News Roundup: Jan. 10

Top Story

No naked videos of this pop diva, or so she says. Songstress Christina Aguilera plans to go after the distributors of an online porn video that supposed shows sexually explicit images of her. The video reportedly was seen on the Web via e-mail and on several adult sites. In it a woman, purportedly Aguilera, is shown from the back in several compromising positions. Aguilera has stated on her own Web site that she will “vigorously pursue all necessary action against the individuals responsible, including, if necessary, initiating criminal proceedings.”

In General

‘N Sync will not be making a cameo appearance in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode II-The Attack of the Clones, according to band member Joey Fatone, who said the band visited the set and shot a small scene. He called a Florida radio station to say the scene had been scrapped.

Rock magazine Spin named 50 of the greatest bands ever in the issue out on stands Wednesday, sparking debate among rock fans on how Spin ranked the bands. The Beatles took the top spot, followed by The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, reggae king Bob Marley and his band the Wailers, and grunge rockers Nirvana rounding out the number five spot. Spin staffers claim they choose bands who “clearly influenced today’s music in undeniable ways.”

Onetime bad boy Dennis Hopper will be joining the cast of Fox’s Golden Globe-nominated drama 24. He’ll have a recurring role as the villainous foil to star Kiefer Sutherland‘s CIA agent, portraying the mastermind behind an assassination attempt of a presidential candidate which Sutherland‘s character is trying to stop.

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation star William Petersen has made it clear he is not a fan of ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. He told USA Weekend magazine he thinks viewers are tuning into C.S.I. because they’re fed up with “watching dumb people think for an hour” and want to watch a more intelligent show.

Actor/producer Bruce Willis is setting his sights on HBO. His production company, Cheyenne Enterprises, is negotiating a deal to turn James Ellroy’s John F. Kennedy-themed novels–The Cold Six Thousand and American Tabloid–into HBO miniseries. The novels revolve around three men during JFK’s presidency and the aftermath of the president’s assassination.

NBC president Scott Sassa admitted that the network’s error in the delaying the debut airing of MTV personality Carson Daly‘s new late-night show Last Call was due to contract disputes. NBC apparently didn’t have a firm contract set with Daly before test shows were taped.

In more NBC news, network execs have submitted unusually early renewal orders for rookie shows Scrubs, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Crossing Jordan for the 2002 fall TV season, according to announcements made Wednesday at the semiannual Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

Yasmine Bleeth, the former Baywatch beauty, was sentenced Wednesday to two years’ probation on a cocaine-possession charge. Bleeth was arrested Sept. 12 after patrol officers found cocaine in her purse during their investigation of a car accident involving the actress and her boyfriend.

Pop superstar Elton John was honored Wednesday night by the U.K. Coalition of People Living with HIV and AIDS for his tireless fight against the disease. “I accept the Hero Award with gratitude, but more importantly in the acknowledgment of the 30,000 positive people here in the U.K. today,” John said at the ceremony.

Red-headed beauty Nicole Kidman gets crowned! She’ll play Eleanor of Aquitaine in the Fox Searchlight film Court and Spark. Eleanor was the 12th century queen who was married to both King Louis VII of France and later to the king of England.

Martial arts superstud Jet Li will once again team up with rapper DMX in a new Warner Bros. film Cradle to the Grave, a diamond-heist thriller in which a detective (Li) is pitted against a streetwise entrepreneur (DMX). The pair also starred in Romeo Must Die (2000).

Watch out GQ models, here comes the newest guy on the block–Prince Charles? Yep, he’ll be featured in the next issue of Vogue, wearing a charcoal suit and other attire. You can hear hearts breaking all over.

Napster is finally back! They will launch a beta version of their new copyright-compliant online music service Thursday, after months of legal haggling. The beta test will be free but the full version will cost between $5 and $10 a month.