Mariah Carey checks out
Plus, Tom and Nicole's final reunion fizzles quietly, Rebecca Gayheart faces a wrongful death suit, and more
HEALTH WATCH Mariah Carey is out of the hospital but not out of the woods. She checked herself out of the Silver Hill clinic in Connecticut yesterday, where she had spent much of the last two weeks under psychiatric care after her breakdown from what she said was exhaustion. Her publicist told the New York Daily News, ”She’s resting under a doctor’s care at an undisclosed location with her mother.”
LAST HURRAH There were no fireworks at last night’s Hollywood premiere of ”The Others,” as star Nicole Kidman and coproducer Tom Cruise managed to avoid each other. Kidman arrived first, accompanied by ”Others” director Alejandro Amenabar, as well as her friends, actresses Naomi Watts and Rebecca Rigg. Twenty minutes after she and her group went inside to watch the movie, Cruise arrived alone and walked the red carpet but didn’t stay for the screening. The estranged couple, whose divorce was finalized hours later, at midnight, were gracious about each other. ”I am glad he is here to support the movie,” Kidman told reporters. Cruise praised his soon to be ex-wife’s performance in the horror thriller, saying she ”owned” the role. Then again, Kidman plays a repressed, paranoid mother who’s spooked by her own kids, so maybe it wasn’t a compliment.
LEGAL BRIEFS A couple is suing Rebecca Gayheart for negligence over the death of their 9-year-old son, who was killed when the actress struck him in a Jeep at a Hollywood intersection in June. Jorge Cruz and Sylvia Martinez are suing the former ”Beverly Hills, 90210” star and actor Marco Leonardi, the Jeep’s owner, for unspecified damages, including hospital and funeral expenses for Jorge Cruz Jr. The couple’s lawyer says the boy was walking home from school on June 13 when another vehicle stopped at the intersection to let him cross the street, and that Gayheart passed the car on the left, striking and killing the child. The lawyer also alleges she was distracted and may have been using her cell phone at the time. Gayheart’s lawyer denies the cell phone allegation and says the boy was jaywalking and running across the street. He also says that Gayheart has already paid the funeral expenses and has not driven a car since the accident. It’s not clear if the police are still investigating the incident, or if criminal charges will be filed, though police did talk to the 28 year old actress at the scene and ruled out alcohol as a factor. Gayheart, who costars in upcoming TV series ”Inside Schwartz,” issued a statement, saying, ”There are no words to express my sorrow and regret over the accident. I send my prayers, thoughts and deepest sympathy to the family. Despite the allegations in the lawsuit, the facts will establish that this was a most unfortunate accident. The pain of this tragedy will live with me forever”….
Death Row Records founder Marion ”Suge” Knight was freed from a federal prison in Portland, Ore., on Monday and headed straight for a Los Angeles recording studio. The 36 year old gangsta-rap mogul was paroled after serving 5 years of a 9-year sentence for violating his probation by brawling in a Las Vegas hotel, just hours before Tupac Shakur was shot to death while sitting in Knight’s car. The probation stemmed from a 1992 attack on two rival rappers, to which Knight pleaded no contest. Once free, Knight wasted no time getting back to business, telling the Los Angeles Times, ”Death Row has been successful during my absence. But now we’re going to take it to the next level”….
One of Robert Iler‘s alleged accomplices in a Manhattan mugging last month has been charged with first degree robbery in an earlier mugging. Michael Cournede, 19, allegedly stole money, a jacket, and a CD player from a teenager in April, nearly three months before he and Iler and two other boys allegedly took $40 from two teenage victims. Iler, 16, who plays A.J. on ”The Sopranos,” faces 15 years in prison if convicted in the July incident, to which all the defendants have pleaded innocent. Cournede faces 25 years if convicted of the April mugging.
STICKER SHOCK Turns out the ”American Pie 2” ad slogan — ”It’s all about sticking together” — doesn’t refer only to friendship, but also to Jason Biggs’s new sexual aid. It’s not a pastry this time; it’s Krazy Glue. Director James Rogers claims that the soon to be notorious glue episode is in keeping with the R-rated comedy’s drive for realism, bucking the current Hollywood trend toward toning down teen movies amid Congress’ threats to regulate how films are marketed to kids. ”We didn’t want to [make a PG-rated movie] because look, these kids lives are R-rated. Our lives… are R-rated, we have sex, we drink, we get our hands stuck on our penises,” Rogers told Reuters. ”Seriously, this is what these kids do.” Uh, kids, don’t try this at home.
