Archive for the "Lio" Category

Lion King Actress With Leukemia to Have Procedure

An 11-year-old girl who played young Nala in The Lion King on Broadway is getting a potentially lifesaving procedure. Shannon Tavarez has leukemia and is scheduled get an umbilical-cord blood transplant on Tuesday. These blood-producing stem cells used in transplants can come from cord blood, bone marrow or blood.

The actress was forced to quit the show in April. Cast members held a bone marrow donor registration drive for her last month. We wish her the best!


Lady GaGa bags record 13 VMA nominations!

Lady GaGa has created a new record in the music awards history after receiving 13 nominations for this year’s MTV VMAs. GaGa’s record-breaking feat include the nominations for Best Pop Video, Best Dance Music Video, Best Female Video and Best Choreography for chart-topping single Bad Romance.

The Sun quotes her as saying,

I’m so honoured for all the little monsters and self-professed freaks of the universe, to have more VMA nominations in a single year than any artist in MTV history. Ironically, I’m even more proud it’s an unlucky number 13. A long time ago the world told me and my little monsters we would never be heard, together we changed the rules. God put me on Earth for three reasons: To make loud music, gay videos and cause a damn ruckus. Thank you, MTV.

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The New Spiderman is Also a Douche

Although Tobey Maguire starred in the first three Spider-Man roles (and was a completely nerdy MF-er that was easy for the comic book nerds to identify with) they are replacing him in the next Spider-Man flick … with an equally nerdy-ass webslinger. Great. Andrew Garfield, 26, has been cast as the new Peter Parker for the next installment in the franchise. He will be making his official screen debut as the legendary superhero on July 3, 2012.

“Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents,” an entertainment source close to Garfield said. “He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”

Andrew has appeared in a few films, including The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the project Heath Ledger was working on at the time of his death in 2008 and 2007′s Lions for Lambs with Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. He will also be appearing as part of the cast of the upcoming Facebook movie, The Social Network, due for release later this year. (Which, by the way, will be the most hilarious misrepresentation of technology since Untraceable… where Hollywood believed you could hack anything. Even a car. Even your seatbelt.)

Andrew, although was American-born, grew up in Britain and is a pal of Robert Pattinson. Will he have enough douchebagginess to become as famous as R-Patz??? Judging by the clout of the role he is about to play, the one and only web slinger himself.. we’re thinking it’s likely. As long as he gets an emo hair spike/swoop down pat.


Jennifer Garner’s West Virginia Pride

Our favorite celeb mom, Jennifer Garner, was photographed arriving at the grand opening of the Casino Club at The Greenbrier in West Sulfur Springs, West Virginia on Friday (June 2nd). Jen looked lovely in her home state in an Alberta Ferrerti dress while her husband Ben Affleck looked smashing in a tuxedo.

Other celebs in attendance were Jessica Simpson, Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie, Debbie Reynolds and Shaquille O'Neal.

So what do you think? Does Jen's dress fuel the pregnancy rumors even further?


Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Killers’ won’t be shown to critics until OPENING DAY. Right. Movie SUCKS everyone!


You’ve probably seen the billboards, bus-stop ads and television spots for “Killers”: They’re everywhere, featuring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher juggling guns and bantering over super-secret identities.

But critics won’t see the film before it appears in theaters, which means cinema goers will get to find out that the movie sucks, after they’ve bought themselves a ticket.

Lionsgate, which is releasing the action comedy, has planned what’s known as a “courtesy screening” for critics the morning of June 4, the day the film opens. It’s a tactic studios normally use when there’s a guaranteed niche audience, such as for horror movies or ones based on video games – the logic being that fans of the genre will show up, regardless of bad reviews.

But “Killers” is a mainstream romantic comedy with two A-list stars and a production budget of about $70 million – which is high for Lionsgate, known for the Tyler Perry movies, the “Saw” series and the Oscar-winning “Precious: Based on the Novel `Push’ by Sapphire.” Robert Luketic, who previously worked with Heigl on last summer’s critically savaged “The Ugly Truth,” is the director.

This time, the studio said it would rather have viewers decide for themselves whether the movie is worthwhile, then write about it on Twitter or Facebook.

