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News, Nov. 11: Diaz and Timberlake Fight Back at Paparazzi, Singer Liza Minnelli Sued by Bodyguard, Bill Maher Sued by Ex, More...

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Nov 11, 2004 | 11:58am EST

Diaz and Timberlake fight back against paparazzi attack

Actress Cameron Diaz and pop star boyfriend Justin Timberlake got into an altercation with the paparazzi late Saturday night when they grabbed a photographer's camera after being photographed outside the Chateau Marmont hotel late Saturday night. According to the Associated Press, representatives for the stars said in a statement that the couple "was ambushed by two men, who jumped out of a concealed hiding place on a dark, deserted street late at night." The reps added that any actions taken against the photographers were strictly for self-defense. Shortly after the dispute with the paparazzi, Diaz turned the camera over to police in hopes it will help investigators identify the men. Officer Sarah Faden of the Los Angeles police department said that shortly after the incident one of the photographers called to complain about the couple, accusing them of battery and grand theft. Faden also added that no arrests or charges have been given yet to anyone involved in the incident.

Singer Liza Minnelli sued by former bodyguard

Former bodyguard and chauffeur to Liza Minnelli is accusing the singer of sexual harassment and assault and battery, Reuters reports. According to the court papers revealed on Wednesday, M'hammed Soumayah is seeking over $100 million in damages and $89,000 in back wages. In a six-page complaint filed with Manhattan Supreme Court, Soumayah admits to having sex with Minnelli after many advances brought on by the Oscar Award winner. Soumayah says that he has evidence of the relationship between him and Minnelli, but does not list the type of evidence in his complaint. In the complaint however, Soumayah said that throughout his employment, Minnelli "hit and assaulted" him "repeatedly", but fearing the loss of his $238,000 salary, Soumayah tolerated the "violent outbursts." In addition to Soumayah, Minnelli's estranged husband, David Gest, is also suing the singer for $10 million for beating him during drunken rages. Minnelli has counter-sued Soumayah for breach of contract and has also counter-sued Gest for cheating her out of $2 million. Minnelli's spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Comedian Bill Maher sued by ex-girlfriend

Comedian and talk show host of HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher, is being sued by his former girlfriend, Nancy Johnson for $9 million in compensatory damages. Stating that Maher convinced her to quit her job as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, Johnson said that Maher promised to marry her and buy her a house in Beverly Hills. Johnson said she ended their 17-month relationship after Maher became abusive and made "insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments" towards her. Maher's spokesperson was contacted, but had no comment on the breach of contract suit filed by his former girlfriend.

ABC stations cancel Saving Private Ryan airing

According to the Associated Press, a few ABC affiliates have announced that they will not be airing Saving Private Ryan on Veterans Day, stating that the film's violence and language could break the rules created and enforced by the Federal Communications Commission. Those stations not granted permission by the FCC include Cox Communications television stations in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and three Midwest stations owned by Citadel Communications. "Under strict interpretation of the rules, we can't run that programming before 10 p.m.," said Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications. Any type of profane speech which can be defined as language that is "so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance," or that tend "to provoke violent resentment" can only be aired from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to the FCC. ABC has told its affiliates it would cover any fines, but Cole said the network could not protect its affiliates against other FCC sanctions.

Conservative groups protest against Kinsey film

Many conservative groups across the country are taking a stand against the release of Kinsey, releasing in limited theaters this Friday before it goes nationwide in upcoming weeks, the AP reports. Kinsey follows the life of Alfred Kinsey, played by Liam Neeson, as he explores his own adulterous behavior and sexual fantasies. Conservative groups are fighting back against the film, saying that Alfred Kinsey is somewhat responsible for the sexual revolution that has left so many people with life-threatening diseases. Robert Peters, president of the conservative group Morality in Media, saw an advanced screening and states, "Kinsey wasn't wrong about everything. No question there was an unhealthy shame about sex that prevented people from getting help," said Peters, "A film could have been produced that would have shown that side of Kinsey but also shown the hell that he released."

Kenny Chesney wins top country music honors

Tuesday night's telecast of the Country Music Awards sent country singer and producer Kenny Chesney home with CMA's top honor of Entertainer of the Year. Reuters reports the 38th annual award show, held at the Grand Ole' Opry in Tennessee, awarded the singer with that top honor in addition to Album of the Year and another award for producing his own album, When the Sun Goes Down. Keith Urban took home male vocalist of the year, Martina McBride for female vocalist of the year, Rascal Flatts for vocal group of the year, Brooks & Dunn for vocal duo of the year, and musician of the year went to guitarist Dan Huff. Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Tim Nichols, Craig Wiseman, and Gretchen Wilson were also awarded for their musical talents. Veteran singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson and former CMA chairman, Jim Foglesong, were both inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Carson gives $5.3 million to the University of Nebraska

Former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson donated $5,300,000 million to the University of Nebraska foundation. According to the Associated Press, the 79-year-old Carson is an alumnus of the school and has maintained a strong relationship with the University throughout his career. The money will go to support the Performing Arts' Department and their latest plans to renovate their 100-year old Temple building by creating a new black box theater and film soundstage.

Fox plans to create reality series for wireless phones

Twentieth Century Fox has announced that they are teaming up with the nation's biggest cell phone company, Vodafone PLC, to create one-minute dramas that can be viewed from cell phones, the AP reports. Based on the hit show, 24, these "mobisodes" will be introduced in 2005, and will be available in Europe and the United States, through their joint carrier, Verizon Wireless. The cellular version of the hit television drama, 24 will be based on characters from the actual show, 24 "mobisodes" in all.

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