General News

Quick Takes: News in Brief

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Dec 31, 1899 | 7:00pm EST
1. Sharon Stone
2. Redgrave honored
3. Oldman divorces
3. Ritchie dies
5. French film controversy
6. News blackout
7. Ricky on stage
8. Country crooners
9. "Weakest Link" video game

Sharon Stone drops restraining order

Sharon Stone (The Quick and The Dead, Basic Instinct, The Muse) has dropped her request for a permanent restraining order against Italian visitor Agostino P'omato, according to reports by People magazine.

Stone was granted a temporary restraining order on March 19 to keep P'omato at least 100 yards away from her, her husband and their son. P'omato allegedly arrived at Stone's house in the Los Angeles area saying that he wanted to "take her and marry her."

P'omato's family convinced him to return to Italy, which prompted Stone to drop the request for a permanent restraining order, said her lawyer.

Redgrave honored at GLAAD media awards

Vanessa Redgrave received the Excellence in Media Award at Monday's 12th Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in New York.

Redgrave's daughter, actress Natasha Richardson, made the presentation. In a report filed by People, Redgrave told the attendees, "If Anne Heche can play a lesbian, so can I. I think I have done my part for heterosexuality." The award honors a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

Also at the ceremony, Kathleen Turner presented Liz Smith the Vito Russo Award, which honors a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered member of the entertainment or media community for their outstanding contribution in combating homophobia.

Other guests and presenters included: host Mo Gaffney, Joan Collins, Gina Gershon, Sharon Gless, Florence Henderson, Jill Henessey, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Susan Lucci and Eden Riegal (All My Children), Lou Reed, and John Ritter.

Splittsville for Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman's (Hannibal, The Fifth Element, Lost in Space) wife Donya Fiorentino filed papers to end their marriage due to irreconcilable differences. The AP reports that the couple of four years separated on Friday, the same day the papers were filed.

The Oscar-nominated Oldman (Best Supporting Actor for last year's The Contender) and Fiorentino have two sons together, Gulliver and Charlie. Oldman has had two prior marriages, with Lesley Manville and Uma Thurman (Gattaca, Pulp Fiction, The Avengers). Oldman has a third son with Manville.

Director Michael Ritchie dies

Director Michael Ritchie (Smile, Downhill Racer, The Golden Child) is dead of prostate cancer at the age of 62, says the New York Times.

Ritchie was often unconventional, as evidenced by the Holly Hunter feature The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, which aired on HBO in 1993. Ritchie also directed major flops, including The Island.

The last film Ritchie completed was last year's The Fantasticks.

French rape film sparks controversy upon arrival in U.S.

The controversial French film Baise-Moi (Rape Me) is set for release in New York and Los Angeles this June, reports Variety.

The film features two stars of the French adult film world, Raffaela Anderson and Karen Bach, and tells the tale of a prostitute and a rape victim who embark on a bloody, violent road trip. The film portrays a violent rape and its effect on the victim, who is spurred to acts of violence.

Censors, according to Variety, banned the film from mainstream movie theaters in France. In England, the film was screened only after the distributor cut 10 seconds of particularly objectionable footage.

The film is based on the novel of the same name, written by Virginie Despentes.

News blackout blankets resumption of WGA talks

No reporters, no cameras, no statements, no photo opportunities.

That is the "cone of silence" surrounding the negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the movie and TV alliance, as talks resumed at 2:30 p.m. yesterday.

Designed to keep negotiators focused on reaching an agreement, the blackout, according to Variety, allows for only a bare bones account at the end of the day. The arrangement takes the negotiations out of the public arena, where they have been since they began on January 22.

With the May 2 expiration of the current writers' deal, it is imperative that the two sides reach an accord as soon as possible. The last round of talks broke off on March 1, with the parties more than $100 million apart and a strike looming on the horizon.

Ricky's role call

It's curtains for singer Ricky Martin: the Latin heartthrob is in talks to star in Zorro, a stage production to premiere in London's West End, according to Britain's Sun tabloid. The musical, produced by Adam Kenwright, is also attracting singer Robbie Williams, who has expressed an interest in writing some of the show's lyrics.

Country crooners to wed

Two of Nashville's biggest stars--Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw --announced on Tuesday's Live with Regis and Kelly that they plan to get hitched. The couple has set a wedding date of Sept. 29. Morgan, 41, and Kershaw, 43, have both had previous marriages.

"Weakest Link" video game?

The latest game-show sensation to sweep America could invade stores later this year. According to Variety, British phenomenon The Weakest Link is being converted into a video game by Activision, Inc. The only catch: they're scrambling to get it produced before the hype surrounding the show dies down. Though typical video games take 18 months to produce, Activision is aiming for an October release.

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