Archive for June 2009

Simon Cowell seeking an even bigger pay day

cowellSimon Cowell could buy and sell me. And you. A few million times. The “American Idol” judge and producer made a reported $36 million last year for judging the show and this year, he has been offered three or four times that amount (between $100 million and $144 million per year) by co-producers Fox and 19 Entertainment to stick around after his contract expires in May, according to The Guardian, a London newpaper.

The show rakes in just shy of $900 million each year and apparently Cowell’s snark is the linchpin that holds it all together.

Cowell has been using his long-time friend and UK retail multibillionaire Sir Philip Green, who owns hot fashion franchise Top Shop, for help negotiating the terms of a new “Idol” contract, reports say. Green is said to be lobbying hard for an increase in Cowell’s appearance fee on the show.

Sources close to the two friends say that this is just the first step to the creation of an international TV production, talent management and merchandising company, which would put Cowell in a position to own the shows, ideas and the talent he discovers, not just getting a salary for appearing.

“This is about properly owning himself, Brand Cowell, everything he does, new formats and new programs, not just the ones starring him,” a source close to Green told The Guardian.

First look at SJP and Matthew Broderick’s new twins

parker

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have released a photo of their newborn twin daughters, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge Broderick in New York.

The couple, who celebrated 12 years together, welcomed the twin girls on June 22. They were born via surrogate in Ohio.

Also pictured is their son and proud big brother James Wilkie, 6.

Parker is due to start filming the Sex And The City sequel in September.

Michael Jackson not his kids’ biological father?

jacksonThe Michael Jackson death roundup is full of juicy bits of knowledge.

Let’s start with the multiple reports that Michael Jackson is not the biological father of any of his three children. Us Weekly and TMZ both report that Jackson’s dermatologist Arnold Klein fathered Prince and Paris, his two children with Debbie Rowe.

“He is the dad,” said a Jackson insider. “He and Debbie signed an agreement saying they would never reveal the truth.”

In 2002, Rowe admitted she carried his children as a personal favor and would not confirm that the marriage was ever consummated.

“I said, ‘Let me do this. You need to be a dad. You have been so good to me,’” Rowe said at the time. The two met in the 1980s at the dermatologist’s office.

Klein has refused to comment on the rumor. But TMZ says there is no record of Jackson legally adopting the children, so things might get tricky in the custody concerns.

In other Jackson dirt, the Wall Street Journal reports that the star’s will, signed in 2002, provides for his children and his mother, but leaves nothing to his father, Joe Jackson.

Attorney John Branca has the will and plans to file it with the court within 30 days of the singer’s death. According to the will, Jackson reportedly left his estate, estimated at $1 billion (though this doesn’t include his massive debts) to his mother, three children and one or more charities.

The omission isn’t a shocker since Michael alleged his father beat him as a child.

Lastly, there will be both private and public funerals for the late star, according to CNN.

His body will return to his Neverland Ranch for a public viewing on Friday. Then a private memorial service is slated for Sunday.

Still no word on where Jackson will be buried, but his hometown of Gary, Ind., is hoping the family to send him there. At the very least, the town is planning a July 10 memorial service at U.S. Steel Works ballpark.

First four minutes of ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’

It’s in German, but this is indeed the first four minutes of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” Minimal dialogue, but the style (Harry goes dark – all we need now is some Harry/Draco slash action) already has me wanting to see this in IMAX desperately:

Abigail Breslin’s ‘big’ raise

breslinSome parents know how to bring up a child actor. And Abigail Breslin’s are among them. Despite taking home about $2 million per movie, the teen actress gets about $13 per week to play with, a dollar increase.

The “My Sister’s Keeper” star, who’s been acting since age five, ranked eighth in Forbes magazine’s Young Hollywood’s Top-Earning Stars list in 2007 after pulling in $1.5 million in 2006.

And, like any kid her age, she earns her money doing chores, rather than just on the set.

“I get $13 (a week) now, because I’m 13. My chores have gotten a little heavier. My brother used to always feed the cat and now I feed the cat, which isn’t a big deal, but it kind of is, because my cat eats tons. It’s like an all-day long cycle,” she told PEOPLE.

See, this is how to avoid felonies/drugs/reality TV. Good call, Breslin family!

