Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Britney skips drug tests

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Britney skips drug tests Britney Spears ignored eight random drug test requests, according to her ex Kevin Federline’s attorney.

Kevin’s lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, made the allegations in an emergency hearing he had called in Los Angeles to discuss the former couple’s on-going custody battle.

Neither Spears nor Federline, who has been granted custody of their two boys – appeared in court for the last-minute meeting. Under the latest court ruling, Spears is allowed to see her boys — Sean Preston, and Jayden James — three times a week, but must follow an earlier court order to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol tests and well as attend joint parenting sessions with dancer Federline.

But Kaplan claims Spears has violated the court drug test order by ignoring eight out of a total of 14 requests and lives in a ‘parallel universe’. He also told the court, “Mr. Federline doesn’t want to take these children out of their mother’s life, but what are we to do?” However, Spears’ new lawyer, Anne Kiley, has defended the star’s actions and branded the drug testing procedure ‘unconstitutional,’ claiming a missed test does not indicate a positive one.

And Kiley also hit back at Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon when he said the early morning requests for the tests were not ‘unreasonable’. But Kiley claimed superstars like Spears were not used to being woken up at 8 am, retorting: “You are not a pop star with a number one album, so you don’t know.” If Spears is proved to have violated the drug-testing procedures, she faces having her visitation rights suspended until she follows the court order. The hearing continues.

Amy Winehouse’s husband is remanded

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Amy Winehouse's husband is remanded

Singer Amy Winehouse looked on tearfully as her husband was remanded in custody charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice..

Blake Fielder-Civil, 25, of Jeffrey’s Place, Camden, north London, appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court, east London.

District Judge John Perkins remanded Fielder-Civil in custody until November 23 when he will appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court, east London.

A second man, Anthony Kelly, 25, of Constable House, Chalk Farm, north London, appeared in court alongside Fielder-Civil, charged with a similar offence. He was also remanded in custody until November 23.

Winehouse, accompanied by her father Mitch, stood at the back of the courtroom next to the glass dividing the public gallery from the dock throughout this morning’s hearing.

Wearing a black top and grey pencil skirt and sporting her trademark beehive, she blew her husband kisses and mouthed “I love you” repeatedly as Fielder-Civil turned around and smiled at her.

Following the hearing Winehouse left the courthouse through a rear entrance and was driven away in a silver BMW without speaking to reporters.

The court heard that Fielder-Civil is charged with one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The full charge is “That on or before the 8th November 2007, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, you conspired together with James King, to do an act namely whereby James King would withdraw from being a witness in an indictment charged before the court against another for causing grievous bodily harm to James King with intent to pervert the course of justice contrary to Section One (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977″.

The charge against Fielder-Civil’s fellow defendant, Anthony Kelly is that he “With the attempt to pervert the course of public justice did a series of acts which had a tendency to pervert the course of public justice in that you arranged with the victim and the defendants in that the victim doesn’t attend court”.

Fielder-Civil is one of five men arrested in the last two days on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to a court case due to start on Monday at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court. In that case, Fielder-Civil and Michael Brown, 39, face charges of assault causing grievous bodily harm relating to an alleged incident on June 20 this year.

Robbie Williams loses £200,000 to con men “friends”

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Robbie Williams has reportedly lost more than £200,000 to two con men posing as friends.

A source told the Mirror that the two men were part of Robbie’s LA Vale soccer team entourage and used the former Take That star’s Hollywood home as a “24-hour crash-pad” before asking for the money to set up a fashion label in New York: “Robbie wants to be everyone’s friend and on this occasion, people have taken advantage. He has up to 20 people in his house at a time and everyone jokes that he’s the perfect host.”

“But what were fun times to begin with have started to take their toll. Rob’s become a bit jaded by the whole situation and has started putting on a bit of weight.”

The source explained that Robbie finally confronted the pair last week and a huge argument erupted which only ended when Robbie threatened to call the police and dissolved his beloved amateur soccer team: “It was as if the penny had finally dropped and Robbie realised he was being taken for a mug.”

“There was a screaming row between him and several people. He accused them all of taking advantage. He ordered them all out of his house and told them not to come back.”

“But it was when he disbanded the team that everyone became convinced he meant business. It’s very much his pride and joy. They all disappeared pretty sharpish.”