In “Killers,” Heigl stars as a lovesick woman who thinks she’s found the perfect man in Kutcher’s character, only to discover his secret life as an international assassin once they’ve married and moved to suburbia.

“We want to capitalize on the revolution in social media by letting audiences and critics define this film concurrently,” Lionsgate said in a statement late Wednesday. “In today’s socially connected marketplace, we all have the ability to share feedback instantly around the world. In keeping with this spirit, Lionsgate and the filmmakers want to give the opportunity to moviegoing audiences and critics alike to see `Killers’ simultaneously, and share their thoughts in the medium of their choosing. We felt that this sense of immediacy could be a real asset in the marketing of `Killers.’”

Paramount Pictures similarly refrained from showing critics its big-budget “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” last year, saying it wanted regular folks to define it instead. The studio intentionally aimed the blockbuster at the heartland, at cities and audiences outside the entertainment vortexes of New York and Los Angeles.

But Paramount also acknowledged the decision was driven by the disparity between the overwhelmingly negative reviews “Transformers: Rise of the Fallen” received earlier that summer and its domestic gross of over $400 million. “G.I. Joe” received just 28 percent positive reviews on the Movie Review Intelligence website but it made over $150 million domestically.


Angelina Jolie to play evil fairy in remake

jolie fairy
Angelina Jolie is all set to display her evil shades in an upcoming remake of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Reportedly, Jolie has been roped in to play Maleficent - the evil fairy who casts the spell on the princess and puts her to eternal sleep.

Contactmusic reports,

The 34-year-old actress would play the lead role in a reimagining of the film entitled ‘Maleficent’, which would re-tell the classic tale from the perspective of the evil fairy who casts a spell on the princess which eventually sees her sleep for a hundred years. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ director Tim Burton - who is famous for his gothic movies - is also rumoured to be involved with the film. The screenplay is being written by long-time Disney collaborator Linda Woolverton - who worked on ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

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Lionel Richie: “I Cannot Wait To Give Away The Bride!”

Father-of-the-bride Lionel Richie, 60, is over the moon with the recent announcement of his daughter Nicole’s engagement to Joel Madden.

“My happiness for Nicole and Joel knows no boundaries,” the 60-year-old singer tells PEOPLE. “They have given me two beautiful grandchildren, Harlow and Sparrow, and have proven to be great parents.”

The proud grandpa gushed in anticipation for the big day:

I am not sure who is luckier, Nicole and Joel to have each other, or me, to have both of them in my life. I cannot wait to give away the bride!

Recently, Lionel helped to executive produce the We Are The World remake for Haiti, which both Joel and Nicole participated in, along with daughter Harlow. The 28-year-old mom-of-two tweeted during the event, “I was 4 years old in a studio watching my dad record We Are The World, & today I get to do it again. Excited to help make a change.”


Nicole Richie Brought Harlow To Remake Of ‘We Are The World’

Talk about a full-circle moment! Nicole Richie, her partner Joel Madden and their 2-year-old daughter Harlow participated in the remake of We Are the World on Monday (February 1) in the same Hollywood studio where the original song was cut 25 years ago.

I was 4 years old in a studio watching my dad record We Are The World, & today I get to do it again. Excited to help make a change," Nicole tweeted.

We Are the World was originally penned for USA for Africa (which raised $63 million) by the late Michael Jackson, Nicole's father Lionel Ritchie and Quincy Jones. Lionel and Jones are producing this second effort.

Nicole went on to tweet, "WOW. Brian Wilson stood next to me & I got to hear him sing right into my left ear. Can you say AWESOME!" She even joked, "I hope Jennifer Hudson wasn't upset that I was out singing her tonight."

But it sounds like Nicole and Joel's daughter Harlow stole the show:

Watched harlow flirt with Kanye, Cary Hart, Busta ryhmes, Sean garret, and the jonas brothers. Just like her mom, she plays hard to get," Madden wrote on his Twitter page after the memorable event.


