Tuesday, November 25, 2008


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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Britney Spears to release album on her birthday

Monday, Sep 15, 2008

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britney Spears is gearing up for another comeback attempt.

The pop singer's label said on Monday it would release her new album, "Circus," on December 2, her 27th birthday.

The album marks the follow-up to 2007's "Blackout," which was also billed as a comeback after a sustained period of personal and professional woes. It failed to return Spears to the commercial heyday she enjoyed at the turn of the century.

The latest comeback talk got a boost last week when Spears won three prizes at the MTV Video Music Awards in Hollywood and did not commit any missteps in the process.

The first single from the album is called "Womanizer," Jive Records said in a statement. The label said Spears collaborated with a team of writer/producers, including stalwarts such as Swedish hitmaker Max Martin and Floyd "Danja" Hills.

Jive is ultimately owned by Sony Music Entertainment Inc, a unit of Sony Corp.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Jolie and Pitt give over 1 million pounds for Ethiopia kids

Monday, Sep 15, 2008

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Angelina Jolie and partner Brad Pitt have donated $2 million (1.12 million pounds) to create a centre, named after their adopted daughter, Zahara, for Ethiopian children affected by AIDS and tuberculosis.

The Global Health Committee said the donation from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation would establish a centre in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to treat AIDS orphans and develop a program to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis.

The Oscar-winning Jolie adopted a baby girl she called Zahara, now 3 years old, from Ethiopia in July 2005 and the new clinic will be named after her.

"It is our hope that when Zahara is older, she will take responsibility for the clinic and continue its mission," Pitt said in a statement.

Pitt and Jolie now have six children -- twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline born in July, Shiloh, 2, and adopted children Zahara, Pax from Vietnam and Maddox from Cambodia.

The Jolie-Pitt Foundation helped set up a similar clinic in 2006 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that is named after Maddox.

"Our goal is to transfer the success we have had in Cambodia to Ethiopia where people are needlessly dying of tuberculosis, a curable disease, and HIV/AIDS, a treatable disease," Jolie said.

Ethiopia has the seventh-highest rate of tuberculosis disease in the world and an estimated 1.7 million people in the country are infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization. UNICEF estimates that more than 900,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS in Ethiopia.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

Paris Hilton finds new "best friend"

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Paris Hilton launched a television show to look for a new best friend who was hot, loyal and "paparazzi-ready" -- and she says she found exactly what she was looking for.

Hilton, 27, the millionaire socialite, said some 300,000 Americans applied to take part in the reality series "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" (Best Friend Forever), which begins airing on September 30 on MTV.

The 16 women and two men selected to compete had to perform a series of challenges to be Hilton's new BFF, including how to look hot on a rollercoaster and making a commercial for one of her fashion products. She has now picked a winner with whom she said she has struck up a real, off-screen friendship.

"The person who won is now my best friend. We hang out. Yeah, we're really friends," Hilton told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We've been having barbecues and hanging out at the house. The winner and I have been pretty low-key so far, because it is top secret right now," she said.

Hilton said the TV show prepared the contestants for life in Hollywood and hectic red carpet events, parties, and product launches -- all under the constant glare of photographers.

"In my life you can get photographed at any time. You never know when paparazzi are going to be hiding around the corner. So my friend needs to be paparazzi-ready," she said.

In her real-life friendships, Hilton says she values trust more than looking hot and says it was fun to meet people on the show who were not as jaded as the usual Hollywood crowd.

"They (the contestants) were so excited. We went on a private jet to Las Vegas and they had never been on a private plane. It was nice to really show them things they maybe never could do in their life. They were really appreciative and so sweet," Hilton said.

As for her own qualities as a friend, Hilton said she was loyal, good at keeping secrets, truthful and generous.

"I will always tell you the truth. If you ask me if I like your outfit, if I don't, I'll say I don't. I'm a lot of fun. I love showing my friends my world and enjoying life," she said.

Hilton starts filming a second series of the show, this time set in England, next month and expects her new "friends" to be very different.

"London is my favourite city in the world. I love their accents, their attitude. They are so real, they are not fake. I feel that everyone in LA wants to be famous but in London it's more about business."

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Media won't get early look at "90210"

Media won't get early look at "90210"

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2008

By Kimberly Nordyke

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Critics and other members of the media hoping to get a sneak peek at the CW's upcoming series "90210" are out of luck.

The network and producing studio issued a statement Monday saying they won't be sending out DVDs of the highly anticipated show before its September 2 premiere.

"The CW and our studio partner CBS Paramount Network Television have made the strategic marketing decision not to screen '90210' for any media in advance of its premiere," the statement said. "We're not hiding anything -- simply keeping a lid on '90210' until 9.02, riding the curiosity and anticipation into premiere night and letting all our constituents see it at the same time."

The statement set the blog world into a frenzy of speculation about the quality of the show, a contemporary version of Fox's long-running "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Penelope Cruz chosen for Gotham Award Tribute

Penelope Cruz chosen for Gotham Award Tribute

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2008 10:38PM UTC

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Spanish actress Penelope Cruz will receive a Gotham Award Tribute at the non-profit Independent Feature Project's 18th annual Gotham Awards.

Cruz will appear December 2 at Manhattan's Cipriani Wall Street to accept the career achievement honour. She currently stars in two English-language productions: Isabel Coixet's "Elegy" and Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

Additional honourees at the IFP event will be announced shortly, and a full list of Gotham Award nominees will be unveiled October 20.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter. Hot celebrities, hot news, supermodels, hollywood girls

Applegate cancer free after surgery

Applegate cancer free after surgery

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2008

By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Samantha Who?" star Christina Applegate, 36, is free of cancer after having both breasts removed to combat the disease, the actress told a U.S. television news show on Tuesday.

Applegate, who revealed her diagnosis for breast cancer earlier this month, had the double mastectomy performed a month after her diagnosis, she said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

The actress, who stars in U.S. television network ABC sitcom "Samantha Who?," said she bore a genetic risk for developing breast cancer, and she said her surgery was meant to prevent the cancer she suffered in one breast from coming back. But she said it was difficult to have both breasts surgically removed.

"Sometimes, you know, I cry," Applegate said. "And sometimes I scream. And I get really angry. And I get really upset, you know, into wallowing in self-pity sometimes. And I think it's all part of the healing."

Applegate also talked about her mother, Nancy Priddy, who survived breast cancer and helped support the film and TV star in battling cancer.

"She's been sort of this quiet warrior in the back and has been a great support, and just telling me that I was going to be OK. And I knew I was going to be OK. I've watched her," Applegate said.

In the interview with ABC, Applegate said she will have reconstructive surgery on her breasts in coming months, and she showed fans that her sense of humour has remained intact.

"I'm going to have cute boobs 'til I'm 90," she said.

The California-born Applegate rose to fame playing a ditzy daughter on TV sitcom "Married ... With Children," and since then has starred in several movies and TV shows.

She won an Emmy, U.S. television's top honour, for a guest role on "Friends," and was Emmy-nominated for "Samantha Who?" playing an amnesiac trying to put her life back together.

Applegate told "Good Morning America" she is starting a charitable foundation to help women meet the costs of MRI exams, which is how her disease was discovered.

The actress also will appear on upcoming TV fundraiser "Stand Up to Cancer" singing alongside Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Sheryl Crow, who also has battled breast cancer.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte) |Hot celebrities | hot news | supermodels | hollywood girls |hot babes

Sunday, August 10, 2008

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"Brangelina" babies unveiled on Web

Monday, Aug 04, 2008 1:32AM UTC

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The most famous babies on the planet, the latest spawn of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, made their world premiere on the Internet on Sunday, having outfoxed the paparazzi since they were born three weeks ago.

People magazine posted the cover of its upcoming issue, featuring twins Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon and their proud parents, on its Web site, a teaser for a 19-page spread that will hit newsstands on Monday.

All were dressed in white, and the babies had no distinguishing characteristics. A smaller photo in the corner showed the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Shiloh, holding her new sister.

In a blurb that accompanied the cover photo, Jolie was quoted as saying that the couple's family life at a sprawling French chateau was "chaos, but we are managing it and having a wonderful time."

In addition to the twins and Shiloh, the couple has three adopted children. Jolie, 33, and Pitt, 44, are one of Hollywood's most glamorous couples, dubbed "Brangelina" by the celebrity press. She gave birth to the twins in the French city of Nice. Hordes of paparazzi waited out the process, but were unable to penetrate the hospital's heavy security.

The shoot was conducted by photo agency Getty Images, with People acquiring North American rights to the photos, and British gossip magazine Hello! all other territories. The Pitts have said they will donate the proceeds to charity.

The sum involved has developed into an international guessing game. Rumoured price tags for Hollywood baby photos are often wildly inaccurate, and Radar magazine recently reported that celebrity publications are not above stoking the hype in order to boost newsstand sales and Web site traffic.