“At best Rob was being used, at worst, he was being conned. These so-called friends have preyed on his hospitality and good nature.”

What exactly is Britney Spears trying to tell us?

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

“Blackout,” the new album from Britney Spears, is as intoxicating as a snort of high-grade white powder. Like that nightclub indulgence, it’s an expensive ride, crafted by a team of top producers exploring the outer reaches of cybernetic pop. Its dazzling studio effects, rhythmic reconstructions and vocal shape-shifting drag the listener in, as each song elaborates on the power of desire and desirability. It’s hard to resist.

But maybe it’s time to start just saying no.

Since it leaked online a few weeks ago, “Blackout” has been receiving buzzy attention. A few reviewers have trashed it, but most have called it a comeback. Spears’ musical presence on the album may be minimal (dance-pop notables including Keri Hilson, Europop darling Robyn and L.A.’s own Nicole Morier shore up her vocals throughout, and Spears has just two deeply buried writing credits), and her public behavior remains cause for concern, but apparently that doesn’t matter. The music’s fun, the beats are fresh, and the Spears that “Blackout” promotes isn’t a person anyway but a publicly traded fantasy. Cynicism clearly outweighs compassion when it comes to poor, sad Brit.

The public agrees that Spears is a product worth purchasing. “Blackout,” which was released Tuesday, is expected to chart at No. 1 next week, moving about two-thirds of the 527,000 units Carrie Underwood did the week before. This even though, beyond a sleepy and rather sad phone-in appearance on Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS-FM radio show Wednesday, Spears isn’t promoting the release. Maybe she’s too caught up in the loss of her kids in a custody battle; maybe (even this seems possible with her) she really doesn’t like “Blackout” all that much.

After all, it’s not really her album, is it? It’s one thing to recognize the fluid collaborative process that has made for great music since the days of disco and jazz before that. It’s another to blithely dismiss the importance of the figure who carries that music forth into the world. Spears is listed as executive producer of “Blackout”, and the Wall Street Journal reported that it earned her a nearly $4-million advance. So the idea of Britney it presents must have some relation to her own idea of herself.

At any rate, there are three Britneys now. There’s the tragic celebrity going through a public breakdown, who seems to have little command over her own actions and less over how others treat her, including the public that’s circling and scorning her.

Then there’s the Britney created by Spears and many others over the course of a decade, an embodiment of the feminine libido in an age when empowerment and exploitation are often confused. Finally, there’s the Britney the public imagines, a repository for our fears about what today’s tough little girls might become and our disgust and fascination with the fame machine.

“Blackout” is an attempt by Spears and her latest crew of in-studio plastic surgeons to reconcile those three Britneys. But as seductive as the music is, it fails. Instead of reconciling the fantasy Britney with the one who breathes, these songs push aside her pain and defeat and substitute an almost militant wantonness. In the process, they abandon what made the invented Britney so appealing: her stance on the knife’s edge between virtue and corruption, the innocence of a girl brash enough to declare “I’m not that innocent.”

As the living, breathing Spears continues to crash downward in plain view, few seem troubled by the disconnect between the success of this album and the sorry state of its nominal maker. Even more disturbing, no one seems to care that the songs on “Blackout” uphold the very attitudes about femininity, sexual power, and the blur between reality and television-tabloid “reality” that have dragged Spears into misery — and those of us enthralled by her into a state of callousness and cynicism.

Let’s assume that Spears still wants to connect to the spirit of sexual liberation that took shape in the 1970s and went pop mostly through Madonna’s efforts in the 1980s. “Blackout” contains some direct Madonna references. The CD booklet photo showing Spears sitting on a priest’s lap, which has outraged the Catholic League, is an obvious nod. More generally, the album’s mix of avant-garde dance music and libertine lyrics echoes controversial landmarks such as “Justify My Love” and “Erotica,” which blended explorations of explicit subject matter with cutting-edge dance beats.

But Madonna’s libertinism was always tied to a community — an underground of self-identified queers and other sexual outlaws who saw erotic freedom as part of a larger movement toward gay and women’s liberation. In comparison, the mood of “Blackout” is oppressively retrograde.