10 Things Men Love About Women

Good day, Bossip readers! Over the last few weeks we’ve published a few articles about men and women and the ongoing battle that is, obviously, gender specific. One would think that since there are only two simple genders, it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is, at times, to co-exist! Men and women have walked the earth for ions, so why have we not yet mastered communication? Could it be that men and women tend to recognize the negative before the positive?

Last week’s post, “10 Things Women Love About Men” sparked a really cool thread! We decided to talk to the same men who provided the statements for the previous post and asked them what they love about women vs. what they “hate.” Sadly, it took much longer for some to fire off the things they love, but they could spew hate in nanoseconds. So, in the name of love, let’s approach our beloved counterparts with some positivity! Fellas, leave your thoughts! Ladies, enjoy!

I like a well-timed woman. A woman who knows when to exercise social etiquette but will unleash her inner hood in the car or at home if she has a problem with me. I like a woman who talks sh*t but knows the appropriate time and place to do so. I like a woman who knows how to be classy with her sexiness and doesn’t look like a hooker when she’s going out for the night but will be my personal freak in the bedroom. I will fall all the way in love with a woman who knows how and when to do what. I guess the saying “a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets” is what I find most desirable. – Lionel, 36

I’m completely attracted to a smart woman. I love a smart woman. If she likes to read books then it’ll enhance our conversation … it’ll never become stale. I love a woman who likes to learn new things and has an opinion about everything. She can say, “hey, you know what I read today ….” and it’ll open up a whole new realm of communication. I love a woman with a heightened sense of intelligence. I like to go to a girl’s house and she’s got a countless amount of books on a variety of subjects and she’s got a quirkiness about her. This says she’s willing to try and learn new things. So one that’s not quick to spat ignorance, she’ll read up, you know. I like an interesting woman. – Marcus, 27

A woman that loves sports is my soulmate! I like for a woman to know sports and  sit and watch a game with me. I like a woman who knows pro and collegiate teams and has an opinion about who’s going to make the play-offs. I like a woman who will eat wings, drink beer and watch the game. Make a spread of cheese dip, crackers, and hor’dourves for the Super Bowl, you know? I would love a woman like that. I would never get tired of her. – Brandon, 27

There’s something about a hot woman in an ugly car. Not a car that’s about to fall apart and break down at any given moment but maybe an old, ugly car that runs goods. It’s a confidence thing. She doesn’t need a Benz or a BMW to feel good about herself because she can trick the hell out of an ugly car without complaint! It says she’s grounded, down-to-earth and recognizes the value, or lack there of, of material possessions. A beautiful woman in an ugly car is a guy’s girl and is probably one of the coolest girls you’ll ever meet. – Tre, 32

A natural woman is one after my heart. I like a woman who is comfortable being herself without caked on make-up, fake hair and nails. I love a woman who doesn’t have to make a production out of going to the grocery store or Blockbuster with her weave rituals. I like a chick who can throw her hair up in a ponytail and leave the house with no make-up and still look good. A natural woman, to me, is okay with being herself and I don’t have to peel through the layers, literally, to get to the crust of her. – Jonathan, 30

The body parts, of course, were more than mentioned so look for Part 2 soon!

Please remember to e-mail all topic suggestions, feedback and questions to!


Beyonce earns 10 Grammy nominations

beyonce grammy
The nominations for the upcoming 52nd annual Grammy Awards have been announced, and Beyonce leads the nomination parade with a total 10 nominations. Close on the heels of Beyonce is Taylor Swift who has secured nominations in eight categories. The result of this close battle will be out soon when the awards ceremony takes place on January 31 in Los Angeles.

Contact Music reports,

The ‘Halo’ singer and Taylor Swift - who has been recognised in eight categories - were revealed as the most nominated artists at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live! yesterday (02.12.09), with both stars up for the coveted Record, Song and Album of the Year prizes.

Kanye West, soul singer Maxwell and ‘I Gotta Feeling’ stars Black Eyed Peas all received six nominations, while Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z, French DJ David Guetta and ‘Poker Face’ star Lady Gaga are up for five awards.

Let’s see whether Beyonce is successful in converting her nominations into trophies or Taylor Swift repeats her AMAs magic and walks away as the Grammy Queen. Hit the jump for the complete list of nominations.
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Forbes:Will Ferrell most overpaid actor in Hollywood


Funnyman Will Ferrell and British actor Ewan McGregor on Wednesday headed a list of Hollywood’s most overpaid stars when looking at the financial returns of their movies.

Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey also made the top 10 tally of actors who cost more to hire than they appear to be worth at box offices.

Ferrell took first place largely due to the flop of his summer 2009 movie “Land of the Lost”, which Forbes said cost an estimated $100 million to make but earned just $65 million at box offices worldwide for movie studio Universal Pictures.

The movie followed a disappointing $43 million box office for Ferrell’s 2008 outing “Semi-Pro“, and $128 million for “Step Brothers“.

Using a formula that calculated the actor’s estimated salary on each film, including DVD and TV sales, compared to the film’s revenues from theater box offices and elsewhere, said that for every dollar Ferrell was paid, his films earned an average $3.29.

To create the list, the financial news website looked at Hollywood’s 100 biggest stars who had lead performances in at least three widely distributed movies in the last five years.

McGregor, best known for “Trainspotting” and his work in the “Star Wars” franchise, is not among Hollywood’s highest paid actors but has recently proved a poor investment, averaging a return of $3.75.

Cruise, considered one of the biggest players in Hollywood, came sixth on the list with a return on investment of $7.18. Forbes said he had benefited from deals where he took nothing up front in return for a portion of the box-office gross. The deal resulted in Cruise getting paid for films like “Lions for Lambs” even if the studio did not recoup its money.

Eddie Murphy commanded a high salary after the success of family comedies like “The Nutty Professor“. But his most recent films “Meet Dave” and “Imagine That” were box office duds, taking Murphy to fourth place for earning an average $4.43 for each dollar he was paid, said.

Forbes 10 Most Overpaid Stars were;

1. Will Ferrell ($3.29)

2. Ewan McGregor ($3.75)

3. Billy Bob Thornton ($4)

4. Eddie Murphy ($4.43)

5. Ice Cube ($4.77)

6. Tom Cruise ($7.18)

7. Drew Barrymore ($7.43)

8. Leonardo DiCaprio ($7.52)

9. Samuel Jackson ($8.59)

10. Jim Carrey ($8.62)


Top 10 Things Men Hate About Women

Good day Bossip readers! We told you it was coming! If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s post in which women went in on the fellas about the things that aggravate them to the nines and the responses  … well, it was gender biased to say the least. But to be fair, we wanted to give the fellas a fair chance to express their thoughts and feelings about women. There’s always time and space for a good, healthy battle of the sexes. It is safe to say that both men and women tolerate a great deal from each other; however, each feels as though what they tolerate is way more than their significant other. In other words, women feel like they carry the load and so do men! Each gender feels that the other gender has it easier. The cycle is never ending. The gender specific gripes range from constant nagging to false claims of domestic violence. Either way, it’s more than worthy of discussion! Take a look at the first 5 things men hate about women and leave your thoughts in the thread! Ladies, be prepared for part 2 next week!

I hate a nagging a** female. Women who are always on my back and yip-yapping about how wrong I do every little thing really pi**es me off. Like she’ll ask you to do something and she’s standing over your shoulder critiquing you and telling you how to do what she asked you to do. Then halfway dismiss you to try and do it herself. Then she’ll get sensitive when I snap back like “let me do this! Didn’t you ask me to do this? Shut up!” Ladies, don’t fuss! - Brandon, 27

I can’t stand a frontin’ a** woman! In the beginning a woman will cook, clean, workout. Keep her body on point, all of that! She’ll get you excited and tell you all the things she’ll do to keep her man happy and at home and once she got you, she stops trying! She’s eating oreos and ice cream at midnight, picking up fast food for dinner, ain’t seen her hit the gym since we made this thing official. Don’t sell a dream! If you don’t like to cook, say that! If you really not the outdoorsy/ go hard in the gym girl, don’t fake it, ma! - Jonathan, 30

