News Roundup: Dec. 18

Top Story

If you think you saw the last of the Cruise/Kidman train wreck, think again.

Cruise will be in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday to promote his new film, Vanilla Sky, alongside co-star and girlfriend Penelope Cruz. Problem is: Nicole Kidman will also be in Sydney–her hometown–on that day, attempting to enjoy the holidays with her family.

Regardless, Cruise is not concerned about bumping into his ex.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he told Reuters. “It’s a place where my children live. My children are half Australian.” Cruise and Kidman have two adopted children: Isabella, 8, and Connor, 6. They have agreed to jointly raise the kids.

In General

According to Variety, Universal Pictures is planning to produce a biopic about the life of Joseph Greenstein, the 5′ 4″ Polish wrestler who came to fame as a circus sideshow freak in the 1900s. A producer of the film, Ed Saxon, is calling the story a combination of Forrest Gump and MTV’s stunt show Jackass.

The Fast and the Furious star Rick Yune is being cast as the next villain in the James Bond series of films, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Yune will play a man who becomes disfigured after using a new facial-mutation device. John Cleese is slated to reprise his role as R, as Judi Dench is in the role as M.

According to CNN, Bulgaria’s The Naked Truth–a news program launched last week featuring female anchors who strip down to their panties while reading the day’s headlines–has already received higher ratings than any other news program in the country.

For the first time in over three months, Paula Poundstone–who pleaded no contest to charges of felony child endangerment on Sept. 12–performed a comedy routine Friday at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, Calif. “This is my first night performing since I’ve been a criminal,” joked the self-deprecating comedienne.


Almost three years since they separated, Garth Brooks and wife Sandy have finalized their divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

LeAnn Rimes‘ official web site has revealed that the 19 year old is now engaged to dancer Dean Sheremet. Rimes‘ spokespeople were not available for comment on Monday, says The Associated Press.


On Monday, ex-heavyweight fighter Mitchell Rose filed a complaint with police in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, claiming that Mike Tyson began an unprovoked brawl with Rose on Sunday morning outside of a local eatery. Tyson‘s spokespeople deny the allegations. No charges have been pressed against either party, reports.

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, who was charged with assault while drunk aboard an airplane in April 2001, is to be tried for his actions in a London court in March, 2002, according to People magazine.

Starsky and Hutch star David Soul won his libel suit against theater critic Matthew Wright of London’s The Mirror newspaper. According to People, Soul was awarded $29,000 in the suit, which he brought against Wright for making derogatory comments about Soul‘s performance in a 1998 play–a play that Wright did not even attend.

Actor James Cromwell (L.A. Confidential) is now banned from Wendy’s restaurants in Farifax County, Va. for one year. The ban stems from Cromwell‘s no contest plea in a Va. court on Monday in which he was charged with trespassing while attending an animal-rights protest at a Fairfax County Wendy’s in July.


The artist and writer who co-created the Casper, the Friendly Ghost franchise, Seymour Reit, died on November 21, The Associated Press revealed on Monday. Reit was 83.