Entries in ABC News (20)


Charlie Sheen Still Drinks, Doesn’t Believe in Rehab

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Charlie Sheen has been to the edge and back in the past year after his public meltdown led to his being fired from his hit sitcom Two and a Half Men.

Now a calmer version of Sheen – once the highest-paid actor in television – is back with a new sitcom, Anger Management, debuting Thursday night on FX, in which he plays, not without irony, an anger management therapist.

“What do you think?” Sheen said today on ABC’s Good Morning America, when asked if his new role is much of a stretch.  “It’s nice to be in the chair and not the couch.”

The couch is where Sheen, 46, spent much of the past year in rehab after his career imploded in a string of headline-making incidents including a series of bizarre interviews in which he claimed to be a “warlock,” said he possessed “tiger blood and Adonis DNA,” and characterized his erratic behavior as “winning!”

When allegations arose that drugs were behind his erratic behavior he denied any substance abuse problems but claimed to be on the drug “called Charlie Sheen.”  Today the new Sheen, recently cast to play the president in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete sequel, says he is not on any drugs but hasn’t been able to kick his other habit, alcohol.

“We live in a country where it’s always Miller Time so what are you going to do?  It’s happy hour somewhere in the world,” Sheen said.

His time in rehab was not a first for Sheen, who has had several run-ins with the law for domestic abuse and drug allegations over the years, but it was possibly his last.

“I don’t believe in rehab anymore,” Sheen said today on GMA. “It’s not for me. It’s not for everyone. It’s not a one-size-fits-all and it didn’t fit me.”

“My biggest regret is going a little too far,” Sheen said. “The key for me would have been the advice I got when I was in anger management myself for a year and that is you can always leave the room.”

Sheen’s erratic behavior and firing led to a lawsuit with CBS and a very public feud with Men creator Chuck Lorre.  Reports from the Anger Management set have been nothing but positive which is how Sheen says he wants his TV legacy to end.

Like he did on Men and the sitcom Spin City before that, Sheen plays a version of himself, a character  again named Charlie, on Anger Management.  He has said his planned role in the upcoming Roman Coppola film, A Glimpse Into the Mind of Charles Swan III, in which he, again, plays a “Charlie” will be the last time audiences see that similarity.

Don’t put it past Sheen, however, to turn his year of turmoil into commercial success.

“It is odd to look at some of the clips and some of the stuff and think, ‘Wow that was me, that was me.  Wow,’” he said.  “It’s a crazy character study on some level that will hopefully be valuable in the future.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kevin Costner Wrote Whitney Houston About Her Drug Use, Actor Says

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Kevin Costner and the late Whitney Houston formed a unique friendship, thanks to co-starring in the 1992 romantic thriller The Bodyguard, which became the second highest-grossing film worldwide when it was released. On Thursday's Good Morning America, Costner admitted that although Houston's family asked him to give her eulogy after her death in February, he was nervous about his remarks.

"You can't be everything to everyone and how people choose to deal with it is something I was speaking to in the room," Costner said of his funeral address. "Oprah was in the room and Diane Sawyer and all those people I wish were up there speaking instead of myself. What was I going to say?"

The 57-year-old actor and director figured out exactly what to say, crafting a heartwarming eulogy that spoke of his and Houston's similarities growing up in Baptist churches. Costner also spoke of Houston's insecurities as a public figure -- anxieties that led to her drug use.

"I saw pretty much what everybody else saw," Costner said of Houston's drug use. "I was asked a couple times by closer friends of hers to write her a note. I did. ...I don't know if she ever read them."

"She was a very important person to me," Costner declared. "The world has connected us in a way that we'll never not be."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Good Morning America" Breaks "Today’s" Winning Streak

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It’s official: Good Morning America has broken Today’s 852 week long streak to become the No. 1 morning news show on television.

During the week of April 9, ABC’s GMA drew 31,000 more viewers than Today, marking its first full-week victory over NBC’s morning show since 1995.

ABC News president Ben Sherwood congratulated the show and thanked its viewers in an email to ABC News’ staff Thursday morning.

“First and foremost, we thank our GMA viewers and online audience — a loyal and growing number who motivate us every single morning,” he wrote. “All of us at ABC News salute the dynamic team at Good Morning America who never sleep and who care so deeply about the program.”

