Celebrity news for the week of May 18, 2007
Neve Campbell (The Company), 33, wed British actor John Light (Heights), 32, in Malibu on May 5…. Brittany Murphy (Sin City), 29, tied the knot with screenwriter Simon Monjack in L.A.
On May 1, Jennifer Esposito (Crash), 34, filed for divorce from her husband of four months, Bradley Cooper (Wedding Crashers), 32, citing irreconcilable differences.
Kevin Costner, 52, and wife Christine, 33, greeted their first child together, son Cayden Wyatt, on May 6…. ER‘s Goran Visnjic, 34, and his wife, Ivana, adopted their first child, son Tin. He was born on April 19 in L.A.
On May 4, American Idol producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick announced that they have stepped down as executive producers for this year’s prime-time Emmy Awards program, due to their busy schedules. Last year’s exec producer, Ken Ehrlich, will replace them.
George Michael, 43, pleaded guilty on May 8 to a charge that he was unfit to drive. London police claim that on Oct. 1, 2006, they found the singer intoxicated on drugs while in his car near an intersection. He’s due back in court on May 30…. Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan), 45, was arrested on suspicion of drug possession on May 8 in Bakersfield, Calif. Police searched his car suspecting that Sizemore was under the influence, and claim they found crystal meth in the vehicle. At press time, Sizemore — currently on probation for a 2004 drug arrest — was expected to appear in court on May 10. His reps declined to comment…. Busta Rhymes (né Trevor Smith), 34, was charged with driving while intoxicated on May 3 in NYC. The rapper is due back in court on July 10, where he’ll also face three previous charges: driving with a suspended license and two counts of misdemeanor assault. He’s pleaded not guilty to all charges…. Ty Pennington, 42, host of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, was charged on May 8 in L.A. for misdemeanor DUI. He will appear in court on June 4. Said Pennington in a statement: ”I made an error in judgment.”… HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht, 54, was arrested on May 6 in Las Vegas after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend outside the MGM Grand hotel. Albrecht, in town to attend the Oscar de la Hoya — Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match, spent 12 hours in jail. Two days later, Albrecht issued a statement in which he admitted to struggling with an alcohol problem: ”This weekend was a wake-up call…. I intend to take a temporary leave of absence from HBO effective today, in order to go back to working with AA.” The network’s COO, Bill Nelson, is assuming Albrecht’s duties in the interim. The DA and Albrecht’s lawyer are gathering facts, but no charges have been filed…. Radio personality Don Imus, 65, has hired litigator Martin Garbus for his upcoming $120 million suit against CBS Radio, which he’ll likely file next week. Imus, who was dropped by the company last month for making racially insensitive comments on the air, claims his contract called for him to be controversial and irreverent — and that his remarks did not violate FCC regulations. In a statement, CBS said, ”[We] expect to prevail in any attempt by Mr. Imus to recover money for his actions.”… A third wrongful-death suit was filed against Brandy, 28, on May 2 in L.A. Marouane Hdidou, husband of Awatef Aboudihaj — the woman killed in a December car crash involving the singer — claims Brandy was driving ”recklessly” and seeks unspecified damages. Brandy also faces still-pending suits filed by Aboudihaj’s children and parents…. Writer-producer J.J. Paulsen (In Living Color), 47, was charged May 3 with murder. Police arrested Paulsen on April 18 following the discovery of his wife’s decomposing body in the couple’s Indianapolis home. Paulsen, who maintains his innocence, is currently in jail and expected to stand trial on Oct. 16.
Tony-winning tap dancer Henry LeTang, 91, who also choreographed films such as Tap, of natural causes, April 26, in Las Vegas. — Additonal reporting by Alice Lee Tebo and Stewart Allen
A former pro football player known for portraying thugs, particularly in the ’70s classics Chinatown and Every Which Way But Loose, Jenson died April 24 of cancer in L.A. During his five-decade career, the actor — who began as a stuntman and once served as a double for Robert Mitchum — appeared in more than 170 films and TV shows, from Red Dawn to Gunsmoke. — Adam Markovitz
Paris: Jail Is So Not Hot
Paris Hilton, kiss your five-star lifestyle goodbye. On May 4, a judge sentenced the 26-year-old hotel heiress to 45 days behind bars after she violated her probation (stemming from a DUI conviction last September) by driving with a suspended license. She has until June 5 to report to an L.A. county jail. Hilton, who called the order ”unfair,” blamed her reps for not warning her: ”I did what they said.” (Shortly afterward, she fired her publicist, Elliot Mintz…only to rehire him the next day.) The debutante’s lawyers quickly entered an appeal, and Hilton herself is asking ”all fans…outraged by injustice” to sign a petition on her MySpace page asking for a pardon from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. — Tanner Stransky
Jackson’s ‘Lovely’ Deal
On May 4, DreamWorks won the rights to film Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold’s best-selling 2002 novel. The deal ended a weeklong bidding war among four studios, with Sony and DreamWorks battling it out most intensely. Jackson demanded a production budget of $70 million and a chunk of back-end profits for his film (co-written with partner Fran Walsh and frequent collaborator Philippa Boyens), about a 14-year-old who is raped and murdered and narrates her tale from heaven. At a time when franchises rule the box office, does the studios’ overwhelming interest in a big-budget adult drama — a genre they’ve all but neglected in recent years — herald a comeback? Maybe so. But it’s more likely that DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider wanted to work with Jackson, who collaborated with the former Universal honcho on his last movie, a 2005 remake of King Kong. And then there’s DreamWorks cofounder Steven Spielberg: He’s a longtime fan of Sebold’s book and has been hoping to turn it into a movie for nearly five years. — Nicole Sperling