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Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2008

People in the news

February 21, 2008

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Moore: Castro should deliver Oscars speech

Los Angeles - "Sicko" director Michael Moore jokes that Fidel Castro would be a "ratings grabber" at Sunday night's Academy Awards show.

Moore's Oscar-nominated documentary on the health care industry concludes with a trip to Cuba, where he seeks care for a group of 9/11 responders who have experienced health problems. They are greeted with open arms at a Havana hospital and given what appears to be top-notch care that they could not get in the United States.

Castro, who is 81 and in poor health, announced his retirement as president of Cuba this week, ending a half-century of autocratic rule.

"I got some great news today because I was trying to figure out how I was going to get Castro into the Oscars and for me he resigns today so he can come to L.A. and go as my guest and perhaps give the acceptance speech," Moore told AP Television on Tuesday night.

"As long as he keeps it under five hours. I'm telling you, that's got to be a ratings grabber. Can you imagine him? Showing up? If I could talk to (Oscar producer) Gil Cates and maybe get Castro in a dance number at the beginning of the show? Great."

Wilson to begin shooting for 'Marley & Me'

Los Angeles - Owen Wilson is going back to work for the first time since his reported suicide attempt last summer.

Wilson, 39, and co-star Jennifer Aniston begin shooting March 10 on 20th Century Fox's "Marley & Me," the studio said. It tells the tale of a couple who adopt a dog to give parenthood a trial run, then find the mischievous pooch more than they bargained for.

After he was hospitalized in August, Wilson dropped out of this summer's comedy "Tropic Thunder," which already had been in production. He was replaced by Matthew McConaughey.

Due out Christmas Day, "Marley & Me" is directed by David Frankel and based on the book by John Grogan. Alan Arkin co-stars.

Kirstie Alley splits from Jenny Craig

Los Angeles - Kirstie Alley and Jenny Craig may have gone their separate ways, but the one-time "Fat Actress" isn't giving up on the weight loss industry.

"After lengthy negotiations, regretfully the Jenny Craig Company and I did not come to an agreement to continue as their spokesperson," Alley said in a statement posted on People Magazine's Web site Tuesday.

Alley, 57, told People that while her experience with Jenny Craig was "extraordinary," she wants "to create something new that will help millions of people end the seemingly never ending fatty-roller coaster ride."

Alley said she intends to develop her own weight-loss brand with plans to launch in 2009.

"We are sorry that she did not accept our offer" to continue appearing in the company's ad campaign, Scott Parker, vice president of marketing for Jenny Craig, told People. "We wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

Britney Spears' traffic case put on hold

Los Angeles - A judge put the brakes on Britney Spears' driving without a license case Wednesday after her attorneys said they don't believe the troubled pop star is capable of resolving the matter.

Superior Court Judge T.K. Herman continued the misdemeanor case until March 20 after attorney J. Michael Flanagan said Spears' conservatorship attorneys "do not think she is qualified or capable of entering into a binding agreement" at this time.

The attorneys also don't believe Spears, 26, is capable of giving a deposition or signed declaration, Flanagan said.

Earlier this month, a judge placed Spears under the conservatorship of her father and an attorney after more than a year of increasingly bizarre behavior by the singer.

Spears hit a parked car on Aug. 6 and left without notifying the owner.

She was originally cited for hit and run and driving without a license, but the hit-and-run charge was dropped.

PETA slams Franklin for wearing fur to Grammys

New York - PETA thinks Aretha Franklin is no queen of soul when it comes to wearing fur.

Franklin was crowned this year's worst-dressed celebrity by the animal rights organization. Her crime: wearing "yet another vulgar fur" at the Grammy Awards.

"... you looked as if you were going to perform 'I Am the Walrus' by the Beatles," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Wednesday of Franklin's appearance. "You might be a queen, but you don't know jack about compassion."

"How 'bout some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for animals?" PETA added.

The other offenders are Marilyn Manson, Eva Longoria ("in her trashy furs, she looks like the streetwalker of Wisteria Lane"), Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue.

PETA called Minogue cold-blooded for toting a python purse. As for Lohan, the group remarked: "'I Know Who Killed Me' isn't just the title of Lindsay Lohan's latest bomb, it's the cry of the animals snuffed out so this 'Mean Girl' can pose in their pelts."

Christina Ricci, Martha Stewart and Alicia Keys have said they've given up wearing fur since being singled out by PETA in previous years.

The group said it took Britney Spears out of the running because they didn't want to kick her while she's down.

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