Enlisting her signature panting coo, Spears presents herself (or is presented by the songwriters representing her) as a girl gone wild, driven incoherent by desire. “What I gotta do to get you to want my body?” this mother of two implores on “Get Naked.” The song is subtitled “I Got a Plan” — but the voice who claims that plan belongs to a man, background singer Corte Ellis, not Spears. Spears plans nothing. She occupies the centuries-old stereotype of the woman in heat, unable to control her sexuality, only finding relief when a man takes her in hand.

The other message “Blackout” strongly conveys is that notoriety is its own reward. In “Piece of Me,” the song most often cited as proof that Spears possesses some level of self-awareness (though she didn’t write it), Spears responds to being surveilled by the tabloids by listing the violations for which they cited her: She’s too fat, too thin, a grocery-store flasher, and a working mama who trots her kids around to her photo shoots. Most of all, she’s “shameless,” a word that has sounded truly defiant in the mouths of Garth Brooks and Ani DiFranco but that, dully voiced by Spears, becomes a condemnation she’s willing to embrace.

This list of sins is made musical within a choppy, mechanical setting that reinforces the aggressive petulance of the vocals. The title phrase suggests a threat without following through. A few songs later, “Freakshow,” which Spears did co-write, presents Team Britney’s solution to the quandary of constant surveillance: “Make them clap when we perform.”

In this scenario, a woman who’s been branded as overly sexual can respond only by becoming truly pornographic. It’s the culmination of the self-objectifying process that reality television and the fever for celebrity promotes, in which any kind of interior life, including both sexuality and artistic creativity, gets flattened out and transformed into an empty commodity.

If these songs represent Britney talking back, her response is disturbingly adolescent and predictable, with none of the redeeming emotion and individuality of other celebrity answer songs, like “Get in the Ring” by Guns N’ Roses or “Leave Me Alone” by Michael Jackson. W. Axl Rose wanted his enemies bloody; Jackson wanted to escape to Neverland. Britney doesn’t want to fight or retreat. Her solution to being exploited is only to exploit herself further.

But lyrics don’t matter in dance music, right? Real meaning resides in the way its rhythms moves the body and its inventive sonic twists expand the mind. If words are present, though, they communicate. Think about the dance songs you love most: They’re built around ritual incantations that express freedom, sorrow, pride or communal connection: “I Feel Love,” “I Will Survive,” “I’ve Got the Power,” “Groove is in the Heart.” Even chilly Madonna built a utopian vision of the dance floor as a free space in songs such as “Vogue,” in which striking a pose becomes a means to self-realization.

There’s no self-realization on “Blackout,” nor is there celebration. There’s only addiction – to sex, to powerful men, to exhibitionism. If this is how Spears wants to be perceived, she’s even more troubled than the tabloids tell. If it’s what those entrusted with her best interests think is most enticing — and if the marketplace proves them right — then we’re all hooked on some pretty nasty stuff. I wonder, will we ever be able to kick it?


REPO! The Genetic Opera Trailer starring Paris Hilton?

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Paris Hilton OperaHere is the trailer for REPO! The Genetic Opera, the horror musical, by Darren Lynn Bousman (the guy who did Saw II, III and IV) and it stars Paris Hilton!

I was kind of unsure if I should put this on our sista site, here or both. I guess it belongs here, but Paris Hilton in a cheap wig, singing is just too great not to comment on. If she is in one more horror film we could brand her an “official scream queen,” and boy does that tickle the gay in me.

“Set in the not-so-distant future, the production tells the story of an epidemic of organ failures that devastates the planet, killing tens of millions. As scientists feverishly make plans for a massive organ harvest program, a multi-billion dollar biotech company called GeneCo begins to manufacture salvation- for a price- offering simple payment plans to those lacking the necessary funds to purchase new body parts outright. But all financed organs are subject to default procedures, including repossession at the hand of the notorious organ repo men.”

David Beckham tops rivals on “man’s man” list

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

David BeckhamLOS ANGELES, Oct 24 (Reuters Life!) – Here’s some advice for guys looking to be a real “man’s man” — get a life.

More than 1 million readers of men’s lifestyle Web site were asked to name the Top 49 Men who exemplified “a true man’s man” with British soccer star David Beckham scoring top place in the wide-ranging list.

Beckham was followed in the No. 2 position by actor Matt Damon, star of the hit movie “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and just behind him was record music producer Timbaland.

