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News, Oct. 15: Brosnan Says He was Fired as Bond, Celebs Urge People To Vote, Prince's New Video Labeled Racist, More…

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Oct 16, 2005 | 7:36am EDT

Brosnan admits he was let go

Ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan says he was basically let go from the lucrative franchise. According to an interview in the Toronto Sun, the 51-year-old Irish actor--in Nassau, Bahamas, promoting his upcoming film After the Sunset--said he was willing, even eager, to do a fifth and final Bond, adding that 007 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson had asked him to return. "And then one day the phone rang--I was here (in Nassau shooting After The Sunset)--and my agents told me that the goalposts had moved and that they had changed their minds." He added, "It was disappointing. It was surprising. And I accepted the knowledge (that his run as 007 was over for good) after 24 hours of being in shock." But Brosnan says he holds no resentment. "None, none, none! It's not worth having. If I did, it would make all the great decade, the four films, the lovely success, meaningless. Bitterness against whom and for what reason?"

The stars want you to vote

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of several celebrities who have made public service announcements encouraging young people to vote in the Nov. 2 election, The Associated Press reports. In his PSA, DiCaprio speaks about the environment, while Samuel L. Jackson discusses the possibility of a reinstated military draft, Justin Timberlake talks about education, and Benicio Del Toro encourages women to vote. The PSAs are set to go up on www.rockthevote.com next week. "We hope these PSAs help motivate young people to exercise their right to vote in this vital election," DiCaprio told AP.

Prince stirs it up again

Prince is getting more than a little heat over his new music video, "Cinnamon Girl," in which an Arab-American teen imagines herself as a suicide bomber, AP reports. The video features Keisha Castle-Hughes, the Oscar-nominated actress from the movie Whale Rider, playing a schoolgirl who witnesses a terrorist attack and then experiences racism from classmates and others. The racism pushes her to dream about carrying a bomb into an airport. The New York Post said it "might be the most tasteless video ever," Fox News commentator John Gibson suggested that Prince is "causing trouble," and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips said it is "shaking and rumbling the entertainment industry." The video's director, Phil Harder, told AP, "Prince intended for it to spark some dialogue," saying the lyrics show Prince is "sincere in wanting to speak to the times." He also emphasized that the video "resolves itself peacefully."

Bullock awarded $7 mil in real estate case

Actress Sandra Bullock was awarded $7 million Thursday in a lawsuit against the builder of her Texas dream house, Reuters reports. The Miss Congeniality star testified in the two-month long trial that she had paid $7 million for the 10,000-square-foot house on Lake Austin, but had never lived in it because of construction flaws, including water damage, a bad roof, wiring problems and holes in the masonry. Bullock, 40, was not in court because she went to Los Angeles to work on a new film, Reuters reports. Her father, John Bullock, told reporters the actress was pleased with the verdict, but had not decided what to do with the house.

O'Reilly vows to fight harassment charges

While promoting his children's book Thursday on Live with Regis and Kelly, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly vowed to fight sexual harassment charges by one of his producers, the AP reports. "If I have to go down, I'm willing to do it," O'Reilly said. "I'm going to take a stand. I'm a big mouth on the air and I'm a big mouth off the air." Trouble started Wednesday when O'Reilly filed a lawsuit accusing Andrea Mackris, an associate producer on The O'Reilly Factor, and her lawyer of seeking "hush money" during contract negotiations. Mackris, 33, filed her harassment claim against O'Reilly the next day. She alleges O'Reilly made a series of sexually explicit phone calls in which he advised her to use a vibrator, told her about sexual fantasies involving her and engaged in unwanted phone sex.

Jackson's trial will NOT be delayed

According to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, the child molestation case against singer Michael Jackson will not be delayed beyond its Jan. 31 start date, Reuters reports. Melville issued his ultimatum as the two sides were still bickering over the exchange of evidence and claims from the defense that the prosecutors had engaged in misconduct before the grand jury. "I'm not interested in continuing this case beyond the trial date. That would be punishing me for your failure to comply with the rules," Melville said. "It's not in anybody's interest to prolong this litigation. I'm very serious about this." Melville postponed until November hearings on two key defense motions, one that would have Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon removed from the case and one that would lower Jackson's bail, AP reports.

Blake Judge Rules Taped Calls Irrelevant

A judge yesterday ruled two recorded phone calls--one between Bonny Lee Bakely and her future husband, Robert Blake, and the other involving her ex, Christian Brando--were immaterial to the Baretta star's case and would not be heard by jurors in the actors murder trial, the AP reports. In one call, Blake is heard urging Bakely to get an abortion and in the other, Brando suggests Bakely was lucky someone hadn't put a bullet in her head. Blake, 70, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Bakley, 44. The two were married months before her death and after DNA tests showed Blake, not Brando, was the father of her baby. "Certainly he had a right to be angry, just as Mr. Brando had a right to be angry at what she did. She used people, obviously," Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp said. Blake's trial is scheduled for Nov. 1.

 

Eminem launches channel on Sirius network

Eminem, who in July announced he planned to start a satellite music radio channel on the Sirius network, will launch the station Oct. 28 with a live broadcast of a concert from New York, Reuters reports. In a statement Thursday, Sirius said the new channel, Shade 45, will feature a full lineup of hip-hop music, stars and song mixers, and will have no filters or commercial restrictions. Sirius is a subscription-based network free from government restrictions on the content it airs. The pairing is an ideal one for Eminem, who has stirred controversy in the past with raps often construed as homophobic and misogynistic. Sirius also made headlines last week when it signed controversial shock jock Howard Stern to a five-year, $500 million contract to move his show from Infinity Broadcasting to satellite radio.

Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.

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