FREED Robert Downey Jr., 35, was freed from jail yesterday, after an appeals court found that a judge had failed to take into account 323 days the actor had already served in rehab. The Oscar nominee’s career has been on hold since August 1999, when he was handed a three year sentence for violating probation on a 1996 cocaine possession charge after he repeatedly skipped mandatory drug tests. Initial calculations put his parole eligibility at November. The ”Wonder Boys” star told Vanity Fair recently that he has not taken drugs since June 1999. His attorney said that the actor is ”doing as well as one can be under the circumstances. I’m sure he is doing a lot better as of today.”
CONCERT TRAGEDY Pearl Jam is unlikely to face charges for the deaths that occurred during their performance at the Roskilde Festival last month. They will meet with Danish police on Aug. 8 to discuss the events and aid in the investigation, but their attorney says that he has already met with officials and reached an agreement that no criminal charges would be filed. The band had stayed in Denmark until the end of July, hoping that they would be able to work with police before the Aug. 3 start date of their North American tour.
CASTING Another talent has joined the ”Planet of the Apes” roster of attractive primates: Variety reports that Helena Bonham Carter will don the regalia of the ape princess in Tim Burton’s remake of the classic flick…. Ed Norton will pair with director Gregory Hoblit in the WWII drama ”Hart’s War.” It’s the first time the two have worked together since ”Primal Fear,” which earned Norton an Oscar nomination in 1996.
TOUR Some Limp Bizkit lovers in Texas are undoubtedly disappointed. Amid reports of minor disturbances among fans waiting for free tickets to Back to Basics performances, the band has opted to cancel one of its Dallas dates, Launch reports. First, concert goers complained that there was a lot of rowdy pushing and shoving while waiting in line for a show. Then, Houston authorities arrested six people when fans lined up for a show started an impromptu wet T-shirt contest. Now that’s a confirmation of dire predictions if there ever was one.
MUSIC NEWS Add another Web savvy artist to the Internet publicity game. Marilyn Manson has posted a partial track listing on his website for his upcoming release ”Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)” set to debut Oct. 24. Manson says on the site that he will provide weekly online previews starting next week so that fans ”can see it and hear it here first before someone gets it inappropriately and without our permission.”
LEGALESE Dana Giacchetto, former financial adviser to a host of Hollywood celebs including Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, tearfully pled guilty to charges that he stole some $10 mil of his clients’ dough to support his lavish lifestyle. According to the plea agreement, the ex money manager will serve 46 to 57 months in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 3. On the good side, Giacchetto can probably pay back all his clients with the money he’ll make on the inevitable movie based on his story.
AWARDS Destiny’s Child, Eve, and Mary J. Blige led the nominations for the Soul Train First Lady of Soul Awards, with three nods each. Actress Halle Barry will take home a special Lena Horne Award for outstanding career achievements and Toni Braxton will receive the Aretha Franklin Award for entertainer of the year.
DEATHS Jerome Smith, a founding member of disco heavyweights KC & the Sunshine Band, died in a construction accident last week. The rhythm guitarist was 47.