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Archive for Tuesday, November 4, 2008

People in the news

November 4, 2008

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Mourners gather for Hudson funeral

Chicago - Hundreds of mourners streamed into a private funeral service for Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson's slain mother, brother and nephew Monday at a South Side church.

Small blue tickets that read "Hudson Family Funeral" were needed to enter the massive Apostolic Church of God, but that didn't deter crowds of onlookers who gathered outside.

Police directed traffic around the building, keeping passers-by across the street from its large front parking lot and away from those attending the services for Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, Jason Hudson, 29, and Julian King, 7.

The three were found shot to death late last month, the adults in Donerson's home and Julian in a vehicle found several miles away. Julian is the son of Jennifer Hudson's older sister, Julia Hudson.

No one has been charged in the shootings, although authorities have called Julia Hudson's estranged husband, 27-year-old William Balfour, a "person of interest." He remains in custody on a parole violation.

Jury: Keanu Reeves doesn't owe paparazzo

Los Angeles - It's a most excellent outcome for Keanu Reeves: The "Matrix" actor doesn't owe a dime to the paparazzo who sued him.

After deliberating for less than three hours, jurors unanimously rejected the civil lawsuit Monday, ruling that Reeves is not responsible for the photographer's alleged injuries. Alison Silva had asked the jury to award him $711,974, which includes medical bills, lost wages and punitive damages.

Silva said he would continue to work as a paparazzo despite the jury's decision. Would he ever attempt to snap Reeves' photo again?

"Why not? It's business," he responded. "I wish Keanu is happy in his life. I have nothing against Keanu."

Silva claimed that the star of "The Matrix," "Speed" and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" struck him with his Porsche in March 2007, causing him to fall and injure his left wrist.

Jurors heard how Silva gave contradictory statements about what happened and even saw a video of the celeb shooter using his supposedly damaged hand to scale down a chain link fence after getting video of Britney Spears.

Sacha Baron Cohen crashes rally as 'Bruno'

Los Angeles - Sacha Baron Cohen went undercover as his alter ego Bruno on Sunday by crashing a rally in support of a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage in California.

The British comedian is working on a film based on the fictional character Bruno, a gay Austrian fashion reporter who conducted gag interviews on HBO's "Da Ali G Show."

Cohen, in disguise in a blond wig and preppy outfit, marched with demonstrators who support Proposition 8 while being trailed by cameras in a rally across from City Hall.

When photographers and reporters realized who he was and tried to approach the star, members of his film crew tried to shield him, and he was eventually whisked away in a van.

Cohen, who has made a career out of filming unwitting victims of his fake identities, also played a journalist in the hit movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

Jane Fonda plans return to Broadway

New York - Jane Fonda, activist, author and exercise guru, will be back on Broadway in 2009 after an absence of more than four decades.

The Academy Award-winning actress will star in "33 Variations," a play by Moises Kaufman about a present-day musicologist (played by Fonda) and her study of Beethoven's fascination with a particular piece of music. Kaufman will also direct. The production will open this winter at a theater and date to be determined, producer David Binder announced Monday.

Fonda won her Oscars for "Klute" and "Coming Home." She has also appeared in such films as "On Golden Pond," "Nine to Five," "Julia," "Fun With Dick and Jane," "Barbarella," "Barefoot in the Park," "Cat Ballou" and "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

Fonda, who lives in Atlanta, produced nearly two dozen exercise videos and her autobiography, "My Life So Far," was a best seller.

Kaufman, founder of Tectonic Theater Project, is best known for his plays "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" and "The Laramie Project," which he wrote with members of Tectonic about the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was beaten and tied to a fence in Wyoming a decade ago. He also directed the Tony-winning play "I Am My Own Wife."

Surfers accused of attack plead not guilty

Los Angeles - Two surfers have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery charges for allegedly throwing a photographer into the water as he tried to shoot pictures of Matthew McConaughey on the waves.

The surfers - Skylar Peak and Philip Hildebrand - are accused of confronting several paparazzi who showed up June 21 on a Malibu beach to take pictures and film the "Fool's Gold" and "Failure to Launch" star.

One of the photographers, Richid Altmbareckouhammou, told authorities he was attacked and his camera was thrown in the ocean by the surfers after they demanded he put his camera away.

A pretrial hearing was set for Jan. 14.

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