Crowe apologizes on 'Letterman' for assault
New York - A chagrined Russell Crowe apologized Wednesday for throwing a telephone at a hotel concierge this week, saying he reacted poorly to being a lonely family man away from home.
"This is possibly the most shameful situation I've ever gotten myself in in my life, and I've done some pretty dumb things in my life," the Australian actor told David Letterman. "So to actually make a new number one is spectacularly stupid."
Crowe, in New York to promote a new movie, was angered by a malfunctioning phone at the Mercer Hotel at 4 a.m. Monday, so he threw it and struck a concierge in the face.
Along with a few hours in jail on an assault charge, the "Gladiator" star earned himself a new tabloid nickname: "Jerkus Maximus."
Crowe used the "Late Show" platform to apologize to his wife and to Nestor Estrada, the concierge hit under the eye by the flying phone.
Cruising to a third 'Mission Impossible'
Los Angeles - After more than a week of haggling over costs, Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures have reached a deal that will allow "Mission: Impossible 3" to move ahead with filming in Italy next month.
Paramount Pictures chairman and chief executive officer Brad Grey announced the agreement in a statement Tuesday. Filming will start July 18 on the third installment in the action-adventure series, which is a remake of a popular 1960s TV show.
The first "Mission: Impossible" movie came out in 1996 and was directed by Brian De Palma. John Woo directed "Mission: Impossible II," which was released in 2000.
Macaulay Culkin pleads guilty to drug charge
Oklahoma City - Former child star Macaulay Culkin pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of possession of medication without a prescription and marijuana and was given a deferred sentence.
Culkin, star of the 1990 movie "Home Alone," was arrested Sept. 17 after Oklahoma City police stopped a car in which he was a passenger. Officers found over a half-ounce of marijuana and several tablets of Xanax, a prescription medication used to treat depression and panic disorders, court records show.
Culkin entered the pleas during a brief hearing before Special Judge Russell Hall, who gave him a one-year deferred sentence on each of the charges and assessed a total of $940 in fees.
Lotsa Madonna books
New York - "Lotsa de Casha," the fifth and final installment in a series of children's books by Madonna, has been released. It tells the story of the richest man in the world, who loses everything but gains a friend.
Written for readers ages 6 and up, "Lotsa de Casha" is described as "a whimsical updating of the age-old truth that money can't buy happiness." Nicholas Callaway, founder and chief executive officer of Callaway Arts & Entertainment, announced the book's publication Tuesday.
The July issue of Ladies' Home Journal, on newsstands June 14, features a 15-page cover story on the 46-year-old pop star, who says she's written a sequel to her first children's book, "The English Roses."
Madonna donates all her profits from the books to the Spirituality for Kids Foundation, an education and outreach arm of the Kabbalah Centre.
Jackson attorney says he hasn't violated order
Santa Maria, Calif. - A controversy over the gag order in the Michael Jackson case erupted Wednesday when Jackson's attorney issued a statement saying he had not authorized anyone to hold news conferences on the pop star's behalf.
The statement from attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. came as the jurors in Jackson's molestation trial wrapped up their third full day of deliberations. Mesereau's statement appeared aimed at assuring the court that his defense team had not violated a gag order imposed by the trial judge.
Mesereau did not name anyone, but his statement came shortly after Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, had a press conference at the courthouse in which she indicated that her comments had been approved by Mesereau.
"I have not authorized anyone to speak or hold any press conferences on behalf of Michael Jackson or his family," Mesereau said in the statement issued on a Jackson Web site.
More kid books
New York - Kimora Lee Simmons, creator of the Baby Phat clothing line, has signed a two-book deal with Regan Books that includes a children's book and a how-to lifestyle guide.
The lifestyle guide, set for publication in February, will include "inspiring and personal stories" from the former model, who is married to hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and is the mother of two daughters.
Simmons is among 44 celebrities, including Paris and Nicky Hilton, Christina Aguilera, Rebecca Romijn, Elle Macpherson and Heidi Klum, who bared all for a new coffee-table book titled, "4 Inches," published by London-based Scriptum Editions.
The celebrities, wearing only Cartier jewels and 4-inch Jimmy Choo heels, were shot by renowned female photographers for the project to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation to benefit women and children suffering from AIDS in Africa, Cartier said in a statement Monday.