31 March 2005
Swank Fined in New Zealand Over Fruit
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank
has been ordered to hand over $163 for taking an apple and orange into New Zealand. Losing her bid for an appeal, the 30-year-old Million Dollar Baby
star was issued notice of a fine for failing to declare her snacks - an apple and an orange - while arriving from Los Angeles on January 15. She later appealed the penalty. But the Manukau District Court rejected Swank's appeal, and she was yesterday ordered to pay out $142 in fines plus an additional $21 for court fees. In seeking to have her fine expunged, Swank reportedly wrote the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry a handwritten letter stating she "simply forgot" she had the fruits in her bag after her 20-hour flight.
Lohan's Dad Slapped with Felony Charges
's troubled father Michael has been slapped with felony charges for allegedly driving drunk into a New York telephone pole last month. If convicted, he faces a maximum of four years in prison, according to Nassau Assistant District Attorney Joy Watson. The new charge threatens to nullify a previous plea bargain regarding a May assault on his brother-in-law and possibly add another four years to his sentence, reports New York's Daily News
. Following his arrest on February 19, the 44-year-old was originally hit with a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, which has now been upgraded to felony charges for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. The charge was made more severe in part because he allegedly drove with a suspended license.
Pitt Gives Aniston Their Home
has handed over keys to the $14 million Hollywood mansion he shared with Jennifer Aniston
to his estranged wife. The movie hunk has reportedly scrapped plans to sell the home, which took the former couple two years to renovate, because the former Friends
star would like to make it her own. According to America's People
magazine, Aniston asked Pitt for the home before filing for divorce from the actor last week.
Jones Rubbishes 'Dallas' Rumors
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones
has laughed off reports she's set to star in a movie remake of classic TV drama Dallas
. The Welsh Oscar-winner was heavily tipped to play wholesome Pamela Ewing in the series' big screen resurrection, 14 years after the last Dallas
episode aired. However, Sarah Fuller
, a representative for Zeta-Jones' Los Angeles publicist Cece Yorke at PYR PR, insists frenzied rumours claiming the actress is on the verge of signing to the project are completely false. Fuller says, "Reports regarding Catherine Zeta-Jones
being cast in the feature film, Dallas
, are incorrect. There have been no discussions regarding this." Jones' Ocean's Twelve
co-star Brad Pitt
has also been touted to feature in the film, which begins shooting later this year.
A previous version of this report incorrectly stated that Sarah Fuller was Catherine Zeta-Jones' spokeswoman; we regret the error.
Tarantino Splits with Film Partner
Maverick director Quentin Tarantino
has split with his producing partner Lawrence Bender
after a 10-year working relationship. The movie duo first alerted gossips of their separation at the Hollywood premiere of Sin City
- for which Tarantino is credited as "special guest director" - when the Pulp Fiction
icon turned up without Bender. And a representative for the director has now confirmed Tarantino and Bender have parted ways, following a decade of highly acclaimed and successful movie collaborations. The spokesperson tells website Pagesix.Com, "Kill Bill: Vol 2
was their last film together, but they remain friends."
Weinstein Brothers Agree To Leave Miramax
Movie mogul brothers Harvey Weinstein
and Bob Weinstein
will cease to be co-chief executives at the Disney-owned film production company Miramax in September. The pair, who founded the hugely successful firm 25 years ago, will remain co-chairmen of Miramax and will continue to make films for Disney through their new company The Weinstein Co. Miramax's back catalogue of 550 movies, including Chicago
, Pulp Fiction
, The English Patient
and Cold Mountain
, will remain with Disney, who acquired Miramax in 1993 for circa $75 million. The company is now worth around $2 billion. The announcement follows years of alleged disquiet between the Weinsteins and Disney chief Michael Eisner
, most notably last year when Eisner - who will also be succeeded by Bob Iger in September - refused to release controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11
Furious Britney Spears Slams Tabloids
has slammed "false tabloids" for constantly publishing rumors about her private life. The singer is infuriated with the influx of stories claiming she's already suffering marital woes with husband Kevin Federline
and the constant speculation over whether or not she's pregnant. And yesterday, she let her feelings be known when she posted a letter to a number of publications. She writes, "As you read this letter, I bet you are asking yourself: Who? Who, me? Am I a false tabloid? Well, I don't know. But after this posting, I hope you are asking yourself a lot of questions. Your employees are a reflection of your magazine. Do you, Us Weekly
, In Touch
and other desperate magazines want employees who are honest, or those who are liars? It seems to me that you'd prefer the latter. I'm really concerned about the people you hire to work at your companies. I'd like them to ask themselves the question, 'What am I lying to myself about?' Is it that you are 50 pounds overweight? Is it that your children aren't making wise decisions? Or is it maybe that your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you? Until you face what is going on in your life, I guess you'll remain a false tabloid."
Outcry Over Kutcher's Kabbalah Bracelet
Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher
's wrist was reportedly edited for his latest film Guess Who
because he sported a Kabbalah bracelet throughout filming. The Punk'd
host has been following the controversial offshoot of Judaism since he began dating fellow Kabbalah devotee Demi Moore
two years ago. According to American gossip site The Scoop, test audiences were outraged to see Kutcher, who plays one half of an inter-racial relationship in the comedy, wearing a red string Kabbalah bracelet. But thanks to expensive digital imaging, producers quickly managed to edit the bracelet out of the film. A source says, "They spent something like $100,000 on digital imaging to remove it." Studio bosses have declined to comment.
Denton and Wife Celebrate Easy Labor
's wife Erin O'Brien had such an easy time delivering her daughter Malin last week, she's given her husband full permission to go out and boast about it. The Desperate Housewives
hunk and his wife of two years welcomed their second child into the world on March 22, and both were relieved at the ease of the delivery, after such a tough labor with their two-year-old son Shepphard. Denton says, "This labor was much easier (than my son's). She even told me I could say that. She gave me permission to say it was an easy labor. How about that? Our son was horrible and this girl almost delivered herself."
O'Connell's 'Bachelor' Debut Suffers Low Ratings
Actor Charlie O'Connell
's unveiling as the latest star of reality show The Bachelor
failed to excite US audiences on Monday - his debut attracted just 8.26 million viewers. The two-hour season premiere on Monday night averaged unusually low numbers, according to preliminary ratings. During the show's run, the actor, brother of Jerry O'Connell
, will sift through a group of women to find his ideal partner.