Kate Gosselin’s book postponed

kateIn the wake of adultery accusations, divorce and the general grating of Kate Gosselin against America’s nerves, Christian publisher Zondervan is going to postpone the debut date of Kate Gosselin’s next book, “Love is in the Mix: Making Meals into Memories.”

The original publication date was set for November, but the book that promised to give “an inside look at one of America’s most close-knit families” and include Kate’s favorite recipes and tips on how to eat organically is no longer set in stone.

Maureen “Moe” Girkins, the CEO of Zondervan, now says that the publisher plans to “work with Kate to reassess the schedule for her next book.”

Kate’s first two books published by Zondervan, “Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets” and “Eight Little Faces,” were bestsellers.

In other Gosselin gossip, Jon and Kate have suddenly decided to stop talking to the tabloids. The couple issued a joint statement saying: “During this very difficult time we will be working to focus solely on the needs of our family. This includes no longer commenting publicly or reacting to media stories and speculation. Our goal is to do the very best for our children.

“That will be done as privately as possible. We appreciate the understanding, support and well wishes from so many. Thank you.”

Hmm, a little late to be putting the kids first, but whatever…

Natalie Imbruglia dating Prince Harry?

harryimbrugliaAustralian singer/actress Natalie Imbruglia may have a royal future ahead. Rumor is she’s dating the UK’s Prince Harry. The two were spotted watching The Killers perform in London on Friday night.

Imbruglia was seen dining with the 24 year old backstage at the Hard Rock Calling concert in Hyde Park. They were also spotted enjoying the show together from the side of the stage.

“Harry looked absolutely delighted to see Natalie when she arrived. They embraced warmly and shared a quick kiss. They were dancing and joking together for the entire duration of The Killers’ set. At dinner afterward they carried on chatting and laughing like old friends,” a source told The Sun.

Imbruglia was previously linked to the prince in February after he attended her 34th birthday party and split from ex-husband and Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns in 2008.

Christian Bale’s insidious Southern accent

baleChristian Bale commits. If his temper tantrum on the set of “Terminator: Salvation” wasn’t proof enough he takes his roles very seriously, consider this. Bale played FBI officer Melvin Purvis in “Public Enemies” and kept his southern accent on and off set throughout filming.

The film’s director, Michael Bay, said: “Melvin Purvis was really a southern gentleman. So Christian kept the accent for 24 hours a day. It freaked out his young daughter. She said: ‘Daddy doesn’t talk like that!’ he replied: ‘Well, ah’m sorry, mah dear, but daddy’s studying for a part, and ah’ll be speaking like this for the next four months.’ ”

Bay also said Johnny Depp, who plays John Dillinger, was influenced by the wardrobe, including clothes that actually belonged to the gangster.

“We got to see some of Dilinger’s packed suitcases, which he had left behind after an escape, and Johnny was able to actually hold his shirts in his hands,” said Bay. “They still had the pink paper band around them from the Chinese laundry. And there were more accoutrements than you’d have thought for a guy on the run ? shaving kit, talcum powder.

“You bet there’s magic to that stuff. I’m not superstitious, but I couldn’t help it.”

Eddie Van Halen gets hitched

janie-liszewskiRocker Eddie Van Halen and Janie Liszewski are officially man and wife. The couple wed in front of 100 guests, including Eddie’s ex, Valerie Bertinelli, Saturday in Studio City, Calif. after three years of dating.

Liszewski, a publicist, donned a custom Hanna Hartnell gown she co-designed. The groom and his groomsmen wore Sy Devore. The event was casual. Eddie wore his shirt untucked shirt with flip-flops. In fact, the entire wedding party wore flip-flops

The bride headed down the aisle with her Pomeranian dog, Kano, and mom to Van Halen’s “When It’s Love,” performed by the Sonus Quartet. Her sister, Jennifer, served as maid of honor.

Wolfie Van Halen, Eddie’s 18-year-old son, gave Eddie away.

Eddie’s brother, Rev. Alex Van Halen, married the couple, who wrote their entire ceremony and custom designed their wedding bands. Eddie’s is gold with yellow diamonds and Liszewski’s is platinum with clear diamonds.

The reception was booze-free, but included a candy bar that featured Pop Rocks, wax lips, candy necklaces and Lemon Heads. Deuce Events catered organic appetizers, including mini cheese burgers, garlic Parmesan fries with chipotle ketchup and mini corn dogs.