In the case of the Jolie-Pitt twins, an unsourced report claimed the worldwide rights sold for $14 million (7.1 million pounds), more than three times the rumoured $4.1 million deal for Shiloh's baby photos in 2006. People has said that the rumoured numbers for both deals, as well as those for other famous babies that have adorned its pages, are excessive. But it has declined to elaborate.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman)

Victoria Beckham is descendant of comrade of Marx

This article was sent to you from Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:

Victoria Beckham is descendant of comrade of Marx

Monday, Aug 04, 2008 10:32PM UTC

BERLIN (Reuters) - Pop singer Victoria Beckham is a descendant of a 19th century German communist who was close to Karl Marx, a German historian was quoted as saying on Monday.

Beckham, born Victoria Adams and now wife of football player David Beckham, is the great-great-great-granddaughter of revolutionary and artist Carl Heinrich Pfaender, said Hans Mueller, a historian from the southwestern city of Heilbronn.

Mueller told news agency ddp he had researched the life of Heilbronn native Pfaender, who lived from 1819 to 1876 and was a close associate of Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Pfaender took part in the failed revolution of 1848 and was forced to flee to London where he worked as a miniaturist and painter to make ends meet, he added.

"He certainly didn't get rich doing it," Mueller said. "His wife was buried in a pauper's grave."

The historian told ddp he was astonished to discover the link between a pioneer of the workers' movement and the pop star, and has contacted Beckham's mother Jacqueline.

He said she had confirmed his findings and promised to tell Victoria, who came to fame as "Posh Spice" in the Spice Girls.

Pfaender's brother Wilhelm was a choral singer who was also active in the revolution and emigrated to America in 1848, later becoming state treasurer in Minnesota, Mueller said.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers; editing by Andrew Roche)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Venezuelan Mendoza crowned '08 Miss Universe

This article was sent to you from Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:

Venezuelan Mendoza crowned '08 Miss Universe

Monday, Jul 14, 2008 10:4AM UTC

By Adrees Latif

NHA TRANG CITY, Vietnam (Reuters) - Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza, was crowned Miss Universe 2008 in Vietnam's resort city of Nha Trang on Monday.

The 22-year-old brunette was given her crown, made of white and yellow gold and precious stones, by last year's winner, Riyo Mori of Japan, at the pageant finale watched by nearly a billion television viewers worldwide.

"I am excited. I cried a lot. I am really glad I made it," Mendoza, the 57th winner of the title, later told reporters.

The professional model has said her "express kidnapping" in Venezuela a year and a half ago taught her to remain calm in stressful situations.

"It is something that happens in my country and that's why I want to raise my voice and say violence is not the answer," she said when asked about the incident.

Mendoza, an aspiring interior designer, was among four finalists from Latin America, including first runner-up Taliana Vargas, 20, from Colombia.

The rest of the top five were from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Russia.

This year's event went more smoothly than the 2007 pageant in Mexico, which was marked by protests, a banned dress and the withdrawal of Miss Sweden after critics at home complained the contest degraded women.

However, misfortune befell Miss USA for a second straight year. During the evening gown parade, Crystle Stewart of Texas slipped on the runway. She finished in the top 10.

A year ago in Mexico, Rachel Smith also lost her footing and landed on her bottom. She finished fifth.

The annual Miss Universe pageant -- which tries to present itself as something more meaningful than a swimwear parade -- was first held in Long Beach, California, in 1952.

The event was taken over in 1996 by U.S. real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Communist-led Vietnam spent nearly $20 million (10.1 million pounds) on the event, including $7 million on a new resort and convention centre to host the pageant, in a bid to promote tourism to the Southeast Asian nation.

After celebrating at home with her family, Mendoza will spend her year-long reign travelling the world to speak out on humanitarian issues.

"I think I will jump on my family and they will jump on me. I want to have my mum's food," she said.

(Writing by Nguyen Nhat Lam; editing by Darren Schuettler)

Jolie doctor admits to pre-birth pressure

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Jolie doctor admits to pre-birth pressure

Monday, Jul 14, 2008 10:36AM UTC

By Ben Gruber

NICE, France (Reuters) - The doctor who delivered Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's twins over the weekend has admitted to feeling the pressure of dealing with one of the world's most famous couples.

Oscar-winning actress Jolie gave birth to son Knox Leon and daughter Vivienne Marcheline by caesarean section at the Lenval hospital in the southern French city of Nice late on Saturday.

"For sure," Michel Sussmann said, when asked on Europe 1 radio whether he was nervous before the operation.

"It wasn't pressure on a medical level, because I have been practising for a certain number of years, but it's true that there was pressure due to the couple's fame.

"I was assisted by a team that was totally competent, so things happened as I wanted them to happen -- simply and efficiently."

Dozens of reporters, cameramen and photographers have been camped outside the Lenval hospital on the glamorous Promenade des Anglais waterfront to report on the birth.

Several U.S. networks added to their ranks on Monday in preparation for a news conference scheduled for Tuesday and the couple's departure either by road or by air.

Nice Matin newspaper, which broke the news of the birth on Sunday, dedicated several pages to the event in its Monday edition and featured a photograph of Pitt and Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi signing the birth certificates.

Pitt, 44, was at 33-year-old Jolie's side for the birth.

Vivienne Marcheline weighed 2.27 kg (5 lbs) and Knox Leon weighed 2.28 kg. Marcheline was the first name of Jolie's mother, also an actress, who died of cancer last year.


Sussmann said Pitt was "perfectly calm" during the operation and that the couple were "an exemplary father and mother.

"People of great simplicity, of great kindness since she is a patient who was totally obedient, very calm, very kind," he added.

Jolie's stay at Lenval hospital was far from ordinary, however. She arrived in late June by helicopter from the Provence villa where she and Pitt had been staying with their four other children -- Maddox, Pax, Zahara and Shiloh.

And according to sources at the hospital, the fifth floor of the building was sealed off for the couple and their entourage.

Nice Matin has reported that the couple sold exclusive rights to the first photographs of the twins to an unnamed U.S. magazine for $11 million (5.5 million pounds) and would give the money to charity.

Jolie and Pitt came to a similar arrangement with People magazine in 2006, when it reportedly paid $4.1 million for North American rights to the pictures. Experts estimated worldwide rights to those images were worth $5-7 million.

(Additional reporting by Francois Murphy in Paris, writing by Mike Collett-White in London, editing by Paul Casciato)

(To read more about our entertainment news, visit our blog "Fan Fare" online at

Monday, June 23, 2008

Winehouse has emphysema

This article was sent to you from Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:

Dad says Winehouse has emphysema

Sunday, Jun 22, 2008 12:16PM UTC

LONDON (Reuters) - Soul singer Amy Winehouse has developed the lung condition emphysema and has been warned by doctors that she will die if she continues smoking drugs, her father said in an interview on Sunday.

Mitch Winehouse said the incurable illness, which leaves sufferers struggling for breath, was diagnosed when his daughter had series of health checks in hospital.

"The doctors have told her if she goes back to smoking drugs it won't just ruin her voice, it will kill her," he was quoted as saying in the Sunday Mirror. "The doctors have said that if she had continued the way she was going she could have ended up an invalid -- she wouldn't have been able to breathe."

He added: "She's got emphysema. It's in its early stages, but had it gone on for another month they painted a very vivid picture of her sitting there like an old person with a mask on her face struggling to breathe.

"With smoking the crack cocaine and the cigarettes, her lungs are all gunked up. There are nodules around the chest and dark marks. She's got 70 percent lung capacity."

He added that a spell in hospital last week and renewed treatment for her well-publicised drug addiction had offered a ray of hope for his 24-year-old daughter.

"If she doesn't go back to drugs, then she can lead this magnificent life," he said. "We are praying that that's what Amy really wants. She seems resolute."

He called on drug dealers to help her recovery by refusing to supply her with crack cocaine.

There is no medical reason why she shouldn't be able to perform at the Glastonbury Festival next weekend, he added. In the past, work has helped to keep her away from drugs.

"If she hadn't done recent shows in Moscow and Portugal she could have been dead by now," he said. "She abstains and regulates her drug use when she has to do a show."

Winehouse won five Grammy Awards in February and enjoyed commercial success with her album "Back to Black".

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Kate Kelland)

Reuters - Dad says Winehouse has emphysema

This article was sent to you from, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:

Dad says Winehouse has emphysema

Sunday, Jun 22, 2008 12:16PM UTC

LONDON (Reuters) - Soul singer Amy Winehouse has developed the lung condition emphysema and has been warned by doctors that she will die if she continues smoking drugs, her father said in an interview on Sunday.

Mitch Winehouse said the incurable illness, which leaves sufferers struggling for breath, was diagnosed when his daughter had series of health checks in hospital.

"The doctors have told her if she goes back to smoking drugs it won't just ruin her voice, it will kill her," he was quoted as saying in the Sunday Mirror. "The doctors have said that if she had continued the way she was going she could have ended up an invalid -- she wouldn't have been able to breathe."

He added: "She's got emphysema. It's in its early stages, but had it gone on for another month they painted a very vivid picture of her sitting there like an old person with a mask on her face struggling to breathe.

"With smoking the crack cocaine and the cigarettes, her lungs are all gunked up. There are nodules around the chest and dark marks. She's got 70 percent lung capacity."

He added that a spell in hospital last week and renewed treatment for her well-publicised drug addiction had offered a ray of hope for his 24-year-old daughter.

