Archive for Thursday, April 21, 2005


April 21, 2005


Ex-Neverland guard testifies in Jackson trial

Santa Maria, Calif.-- A former security guard at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch testified at the pop star's child molestation trial Wednesday that a notice once was posted in a guard station saying the boy who is now the singer's accuser was not to be allowed to leave the estate.

But the prosecution witness, Brian Barron, also said under defense questioning that it would have been appropriate to keep child guests on the estate if their parents weren't present and that guards probably would not let any children leave if they were unsupervised.

Barron, a police officer for the town of Guadalupe, moonlighted at Neverland for about three years until leaving after the ranch was raided by Santa Barbara County sheriff's investigators on Nov. 18, 2003. He said his superiors in Guadalupe suggested he leave the estate because of the criminal investigation.

He said he refused a request by the sheriff's department that he go back to work at Neverland as a law enforcement informant.

Barron said the directive that the boy was not to leave the estate was posted during a weeklong period in January or February 2003. He said he did not know who wrote it.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Robert Sanger, Barron acknowledged that as a police officer he would have been required to report anything illegal he saw at the ranch but that he never had grounds to do so.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting the boy, a 13-year-old cancer patient, in February or March 2003. He also is accused of conspiring to hold the boy's family captive to get them to make a so-called rebuttal video following the airing of a TV documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson, who said he let children sleep in his bed but that it was nonsexual.

Caan files for divorce

Los Angeles -- "Las Vegas" star James Caan has filed for divorce from his wife of more than nine years.

His publicist, Paul Bloch, said Tuesday he didn't have details about the divorce but issued a statement from Caan.

"I love and respect my wife as a friend and as a mother," Caan said. "Our goal in life is to continue to be great parents and great friends. Our children are our entire lives, and they will remain as such."

Caan and his wife, Linda, were married Oct. 7, 1995, according to the divorce petition filed Monday in Superior Court.

The couple have two children -- Jacob, 6, and James Jr., 9, the petition said.

Caan, 65, stars in NBC's "Las Vegas" as Big Ed Deline, security boss of the fictional Montecito Resort & Casino.

Will strip for audiences

New York -- Ashton Kutcher says if his new movie, "A Lot Like Love," tops the weekend box office, he'll model underwear.

"If we are the No. 1 movie in America, I will do a Calvin Klein underwear campaign," Kutcher said in an interview on syndicated entertainment show "Access Hollywood," that aired Tuesday night.

"It's actually a bet that I made with my producing partner, so we will see what happens," he added.

Kutcher has modeled for clothing lines, including magazine ads for Calvin Klein and catwalk work for Versace.

He co-stars with Amanda Peet in "A Lot Like Love." Opening Friday, the romantic comedy's competition for No. 1 at the box office will likely come from new release "Kung Fu Hustle" and last week's top earner, "The Amityville Horror."

Theater etiquette

New York -- Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, who is playing Brutus in the Broadway revival of "Julius Caesar," has come up with a new defense against pesky ringing cell phones during live performances: iambic pentameter.

Washington told CBS' "60 Minutes Wednesday" that "one of these days I'm going to respond in iambic pentameter: 'Answereth that, my lord. My lord, it is for you."'

The CBS show said Washington was making $1,700 a week to appear onstage, a pittance compared with the millions of dollars he makes per movie. But Washington said acting wasn't work.

"Acting is a privilege, and it's a craft and all of those things, but it's not work," he told the newsmagazine for its Wednesday night show, according to a transcript released Tuesday.

The "Julius Caesar" revival, directed by Daniel Sullivan, opened at the Belasco Theatre on April 3.

'Tru' blue

As if "Tru Calling" fans haven't suffered enough at the hands of Fox, the network has decided to pull the serial thriller starring Eliza Dushku off the air after tonight's episode, reports TV Guide Online -- effectively cheating them out of seeing the show's sixth and final original installment.

Fox is replacing next week's Tru finale with "The Simple Life: Interns."

Meanwhile, CBS has delayed its much-talked-about Martha Stewart telepic, "Martha: Behind Bars," until the fall. The movie was originally slated to air May 25.

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