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Archive for Thursday, May 12, 2005

People

May 12, 2005

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Macaulay Culkin takes stand at Michael Jackson trial

Santa Maria, Calif. -- "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin firmly testified Wednesday that he was never molested by Michael Jackson and told jurors that he and the pop star have a bond based on the shared experience of being children thrust into stardom.

The 24-year-old actor was the third young man to testify at Jackson's trial that as boys they slept with Jackson at his Neverland ranch and were neither molested nor inappropriately touched, as prosecution witnesses have alleged.

Culkin called the charges against Jackson "absolutely ridiculous" and said he did not even learn of the allegations made about him until someone told him he should watch CNN's coverage.

"Do you have reason to believe Mr. Jackson molested you at any time?" defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked.

"Not at all," Culkin said.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2003, giving him wine and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive to get them to rebut a damaging documentary about the singer.

Culkin became part of the case when prosecutors were allowed to present testimony about Jackson's past to suggest he has a pattern of molesting boys. The testimony included a former chef's account of seeing Jackson with a hand up Culkin's shorts as Jackson held the boy up to a video game.

Culkin said he slept in Jackson's bed several times between the ages of 10 and 14, sometimes with other boys as well. He said that the sleepovers were not planned and that he and others would just fall asleep when they were tired.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Ron Zonen suggested Culkin could have been molested while he was asleep.

"I find that unlikely," Culkin said. "I think I'd realize that something like that was happening to me."

Prosecutors seized on Culkin's description of Jackson as childlike and his account of how guests in Jackson's room were free to look at memorabilia.

The prosecution has shown the jury dozens of sexually explicit magazines found in Jackson's room during a November 2003 search.

Former 'Skywalker' to sneak peek at latest episode

Modesto, Calif. -- Mark Hamill, who starred as Luke Skywalker in the "Star Wars" movies, will be in Modesto Friday for a sneak peek of the last episode of the series.

"Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" will play on three screens in Modesto's Brenden Theatres. There will be two showings to raise money for the Gallo Center for the Arts.

"Star Wars: Episode III" makes its U.S. theatrical debut May 19.

Bachelorette takes on ballroom dancing

New York -- Next up: reality ballroom dancing.

Trista Sutter, who appeared on two versions of ABC's "The Bachelor" and wed Ryan Sutter on television, is among the celebrities who will appear on ABC's new reality series, "Dancing With the Stars."

Model Rachel Hunter, former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, singer Joey McIntyre, John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld") and Kelly Monaco ("General Hospital") will be paired with professional ballroom dancing partners in the competition, set to debut June 1.

They will be judged by viewers and a panel of dance experts. One couple will be eliminated each week, ABC said Tuesday.

J.Lo's a hit with mothers

Los Angeles -- Unlike her character in the new movie "Monster-in-Law," Jennifer Lopez says she's never had any trouble with the mothers of the men she's dated.

"I've never really had any trouble with boyfriends' moms or any moms of anybody that I've been with," Lopez told reporters recently, according to AP Radio. "So, I've been lucky. They like me."

After her much publicized romances with Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Ben Affleck, Lopez wed Marc Anthony in June 2004. She was previously married to Cris Judd and Ojani Noa.

Actor feels 'alive' after receiving liver transplant

New York -- Just weeks after undergoing a kidney transplant, George Lopez says he feels better than ever.

"It hasn't even been a month and I feel alive," the 44-year-old actor says in an interview on ABC's "Primetime Live," to air Thursday. "I feel as good as I did bad."

Lopez, star of the ABC comedy "George Lopez," had a genetic condition that caused kidney deterioration. Last month, he received a kidney donated by his wife, Ann.


'Housewife' tops Hot 100 list

New York -- Eva Longoria of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" tops Maxim magazine's sixth annual Hot 100 list of the most successful women of the year in film, television, music, sports and fashion.

Evangeline Lilly ("Lost") is in the No. 2 spot, followed by Jennifer Garner, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Rachel Bilson ("The O.C."), Angelina Jolie, Brittany Murphy, Jessica Simpson and Sara Foster.

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