"If she doesn't go back to drugs, then she can lead this magnificent life," he said. "We are praying that that's what Amy really wants. She seems resolute."

He called on drug dealers to help her recovery by refusing to supply her with crack cocaine.

There is no medical reason why she shouldn't be able to perform at the Glastonbury Festival next weekend, he added. In the past, work has helped to keep her away from drugs.

"If she hadn't done recent shows in Moscow and Portugal she could have been dead by now," he said. "She abstains and regulates her drug use when she has to do a show."

Winehouse won five Grammy Awards in February and enjoyed commercial success with her album "Back to Black".

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Kate Kelland)

Reuters - Campbell says slur sparked air rage

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Campbell says slur sparked air rage

Sunday, Jun 22, 2008 12:35AM UTC

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways rejected claims of racism on Saturday after supermodel Naomi Campbell, who pleaded guilty to assault in a foul-mouthed "air rage" incident, said she was likened to a black "Golliwog" doll during the flight.

BA said it did not accept the accusation made by Campbell, who was convicted of assault on Friday and sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid community work, that someone on the flight called her a "Golliwog supermodel".

"British Airways does not accept any allegations of racism," the airline said in a statement. "We are proud of our diversity.

"We have strict policies concerning dignity at work and have long-standing training programmes on diversity and inclusion."

Campbell, 38, told Sky News in an interview that her flash of air rage, in which she assaulted two police officers, swore repeatedly and screamed abuse at the captain of the Los Angeles-bound BA flight, was partly prompted by racist comments.

"I was called a racial name on that flight and that was part of my reaction," she said. "I was called a 'Golliwog supermodel' -- I don't think that's really fair, do you?"

Asked who had used the term, which refers to a black rag doll from children's literature, Campbell said: "Someone on the flight, not the passenger."

During Campbell's court case, prosecutors said Campbell ordered the airline captain to find her missing luggage and became violent when police tried to escort her off the aircraft.

The model pleaded guilty to assaulting two police officers and to a public order offence. Neither she nor her lawyers mentioned racist comments during her court case.

As well as the community service sentence, Campbell was ordered to pay 200 pounds compensation to one of the police officers, 150 pounds to the captain and 2,300 pounds in fines.

In the Sky interview, Campbell apologised to London's Metropolitan Police force, but added: "As for British Airways, I just think they are disgusting."

Campbell is famous for her fiery temper and has been in trouble with the law before.

She spent five days mopping floors and cleaning toilets as part of a community service sentence in New York last year after throwing a mobile phone at her housekeeper during an argument over a pair of jeans. She was also ordered to attend anger management classes.

In a previous incident with a telephone in 1998, Campbell assaulted an assistant, Georgina Galanis.

The model agreed in 2000 to plead guilty to the assault in exchange for expressing remorse, paying Galanis an undisclosed amount of money and also attending anger management classes.

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Madonna's brother to publish book on life with her

Thursday, Jun 12, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. pop star Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone has written a memoir called "Life With My Sister Madonna," to be published next month by Simon and Schuster.

"Ciccone's extraordinary memoir is based on his life and 47 years of growing up with and working with his sister -- the most famous woman in the world," Simon and Schuster imprint Simon Spotlight Entertainment said.

Ciccone, one of Madonna's five siblings, wrote the book with Wendy Leigh. She has also written biographies of John F. Kennedy Jr, Prince Edward, Liza Minelli and ghost-written Zsa Zsa Gabor's autobiography.

Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg had no comment.

Madonna, whose original name was Madonna Louise Ciccone, made her debut in 1982. Her first album, "Madonna," which included hits such as "Holiday," "Borderline" and "Lucky Star," helped her become one of the best-selling pop artists, with more than 200 million albums sold worldwide.

The book will be published on July 15, a month before Madonna celebrates her 50th birthday.


Sean Connery to unveil autobiography

Thursday, Jun 12, 2008 By Ian MacKenzie

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Sean Connery is set to shake and stir this year's Edinburgh Book Festival by unveiling an autobiography on his 78th birthday.

The Scottish actor who defined the role of secret agent James Bond and his literary collaborator, film maker Murray Grigor, discuss the book at the festival on August 25, organisers said on Thursday.

Connery, a passionate Scottish nationalist who has sworn not to live in his home country until it is independent, has titled his memoirs "Being a Scot".

As the book festival celebrates its 25th anniversary, director Catherine Lockerbie told Reuters she had been keeping an eye on Connery's autobiography through its various incarnations.

Edinburgh-born, Connery once delivered milk in the city and posed as a model at the College of Art before hitting the big time.

"His book obviously had to be launched with us," Lockerbie said.


The literary feast, with a record 800 authors participating in 750 events from August 9-25, runs alongside the international arts festival, the anarchic fringe and a series of exhibitions in the biggest annual celebration of its kind in the world.

Connery's appearance also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming, creator of superspy James Bond, otherwise known as agent 007.

Author and comedian Charlie Higson will launch the fifth and final episode of his successful Young Bond series, while the authorised biography of Fleming, "For Your Eyes Only", will feature at the festival.

Lockerbie has sought to attract authors from around the world.

Focus on China brings writers from the world's most populous nation, while themes on the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel and fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq are covered in the festival's "East and West" and "War and Terror" series.

Lockerbie said the international aspect was key to the festival.

"I have been steadily working to increase the number of nations and cultures represented ... I think there's a strange disjunction between a globalised, homogenised, shrinking world, in one respect, and the fact that we still don't understand other cultures, points of view.

"And it seems to me that with the arts in general, and literature in particular, is a key vehicle for understanding, and that's been a mission of mine."

Tickets can be booked online at

(Editing by Mike Collett-White and Paul Casciato)

Monday, June 02, 2008

FACTBOX-Facts about Yves Saint Laurent

(Reuters) - French fashion king Yves Saint Laurent died on Sunday at the age of 71. Here are some facts about his life.

* Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1 1936 in Oran, Algeria, which Paris then considered part of France. He came from a wealthy family and moved to Paris when he was 17, immediately entering the world of fashion.

* He met Christian Dior in 1954 and became his assistant. After his mentor's death in 1957 he was named chief stylist for the Dior fashion house, triumphing at his very first show with his "Trapeze collection" that introduced a revolutionary new silhouette -- narrow shoulders falling to wide skirts.

* Called up for French military service in 1960, the homosexual Saint Laurent had a nervous breakdown. By the time he recovered, he had already been relaced at Dior. His friend Pierre Berge stepped in, organising the financial backing for Saint Laurent to set up his own fashion house in 1962.

* The pair built up a multi-million-dollar fashion, perfumes and accessories business which constantly broke the mould, anticipating modern styles. The business was floated on the Paris bourse in 1989 -- a first for a fashion house.

* Saint Laurent suffered from bouts of severe depression and was rushed to hospital in 1990, suffering from nervous fatigue.

* In 1992, the heavily-indebted YSL was bought by cosmetics and drugs company Sanofi, a subsidiary of the then state-owned oil firm Elf-Aquitaine. Berge and Saint Laurent retained creative control. French luxury house PPR took control in 1999.

* Saint Laurent presented his last haute couture show in January 2001 and officially retired in 2002. In October 2006 he fell in a Paris street and was filmed lying motionless in the road for several minutes until emergency services arrived to help him. Aides denied he was seriously ill.

* He died on June 1, 2008. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer)

Fashion king Yves Saint Laurent dies

Monday, Jun 02, 2008 By Crispian Balmer

PARIS (Reuters) - French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent has died at the age of 71, hailed as a 20th century cultural innovator who revolutionised the way women dressed.

The couture creations of the reclusive Saint Laurent won global fine art status and he was widely considered to be one of an elite club of designers including Christian Dior and Coco Chanel who made Paris the fashion capital of the world.

His long-time companion, Pierre Berge, told RTL radio the designer had been diagnosed with a brain tumour last year and had died on Sunday in Paris.

From Princess Grace of Monaco to the actress Catherine Deneuve, Saint Laurent's creations adorned many famous women but he was also the first designer to make luxury labels accessible to a wide audience through innovative ready-to-wear collections.

He made his appearance on the world stage at just 21 and built up a clothes, perfumes and accessories empire that resulted in a 1989 stock market flotation -- the first by a fashion house.

But Saint Laurent also suffered from severe depression and underwent treatment for alcohol abuse and became increasingly withdrawn later in life.

The daily Le Figaro gave over its whole front page to the man it called "the world's greatest couturier" and President Nicolas Sarkozy praised Saint Laurent as a creative genius. "He was convinced that beauty was a luxury that every man and woman needed," Sarkozy said.

Berge told France Info radio: "Chanel gave women freedom. Yves Saint Laurent gave them power."

"(But) he was someone who was very shy and introverted, who had only very few friends and hid himself from the world."

A memorial mass will be held on Friday in the church Saint Roch in Paris, the traditional church of artists and musicians.


Saint Laurent, who retired in 2002, was credited with changing forever what women wore, making the trouser suit a daytime staple and the tuxedo an elegant option.

He also popularised safari jackets and thigh-high boots, and his transparent blouses made near-nudity acceptable in high society.

"He completely revamped a woman's wardrobe," luxury underwear designer Chantal Thomass told French radio. "His fashion was full of colour and inspired by art."

The eldest child of a wealthy French industrialist, Saint Laurent was born and grew up in the then French colony of Algeria and showed a talent for design, making clothes for his younger sisters' dolls.

At 17 he entered a Paris fashion school, and his sketch for a cocktail dress won first prize in an annual contest.

Introduced to Christian Dior, the gangly Saint Laurent was hired on the spot by the creator of the "New Look" and became his chief assistant. On Dior's death in 1957, Saint Laurent became chief designer and swiftly outshone his mentor.

After his first collection introduced the widely copied "trapeze" silhouette with narrow shoulders and flared skirt, the shy 21-year-old was pushed out on to the Dior building balcony and crowds in the avenue below hailed him like royalty.

Saint Laurent directed Dior for three years, until drafted for military service during the Algerian war.

For a sensitive person whose homosexuality had made his school years a torture, army life was an ordeal. He had a nervous breakdown and spent nearly three months in hospital.

Berge arranged financial backing, and Saint Laurent presented his first collection under his own name in 1962.

The "YSL" empire grew steadily and Saint Laurent showed an instinctive ability to sense what the mood on the streets was and turn it into high fashion.

But by the late 1980s his health problems were an issue.

Insiders said Saint Laurent, who never read newspapers or listened to the radio, became increasingly cut off from reality and lost touch with all but a tiny group of friends.

"Fame has destroyed him," Berge once said.

Despite the personal demons, his business empire thrived. The 1989 flotation was a runaway success.

But when the Gulf War erupted and the world economy slumped in the early 1990s, Berge and Saint Laurent sank into debt.

In 1992, YSL was absorbed by cosmetics and drugs company Sanofi, with Saint Laurent retaining creative control. Then in 1999 it was bought by the Gucci group, itself controlled by French luxury giant PPR.

(Additional reporting by Astrid Wendlandt, Gwenaelle Barzic and James Mackenzie; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Tatum O'Neal arrested on drug charge

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Tatum O'Neal arrested on drug charge

Monday, Jun 02, 2008 10:43AM UTC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Academy Award-winning actress Tatum O'Neal was arrested in New York on Sunday for buying crack cocaine, CNN reported on Monday.

O'Neal, 44, was arrested after she was seen making a purchase from a drug dealer, CNN reported on its Web site, citing New York police.

O'Neal won an Academy Award at age 10 for Best Supporting Actress in the movie "Paper Moon." Her book "A Paper Life," published in 2004, dealt with abuse and neglect in her childhood and her struggles with addiction.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Raikkonen buys Stone's Corvette

This article was sent to you from MONACO (Reuters) - Ferrari's Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen paid 200,000 euros (159 thousand pounds) for a 1974 Chevrolet Corvette owned by Hollywood actress Sharon Stone at a Monaco Grand Prix charity auction, organisers said.

The car, stored in Los Angeles and said to have just four miles on the clock, was one of the top lots at a glittering Amber Fashion show in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation on Friday night.

Indian drinks and aviation billionaire Vijay Mallya, co-owner of the Force India Formula One team, paid 226,000 euros for a concert piano used by Elton John to write his "Songs from the West Coast" album in 2001.

Mallya also donated a one-week cruise on his 95-metre "Indian Empress", one of the largest privately-owned yachts in the world, with that going under the hammer for 375,000 euros to a private bidder.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, Honda's Jenson Button, Red Bull's Mark Webber and Renault's Nelson Piquet were among drivers modelling a collection designed by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone's daughter Petra.

The auction, at Monaco's Meridien Beach Plaza hotel, raised almost 1 million euros.

Sunday's race through the streets of the Mediterranean principality is the highlight of Formula One's social calendar, with billionaires, chief executives and movie stars among the celebrity audience. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Sonia Oxley)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Madonna's "private concert"

This article was sent from

Madonna auctions "private concert"

Friday, May 23, 2008 By Mike Collett-White

MOUGINS, France (Reuters) - Madonna auctioned a "private concert" late on Thursday at a star-studded dinner, raising 350,000 euros (278,000 pounds) for AIDS charity amfAR.

The biggest lot on a night of conspicuous spending was a restored 1976 Porsche 911, which went for 500,000 euros after rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs stopped bidding at 450,000 euros.

A diamond-encrusted Christian Dior mobile phone also fetched 120,000 euros.

The annual Cinema Against AIDS gala, hosted by Sharon Stone, is one of the hottest tickets at the Cannes film festival each year, with hundreds of guests travelling to nearby Mougins for an auction dinner held in a giant marquee.

The rich and famous lined a packed red carpet on Thursday, including Madonna, Combs and Stone, actor Dennis Hopper, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actress Natalie Portman.

"I hope we all leave a little poorer," said amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole in his opening speech.

He need not have worried, with the cheapest seats going for around $4,000 each, rising to $15,000 for seats nearer the stage. The overall tally for the night was over $10 million.

Stone, who having just turned 50 called it her "birthday amfAR", showed clips of her travels around the world raising funds for the charity, while Madonna, 49, was in Cannes to promote her documentary about Malawi children orphaned by AIDS.

In what the Cannes media dubbed the "battle of the blondes", the two stars shared the stage and engaged in friendly banter.

"I don't say this about many people, but you're a hard act to follow," Madonna said. She described co-host Weinstein as "possibly one of the most, I won't say irritating, but unstoppable human beings I know."


Madonna offered to sing two songs backstage during her upcoming tour to two "very lucky people".

"People have offered me millions to play at their Bar Mitzvahs," Madonna joked after making the offer. When the bidding stalled at 300,000 euros, she added "Don't humiliate me," before leaving the stage.

Combs auctioned 24 hours in his company, promising: "I will fulfil your wildest dreams for amfAR and the children," and "I will wake up with you." The winning bid was 200,000 euros.

Weinstein could not resist lobbying at least two Cannes jury members in the audience to vote for Steven Soderbergh's competition entry "Che" as the festival headed towards its final awards ceremony on Sunday.

"If you haven't seen 'Che Guevara' you haven't seen a masterpiece. If that hasn't worked there will be cash on the way out."

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

(To read more about our entertainment news, visit our blog "Fan Fare" online at

Monday, May 12, 2008

Neil Young gets new honour -- his own spider

This article was sent to you Sunday, May 11, 2008 LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Iconic singer and songwriter Neil Young has had an honour bestowed upon him that is not received by many musicians -- his own spider.

An East Carolina University biologist, Jason Bond, discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and opted to call the arachnid after his favourite musician, Canadian Neil Young, naming it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.

"There are rather strict rules about how you name new species," Bond said in a statement.

"As long as these rules are followed you can give a new species just about any name you please. With regards to Neil Young, I really enjoy his music and have had a great appreciation of him as an activist for peace and justice."

Young, 62, is a veteran rock musician who rose to fame in the 1960s with the band Buffalo Springfield and later became a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, whose 1970 release "Deja Vu" has become a classic rock album.

The singer/songwriter, whose solo work ranges from older albums such as "Harvest" to newer CDs like "Living with War," has long been an activist for social and anti-war causes.

Bond discovered the new spider species in Jefferson County, Alabama, in 2007. He said spiders in the trapdoor genus, who tend to live in burrows and build trap doors to seal off their living quarters, are distinguished from one species to the next on the basis of differences in genitalia.

He confirmed through the spider's DNA that the Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi is an identifiable, separate species of spider within the trapdoor genus.

Young is not the first musician to have a creature named after him. A species of beetle that looks as if it is wearing a tuxedo -- the whirligig beetle, or Orectochilus orbisonorum -- was named earlier this year after the late rock 'n' roll legend Roy Orbison and his widow Barbara.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kylie Minogue gets French cultural honour

Monday, May 05, 2008 PARIS (Reuters) - Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue received one of France's top cultural awards on Monday, the day before her world tour kicked off in Paris.

Minogue was made a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) for "the cultural pleasure she has given French people" and for her love of France, a French Culture Ministry official said.

"Princess of pop, uncontested queen of the dance floors, you are a sort of Midas of the international music scene who turns everything she touches into gold, from records to micro-shorts," Culture Minister Christine Albanel said presenting the award.

"Even if it isn't the part of your anatomy which is the most often praised by the media, you have a big heart," she added.

Pop group Police won the award in October 2007 and other knights include U.S. film stars Sharon Stone and Clint Eastwood.(Reporting by Swaha Pattanaik)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lindsay Lohan mug shot launches drunk driving ad

Friday, May 02, 2008 LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. restaurant and liquor group used a mug shot of troubled actress Lindsay Lohan on Friday to launch a national campaign against the use of new technology aimed at keeping drunks off the road.

A full page advertisement in the newspaper USA Today used the police shot of Lohan after her arrest in Los Angeles last year for drunken driving under a caption saying "Ignition interlocks. A good idea for:" (Lohan) "But a bad idea for us:" showing pictures of adults drinking at weddings and restaurants.

The ad says ignition interlocks, which prevent intoxicated drivers from starting their cars, are "a great tool for getting hard-core drunk drivers off our roads."

But putting one in every person's car, as some people advocate, "means an end to moderate and responsible drinking prior to driving ...", the ad says.

