News Roundup: June 19


Top Story

The Associated Press reports that while traveling on a tour bus with his wife, Whitney Houston, singer Bobby Brown had to stop at a Fredericksburg, Va., hospital to have an infection treated. According to his publicist, Brown was given antibiotics through an IV but did not know what kind of infection he had. The singers were on their way home from Atlanta, where Houston was recording a new album.


Two men accused of blackmailing Australian actor Russell Crowe went on trial Wednesday, Reuters reports. A court spokeswoman told Reuters the men, Malcolm Mercer and Philip Cropper, were charged with “intent to gain with unwarranted demands” on the actor in November 1999, threatening Crowe to pay them a specific amount of money or an apparently incriminating video would be released. The men have pleaded not guilty.

The Shagster becomes a dad. Matthew Lillard, the actor who plays the ultra-hippie Shaggy in the hit Scooby-Doo, and his wife, Heather, welcomed their first child, Addison Grace Lillard, last week. The girl weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces.


Just what we need–a movie about how hip-hop music was born. Variety reports MTV Films has optioned the rights to a new British film by Ash, The Bush, about the explosion of hip-hop on the American music scene in the early 1990s and the rise and fall of the L.A. hip-hop nightclub Water the Bush.

Television actors Jessica Biel (7th Heaven) and Eric Balfour (24) will be starring in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre update for New Line Cinema. Variety reports the remake will be a “re-imagining” of Tobe Hooper’s 1975 horror classic but with less gore. Thank goodness for that.

Tube News

ABC Family will be upping the ante in the reality-programming arena. À la The Osbournes, the network will be developing a new series, My Life Is a Sitcom, in which a real-life family will be stars of their own sitcom. ABC Family will conduct a nationwide hunt for the right family to play themselves.

Britney Spears‘ 11-year-old sister Jamie Lynn Spears will be joining the cast of Nickelodeon’s All That, a kids’ version of Saturday Night Live-like sketch comedy.

Music News

Jennifer Lopez wants to do a duet with Elton John. “We’ve spoken about it and have a few ideas in mind. Elton says he likes my music, and I’m a big fan of him, too,” she told Sky News. The singer/actress said she will be taking her time with her third album.