‘Slumdog’ stars play hooky from school
Mumbai, India — The slum kid stars of “Slumdog Millionaire” want a lot of things in life — new houses, a car, trips to London and Paris — but they aren’t too interested in school.
Ten-year-old Rubina Ali has missed nearly 75 percent of her classes and her co-star, 11-year-old Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, hasn’t done much better — truancy that filmmakers say will jeopardize their trust funds and monthly stipends if it continues.
Their parents blame the absences on deaths in the family or other misfortunes, including the demolition of Rubina’s shanty by city authorities, and have promised to do better. But the filmmakers say the children are being lured away by endorsement deals, television appearances and other opportunities to cash in on their celebrity.
Nanny: Defendants forced drugs on Smith
Los Angeles — A nanny who worked for Anna Nicole Smith told an investigator the Playboy model’s boyfriend and psychiatrist persuaded her to take drugs that left her sleeping for as long as three days, the investigator testified Thursday.
Department of Justice investigator Danny Santiago read portions of his interview with nanny Nadine Alexie during a preliminary hearing. The excerpts conveyed a graphic story in which the nanny claimed Smith was provided drugs by her boyfriend Howard K. Stern and her psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, even when Smith said she didn’t want them.
The hearing will determine whether Stern, Eroshevich and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor stand trial of charges of illegally funneling drugs to Smith, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007.
Dennis Hopper receives cancer diagnosis
Los Angeles — Dennis Hopper has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is canceling all travel plans to focus on treatment.
Manager Sam Maydew says the 73-year-old actor and artist is being treated through a “special program” at the University of Southern California.
Asked about Hopper’s prognosis, Maydew said, “We’re hoping for the best.”
Hopper was forced to cancel his appearance at an exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne called “Dennis Hopper and the New Hollywood,” a collection of artwork and photography by the actor.
Hopper recently finished shooting the second season of TV’s “Crash” and has several film projects in the works.