Lohan, now 21, became a poster child for under-age drinking last year when she checked into rehab three times and was arrested and briefly jailed for drunken driving and cocaine possession. The "Freaky Friday" and "Mean Girls" star has since kept mostly out of trouble.

Lohan's lawyer Blair Berk said on Friday that the actress "fully endorses ignition interlock devices."

But in her statement, Berk added that it was irresponsible to suggest that drinking and driving "is some kind of American 'tradition' we should protect."

The advertisement was paid for by Web site htps://, which is described as a "special project" of the American Beverage Institute. The ABI is a restaurant trade association with strong links to U.S. wine, beer and spirits suppliers that promotes responsible drinking by adults.

The ABI said it planned to use the mug shots of other celebrities arrested for drunken driving in further campaigns but did not give details.

"These are public images. A lot of publications have used this (Lohan) shot. We are not worried about any legal fallout," ABI managing director Sarah Longwell told Reuters.

Longwell said the campaign was aimed at highlighting moves in the United States to incorporate interlocking technology into all cars to stop drunken driving.

Nine U.S. states have passed laws allowing the installation of in-car breathalyzers used to lock ignition switches into cars of those who have been convicted of first time drunk driving. The federal government has also funded a research program into other devices.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Second nanny sues Rob Lowe in sex case

Friday, May 02, 2008 By Syantani Chatterjee and Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A former nanny for Rob Lowe has countersued the couple, claiming she was sexually harassed while working for them in 2007 in a case filled with sordid accusations and a claim of extortion.

It is the second time that Lowe, 44, who stars in U.S. television drama "Brothers & Sisters," has been sued since he and his wife, Sheryl, filed their own suit against two former nannies and a chef claiming the three violated confidentiality agreements by divulging personal information about the couple.

In the latest suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, former nanny Laura Boyce claims that Sheryl Lowe subjected her to "sexually offensive and hostile conduct" by walking around at home naked in front of Boyce and asking Boyce questions about her sex life.

The suit says Sheryl Lowe made a racially motivated statement about the genitals of Boyce's black boyfriend.

Boyce also claims she regularly worked 15-hour days without being paid properly for her overtime. She worked for the couple last year from April through November, helping to care for their two teenage sons.

"We are on top of this ... and we are not going to stop until there is justice," Gloria Allred, Boyce's attorney, told reporters at a news conference as Boyce stood close by with tears in her eyes.

Last month former nanny Jessica Gibson countersued the Lowes, saying that Rob Lowe stuck his hand into her pants, grabbed her bottom and exposed himself to her.

Allred, a prominent attorney in high-profile Hollywood cases, also represents Gibson.

In an April blog posting when the Lowes initially sued, Rob Lowe wrote that one of the nannies demanded $1.5 million (758, 307 pounds)from the couple, or she would "accuse us of a vicious laundry list of false terribles." He did not say which one.

In a statement released to celebrity television show "The Insider" on Wednesday, Sheryl Lowe called Boyce's lawsuit baseless.

"The charges against me are lies meant to embarrass and humiliate. I find it deeply offensive the false allegation that I would use racially insensitive comments," she said.

Lowe rose to fame in the 1980s in films such as "The Outsiders" and "St. Elmo's Fire." But he suffered a setback in 1988 when a videotape surfaced showing him having sex with two young women, one of them a teenager.

He rebounded on stage and television, and eventually won a starring role in Emmy-winning TV show, "The West Wing" that returned him to Hollywood's limelight.

Sheryl Lowe, 46, was a television and film makeup artist. The two have been married since 1991.

(Editing by Bernard Woodall and Xavier Briand)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Latest millionaire music rich list

Lewis and Winehouse join millionaire music rich list

Sunday, Apr 27, 2008 By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - Amy Winehouse joined the elite ranks of music millionaires on Friday but she may struggle to reach the dizzy heights of "wrinkly rockers" like Paul McCartney, the editor of an annual rich list said.

The bee-hived soul singer, whose troubled private life and battle against drug addiction have overshadowed her recording success, is now valued at 10 million pounds ($19.72 million).

"Winning Grammys have given her a really good profile in the United States. She has such a smooth voice but let's hope she doesn't blow it all," Sunday Times Rich List editor Philip Beresford said as the latest millionaire tables were published.

Reality TV winner Leona Lewis is another new entry in the Under-30 category. She was valued at six million pounds after topping the singles and album charts in the United States.

Leading the young millionaires thanks to inherited Beatle wealth is the late George Harrison's guitarist son Dhani. His 160 million pound fortune prompted newspaper headlines like "While their bank accounts gently leap..."

But Beresford told Reuters: "None of these young singers will ever make it to the main rich list as they don't have the legs of the wrinkly rockers."

The young guns are dwarfed by the fortunes of veteran stars like Mick Jagger and Sting, he said.

"They have developed this new industry of massive stadium tours around the world full of relatively wealthy middle-aged fans trying to recapture their youth paying extortionate prices for the privilege," Beresford said.

"Their tours are their pension funds," he said.

Beresford did admit to one Beatle miscalculation over Paul McCartney's fortune which was set at 725 million in last year's list.

"He is now down at 500 million because we over-egged it in the past. But we are not as severe as the judge in his divorce case (against Heather Mills) who put it at 400 million pounds," he said.

Beresford hailed the 300 million pound fortune of Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie as "almost unique."

"She has joined the wrinkly rockers with the big touring income but she also has the record sales which they are not getting anymore," he added.

But Madonna's fortune is dwarfed in Britain's top 50 music millionaires list which is topped, like last year, by Clive Calder, founder of Zomba Records, who is valued at 1.3 billion pounds.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

FACTBOX - The life and times of Amy Winehouse


Sunday, Apr 27, 2008 LONDON (Reuters) - Amy Winehouse, 24, was born on September 14, 1983 in Enfield, Middlesex, to a Jewish family with a history of jazz musicians.

She was discovered by soul singer Tyler James at the age of 16 and in 2003 her debut album "Frank" was released, to general acclaim.

Her second album "Back to Black" was released in October 2006 and reached the No. 1 spot.

The album's hit single "Rehab," with the prescient line: "They tried to make me go to rehab. I said 'no, no, no'" has been called the anthem of celebrity trash culture.

In October 2007, she and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil were arrested at a Norwegian hotel for marijuana possession, and soon afterward fans booed her on stage as she slurred her way through her gigs.

Two months later she was photographed wandering barefoot on a London street, wearing only jeans and a bra and looking confused.

Fielder-Civil is currently awaiting trial on charges of perverting the course of justice in relation to a fight in a pub.

Despite being refused entrance to the United States, Winehouse won five Grammy awards in February 2008.

April has seen mixed fortunes. She was nominated three times for the Ivor Novello awards in May and joined the elite ranks of music millionaires in the Sunday Times rich list with an estimated fortune of 10 million pounds.

"Winning Grammys have given her a really good profile in the United States. She has such a smooth voice but let's hope she doesn't blow it all," said Sunday Times Rich List editor Philip Beresford.

But on the same day as the Rich List came out, she had to attend a police station to answer questions in connection with an alleged assault after a fracas outside a club.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Megan Fox crowned sexiest woman in the world

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Megan Fox was named the world's sexiest woman on Wednesday by an annual online poll, while the world's most Googled woman, Britney Spears, barely scraped in at No. 100 after a shocker of a year.

Fox, 21, who starred in last year's hit movie "Transformers," grabbed the title from actress Jessica Alba, 26, topping online men's magazine FHM Online's ( reader poll of the 100 Sexiest Women in the World for 2008.

Alba dropped to No. 3, coming behind American actress and former model Jessica Biel but ahead of Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert who was ranked fourth after appearing in horror movie "Captivity" last year. U.S actress and singer Scarlett Johansson, 23, rounded out the top five.

"Megan Fox is the deserving winner of this year's FHM title. She's young, she's hot, she's a rising star and her sex appeal has definitely transformed this year's list. She's got a great future ahead of her," said FHM Online U.S. Editor JR Futrell.

Fox debuted on the list at No. 68 in 2006 and was ranked No. 65 last year. But playing the lead female role in "Transformers," a blockbuster $700 million hit at worldwide box offices, markedly raised her profile.

Also in the top 10 were Emmanuelle Chriqui, Hilary Duff, Tricia Helfer, Blake Lively and Kate Beckinsale.

Newcomers to the list included Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice from British pop band the Spice Girls, who moved to Los Angeles with her husband, English soccer player David Beckham, last year. She made her debut at No. 99.

Spears, 26, whose career has been buried under an avalanche of personal and mental health problems, managed to make the list at No. 100, a steep decline from 2004 when she was voted the world's sexiest woman.

FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll is now in its 14th year with nearly 9 million votes cast this year by FHM readers worldwide to choose the sexiest women in film, television, music, sports, and fashion.

This year's list also included reality TV stars to reflect the genre's increasing popularity with three girls from the "The Hills" making the list, including Heidi Montag at No. 44 and Audrina Patridge at No. 80 and Lauren Conrad at No. 95.

