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Wednesday
Jul132011

Hugh Grant on 'News of the World' Scandal: 'Government Did Nothing'

ABC News(LONDON) -- Actor Hugh Grant, who helped expose the News of the World phone hacking scandal, says that not only did the British tabloids pay off the police to gather people's personal information, but that the British government did nothing to stop it.

"Tabloids are using private detectives who are using illegal techniques, and it's very widespread," Grant said. "And the government did nothing -- absolutely nothing -- because of their terror of the press. They did not want to upset the tabloid press, who they were, at that stage, still enthralled in."

The scandal -- involving News of the World, a British tabloid owned by News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch, and an epidemic of alleged criminal activity that includes hacking the voicemails of murder victims -- has rocked Britain to the core since erupting publicly last week.

Grant said evidence of British tabloids hacking into people's personal information has been around for years but that British government officials, including five successive prime ministers, tried to cover it up for fear of being smeared in one of Murdoch's papers.

"That's been one of the most shocking aspects of all this: You know, our politicians have been craven cowards in the face of Murdoch's terror," he said. "This was a country that was effectively ruled by Rupert Murdoch, and right now in Parliament they're pretty much telling him to get out of the country."

The actor said he has long had "paranoid moments" concerning the tabloid press because "photographers would pop up out of nowhere." But he couldn't confirm his suspicions that the press might be tracking him illegally until about five years ago. That's when, Grant said, police showed up at his door and told him they had arrested a private investigator who had Grant's personal information, including phone numbers, PIN numbers and bank account details.

Grant played a part in exposing the scandal when he wore a recording device as a former News of the World features editor, Paul McMullan, confirmed the paper's tactics to him. Grant then published his recordings in a British magazine, New Statesman.

Despite the scandal, Grant said he still believes in a system that allows freedom of the press.

"My main motive in all this has been to just bring it out into the public and to let people know that there's this scam going on," he said.

Earlier Wednesday, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced that a criminal investigation is underway and investigators are reviewing 11,000 pages of documents containing nearly 4,000 names and thousands of phone numbers. About 180 people whose identities were found in the documents have been notified so far.

Murdoch has been in London since Sunday to try to contain the crisis. The News of the World wasn't just another paper in Murdoch's portfolio; it was the best-selling and most-profitable Sunday paper in Britain.

James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's son and heir, announced last week that the newspaper would print its last issue on July 10 after 168 years of being in print, leaving its 270-person staff without jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Charlie Sheen Not Dead, Despite Internet Rumors

Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Despite Internet rumors claiming his death, actor Charlie Sheen is very much alive.

A virus spread primarily through Facebook claimed that Sheen was dead, then rumor spread to Twitter.

Sheen denied the claim, writing on his Twitter page, "(warlock: long nap...very much alive)."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Ted Danson Set to Join 'CSI'

PRNewsFoto/Oceana, Miguel Bueno(NEW YORK) -- Ted Danson will replace Laurence Fishburne on CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation when it returns in the fall.

The 63-year-old actor will play the role of a new CSI Supervisor working the graveyard shift at Portland's crime lab, according to USMagazine.com.

The Emmy-winning former Cheers star has been busy of late, with heralded recurring roles on the legal drama Damages and on the HBO comedies Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death. Danson will reportedly continue to appear on the latter in addition to his new CSI gig.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Sgt. Moore Reacts to Mila Kunis' Acceptance to the Marine Corps Ball

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Sgt. Scott Moore, the Marine in Afghanistan who will be taking Black Swan actress Mila Kunis to the Marine Corps Ball in November, spoke out Tuesday about why he invited the actress in the first place.

"The idea behind my YouTube invitation to Mila Kunis came about after some Marines from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, and I were hanging out talking," Moore said in a statement. "One of the Marines bet that I wouldn't make the video and post it. Of course, a bet between Marines must be honored, so I took the chance. You can't make shots that you don't take, so I took the best shot I could.

"The Marines of 3/2, my family and friends back home in Grove City, Pa. have been so supportive, and did a great job of getting the video a lot of attention," he said. "I'm very excited about the opportunity to share the experience with Ms. Kunis and would like thank her for accepting my offer."

Over the weekend, Kunis said yes while doing publicity for her upcoming film, Friends with Benefits, with Justin Timberlake. Apparently it was Timberlake who encouraged Kunis to agree.

"JT and I had this all planned from the start. He's been a great wingman; it's nice to know he can get over the jealousy to help a brother out (just kidding)," Moore said. "Justin Timberlake's encouragement definitely helped; I owe him one."

In an e-mail sent to ABC News, Moore admitted that taking Kunis to the ball was a long shot.

"We all talk about what we are going to do when we get back, and this was my dream," he said. "I do feel bad for putting her on the spot, but it's not like I was going to bump into her on the streets of Musa Qala between now and the ball."

Instead, Moore, a data systems technician with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, currently stationed in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, set up a YouTube page called "Go With Me Mila" and posted a brief video asking the 27-year-old actress to accompany him to the ball on Nov. 18 in Greenville, N.C.

"I always thought I had a chance, and sometimes that's all you need," Moore said in a statement.

This year's ball will be special, not just because Kunis is his date, but also because its the 236th birthday of the Marine Corps and his unit will be home from Afghanistan, Moore said. As for any special plans he has in store for Kunis, "I think I'll keep that a secret for now; we have to iron out the details."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

'Desperate Housewives' Ending Soon?