A dirty female is a major turn-off. I can’t stand no nasty woman. If you nasty then let me know up front. I was really digging this girl and whenever I would go over to her place, it was very clean and neat everything was in place. I thought she was almost too clean. Then she switched it on me. Man, we kicked it for about three or four months and the more and more I saw her, the more careless she got. So I was like okay, I want to see how dirty she will let her place get. Wow. She had a thick black ring in the shower, toilet was dirty with splatter stains and the kitchen?! Brah, I knew she was too good to be true. - Tre, 32

I hate when women try to match a man’s strength and strong arm you, swing at you, throw punches at you … that’s unladylike. I had this one girl who would get violent and aggressive or try to evoke emotion out of me whenever I said something she wasn’t feeling. She would just start swinging, biting, name-calling all that sh*t. What I’mma do? Get my a** beat? No. I’m not going to beat on a woman and so a woman won’t beat on me. You talk about a double standard, when you pin her down and tell her a** to calm down, she want to go call the police and play the victim. Thats’ a woman for you. - Lionel, 36

Jealous women make life hard. I was with this chick for a while and the more time we spent together, the more jealous she became. I would be at the coffee shop on the phone with her and she’d hear a female in the background and she would make a smart remark like, “why were you flirting wit her? Was she cute?” Or if I worked late, I’m banging my co-worker. If we have an argument, I’m cheating. At the restaurant, “I saw you looking at the waitress’s booty, you want to f**k her, huh?” She was just outlandish. She’s also giving me all the leeway to do those things. - Marcus, 27

Please e-mail all topic suggestions, feedback and questions to!


Allen Iverson Sent Packing With a Quickness For Calling The Coach A “Dumb F___”

The actual reason for Allen Iverson’s suspension and expulsion, as of yesterday, is because he was yelling out at the coach during a bus ride home from L.A.:

During Allen Iverson’s final days in Memphis, the Grizzlies’ owner shouldn’t have had to sit and listen to A.I.’s voice bellowing in the back of the bus. On his way out of the Staples Center one week ago, on his way out of the NBA, Iverson made sure his bosses could hear him in the front. Lionel Hollins let it go, the way the coaches in Philadelphia once did, too.

Just let A.I. rip, let him go. Sources say Iverson started to speak louder and louder about how he had played for one dumb bleeping coach in Detroit a year ago, and now had come to play for another dumb bleeping coach in Memphis. He never dared speak this way on the Detroit Pistons’ bus because he feared team president Joe Dumars and respected the championship players on board.

Is this guy on something?



SMH: Columbia Professor Socks Up White Lady Over A Race Discussion


This Columbia professor, Lionel “Mack” McIntyre,  socked up a fellow Columbia employee, who just so happens to be a white woman, for not doing enough about white privilege:

A prominent Columbia architecture professor punched a female university employee in the face at a Harlem bar during a heated argument about race relations, cops said yesterday. Police busted Lionel McIntyre, 59, for assault yesterday after his bruised victim, Camille Davis, filed charges. McIntyre and Davis, who works as a production manager in the school’s theater department, are both regulars at Toast, a popular university bar on Broadway and 125th Street, sources said.

The professor, who is black, had been engaged in a fiery discussion about…“white privilege” with Davis, who is white, and another male regular, who is also white, Friday night at 10:30 when fists started flying, patrons said.  McIntyre, who is known as “Mac” at the bar, shoved Davis, and when the other patron and a bar employee tried to break it up, the prof slugged Davis in the face, witnesses said. “The punch was so loud, the kitchen workers in the back heard it over all the noise,” bar back Richie Velez, 28, told The Post. “I was on my way over when he punched Camille and she fell on top of me.”

The other patron involved in the dispute said McIntyre then took a swing at him after he yelled, “You don’t hit a woman!” “He knocked the glasses right off my face,” said the man, who would only give his first name as “Shannon.” “The punch came out of nowhere. Mac was talking to us about white privilege and what I was doing about it — apparently I wasn’t doing enough.”

McIntyre had squabbled with Davis several weeks earlier over issues involving race, witnesses said. As soon as the professor threw the punch Friday, server Rob Dalton and another employee tossed him out. “It was a real sucker punch,” Dalton said. “Camille’s a great lady, always nice to everybody, and doesn’t deserve anything like this.” Davis was spotted wearing sunglasses yesterday to conceal the black eye. Reached at her Columbia office, she declined to comment on the alleged attack. McIntyre was released without bail at his arraignment last night.