From "Dancing with the Stars," actress Shannon Elizabeth returned to the list at No. 46 after being absent last year. She was joined by Cheryl Burke at No. 40 and Karina Smirnoff at No. 78, who made their debuts.

"It's no surprise to us that so many reality stars made this year's list," said Futrell. 'The Hills' is one of the most popular shows on MTV, and 'Dancing with the Stars' is the No. 2 reality show in America after 'American Idol.' We expect even more to be added next year."


Jennifer Lopez starring in TLC reality series

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Jennifer Lopez will executive produce and star in a documentary series at cable channel TLC about her life as an actress and singer, new mother of twins and entrepreneur launching a fragrance line.

"I think it'll be something very exciting," Lopez said during TLC parent Discovery Networks' "upfront" presentation to advertisers in Manhattan on Wednesday.

Lopez and husband Marc Anthony became the parents of a boy and girl in February.

TLC also said it has signed a production deal with the husband-and-wife duo of Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. Under the deal, Ripa, whose day job is co-host of ABC's "Live With Regis and Kelly," also will host a series for TLC.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Leona Lewis tops charts in U.S.

Friday, Apr 18, 2008 LOS ANGELES (Reuters)
British newcomer Leona Lewis achieved a rare double on the U.S. pop charts on Thursday, reclaiming the top spot on the singles tally a day after her debut album opened at No. 1, her label said.

Lewis, the 23-year-old winner of the talent show "X Factor," led the Hot 100 singles chart with "Bleeding Love," which was bounced from No. 1 a week ago by Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body."

Lewis' tune comes from the album "Spirit," which opened at No. 1 on the albums chart on Wednesday, making her the first British musician to achieve this feat with a debut release. The charts are published by music magazine Billboard.

The last artist to top both charts was singer/songwriter Alicia Keys in November 2007. But the last British performer to do so was Phil Collins in 1990.

Lewis is the first British artist to top the singles chart since James Blunt in 2006, and the albums chart since Rod Stewart, also in 2006.

However Lewis' reign on the albums chart will be short-lived. Preliminary data show that Carey's "E=MC2" will open at No. 1 when the next chart is published on Wednesday. Carey's "Touch My Body" single, meanwhile, slid to No. 5 on the latest Hot 100.

"Spirit" debuted at No. 1 in the UK last November, while "Bleeding Love" was Britain's biggest-selling single last year. The U.K. and U.S. albums have different tracks, a throwback to the days when the Beatles and the Rolling Stones tailored their releases for the different markets.

Lewis won "X Factor" in 2006, securing a recording contract with the show's creator, Simon Cowell. His SyCo Records label partnered on her U.S. album with New York-based J Records, a unit of Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Sony BMG is a joint venture between Sony and Bertelsmann.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Blanchett takes limelight at summit

Saturday, Apr 19, 2008 By Rob Taylor

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Hollywood star wattage outweighed intellectual light at the opening of an Australian thinkers summit on Saturday, with cameras firmly focused on Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett and her newborn son.

Fellow actor and X-Men film franchise star Hugh Jackman also stole the limelight from the other 998 of the nation's best minds, promising to lobby for more Australian actors to come home as his "big idea" for the future planning summit.

"It's a beginning, I believe really strongly, of a long and meaningful relationship between artists and the government, not as an adjunct to, but as a fundamental aspect of, society," a beaming Blanchett said when collared by media.

Blanchett, who most recently appeared in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and "I'm Not There", won the best supporting actress Oscar in 2005 for her role as screen goddess Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator", about eccentric U.S. billionaire Howard Hughes.

Blanchett happily posed for photos after entering the so-called 2020 Summit of Australia's brightest minds in the Great Hall of parliament in Canberra on Saturday, just six days after giving birth to her third son, Ignatius Martin Upton.

Blanchett, one of two females among the 10 summit chairs, sat in the front row next to her playwright husband Andrew Upton, who was left holding the baby, who promptly fell asleep after having a wrap removed by his mother.

Jackman said Blanchett was a "superwoman" and described her as "flawless as a person" before heading into a creative brainstorming session to be led by Blanchett.

He said he would push fellow brainstormers to come up with a way of encouraging a more creative focus for all Australians.

"(By 2020 we should have) a really vibrant artistic community that is leading the world, something that is one of the main focuses of Australians, internationally, that we're really proud of," he told Australian radio.

(Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

Celebrities seen as not aiding causes they promote

Friday, Apr 18, 2008 7:30 NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fifty-one percent of Americans say celebrities make little or no positive difference to the issues they promote while 45 percent say they have a large or some positive influence, according to a new survey.

Oprah Winfrey was seen as the best champion of causes with 49 percent of those surveyed in the Harris Poll saying she was very effective at raising awareness. The others in the top five were Bono (32 percent), Angelina Jolie (31 percent), Brad Pitt (23 percent) and George Clooney (22 percent).

Harris surveyed 2,513 U.S. adults online between March 11 and 18.

Younger people were more likely than older people to believe celebrities make a positive difference, and Democrats (55 percent) more likely than Republicans (36 percent) to feel the same, Harris said in a statement.

Fifteen percent of those surveyed said they have supported a cause because of what they heard an actor, singer or other celebrity say or do.

Forty-seven percent said it was bad for celebrities to endorse political candidates.


Foxy Brown freed from prison in New York

Friday, Apr 18, 2008 NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. rapper Foxy Brown was freed from a New York City prison on Friday after serving eight months of a one-year sentence stemming from an assault of two nail salon stylists over a $20 (10 pounds) manicure.

Brown, 29, whose real name is Inga Marchand, was sentenced to three years' probation in October 2006 for assaulting the stylists. But in September 2007 a judge ruled she was not taking probation seriously and sent her prison for one year.

Inmates typically serve two-thirds of their sentence, said Stephen Morello, a Department of Corrections spokesman, adding that Brown had been released and driven from the Rikers Island prison by New York City Councilman Charles Barron.

He said this was a highly unusual move as inmates are usually taken from prison on a public bus and delivered to a city parking lot. But he said that as a public official, Barron had access to prison and had requested to pick up Brown.

Barron could not immediately be reached for comment.

In October authorities said Brown received 76 days in isolation in jail after getting into a shoving match with another inmate and refusing to do a drug test.

Then in January, Brown asked for early release to treat an ear condition she feared could threaten her hearing.

"Yes, I've made some bad choices and stupid mistakes. But please understand that sitting in a prison with murderers and criminals is not rehabilitating or what I need to deal with my inner issues," Brown wrote in a four-page handwritten letter to Judge Melissa Jackson.

Brown became the first female rap artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the U.S. pop chart encompassing all styles of music, with her 1999 album "Chyna Doll."

(Reporting by Edith Honan, editing by Michelle Nichols and Sandra Maler)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Marilyn Monroe

Lest we forget, those were the days when blonde have more fun. Though she was not naturally blonde, Marilyn Monroe's life was a source of hot hollywood celebrity gossip.

Just showing up to show some love

Fleming's war spying helped inspire Bond

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - He may not have cheated death, seduced women at will and killed countless baddies, but James Bond creator Ian Fleming's experience of the shadowy world of wartime espionage helped inspire his bestselling novels.

"For Your Eyes Only" is the first major exhibition devoted to the author and coincides with the centenary of his birth. It opens at London's Imperial War Museum on Thursday and runs until March 1, 2009.

On display is Fleming's desk from his Jamaican home Goldeneye where he wrote his Bond books, a jacket he wore during a raid by British forces on a French port in 1942, several Bond manuscripts and props from the blockbuster film franchise.

The show seeks to explain how a man born into a world of privilege and with a playboy reputation was grounded by his work as a naval intelligence officer during World War Two.

"I think we make the point in the exhibition that the Second World War gave Fleming a sense of purpose in his life that had hitherto been lacking," said curator Terry Charman.

"However much the (Bond) novels may be set in the Cold War ... they in fact are nearly all rooted in World War Two," he told Reuters.

"In 'Moonraker', Hugo Drax's rocket that's going to be launched against London with a nuclear warhead is really a V-2 which Fleming heard land in London from September 1944 onwards."


Fleming, whose father was killed during World War One when he was eight, attended Eton, joined the military before leaving under a cloud and went to Austria to learn languages.

In 1931, he became a journalist at Reuters, which his niece Kate Grimond said played an important role in his success later in life as a novelist.

"By chance (he) got a job at Reuters where he was very well suited and he learned to write very fast and very accurately and that was the basis of his very good writing style," she said.

She added that in order to make more money he left the news agency for a job in finance, but was "no good at that". According to exhibition organisers, he "preferred to spend his time and money on women, golf, gambling and drinking."

During World War Two, as a naval intelligence officer, he came up with several plots to outwit the Germans which would not have looked out of place in a James Bond novel.

In 1940 he devised Operation "Ruthless", a scheme to seize a German naval coding machine by landing a captured enemy bomber in the English Channel, lure in a rescue vessel, kill the crew and "dump them overboard". The idea was quickly abandoned.

Fleming suggested the pilot be a "tough bachelor, able to swim" -- an early prototype for 007.

Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, "Casino Royale", in 1952, and the world of danger and glamour he created for his superspy was the perfect escape from drab post-war Britain.

