Plus, another witness saw Puffy with a gun, ''Crouching Tiger'' will break foreign film record, and more
AWARD ALERT The wait is over: Eminem — who is nominated for four Grammys, including Album of the Year — says he WILL attend the annual ceremony on Feb. 21, according to MTV.com. ”It’s hilarious, you know what, and that’s why I’m gonna go,” he told MTV Europe. ”It’s because everyone doesn’t want my ass there, so I’m going to sit my stinking ass down next to ‘N Sync and flick pennies at them and f—–g just stand in everybody’s face and say ‘kiss my ass.”’ Needless to say, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) will be attending the awards as well — to protest Em’s presence.
LINEUP Speaking of the Grammys, the list of performers is ever growing. Divas Christina Aguilera and Faith Hill have signed on, joining a lineup that includes Destiny’s Child, Madonna, and U2, to name a few. Toni Braxton, Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, and actors Andy Garcia and Kevin James have been tapped to present awards.
LAW & ORDER A woman testified on Monday, Feb. 5, that she had seen hip hop mogul Sean ”Puffy” Combs holding a gun right before she was shot in the face at a New York nightclub in 1999. Combs has denied the gun possession and bribery charges, but according to Reuters, Natania Reuben was the second witness to claim Puffy was packing heat during the melee, which injured her. Reuben said she first saw Puffy pal (and codefendant) Jamal ”Shyne” Barrow pull out a gun. However, when Combs’ attorney cross examined Reuben, she admitted she didn’t know if it was Combs’ or Barrow’s gun that shot her, ”I saw two guns out. But I don’t now whose gun I was shot by.”
REEL RECORD Director Ang Lee‘s Mandarin martial arts epic ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is expected to break the box office record for foreign language films playing in the U.S. The current leader, Oscar winner ”Life Is Beautiful,” has earned $57.6 million since 1997. ”Crouching Tiger” (total gross $53 million and counting) is expected to surpass the Italian Holocaust drama this weekend, Feb. 9 to 11. Could this possibly render Roberto Benigni speechless?
LEGAL BRIEF Original ”Survivor” contestant Stacey Stillman (the San Francisco lawyer who was third to get the boot) has filed a lawsuit against show creator Mark Burnett and the CBS Corporation. The eye rolling attorney claims Burnett convinced two fellow Tagi tribesmembers to vote her off, in order to keep 72 year old retired Navy SEAL Rudy Boesch on the program.
Stillman, who wants restitution for lost prize money and $75,000 in punitive damages, alleges that Dirk Been and Sean Kenniff conspired against her to please Burnett, who supposedly wanted at least one over 40 contestant on the game show for older audiences. According to the AP, CBS said in a statement: ”We heard about Stacey Stillman’s allegations several months ago. They had no merit then. They have no merit now.” That’s what CBS gets for putting a real lawyer on a show.
CASTING File under ”Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”: The ubiquitous actor is in talks to join Sylvester Stallone in the thriller ”Dolan’s Cadillac,” based on a Stephen King novella. Set to start production in May, ”Cadillac” is produced by Paula Wagner and Tom Cruise‘s C/ W Productions.
Columbia Pictures has rounded up a hefty list of young TV and movie stars for the comedy spoof ”Teen Movie” (a.k.a. ”Ten Things I Hate About Clueless Roadtrips When I Can’t Hardly Wait to be Kissed”). So far, newcomer Chris Evans joins teen project vets JoAnna Garcia and Samm Levine (”Freaks and Geeks”), Sam Huntington (”Detroit Rock City”), Mia Kirshner (”Mad City”), Chyler Leigh (”Safe Harbor”), Cody McMains (”Bring It On”), and Jamie Pressly (”Jack & Jill”). The movie was written by the cowriters of ”Scary Movie.”
BACK TO TV ”Seinfeld”’s Jason Alexander will star in and executive produce ”Bob Patterson,” a Fox comedy about a motivational speaker whose own life is messed up. (The Richard Hatch story, anyone?)
Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss has signed on to star in the drama pilot ”The Education of Max Bickford” for CBS. The 53 year old actor has been considering three different pilots for several months, but selected ”Bickford” on Feb. 4. The drama will feature Dreyfuss as a history professor at a women’s college where his daughter is an undergrad and his ex- wife is the school’s president.
Tony Shalhoub (”Stark Raving Mad”) will star in the medical drama pilot ”Heart Department” from ”Party of Five” creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman. Set in a Chicago — oops, I mean Berkeley, Calif. ! — hospital, the CBS program follows a psychiatrist (Shalhoub) working with cardiac patients. The producers claim that unlike many other hospital shows, their drama focuses on the doctors’ personal lives and relationships. Sounds like ”General Hospital.”