Dinner included Niman Ranch filet mignon, mojito prawns, orange rosemary chicken and grilled veggies.

They had their first dance to Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.” They also danced with their family to Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”

Guests departed with either a Kate Spade or Calvin Klein vase and flowers as wedding favors.

Hmm, must make the guest list for a Hollywood wedding. Soon.

Michael Jackson autopsy results leaked?

jacksoncrutchesThe Sun has claimed to have obtained the results of the initial autopsy on Michael Jackson’s body, which have the star in terrible shape, his stomach filled only with pills when he died.

The claims haven’t been independently verified, but the newspaper reports that the star weighed just 112 pounds (he was 5’10″).

Jackson’s hips, thighs and shoulders were riddled with needle wounds. There is unexplained bruising on Jackson’s knees and on the front of his shins and his body was covered by a plethora of surgery scars were thought to be the result of at least 13 plastic surgery operations.

At the time of his death, he was bald and wore a wig. He had suffered several broken ribs, probably from the failed attempts to revive him. There were four “injection sites” near his heart, where rescue workers reportedly shot adrenaline into his heart to restart it.

There is still, however, no official cause of death.

Britney goes brunette, is not dead

britbrunBritney’s gone dark. The singer has gone brunette and was spotted with her new ‘do this weekend with supposed boyfriend (and agent) Jason Trawick in Santa Monica, Calif., buying brooms and picture frames.

Last week, a source close to the singer denied reports that the two are engaged.

But another source said Trawick, 27, has had “a calming effect over Britney.”

Yet another source added, “He is incredible with the kids (Sean, 3; Jayden, 2). He absolutely adores them.”

Spears’ appearance this weekend confirmed that the singer is alive and well. She was among a contingent of stars, including Ellen DeGeneres and Sean “Diddy” Combs, whose TwitPic accounts were hacked over the weekend.

“Britney has passed today,” one of the messages said. “It is a sad day for everyone. More news to come.”

“Britney’s Twitter was just hacked,” her current message reads. “The last message is obviously not true. She is fine and dandy spending a quiet day at home relaxing.”

Diddy, DeGeneres and Spears have all since deleted the photos and messages alleging their deaths.

Katherine Jackson gets temporary custory of Michael’s kids

Obit JacksonKatherine Jackson was granted temporary guardianship of Michael Jackson’s three children Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, but Judge Mitchell Beckloff rejected her request to serve as the temporary guardian of the children’s estate.

A hearing is set for Aug. 3 to determine if she’ll become their permanent guardian.

Katherine filed a petition asking the court to appoint her as guardian of Jackson’s three children. The petition states the kids have “no relationship with their biological mother,” Debbie Rowe, according to TMZ.com.

The Associated Press reported that Katherine also filed a petition to become the administrator of Michael’s estate to ensure his children are its beneficiaries.

Joe Jackson joined in the petition to attempt to name his wife as the keeper of Michael’s estate.

Rowe is the biological mother of two of Jackson’s children, Prince, 12, and Paris, 11. His third child, Prince Michael II, 7, (aka Blanket) was born to a surrogate and the court filings Monday list her whereabouts as “unknown.”

The children have been staying with Katherine at the family’s Encino, Calif., home since their father’s death.

On Monday’s Today show, the Jacksons’ attorney Londell McMillan said there isn’t “anybody who thinks that there is someone better” than Katherine Jackson to have custody.

Said McMillan, “She is a very loving host of other grandchildren.”

Over the weekend, Katherine was spotted at a Los Angeles Target stocking up on toys, sleeping bags and other supplies.

McMillan added that the family hasn’t heard from Rowe, who gave up her custody rights to the children after she and Jackson divorced in 1999.

In a statement over the weekend, Rowe’s attorney, Marta Almli, said: “Ms. Rowe’s only thoughts at this time have been regarding the devastating loss Michael’s family has suffered. Ms. Rowe requests that Michael’s family, and particularly the children, be spared such harmful, sensationalist speculation and that they be able to say goodbye to their loved one in peace.”

Heart disease likely killed Billy Mays

*Jun 12 - 00:05*TV pitchman Billy Mays most likely died of heart failure, not from being hit on the head during a rough landing on a US Airways flight, the medical examiner in Tampa said.