He married the same year but the stormy relationship quickly deteriorated. Fleming's heavy drinking and smoking took their toll, and he died of a heart attack in 1964 aged 56.

By then the Bond film franchise was underway, which made Fleming a celebrity and boosted sales of his books. In 1964 they were selling 112,000 copies each week.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

Who was Ian Fleming?

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 (Reuters) - London's Imperial War Museum opens a new exhibition on Thursday devoted to the life and work of author Ian Fleming, creator of superspy James Bond.

Fleming was born 100 years ago in 1908.

Here are some facts on Ian Fleming.


-- Fleming was born in Mayfair, London, to Valentine Fleming, an MP. He was also the grandson of Scottish banker Robert Fleming. He was educated at Eton before going on to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. After an early departure from the prestigious officer training school, he opted to study languages at a private school in Austria.

-- Following an unsuccessful application to join the Foreign Office, Fleming worked as a sub-editor and journalist for Reuters, and then as a stockbroker in London.

-- At the start of World War Two, Fleming was recruited into naval intelligence. He became personal assistant to Admiral John H. Godfrey, who served as the model for James Bond's commanding officer, "M".


-- Fleming's intelligence work did provide the background for his novels. In 1953, he published his first novel, "Casino Royale" which introduced secret agent James Bond, known by his code number, 007 - which gave him a licence to kill.

-- Besides the twelve novels and nine short stories he wrote featuring James Bond, Fleming is also known for the children's story, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".


-- In 1961, Fleming sold the film rights to his Bond novels and short stories to Harry Saltzman. He co-produced the film "Dr. No" (1962) with Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli.

-- "Dr. No" was an instant hit and was followed by "From Russia with Love" (1963), the second and last James Bond movie Ian Fleming saw.

* "Quantum of Solace" is the 22nd film in the long-running movie franchise and will star Daniel Craig, as British agent 007. It is scheduled to open in late 2008.


-- Fleming died of a heart attack in Canterbury, Kent in August 1964. He was 56. His widow, Ann Geraldine Mary Fleming died in 1981.

Sources: Reuters/ the Biography Channel/

Victoria Beckham

Our birthday girl today is Victoria Beckham. The former of Spicegirls. Now resides in California following her husband soccer career with the LA Galaxy.

Victoria was born on the 17th of April 1974

still looking gorgeous at 34.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Duffy a small-town girl with big dreams

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008
By Andre Paine

LONDON (Billboard) - As a music lover who grew up in a tiny Welsh town, 23-year-old U.K. chart phenomenon Aimee Duffy is struggling to comprehend her sudden popularity.

When she played a show at the recent South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, 3,000 people showed up to watch her. Duffy, who records by just her last name, said that was more than the entire population of her hometown, Nefyn, which boasts 2,550 people.

Duffy is gearing up for her U.S. launch on the back of impressive sales at home. In the United Kingdom, her debut album "Rockferry," which marries her rich voice to a fresh take on classic soul and the '60s girl group sound, enjoyed the biggest first-week sales so far this year when it moved more than 180,000 copies after its March 3 release, according to the Official U.K. Charts Co. (OCC).

"That was mind-blowing," she says. "I'm not going to pretend it isn't strange. You really do have a new life overnight."

The A&M/Polydor release stayed at No. 1 throughout March, racking up sales to date of more than 400,000, according to the OCC. In Europe, radio airplay for her single "Mercy" meant the scheduled April 7 release was brought forward, with "Rockferry" debuting at No. 2 in the Netherlands, No. 3 in Denmark, and No. 7 in Switzerland.

In conversation, Duffy has a guileless quality that Bernard Butler, one of her producers and collaborators, attributes to her isolated Welsh upbringing. Nefyn was a bus ride away from the nearest record shop, which only stocked the top 40. That store has doubtless been doing good business with "Mercy," which spent five weeks atop the British chart.

Now the upbeat, string-laden track is spearheading her U.S. campaign, where the album will be released May 13 via the relaunched Mercury imprint.

Duffy is due to play the Coachella festival in southern California on April 27, and will return to Los Angeles the following month for a slot on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

British-born Mercury president David Massey shuns parallels with another U.K. soul singer, the tabloid target Amy Winehouse.

"We haven't been marketing (Duffy's) personality, although she is starting to cross over and become a celebrity," he says. "She's the girl next door -- very natural and innocent and fun."

Duffy has already become British tabloid property, with London's Sun reporting last month that she was placed in a safe house a decade ago after a hitman was hired to murder her stepfather.

"Too many things have hurt me in my life and this is one thing that's not going to hurt me," Duffy says. "I just try to keep a smile on my face."


Kylie Minogue album a flop in United States

Friday, Apr 11, 2008
By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Despite an unusually aggressive promotion schedule, Kylie Minogue has bombed in the United States with her first album in four years.

"X," the Australian pop singer's fourth U.S. release and 10th overall, debuted at No. 139 on the Billboard 200 with sales of just 6,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Her previous album, "Body Language," debuted at No. 42 with 43,000 copies in 2004. Two years earlier, "Fever" bowed at No. 3 after selling 114,700 copies.

Minogue, 39, was sidelined for two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She was in the United States the week of the album's April 1 release, doing TV interviews on NBC's "Today," CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the syndicated "Ellen DeGeneres Show." She also sang on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," which was seen by more than 17 million people.

"X" was released internationally last November, debuting at No. 2 in Britain and No. 1 in Australia, her third chart-topper Down Under. She begins a European tour in France on May 6; no U.S. dates have been announced.

Minogue's international fame is not exactly replicated in the United States, where such albums as 2000's "Light Years" and 1990's "Enjoy Yourself" were not even released. Her only other Billboard 200 appearance was with her 1988 debut, "Kylie," which peaked at No. 53.

Still, the relative U.S. anonymity has its benefits.

"It's a slightly weird situation for me because I can still walk the streets here (in Los Angeles) and no one will recognize me. I love it," Minogue told Reuters in January.

A spokesman for Capitol Records, which released "X" in partnership with dance label Astralwerks, said a lot of Minogue's core fans in the United States bought imported copies of the album last year. The campaign for the album is still in its early stages, he added, with the first single, "All I See," going out to radio stations next week. Both Capitol and Astralwerks are units of Britain's EMI Group.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz engaged

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Ashlee Simpson and her boyfriend Pete Wentz, bassist for the band Fall Out Boy, are engaged to marry, Simpson's spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The pair, who have been romantically linked since 2006, posted a statement at the social networking Web site in which they say "we are thrilled to share that we are happily engaged."

"We consider this to be a very private matter, but we wanted you to hear it straight from us," the pair said.

Simpson, 23, the younger sister of singer and actress Jessica Simpson, has forged her own singing and acting career.

She had a role in the television show "Seventh Heaven" and recorded albums including her 2004 debut work, "Autobiography."

Wentz, 28, co-founded pop punk band Fall Out Boy in 2001, and the band, for which he is also the lyricist, has built a loyal following with albums that include 2005's popular "From Under the Cork Tree."


Nude Bruni photo sells at auction

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A nude photo of French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, standing in a pigeon-toed pose and covering her modesty with her hands, was sold on Thursday in New York for $91,000 (46,000 pounds), more than 20 times its expected price.

A buyer for a Chinese art collector bought the black-and-white image, taken by photographer Michel Comte in 1993 during her modelling days, Christie's auction house said.

The sale of the photo has attracted attention since Bruni married French President Nicolas Sarkozy in February.

The photo had been expected to fetch between $3,000 and $4,000. It was auctioned as part of a sale of 140 photos from German collector Gert Elfering, which also features work by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Peter Beard.

An Avedon portrait of 1950s and 1960s French screen siren Brigitte Bardot sold for $181,000. It had been expected to garner between $80,000 and $120,000.

(Reporting by Karen Brettell and Brendan McDermid; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Xavier Briand)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oscar-winner Charlton Heston dies at 84


Sunday, Apr 06, 2008

By Bernie Woodall

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winning U.S. actor Charlton Heston, whose chiselled features and commanding presence won him epic roles from Moses to Michelangelo and became the face of American gun rights, died on Saturday night at age 84.

Heston died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, with wife Lydia at his side, the family said in a statement. Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar for the title role in "Ben-Hur" in which he did many of his own chariot race stunts, had announced in 2002 that he was suffering symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

"Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life," the family said. "No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country. In his own words, 'I have lived such a wonderful life! I've lived enough for two people.'"

The family said a private memorial service would be held.

In his acting heyday, Heston's rugged features and conservative lifestyle seemed to belong to another age. As director Anthony Mann said: "Put a toga on him and he looks perfect." Frank Sinatra once joked: "That guy Heston has to watch it. If he's not careful, he'll get actors a good name."

Between super-spectacles ("The 10 Commandments," "Ben-Hur"), science fiction movies ("Planet of the Apes," "Soylent Green") and disaster epics ("Earthquake"), Heston pushed for screen versions of Shakespearean plays, directing one, "Anthony and Cleopatra."

Heston's most controversial role came not in a movie but as president of the National Rifle Association, the gun-rights lobby group, from 1998 to 2003. He made his stance clear when he stood at podium during a convention, holding an antique flintlock rifle above his head and told gun-control advocates they would not get his gun unless they could pry it "from my cold, dead hands."

