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‘Twee?’ Perhaps, but Tartan Days should be celebrated
By Senay Boztas, Arts Correspondent

Adams: IRA to disarm in ‘near future’
By James Hamilton

An hour after these children last saw their father he was taken to an asylum detention centre Now they must grow up without him ...
By Liam McDougall, Home Affairs Editor

BBC’s SNP conference call leaves viewers distressed
By Jenifer Johnston

Blair to tell Brown camp: he’ll be PM if you back me
By James Cusick, Westminster Editor

Borders rail link back on track after survey reveals support
By Jenifer Johnston

Bullying claims cast art school in poor light
By Senay Boztas, Arts Correspondent

Criticism of police in Kate Moss case
By James Hamilton

Directors and writers trigger ‘mini boom’ for films on Scots Asians
By Brian Pendreigh

Errors expose patients to radiation
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor

Firefighters warn they’ll strike over terror insurance
By Liam McDougall, Home Affairs Editor

Glasgowwriters unite to say no to the M74
By Rachelle Money

Health campaigners attack toys that ‘promote’ junk food
By Jenifer Johnston

Iraqis visit Holyrood for advice
By Paul Hutcheon, Scottish Political Editor

Killing begins again on Gaza Strip
By Martin Patience in Jerusalem and David Pratt, Foreign Editor

More than 100,000 protest over Iraq war
From Caitriona Palmer in Washington DC

Mother pleads to Blair to bring British troops home
By James Cusick, Westminister Editor

Nuclear plant faces legal threat over safety breaches
By Rob Edwards

Recruitment drives fail as one in five student nurses quits before graduation
By Judith Duffy, Health Correspondent

Revealed: the local authorities failing to hit waste recycling targets
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor

Rita spares Texan cities as oil giants assess damage
From James Hamilton

Tourism bosses told: market the Enlightenment
By Paul Hutcheon

Whither watson?
Tom Morton’s Diary

Who made Connery disappear from film of scandal?


SEAN Connery has denied using his position as one of cinema’s greatest stars to write himself out of a film about a notorious Hollywood scandal.

Half a century ago Connery was an unknown actor when he was caught up in a violent relationship between Hollywood legend Lana Turner and her American gangster boyfriend Johnny Stompanato. Connery was rumoured to be having an affair with Turner and the jealous mobster pulled a gun on him at one point.

Keanu Reeves and Catherine Zeta-Jones are in talks to play the starring roles in a film about the relationship between the actress and the hoodlum, which ended with Stompanto dead on Turner’s bedroom floor with a knife in his stomach.

But, in a new film about the affair, Connery has disappeared from the story. Connery denies his absence has anything to do with him. Speaking from his home in the Bahamas, he said he’d had no discussions with the producers about the film. “I’m not involved,” he insisted.

Connery said he knew nothing about the film, despite his friendship with Zeta-Jones and the fact that he and the film’s writer are represented by the same agency. He said: “The first I’ve heard of it is this moment.”

Turner was a sexy blonde, marketed by MGM as “The Sweater Girl” in the late 1930s. But drink and relationship problems marked her personal life . She was in her late 30s when she came to Britain to make Another Time, Another Place in 1957. She played an American journalist who has an affair with a BBC reporter, played by 27-year-old Connery. There was speculation the kissing continued off-screen.

Stompanato flew over from the US, arrived unexpectedly on set and in front of witnesses pointed a gun in Connery’s face and told him to keep away from his girl. Connery twisted the pistol from Stompanato’s grip, while his other fist delivered a blow to the gangster’s nose.

Back in the US, Stompanato kept a low profile, staying away from the Oscars, where Turner was up for best actress for Peyton Place. Connery was in town , and met up again with Turner at an Oscar-night party.

Turner suffered beatings from her enraged boyfriend, who knew Connery was back on the scene. A week after the Oscars, Stompanato was dead.

The official verdict was “justifiable homicide” by Turner’s teenage daughter, who feared for her mother’s life . One of Stompanato’s associates leaked private letters, which mentioned Connery, to the press.

The new film is provisionally entitled Stompanato , but there is no news on who might play Connery. “He’s not in the film,” said a spokeswoman for the US production company 3 Arts Entertainment . “He’s not in the script. The script came to us after it was written, so you could maybe contact the writer.”

But scriptwriter Sebastian Gutierrez is “unavailable” for comment indefinitely, according to his at CAA – the agency which also represents Connery.

Asked for his views on the upcoming film , Connery said: “My attitude is indifference.” He refused to discuss Turner or Stompanato.

04 September 2005

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