The Monday morning autopsy showed no evidence of head trauma or drug abuse, said Medical Examiner Vern Adams. A full autopsy will be completed within eight to 10 weeks.

Mays was found dead early Sunday morning by his wife at his Tampa home.

He’d been hit on the head during a rough landing on a flight from Philadelphia and reports circulated that it was the cause of his death. However, the autopsy showed he had hardening of the arteries. He was taking pain medication after having two hip replacement surgeries, but those pills did not contribute to his death, Adams said.

Mays had told his wife that he didn’t feel well on Saturday night and went to bed around 10 p.m.

Newly released 911 tapes reveal that a frantic woman telling operators that she found Mays “cold and unresponsive.” The caller, who isn’t identified, said his lips were purple and he was cold to the touch and not breathing. A second person then gets on the phone and tells the operator that Mays is dead.

Eminem’s exercise addiction

eminemEminem didn’t get those rock hard abs by accident. The rapper said he’s addicted to exercise.

The “We Made You’”star is worried he has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) after attempts to cut down on his fitness regime saw him determinedly make it tougher and tougher for himself every day.

“I’ve done a lot of cardio. I’m actually at the point where I think I’ve got a little obsessive/compulsive about it. Like running on a treadmill – I started doing two miles a day. Then I did four. Then I got up to six, then 10, 15 until at 17 I had to take a break. I couldn’t stop,” said Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers. He’s also had a drug addiction in the past and recently revealed he wanted to kill himself at the height of his problems.

He said: “I just wasn’t taking care of myself, at times I wanted to just give it up.

“I was in a dark place. I wanted to pull back from the spotlight to reassess my whole career.

“I got sober but it was pretty rough. A couple of years were bad for me.”

Debbie Rowe retains parental rights over two of Jackson’s kids

jacksonroweThe future of two of Michael Jackson’s children may be in the hands of their biological mother, Debbie Rowe. Jackson’s ex-wife and mother of Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11, is their legal parent and can seek custody of them if she chooses, according to Rowe’s former attorney, Iris Finsilver.

Jackson’s third child, seven-year-old Prince Michael III (aka Blanket), is supposedly the result of a surrogate pregnancy and his mother has not been identified.

The children have been in the care of Jackson’s mother, Katherine, since Jackson’s death Thursday.

“The kids are very upset, but they are fine,” Jackson’s manager, Frank DiLeo, told PEOPLE.

During the custody fight between Rowe and Jackson in 2005, Rowe sought to give up her parental rights at one point, and deemed Jackson a good father. Retired Judge Stephen Lachs, who presided over the hearing, at first agreed to terminate them, but then Lachs changed his mind and returned the rights to her.

“She lost them, and then she got them back,” Finsilver said. Finsilver said she spoke to Rowe on Thursday but doesn’t know what Rowe plans to do. “She was inconsolable.”

Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman said Katherine would be a natural guardian for the kids, though it won’t be her decision.

“Katherine is the logical choice

Leonardo DiCaprio flirtatious ways

dicaprioLeonardo DiCaprio is wasting no time moving on from Bar Refaeli. He split from his long-time model girlfriend earlier this month and was already spotted flirting with two women last week at Hollywood nightclub MyHouse.

He was spotted Wednesday evening heading in with friends and then heading toward two cuties. He has his security guard bring the two over to his table.

The actor then ordered vodka for his table, and then spoke intimately with the women.

Earlier this month, it was claimed DiCaprio and Refaeli had split because of the actor’s refusal to settle down.

A source said at the time: “They’re taking time off for the time being, they’ve split. It could just end up as a break, but for now they’re doing their own thing.

“She wanted to move faster than he did, she wanted to move in together, so he broke it off.”

It’s not their first split. The two took a time out last year and hooked back up in December.

Kendra Wilkinson finally hitched

kendra-hankAt long last, Kendra Wilkinson is a bride. She wed NFL player Hank Baskett Saturday at her former home, the famed Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. No word on whether she wore white.

Wilkinson’s bridal party included former “Girls Next Door” costars Bridget Marquardt and Holly Madison. Their mutual ex (ick. Just ick.) Hugh Hefner, was among the 500 guests. Hefner was originally supposed to walk her down the aisle, but Wilkinson had her brother, Colin, do the honors instead.

“I’m ready to marry the man of my dreams,” Wilkinson said before the ceremony. “He’s one in a million. I’m so lucky.”