"He believed the sanctity of American freedom was defined by the Bill of Rights and the Bill of Rights was what made the United States different from every country in the world," Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, told CNN.

President George W. Bush said in a statement, "He served his country during World War Two, marched in the civil rights movement, led a labour union, and vigorously defended Americans' Second Amendment rights. He was a man of character and integrity, with a big heart."


Nancy Reagan, widow of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who also suffered from Alzheimer's, said she was heartbroken by Heston's death.

"He was one of Ronnie's and my dearest friends," she said. "He shared a love of radio and acting and politics with Ronnie and I know they had many discussions about each of their terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild."

Film historian David Thomson said that Heston was, "One of America's great heroes" in the two decades following World War Two.

"He had the gravitas to play God and God-like figures, which you don't have among today's actors," Thomson said. "When he took the part of Moses, he took it seriously and believed in it and that belief made those films successful in their time. Those were great films of their time."

Born John Charlton Carter (Heston was his stepfather's name) on October 4, 1923, in Evanston, Illinois, he made his theatrical debut as Santa Claus in a school play at age 5.

After serving in the Army Air Corps in World War Two, Heston headed to Broadway, where he briefly supported himself with nude modelling between acting jobs.

In 1944, he married fellow Northwestern University drama student Lydia Clarke and their marriage lasted 64 years until his death. They had two children, Fraser Clarke and Holly Ann, and three grandchildren.

After some stage and television roles, Cecil B. DeMille put Heston in "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952) and in 1956 cast him as Moses in "The 10 Commandments," saying the actor reminded him of Michelangelo's statue. The $7.5 million epic was the most expensive film up to that time and became the second-biggest money maker of the time, behind "Gone With the Wind."

In addition to playing Moses, Heston did the voice of God in the film.


He also took roles in Westerns, with a break in 1957 for Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil," followed by more epics.

Less successful were his portrayal of John the Baptist in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" about the life of Jesus and that of Michelangelo in "The Agony and the Ecstasy," a 1965 commercial flop.

Heston was a besieged astronaut in 1968's "The Planet of the Apes," which led to more science fiction hits such as "The Omega Man" (1971) and "Soylent Green" (1973). He also was a leading figure in disaster epics, among them "Skyjacked" (1972) and "Airport 1975" (1974).

In 1985, Heston played patriarch Jason Colby in the TV soap opera "Dynasty II: The Colbys of California."

In the 1950s and 1960s Heston worked in the civil rights movement and he was a six-term president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Heston once campaigned for Democrats -- Adlai Stevenson against Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy against Richard Nixon. But he switched to Republican Nixon in 1972 and backed old friend Ronald Reagan in the ex-actor's quest for the presidency. Thereafter, he was identified with conservative politics and causes.

Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bush in 2003.

(Additional reporting by Bill Trott in Washington)(Editing by Philip Barbara)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Naomi Campbell bailed after plane arrest

Naomi Campbell bailed after plane arrest

Friday, Apr 04, 2008

LONDON (Reuters) - Supermodel Naomi Campbell was released on bail pending investigation into a disturbance on a plane at Heathrow's new Terminal 5, police sources said on Friday.

The 37-year-old model was escorted off a U.S.-bound flight on Thursday after police were called. She was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, and later released to return on bail in late May.

"She was released on bail shortly after midnight, and is due to return on bail," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

Campbell was on a British Airways flight due to depart for Los Angeles when the disturbance occurred.

Her spokeswoman said that one of two bags she had checked in had gone missing.

"BA decided to resolve this by insisting she leave the flight and then called the police to forcibly eject her from the flight," the spokeswoman said.

"She was taken to the Heathrow Police Station and released on police bail. So far as we are aware, BA have still failed to offer any explanation as to why her bag went missing at Terminal 5."

BA has been beset by problems with the high-tech check-in and baggage handling systems at the 4.3 billion pound terminal.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled and tens of thousands of bags have gone missing, costing the airline about 16 million pounds since the terminal's opening last month.

It is not the first time Campbell has been in trouble with the law.

She spent five days mopping floors as part of a community service sentence in New York last year after throwing a mobile phone at her housekeeper during a row over a pair of jeans.

She was also ordered to attend anger management classes.

(Reporting by Avril Ormsby and Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Who is UK's best dressed men

Men's mag says Daniel Craig is UK's best dressed

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008

LONDON (Reuters) - James Bond actor Daniel Craig was named 'Britain's Best Dressed Man' for the second consecutive year by men's magazine GQ.

The first blond Bond was joined in the top 10 by fellow Hollywood stars Daniel Day Lewis, James McAvoy and Jude Law.

But there was bad news for future king Prince William, who was named Britain's sixteenth worst dressed man, a list topped for the second consecutive year by comedian Russell Brand.

Princes Harry, Charles and Philip all feature in the top 50 of Britain's best dressed men.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is third on the list of worst dressed men, but there was better news for Conservative leader David Cameron who was named eighth best dressed man, his third top 10 appearance in a row.

The two main candidates for London's mayoral election were also given the sartorial thumbs-down. Mayor Ken Livingstone was the country's 11th worst dressed man but his rival Boris Johnson fared only slightly better, coming 14th on the list.

David Beckham's ability to polarize opinion has seen him included in both lists. The former England captain was named sixth best dressed and ninth worst dressed man. Beckham topped the best dressed list in 2002, 2003 and 2004 but lost his title to fellow footballer Rio Ferdinand in 2005.

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton was a newcomer to the best dressed list, entering in fifteenth place.


Madonna's adoption in Malawi

Madonna expected in Malawi

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008

LILONGWE (Reuters) - American pop star Madonna is due back in Malawi next week for what is expected to be a final court ruling on whether she can adopt a child from the southern African country, airport officials said on Tuesday.

A senior official at Lilongwe International Airport told Reuters her jet was cleared for landing from April 8 and she was expected around that time.

In February, Malawian Information Minister Patricia Kaliati praised Madonna's efforts to rally support for orphans in the impoverished country and said it would be wrong for the government to deny the pop star's adoption of a child there.

Madonna is in the process of adopting a Malawian boy, David Banda.

She began adoption proceedings in 2006 after meeting the boy in a local orphanage. The toddler is living with Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie in London.

The adoption has been controversial, with critics accusing the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi, which has been badly hit by the AIDS epidemic and is one of the poorest in the world.

There are an estimated 1 million orphans in the country, many of whom are infected with the HIV virus. Malawi's government is amending its adoption laws.

(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda, editing by Myra MacDonald)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Eva Mendes

eva mendes, hot babe who is on top ten list of most desirable women of 2008. She is hot and sensual naturally she deserve to be the hottest girl of this decade.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Melyssa Grace, California sunshine hot babe

melyssa grace is a new hot gravure model from sunny california, modelling is her passion. This photo was taken from maxim, you know she will be a hot property in the coming months. Another hot babe from California is born
she is a new comer in hot modelling, needless to say she has enough arsenal to have that hot horny look, those booby traps will surely catch your eyes, very nice boob
melyssa is a hot model from california
melyssa grace in bikini during catwalk show

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Girls Gone Wild" founder freed on Florida charges

Mar 13, 2008 12:38, MIAMI (Reuters) - "Girls Gone Wild" adult video founder Joe Francis on Wednesday pleaded no contest to filming underage girls for his DVDs and was sentenced to time already served in jail and set free.

Multimillionaire Francis built his fortune selling videos of young women -- usually drunk -- baring their breasts. He had been charged with filming two 17-year-old girls in Panama City, Florida, in 2003 for one of his videos, which sell millions of copies a year.

"The only reason I pleaded no contest was to get out of jail," Francis told Reuters by telephone from Panama City, insisting he was "100 percent innocent."

The girls signed forms consenting to be taped and falsely claiming they were 18 years old, which would make them of legal age. But Francis and "Girls Gone Wild" were still responsible for knowing the girls' real age, his attorney, Roy Black, said.

On his Web site, Francis claimed officials in Panama City were intent on making an example of him and wrongfully pursued him with a vengeance.

Black said there were "various matters" that caused "both sides to compromise." But he declined to provide further information, citing an agreement by both sides not to disclose details of the plea bargain.

Francis said he would return to Los Angeles and resume running his company, and added that he had not made any changes to the way he would do business.

"I'm not making any changes whatsoever, even in this case, our (filming) releases were perfect," he said.

Francis had been in jail for the last 11 months in Nevada, where he was indicted for tax evasion. Those federal tax charges remain in place and Francis said he would continue fighting them.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

hot babes from Argentina




These hot girls live in and around Buenos Aires. Latin women are hot! As you can see here. These young hot babes are model or part time model, some of them might also running escort services for some discreet gentlemen. Young, bold, hot and so beautiful. Can they follow the footsteps of hot model such as giselle bundchen or alesandra ambrosio.
How is the beach scene in Brazil or Argentina? Must be very hot with these cute girls walking around in thongs or bikini.
Well there is new noun called brazillian thongs, it must have been derived from the hot look of these hot babes. How I love summer beaches. To watch the beauty of these hot argentinian women exposed themselves.