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Madonna's beau is booked for assault

Plus, ”Gladiator,” Ron Howard, Victoria’s Secret, Elián Gonzalez, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more

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Madonna, Guy Ritchie
Brendan Beirne/Corbis Sygma

CRIME Madonna‘s boyfriend Guy Ritchie was arrested in London early Thursday morning after allegedly attacking a man who waited outside the couple’s Kensington home. A police spokesperson told Reuters that Ritchie, the 31 year old director of ”Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” was interviewed at the police station, then later released on bail. The alleged victim of the attack was an unidentified 20 year old man, whose injuries were minor and did not require hospital treatment. I guess the ’80s really are back if Madonna’s boyfriends are kicking people’s asses again.

MEA CULPA ”Gladiator” director Ridley Scott and his director brother Tony Scott (”Top Gun”) have apologized for a trade ad placed by their co-owned commercial production company RSA USA. The ad, which was placed in response to the on-going Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) strike against the commercial industry, depicted a bare-breasted elderly black woman and the text: ”In South Africa, this is what SAG means.” (RSA recently opened an office in South Africa where commercial production has not been affected by the strike.) The ad was quickly denounced as racist and sexist by groups including SAG and the NAACP. ”It’s sad that these people had to stoop so low as to degrade black women in order to bust a union boycott,” said NAACP California State Conference VP Billie Green. The company responded to the complaints yesterday in an issued statement saying: ”RSA USA made a huge mistake. Our intent was not to offend people of color, women or anyone else… For that we are truly and deeply sorry.”

CASTING ”Gladiator” star Russell Crowe may take the lead in director Ron Howard‘s ”A Beautiful Mind,” a biopic about John Forbes Nash Jr., a schizophrenic genius who won a Nobel prize. According to Variety, Crowe may get $15 million for his next film.

WEB WINNERS The webcast of Victoria’s Secret‘s annual fashion show again broke a viewer record, with more than 2 million people tuning in. This is further proof that on the information superhighway, all we want to do is see people get nekkid.

TV NEWS Time Warner (EW’s parent company) has reached an ”agreement in principle” with Disney to end the dispute that led to TW dropping the Disney-owned ABC network from it’s cable systems earlier in the year. The news was announced at yesterday’s TW shareholders meeting…. Fox Family Channel has greenlit a TV movie about the Eli├ín Gonzalez story, to air in September before CBS’s planned movie, which is scheduled for November sweeps.

REEL DEALS Disney will release ”Duets” starring Gwyneth Paltrow and directed by her dad, Bruce Paltrow, after he agreed to edit two violent scenes from the movie. Wow, we remember when parents wouldn’t even let their kids WATCH violent movies, much less make them star in one.