WHERE’S THE BEEF? Six months ago, ”Babe” star and animal rights actvist James Cromwell sent a letter to CBS in protest of the notorious pig slaughter on ”Survivor.” But now, the actor is preparing to go to work for the network as the star of new series ”Citizen Baines.” ”I want to be on CBS because I want people who watch the show to hear a different point of view, because I’m a vegan and I’m going to be a vegan on the show,” he tells TV Guide. ”And [viewers] are going to have to deal with that at some point.” So may CBS brass, if Cromwell’s legal trouble from another protest earlier this year conflicts with his ”Baines” production schedule. Cromwell and five other activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were arrested last month at a Wendy’s in Virginia for protesting the chain’s alleged abuse of animals at its factory farms. If Wendy’s holds him to a Sept. 20 court date in Virginia, he’ll have to travel 3,000 miles from Los Angeles and miss some production time just to be slapped with a fine. ”I think having me come — at that particular time — all that way for just trespassing would be a little vindictive on their part. But I did break the law, and I understand you have to take responsibility for that.” Still, he’d use the trial as an opportunity to publicize the issue ”a little more for those who missed it.”
REEL DEALS You knew Oscar winning actor and rock band frontman Russell Crowe was multitalented. Turns out he has many more hats. He plans to direct, produce, and star in ”The Long Green Shore,” a ”Thin Red Line”-like World War II drama about an Australian battalion that wonders about the necessity of its mission, fighting overmatched, battle weary Japanese forces in New Guinea in the waning days of the war. Crowe will also rewrite the screenplay by Bob Ellis, a collaborator with the late John Hepworth, who wrote the original novel. Production begins next spring….
Renée Zellweger proved to Miramax and the world that she could handle a British accent in ”Bridget Jones’s Diary.” Now she’s also proved to the studio that she can sing and dance well enough to play one of the two musical murderesses in ”Chicago.” Now that she’s passed director Rob Marshall‘s audition, she’s in negotiations for one of the starring roles in the film version of the hit Broadway revival; Catherine Zeta-Jones (who has more singing and dancing experience from her work on London’s West End) is in talks for the other lead. Miramax is also eyeing Kevin Spacey and Kathy Bates for supporting roles….
More and more, a night at the movies is coming to resemble a night spent watching pay-per-view TV in a really big living room. Continuing this transformation is the Cinemark theater chain, which plans to simulcast a live concert by Sugar Ray in 44 of its theaters in 21 states on Aug. 15. Handling the broadcast is the firm Cinema Presents, which hopes to have digital projectors capable of receiving satellite feeds in 250 theaters nationwide by next summer….
Other deals: Following the smash opening weeked for ”Rush Hour 2,” MGM is signing Jackie Chan to star in a remake of Jerry Lewis‘ ”The Bellboy,” to be set (natch) in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Danny DeVito is in talks to direct Kate Hudson in the romantic comedy ”How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Director Jake Kasdan hopes to reunite with his ”Zero Effect” star Ben Stiller for the romantic comedy ”Public Enemy.”
TUBE TALK Jamie Foxx has been named the host of the MTV Music Video Awards. He’ll MC the ceremony on Sept. 6 at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City…. Anne Heche is following her ex, Ellen DeGeneres, to TV. She’s finalizing a deal with Warner Bros. Television to develop a comedy series to star in next fall….
Last Monday’s episode of ”Fear Factor” drew 15 million viewers, the show’s highest audience yet, helping NBC win the week’s Nielsen ratings. An average of 8.2 million viewers watched NBC last week, followed by ABC (7.8 million), CBS (7.6 million), Fox (5.6 million), UPN (3.2 million), and the WB (2.1 million). Viewers have been turning off reruns, as apparent from a top 10 full of new episodes of reality programs, game shows, and news magazines; the only scripted series in the top spots were ”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (No. 6), ”Everybody Loves Raymond” (No. 9), and ”Law and Order” (tying for No. 10 with ”Dateline NBC”).
SOUND BITES Following in the dubious footsteps of Roseanne and Steven Tyler, Macy Gray was booed in her hometown of Canton, Ohio, for her unorthodox rendition of ”The Star Spangled Banner” before an exhibition game at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Monday. She stumbled over the words to the national anthem, and her voice grew increasingly wobbly and raspy, until she was finally drowned out by a formation of low flying planes.
PASSING NOTES TV addicts may not know his name or his face, but they’d recognize Lorenzo Music‘s sleepy voice. Music, who died of lung cancer at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, was known to younger viewers as the voice of Garfield the cat, while older viewers will remember him as the voice of Carlton the doorman on ”Rhoda.” Music, 64, was an accomplished TV comedy writer who cocreated ”Rhoda” and ”The Bob Newhart Show,” for which he also wrote the snappy theme music. He also wrote for ”The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” for which he won an Emmy, and ”The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
American Pie 2