The 24-year-old donned more than $100,000 worth of platinum and diamond jewelry by designer Michael Barin.

Earlier this month, Wilkinson and Baskett, 27, announced they were expecting their first child together. She said the baby is due Christmas Day.

“We were actually trying to plan a June baby next year, but we’re so happy that it’s Christmas,” she said. “The baby is going to be spoiled with a lot more gifts.”

Robert Downey Jr. saves the day

robert-downey-jrRobert Downey Jr. is a hero and plays on on the silver screen. The star of “Iron Man 2″ saved a film extra from a rampaging robot.

The actor stopped shooting on the superhero sequel and rushed to help the man, who had been injured during a scene.

“Robert charged into a live scene yelling, ‘Cut! Cut!’ The extra was writhing on the ground in agony after a rampaging evil robot smashed him flat,” reported a source.

The extra had been involved in a sequence which involving a group of people running away from a group of robotic villains.

The man was accidentally hit by a stuntman in an iron costume, but filming continued because no-one noticed he was in pain.

The source added: “Cameras kept cranking until Robert, who wasn’t in the scene, suddenly noticed one extra twisting in pain and moaning, ‘Help, I’ve broken something.’ ”

The actor called for paramedics and comforted the man until they arrived.The injured extra was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken hip.

See, I always knew there was something dreamy about him.

Details on Michael Jackson’s autopsy, possible drug-related death

jacksonThe details of Michael Jackson’s death are slowly leaking out and it sounds like drugs played a role. Jackson’s personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, said he tried to save the star’s life with a shot of adrenaline.

Murray reported that he plunged a syringe into Jackson’s chest, trying to reviving him after ingesting a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs on Thursday.

The doctor was recently hired as Jackson’s personal cardiologist and hoped the shot would restart Jackson’s heart, to no avail.

An autopsy has ruled out foul play in Jackson’s death, but Murray was questioned by police Friday regarding his actions following Jackson’s passing.

Murray is not a suspect in the singer’s death and police have established their investigation is not a criminal one, but that hasn’t convinced the Jackson family of the doctor’s innocence in the matter.

Family friend Rev. Jesse Jackson (of course, when there’s drama, when isn’t he a “family friend”) told to Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper: “Something happened to the doctor. He left. The police impounded his car. His absence raises questions of substance that will not go away until they are answered.

“Any other doctor would say, ‘Here’s what happened in the last hours of your child’s life.’ But he can’t answer the police questions – he left the scene and left his car. Who picked him up? Why did the police investigators impound his car?

“He owes it to the family and the public to say, ‘Here are the last hours of Michael’s life.’”

Craig Harvey, the Chief Coroner of LA County, completed the three-hour autopsy of Jackson. No cause of death has been declared and additional testing has been deemed necessary, the results of which will be ready in four to six weeks.

There is thought to be, no foul play and no external trauma was found on the body. Further testing include neuropathology, pulmonary and toxicology.

At the time of his death Jackson was taking a deadly mix of drugs, which included Vicodin, Dialudid, Xanax, Soma, Prilosec, Paxil, Demerol and Zoloft – a mix of painkillers, anti-anxiety tablets, anti-depressants and muscle relaxants. He is believed to have been administered an injection of painkiller Demerol an hour before his death.

Jackson had a number of personal doctors at the time of his death and it is unclear as to who prescribed him what or who administered his daily doses of drugs. Reports say the star’s family wanted to force him to go to a rehabilitation clinic two weeks ago, but gave up after the star refused.

It’s a girl for Ana Ortiz!

ortiz“Ugly Betty” star Ana Ortiz and her husband, musician Noah Lebenzon, have welcomed a daughter, Paloma Louise Lebenzon.

The baby was born at 4:25 p.m. Saturday in New York City. She weighted 7 lbs., 10 oz.

“She is elated and completely glowing,” said Ortiz’s rep. “She is surrounded by her friends and family and so happy to be a mom. She is just really enjoying the moment. The baby is absolutely beautiful.”

In the days leading up to the birth, Ortiz, 38, said she was “anxiously awaiting” but well prepared for the big day. “My husband’s phone number is on speed dial, my deep yoga breaths have been practiced and my bags are all packed except for the toothbrushes, so I’m all set. I’m ready to have the baby!