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Archive for Thursday, May 29, 2008

People in the news

May 29, 2008

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AFTRA strikes deal with producers

Los Angeles - The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced a contract deal with producers on Wednesday that left the larger Screen Actors Guild as the last major Hollywood union without a new labor agreement.

The tentative deal by AFTRA largely followed the script laid out in contracts approved by directors in January and by writers after their 100-day strike ended in February.

SAG leaders, however, have said they want a better deal than writers and directors. Their talks with studios resumed on Wednesday, with both sides hoping to avoid another crippling walkout.

In a message to members Tuesday night, SAG said it would continue to seek an increase in residual payments for DVDs, something neither AFTRA, directors nor writers were able to secure.

It also raised concerns about actors being asked to pitch products within scripted TV shows and movies.

"We remain committed to negotiating the best possible terms for actors for all motion pictures and the vast majority of television programs, pay TV and new media formats," SAG said in response to the AFTRA agreement.

Madonna's adoption of Malawian boy approved

Lilongwe, Malawi - A judge on Wednesday approved Madonna's adoption of a Malawian boy she met in an orphanage in 2006.

The 49-year-old pop star wasn't in court for the ruling, which took Justice Andrew Nyirenda an hour to read. Nyirenda said he was satisfied that Madonna and her British filmmaker husband, Guy Ritchie, "are perfect parents" for David, who will be 3 in November.

Madonna and Ritchie have been caring for David in London.

"It's now official, David is Madonna's baby," the singer's Malawian lawyer, Alan Chinula, told reporters.

David's mother died when he was a month old. His father, Yohane Banda, has said he believed he could not care for him alone, and that placing him in an orphanage was the best way to ensure David's survival. The father has said he didn't object to the adoption.

Yohane Banda said Wednesday he was glad the adoption was successful.

"I am glad it's all over," said the 33-year-old farmer, who ekes out a living growing tomatoes, maize and onions. "I am glad David has a new, good home."

Newlyweds Simpson, Wentz expecting a baby

Los Angeles - Newlyweds Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz say they are expecting a baby.

"While many have speculated about this, we wanted to wait until after the first trimester to officially confirm that we are expecting our first child," read a statement Wednesday on Wentz's blog. "This is truly the most joyous time in our lives and we are excited to share the happy news and start our family."

Simpson, 23, and Fall Out Boy bassist Wentz, 28, exchanged vows earlier this month at Simpson's parents' Los Angeles-area home. Sister Jessica was the maid of honor.

The couple announced earlier Wednesday in a report on People.com that Simpson would take her husband's name. She will go by Ashlee Wentz in private and by Ashlee Simpson-Wentz professionally.

"I think that that's something that a woman should do when they're marrying a man," Simpson-Wentz told the magazine. "It's a tradition that I think is a great tradition."

Gary Dourdan won't go to jail for drug charges

Los Angeles - Gary Dourdan won't do time.

The "CSI" co-star pleaded guilty to two of three counts of felony drug possession Wednesday but will not face prison following his drug arrest outside of Palm Springs last month, according to his lawyer. Dourdan could have served up to three years and eight months behind bars.

"Once Gary completes 30 hours of a diversion program, his case will be entirely dismissed," lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley told The Associated Press in an e-mail. "There is no jail time involved."

The 41-year-old actor was arrested after police found him asleep in his car outside of Palm Springs on April 28. He was allegedly parked on the wrong side of the street with the car's interior light on. Dourdan was charged with felony possession of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

MTV Movie Awards to honor Adam Sandler

New York - Adam Sandler became a box-office superstar by interpreting his favorite character: the repressed man-child.

He soared to fame portraying short-tempered Peter Pans in the "Happy Gilmore," "Billy Madison" and "Big Daddy" films, branding himself the poster boy for guys who don't want to grow up.

Now the 41-year-old actor-comedian will be rewarded for his antics with the Generation Award at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, to be presented June 1 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif.

He will receive the award for his "amazing contribution to Hollywood" and years of entertaining the network's young viewers, MTV announced Wednesday. The Generation Award is MTV Movie Awards' highest honor.

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