The list featured a broad group in both occupation and age, and editor-in-chief James Bassil said the key factor uniting them seemed to be a willingness to engage in life beyond simply accomplishing career goals.

“These are not the guys you always see on magazine covers or who get the most media play, and they all have secondary pursuits that become expressions of their values,” Bassil said.

“When our readers can see the guy behind the guy, they appreciate that.”

Beckham, whose wife Victoria is a member of the Spice Girls pop group, does see his name in tabloid headlines but amid the media frenzy surrounding him, the sports star seems to stay levelheaded with a good sense of humor, Bassil said.

Likewise, Damon scored a smash box office hit with the recent “Bourne Ultimatum” action flick ($410 million worldwide ticket sales to date), yet he is active in charities such as raising money for victims of the genocide in Darfur.

Others on the list included Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, 53, at No. 7, and Richard Branson, 57, who is an adventurer outside running his Virgin companies in airlines, music and numerous other businesses. He was No. 20.

Britain’s Prince Harry made the list at No. 23, but Prince William was no where in sight.

Bassil said the younger prince was appreciated by readers for his willingness earlier this year to serve with the British Army in southern Iraq.

Rounding out the top five were tennis star Roger Federer at No. 4, followed by singer/actor/clothes designer Justin Timberlake. Among the top 10 were actors Daniel Craig, George Clooney and Christian Bale and race car driver Lewis Hamilton.

A complete list is posted at (, which boasts more than 8 million monthly readers.

Amy Winehouse Friend Endorses Her Drug Use

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Winehouse  The comments come after Winehouse and her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were arrested and fined in Bergen, Norway last week after being found in possession of marijuana.

The friend told the Sun: “We were chuffed when she was caught with cannabis, everyone used to worry about her cannabis habit, but now we look back at those days fondly.

They added: “We have been telling her to quit the hard stuff and get back on the weed.”

Despite her arrest, Winehouse’s European tour continued over the weekend with two shows in Bergen and Oslo.

Beyonce shocks in skimpy leotard

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

BeyonceThe Baby Boy singer – who recently cancelled her Malaysia concerts after refusing to conform to the country’s conservative dress code – donned a series of skimpy costumes, including a risqu?eotard with strategically placed Swarovski crystals, for her Ethiopia show on Saturday.

Beyonce told the 5000 screaming fans: “I want to thank you. You have been one of the best audiences of my lifetime.”

Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa welcomed Beyonc? two hour performance as part of the country’s year-long celebration of its 2000th year, according to the Coptic calendar.

Beyonce’s opening act, multi-platinum-selling rapper Ludacris, failed to impress the crowd. Local music promoter Michael Melake explained: “Rap music doesn’t suit Ethiopia.

“Ethiopians need a melody. Rap music is all about the message and we don’t identify with that. It’s all about the black American experience, and we don’t relate to that.”

The Black Eyed Peas, who performed in Addis Ababa in September, also received a lukewarm reception.

Spears regains right to visit kids – reports

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Britney Spears visit kidsBritney Spears has regained visitation rights with her two sons in her bitter custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline, published reports said on Monday.

Celebrity web site TMZ on Monday quoted Spears’ Los Angeles attorney Anne Kiley as saying the troubled pop star was now able to see her boys, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1.

The web site said Spears’ visitation rights were suspended last week when a drug testing company could not reach her, and when she could prove she had a cell phone where she could be contacted, her rights were automatically reinstated.

Kiley was not immediately available to comment. A spokesman for Federline’s attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, also was not immediately available.

Spears is due to appear at a Los Angeles hearing on Friday, where the case will be reviewed. She and Federline have been locked in a custody battle over their kids for months as Spears’ life has seemed to veer out of control despite a stint in drug and alcohol rehab.

Stern to make Anna Nicole’s baby heir to estate

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Howard K. Stern has filed court papers seeking to make Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter the sole heir of the late model’s estate.

Smith’s will was drafted long before the birth of her daughter, Dannielynn, last year. She died before updating the will to include her daughter.

In court papers filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Stern tries to clarify Smith’s intentions.

He claims Dannielynn should be the sole beneficiary under the correct reading of Smith’s will even though the child’s name is not mentioned. And he asks a judge to establish a trust for Dannielynn.

Dannielynn lives with her father, Larry Birkhead, who was established as her parent through DNA testing that settled a legal dispute with Stern.