Why did the professor just snap like that? SMH



Bai Ling has a fling with Lionel Richie ‘all night long’


Bai Ling strapped on a bib and jean shorts from the kiddie section and headed out the door.  We wonder if she was going out to meet up with new rumored love interest Lionel Richie?  You heard us right, Ms. Nippleslip and Nicole Richie’s dad are reportedly hooking up.  They tried to keep a low profile last week as they shared a romantic meal at Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica.  But, as anyone with a pair of eyes can see, Bai Ling is anything but low profile with the amount of flesh she constantly insists on exposing.


Michael Jackson takes the stage for the last time today


Michael Jackson’s body is expected to go on show to his fans and a worldwide TV audience at today’s memorial service in Los Angeles.

His gold-plated £18,000 coffin is set to be put on display open-topped at the Staples Centre sports and entertainment arena.

His body will ‘lie in state’ after being driven from the Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills where the Jackson family attended a service last night.

Among those present were the singer’s two older children Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11. His sisters Janet and La Toya Jackson, together with their parents Joe and Katherine and Jacko’s five brothers, were also there.

The procession to the Staples Centre is being described as America’s “Princess Diana moment”. The Jackson brothers were said be keen on the body being driven in an open coffin so that mourners could throw flowers.

A team of circus elephants and tigers were being lined up for a show at the Staples Centre.

The funeral arrangements were being reported in the LA Times and on the TMZ website, which first revealed the 50-year-old singer’s death 12 days ago.

Even for Jackson, whose life was littered with bizarre episodes, the memorial plan was seen by some as ghoulish and the family was said to be divided over whether to make the ceremony more discreet.

The Jacksons’ deeply religious mother, Katherine, was reported to be anxious for a more low-key affair.

The California Highway Patrol was preparing to provide an escort for the family motorcade to travel the 11 miles between the cemetery and the Staples Centre. A cordon has already been thrown around the area to keep at a distance the thousands of fans without tickets who are expected to turn up.

More than 1.6 million people registered for free tickets to the memorial. A total of 8,750 people received two each.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, one of Jackson’s closest friends, said she was snubbing the “public hoopla’” of the event. The veteran film star, 77, was asked to speak at the memorial, but turned the organisers down.

In a statement on Twitter, she wrote: “I just don’t believe that Michael would want me to share my grief with millions of others.’’

Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, was being tipped to headline a show at the Staples Centre which was scheduled to begin at 6pm British time. He was due to be joined on stage by guests including Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Usher and Brooke Shields.

“Everything about the memorial has to do with accommodating as many fans as possible,” said Ken Sunshine, the Jackson family spokesman.

British Airways reported a surge of bookings as soon as the memorial arrangements were announced. Virgin’s flights to San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles were packed. Paul Charles, a BA spokesman said: “This is America’s version of Princess Diana. People want to be in the vicinity.”

Britain’s Got Talent schoolboy Shaheen Jafargholi has been flown to Los Angeles to pay tribute to his hero Michael Jackson at his memorial service.

Shaheen, 12, who performed Jackson’s Who’s Lovin You on BGT in May, secretly flew out to LA with his mother last night and said: ‘Michael was a huge inspiration to me.

‘I am honoured and privileged to have been invited to perform here.’

He will join a galaxy of stars poised to appear at the event, including Mariah Carey, Usher and Dreamgirls movie star Jennifer Hudson.

The Swansea schoolboy was invited to sing by the Jackson family, who told him the King of Pop was a huge fan of his tribute act.

A source at the memorial service said: ‘Michael saw a clip from Britain’s Got Talent on YouTube.

‘He thought it was fantastic and even considered getting him on stage to perform with him at some of his 02 shows later this year.’

A host of stars will gather for a memorial service to remember Michael Jackson which has seen tickets for the event being offered by touts on eBay for as much as $100,000.

Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and Liza Minnelli are among the guests expected to attend the ceremony, which is being held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Justin Timberlake, Aretha Franklin and Lionel Richie are also thought to have received invitations, although Obama began a two-day visit to Moscow yesterday and will not be able to attend.

