Celebrity news for the week of April 11, 2008
Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis, 37, better start mashing bananas. Jade, her daughter with hubby Todd Thompson, 44, was born March 29 in L.A.
On March 27 in Atlanta, rapper T.I. (né Clifford Harris Jr.), 27, pleaded guilty to three gun-possession charges. He struck a deal to do at least 1,000 hours of community service; upon completion, he’s expected to receive another 1,500-hour stint, a $100,000 fine, and a year in jail. Before making the plea bargain, the Grammy winner — who was arrested in October for purchasing several unlicensed machine guns and silencers — had faced up to 30 years behind bars…. Annie Hall made Diane Keaton a fashion icon, but Woody Allen wants none of that: On March 31 in NYC, the director, 72, sued American Apparel for putting him on billboards without his permission. (They used a famous Annie photo — Allen dressed as a Hasidic Jew — with a Yiddish tagline that read ”the holy rabbi.”) He wants more than $10 million for damage to his reputation. In a statement, the clothing company said the display was meant ”strictly as a social parody” and that they had ”no intention of selling garments through the use of Mr. Allen’s image.”
On April 1, Jay Leno, 58, issued a statement expressing remorse after he asked guest Ryan Phillippe, 33, to give the camera his ”gayest look” on the March 19 installment of The Tonight Show. (The actor did not oblige.) ”I certainly didn’t mean any malice,” said Leno. ”It was a dumb thing to say, and I apologize.”
Jessica Simpson, 27, was hospitalized March 28 in L.A. for a kidney infection. She was released in good health on March 31.
Famously blacklisted director Jules Dassin, 97, who made movies in his native U.S. (The Naked City) and Europe (Never on Sunday), of undisclosed causes, March 31, in Athens…. Actor Richard Widmark, 93, of an unidentified illness, March 24, in Roxbury, Conn…. Dith Pran, 65 — the photojournalist whose time in war-torn Cambodia inspired 1984’s Killing Fields — of pancreatic cancer, March 30, in New Brunswick, N.J. Fields director Roland Joffé called him a ”testament to the human suffering caused by the often cynical manipulations of geopolitics.” — Additional reporting by Stewart Allen
Warner Bros. just got handed legal kryptonite. On March 26, a federal court ruled that the family of Jerry Siegel — who created Superman with Joe Shuster and sold the hero for $130 in 1938 — is entitled to a share of the character’s copyright…and a chunk of the cash the Man of Steel has raked in recently. Translation: Pending appeal, Warner Bros. will have to surrender some profits from The CW’s Smallville, now in season 7, and from 2006’s Superman Returns, which grossed $200 million domestically. (Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner, which also owns EW’s publisher, issued a statement that ”substantial issues…were ruled in our favor”; e.g., the studio keeps all international earnings.) The court also said Superman stays at Warner until at least 2013 — which means, says a studio insider, that neither a Justice League film nor a Returns sequel should be affected. As for the size of the check the Siegels will get? That’s for a civil court to decide. And something tells us it won’t be happening faster than a speeding bullet. — Adam B. Vary