ABC, Inc.(LOS ANGELES) -- This season could be the end of the road for the ladies of Wisteria Lane, TV Guide reports.

The creator and executive producer of Desperate Housewives are signed on through a potential ninth season, but the publication reports if the ratings aren't stellar this season, ABC could opt for the Desperate Housewives to "go out with a bang" in season eight.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

6-Year-Old Beauty Queen Eden Wood Retires

6-year-old beauty queen, Eden Wood. (TLC)(NEW YORK) -- At just 6 years old, Eden Wood is a pioneer of the pageant world with 300 wins, but she is hanging up her crown, at least for now, and just made her final appearance on the hit show Toddlers and Tiaras.

"I think she's following in the footsteps of some pretty big people who have done pageants, like Oprah Winfrey," said Micki Wood, Eden's mom.

But Eden and her manager-mother aren't finished with show business, they're just trading in pageants for a bigger piece of the pie, hoping to build a mini Eden empire, from the Eden Wood Princess Canopy Bed Collection to her own showgirl action figure to a memoir, From Cradle to Crown. All of this is from a girl who hasn't even learned cursive yet.

But her mother insists she's not teaching Eden that what's important in life is to be famous.

"No, because so much of her life has nothing to do with that," Wood said. "As long as she enjoys what we're doing, Mama's going to keep doing it. If it leads to the Miley Cyrus status or Selena Gomez, so be it. If it doesn't, that's fine, too."

"I would like to think that Micki and I have created a manual that people would want to emulate in the future," said Heather Ryan, Eden's agent. "It's like nothing else anybody has ever done. So I hope that we haven't messed it up so much that people go, 'Oh my gosh, I would love to do that for my child.' It's astounding how far she's come in such little time."

Eden did a Midwest mall tour, "Eden Wood and the Glamour Girls," a variety show with her former competitors, pageant queens Jasmine Webb and Dianely Noesi. The tour is a chance for Eden to perform new songs off her upcoming album after making almost $1,000 from her first single, "Cutie Patootie."

So does Wood think all of her pushing will have paid off if Eden makes it big?

"Why not see if we can't have a Hollywood contract, a reality show, a spot on a Disney program. It's the American dream. It's her destiny," Wood said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

MTV Institutes Zero Tolerance Policy for 'Jersey Shore' Cast Members

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- MTV is putting its foot down when it comes to Jersey Shore cast members walking off the show without permission, according to TMZ.

After both Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Vinny Guadagnino bolted and threatened to leave the show for good in recent weeks, the network has gotten tough and issued a zero tolerance policy for all cast members.

What does that mean?  If anyone tries to flee the reality series again, they will be fired, and the remainder of their very lucrative contract will be terminated. It has been reported that the cast members are getting more than $100,000 per episode.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Chris Evans Sought Therapy after Taking on 'Captain America'

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Chris Evans didn't jump at the chance to fill the title role in Captain America: The First Avenger, which opens next week.  He initially rejected the chance to play the Marvel superhero, and once he changed his mind, he sought therapy.

According to the New York Times, Evans turned down Marvel multiple times when the studio expressed interest in hiring him as its Captain America, in part because it would require him to star in several of its upcoming superhero films.

He told the newspaper, "The reason I kept saying no is because I was scared.  Maybe this is exactly what I had to do.  Maybe this is exactly what I had to face."

Evans, who previously appeared as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films, said he sought therapy once he agreed to the role because, as he put it, he went into "panic mode."

"The second I agreed to do it, I was like, 'All right, I'll do this, but I've got to start working on my head,'" he said.

The Times reports that Evans received encouragement from two actors who have also played Marvel superheroes: Robert Downey Jr., who's portrayed Iron Man on the big screen, and Chris Hemsworth, who recently played the titular character in Thor.  All three actors will reprise their superhero roles in the upcoming The Avengers movie, scheduled for a May 2012 release.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Halle Berry's Alleged Stalker Arrested

Steve Granitz/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The man who trespassed on Halle Berry's Los Angeles property over the weekend has been arrested after visiting her home for a third time on Monday night.

TMZ.com reports the man, 27-year-old Richard Franco, was arrested after Berry's private security caught him jumping over a wall on her property.  He was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony stalking.

TMZ reports that Berry has obtained a temporary restraining order against Franco, who reportedly trespassed on the property last Saturday and Sunday as well.  A hearing to potentially implement a permanent restraining order against Franco is scheduled for Aug. 1.

According to TMZ, Franco has a long rap sheet.  He served jail time as recently as last month for battery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Sarah Jessica Parker Talks Fame, Family with 'Vogue'

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Jessica Parker says in Vogue's August issue that she spends sleepless nights worrying about "the internal lists, the children's doctor's appointments, the letters to write, the school projects," as well as her busy acting career.

The 46-year-old mother of three recently signed on to star in September's I Don't Know How She Does It, an adaptation of Allison Pearson's 2002 best-seller about a woman who struggles to balance her work life and her home life.

Parker noted, "The thing that's most surprising to me is how much we do in a day."

She also knows there will be plenty of other women who can relate to this movie: "There are probably more women, even now, who are trying to be all things to all people."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio