitted being referred to as "Mr. Halle Berry" was difficult. "I would be dishonest if I told you that wasn't an ego blow," he said, adding: "That was not the reason why our marriage fell apart." Benet also denied having a sexual addiction. "I am not a sex addict. I am a person who ... through a series of emotional events, troubles, challenges, made some really, really stupid, painful mistakes," he said, according to the AP. Benet claims he never committed adultery, but admitted to "physical contact that was extremely inappropriate and wrong in a marriage."

Coppola, Tarantino a couple

In a sea of breakup, there are still some hookups happening in Hollywood. Director Quentin Tarantino and filmmaker Sofia Coppola are "seeing each other," their publicist confirmed to The Associated Press Tuesday. The couple was recently photographed together in Madrid, Spain, where the 41-year-old Tarantino was promoting Kill Bill Vol. 2. They "enjoy each other's company," Ward said. Tarantino is the second director linked to Coppola, 33, who is the daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola. She was married to Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze for four years. The couple separated a year ago, and Coppola filed for divorce last December.

One Tree Hill stars get engaged

The stars of the WB drama One Tree Hill, Chad Michael Murray and co-star Sophia Bush, both 22, announced Monday they are engaged to be married. Murray, who is currently starring in the teen comedy Cinderella Story, made the announcement during an appearance on CBS' The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn. He said popped the question in Australia, where Murray was filming House of Wax, a remake of the 1953 horror about a professor who uses human bodies to create his wax figures. "I had like 500 candles ... and my assistant ... he had to light all the candles while I had to basically take her to a spa and keep her out of the house until the sun went down," he said.

Nick and Jessica dig parenthood

Newlyweds Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey could very well become parents soon. "We'd love to have our own children, but we have a heart for kids, and we'd love to adopt," the 30-year-old Lachey told Us Weekly at a Big Brothers Big Sisters event in New York City. The magazine reports the couple is considering adopting a teenage child from an underdeveloped country. But don't expect the family expansion to be documented on their MTV reality show Nick & Jessica: Newlyweds. The couple says this may be the last season for their MTV show. "Done!" Simpson told Us. "We're not newlyweds anymore. We've had our share of the cameras. We're at a point where we'll want everything for ourselves and our family."

Michael Moore wants judge to dismiss libel suit

A lawyer for filmmaker Michael Moore has asked a federal judge to dismiss a libel lawsuit filed by the brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, who is serving life in prison. James Nichols claims Moore tricked him into appearing in his 2002 Oscar-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine, which examined guns and violence in American culture. He also alleges Moore libeled him in the film by linking him to the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people. Moore's attorney said his client's claims in Bowling for Columbine--including the assertion that Nichols "slipped away" from authorities investigating the bombing--are protected as free speech. Wednesday's hearing focused on whether the one-year statute of limitations for libel claims had expired by the time Nichols filed suit on Oct. 27, 2003, the AP reports. The film opened in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 11, 2002.

Jeopardy! ratings skyrocket

Jeopardy! ratings have skyrocketed since seemingly unbeatable contestant Ken Jennings' winning streak started gaining media attention, Reuters reports. Jennings first appeared on the veteran quiz show June 2 and his winnings have since passed the $1 million mark. According to Nielsen Media Research's top 56 "metered" markets, Jeopardy! has tied with Wheel of Fortune for the first time this season, with both shows sitting in the No. 1 spot in the overall syndication rankings for the week. Tuesday's episode marked the 30th consecutive appearance for Jennings, a 30-year-old software developer from Salt Lake City. To mark the start of its 20th season last September, Jeopardy! lifted its five-game limit for winners and allowed them to return until they lose.

Croc hunter cleared of wrongdoing

The Australian government today cleared "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin of allegations he got too close to penguins, a seal and humpback whales while making the documentary Ice Breaker in the Australian-controlled part of Antarctica. The documentary, which aired on the Animal Planet network last month, showed Irwin sliding down an icy slope with penguins and lying on a rock near a leopard seal. Getting too close to Antarctic wildlife can bring fines of up to $720,000 and two years in jail, the AP reports. This wasn't Irwin's first brush with wildlife controversy. A few months ago, critics called Irwin reckless for holding his infant son in one arm while feeding large crocodiles inside a pen at a zoo, but he said there was no danger to his son.

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