Details of the service have been kept under wraps, but guests will mourn the singer with a programme called ‘A Celebration of Life’, and one of the highlights is rumoured to be a performance of Jackson 5 hit I’ll Be There by Mariah Carey.

One person who won’t be at the memorial is Debbie Rowe, Jackson’s ex-wife and the mother of his two oldest children.

She had planned to attend, but backed out today.

Her lawyer Marta Almli said: ‘The onslaught of media attention has made it clear her attendance would be an unnecessary distraction to an event that should focus exclusively on Michael’s legacy.

‘Debbie will continue to celebrate Michael’s memory privately.’

Family and close friends of the late Michael Jackson gathered  last night for a private viewing at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

Those in attendance included Michael’s children Prince Michael and Paris, and sister Janet who travelled together in one car.

LaToya arrived separately in a chauffeured green Bentley. Brother Randy Jackson attended as well, with Jackson’s make-up artist Karen Faye.

Police have advised people without tickets to stay away and watch the event on television, fearing traffic chaos by the Staples Centre.

And they will impose a two-block exclusion zone around the stadium to prevent those without tickets from trying to attend.

Dozens of police officers and a fire engine were parked outside Dodger Stadium today, where ticket winners could start picking up their coveted passes to the Staples Centre ceremony.

More than 1.6 million people registered to win the coveted free tickets, and only 8,750 names were chosen. Tickets are now being touted, with some being offered for as much as $100,000 on auction site eBay.

But a spokesperson from the auction website warned in a statement: ‘eBay will not allow the sale of tickets to the Michael Jackson Memorial Service being held on Tues 7 July. All such listings currently on any of our sites are being removed.’

Lucky fans celebrated when they got an e-mail saying they had scored the hottest ticket in town.

A judge ruled yesterday that Jackson’s lawyer and a friend should take over the pop singer’s estate for now, rejecting a request from the singer’s mother to be put in charge or share control.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff backed lawyer John Branca and music executive John McClain, who had been designated in Jackson’s 2002 will as the people he wanted to administer his estate.

Lawyer’s for the pop singer’s mother repeatedly objected to their appointment at today’s court hearing.

Weitzman issued a statement later calling the judge’s ruling ‘the correct decision.’

Her lawyer, Burt Levitch, expressed concerns about McClain and Branca’s financial leadership.

Jackson died June 25, deeply in debt. But court papers estimate that his estate will be worth more than $500 million. His assets are destined for a private trust.

Meanwhile, BBC2 is to clear its schedule to screen the Michael Jackson memorial service live, it was announced today.

The channel will devote an hour and a half to the event from 6pm with DJ Trevor Nelson hosting the coverage. It will also be shown on the BBC’s HD channel.

TV channel Five has already devoted a 90-minute slot to the live event.

The BBC’s decision to pull its advertised programmes follows last week’s decision to overhaul BBC1 programmes to allow extended live coverage of Andy Murray’s game against Stanislas Wawrinka.

Nick Vaughan-Barratt , head of BBC Events, said: “Michael Jackson is one of the most influential pop stars of all time and we’re pleased to bring BBC viewers coverage of this important event.

‘The executive producer in LA has described the rehearsals as awesome, powerful and tearful so we’re expecting a moving tribute this evening.’

Source: DailyMail


Jessica Biel blames movie failure on leaked topless photo


Jessica Biel is angry her new movie has gone straight to DVD, and blames leaked stills of her topless for the decision.

The 27-year-old actress plays exotic dancer Rose Johnny in the Powder Blue, which also stars Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Lisa Kudrow and Patrick Swayze as a seedy club boss.

Images showing the actress half-naked and pouring hot wax on her body have been circulating on the internet for months.

And Biel is convinced moviegoers have since lost interest in the film because critics have already dissected her most talked-about scene.

She tells the New York Daily News, “You always take that risk, that (your film) might not go anywhere. It’s rare, but it does happen. It’s terrible…

“I’m bothered when scenes leak. It’s disappointing how people take your work, put it on the chopping block, rip it apart and judge it. I’m like, ‘Maybe you should just see the movie.’”