News, Sept. 5: Depp Explains Unpatriotic Quotes, Thornton Still Mystified by Jolie...

News, Sept. 5: Depp Explains Unpatriotic Quotes, Thornton Still Mystified by Jolie Breakup, Reality TV Gets Awards Ceremony

Top Story: Depp Explains Quotes

Actor Johnny Depp is recanting quotes he gave to the German news magazine Stern, in which he likened the United States to a “dumb puppy.” In the interview published Thursday, Depp, who lives in France with his wife, Vanessa Paradis, and two children, criticized Washington’s confrontation with France over the U.S.-lead war in Iraq. But the Pirates of the Caribbean star said he has no anti-American sentiments and that quotes attributed to him were inaccurate and taken out of context–metaphorically speaking. “I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it. I have benefited greatly from the freedom that exists in my country and for this I am eternally grateful,” Depp said in a statement released by his Los Angeles-based publicist. “What I was saying was that, compared to Europe, America is a very young country and we are still growing as a nation. My deepest apologies to those who were offended, affected, or hurt by this insanely twisted deformation of my words and intent.”

Thornton Still Mystified by Breakup With Jolie

Billy Bob Thornton has rid himself of the tattoo on his left forearm bearing his ex-wife’s name, Angelina Jolie. “See the ‘A’ right there?” Thornton told AP Radio. “That’s where it said ‘Angelina.’ And those are the four blood drops that represent the two of us and my boys. I had it covered up with an angel and it says `Peace’ right here. It’s like, basically, my way of saying, ‘No hard feelings.'” Thornton and Jolie divorced in May. The 40-year-old actor added that he doesn’t know what caused the breakup. “”I don’t think either one of us knows why we split up. It was like, say you’re going to a nightclub one night with your friends and you’re in line and the next thing you know there are guys with helicopters and there’s machine-gun fire and you don’t know what happened. That’s kind of like what our breakup was like.”

Reality TV Gets Awards Ceremony

ABC is creating a two-hour primetime awards show honoring broadcast and cable reality programs, Reuters reports. A panel of about 200 people will select nominees and the public will choose winners via Internet balloting. Programs airing in the 2002-2003 season, including this summer, are eligible for nomination. The as-yet untitled program, set to air this fall, will feature reality-appropriate categories like “Best Twist.” According to Nielsen Media Research, five of the top 10 shows on TV from Sept. 2002 to May 2003 were reality programs, including the Joe Millionaire and two editions of Survivor.

Tara Reid Gets Scrubbed

American Pie actress Tara Reid is headed to primetime with a multi-episode arc on NBC’s medical comedy Scrubs. According to Reuters, Reid will play Jordan Sullivan’s (Christa Miller) sister and new love interest for apprehensive medical intern J.D. Dorian, played by series star Zach Braff. Reid will appear in at least four and as many as six episodes. The third season of Scrubs debuts Oct. 2 in the Thursday night post-Friends time slot.

RIAA Offers Amnesty To Song Swappers

The recording industry is expected to announce an amnesty program for people who admit they illegally share music files across the Internet, the AP reports. The Recording Industry Association of America’s offer would require Internet users to complete a notarized amnesty form that includes promises to delete any illegally downloaded music and not participate in illegal file-swapping in the future. In exchange, the RIAA would promise not to sue. The amnesty, however, will not apply to those 1,600 people who already been subpoenaed by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Guinness Not Impressed By Blaine Stunt

The Guinness Book of Records is thumbing its nose at magician David Blaine‘s Latest stunt, in which will hang in a glass box over London’s River Thames for 44 days without food, his most dangerous feat yet. A spokeswoman for the Guinness Book of Records said they do not encourage starvation record attempts and only recorded them for medical and historical purposes. She added that the starvation record was held by Briton Dennis Goodwin, whose hunger strike in Britain’s Wakefield Prison ended in July 1973 after 385 days, while the isolation record is held by Texan Bill White, who lay buried in a box of 54 cubic feet for 141 days, two meters underground.

British Producer Launches First Ever E-Premiere

British film producer and The Full Monty scribe Simon Beaufoy is launching the world’s first Internet film premiere for the film This Is Not a Love Song, a tale of two bad boys on the run from vigilante farmers. The UK Film Council describes the event as “globally groundbreaking” and the “first-ever e-premiere in the world,” Reuters reports. The will be available Friday on the Web Site at 1 p.m. EDT.