“We also thank our ABC network colleagues and our powerhouse stations and affiliates for supporting the program in so many ways,” he added. “Of course, we congratulate our friends at Today for the greatest winning streak in broadcasting history and for their excellence and leadership during this historic run.  It’s a special day for ABC News and, after a proper celebration 852 weeks in the making, we’ll get right back to work to be ready tomorrow to help GMA viewers start their day with a rewarding experience and big picture understanding of the world.”

Preliminary Nielsen ratings released Monday signaled GMA’s triumph over Today. That day, Jim Bell, the executive producer of NBC’s Today, congratulated the GMA team.

Today’s 852-week winning streak had taken on a life of its own and as odd as it is to see it end, we should acknowledge just how remarkable it has been,” he said. “So as we tip our caps to the team at Good Morning America, we can also take a bow ourselves and recognize the work done by countless staffers for so long.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Katie Couric to Guest Host "Good Morning America"

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- For one week only, Katie Couric will return to morning television on ABC’s Good Morning America.

While Robin Roberts is on vacation, Couric will be the guest host with George Stephanopoulos for the week of April 2.

Lara Spencer made the announcement Thursday on GMA and the anchor team welcomed Couric to the show.

“Katie Couric is going to be sitting in this chair next to George Stephanopoulos,” Roberts said to the team.

“You get to throw away your alarm clock for the week and she has to dust hers off,” Stephanopoulos told Roberts.

“We’re thrilled to have Katie,” Roberts said.

Couric took to Twitter this morning to share her excitement about filling in on GMA.

“Serious pressure filling in for the fab @RobinRoberts !” she tweeted. “Rise + shine! Excited to be back on morning TV next wk, guest hosting @GMA w/ @GStephanopoulos.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dionne Warwick Reveals Final Conversation With Whitney Houston

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The final days and hours of Whitney Houston's life were filled with family and preparing for her comeback in music and movies, her cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, said Thursday.

"I spoke to Whitney the day that she passed," Warwick said Thrusday on ABC’s Good Morning America.  "I spoke to her that morning.  She said, 'You're here, aren't you? You're coming to the party, aren't you?'  I said, 'Yeah, I'm going to be there' and she said, 'Thank you, I want you to be here. You've got to be here for me.'"

Houston was found dead Feb. 11 in the bathroom of her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles where the 48-year-old singer was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party thrown each year by her mentor, the music mogul Clive Davis.

"I spoke to her that afternoon once I landed in L.A. and that was it," Warwick, 71, said of their last conversation.  "She was so up and ready and happy.  She had everything in the world to live for.  She had a new film that was an absolute dream to make and do.  She was getting ready to go back into the studio to record.  She was getting her vocals together."

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Houston had just completed filming the movie Sparkle with former American Idol contestant Jordin Sparks. The six-time Grammy winner was also working with Davis to release a new album.

"It's very, very surreal. It hasn't really sunk in yet," Warwick said of the death of Houston, whom she called "the little girl I never had."  "I have not had an opportunity to really mourn or completely break down, which I will do, I know that."

Warwick spoke at the star-studded, nearly four-hour funeral ceremony held for Houston last month in Newark, N.J., where she was seen comforting her aunt and Houston's mom, Cissy.

"I am so proud of her.  She's really holding up so very well," Warwick said of singer Cissy Houston.  "She has her moments of course and will continue to have her moments.  I think she's coming to terms with it just about now.  It's going to take quite a bit of time."

Warwick has also been there to support Houston's only child, 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina, whom new reports say will inherit her mother's entire fortune.  Houston's 19-page will reportedly leaves all her belongings, including money and jewelry, to Bobbi Kristina in a trust that will dole out money to her at ages 21, 25 and 30.

Bobbi Kristina, Houston's child with ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown, took the death particularly hard and was hospitalized twice for stress and anxiety after her mother died.

"She will have it [support], of course," Warwick said.  "That's the one thing I love about my family.  We are family.  She has the support that she actually needs."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: ‘Tower Heist’

Bobby Bank/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Despite his misdeeds and all the misfortune he wrought for so many families and businesses, we can thank incarcerated financial fraudster Bernie Madoff for at least one thing. Without him, we wouldn’t have the gift of Tower Heist.

Ben Stiller is Josh Kovacs, the thoughtful, affable manager of one of New York City’s finest apartment buildings. Besides catering to the obscenely wealthy, the building is home to billionaire investor Arthur Shaw, a hometown boy from Queens who cultivated the ability to charm the hell out of his clients while robbing them blind without batting an eyelash.  More about him in a moment.

Josh oversees a large and eclectic staff of service professionals, including his dopey brother-in-law Charlie (Casey Affleck); a Jamaican cleaning lady named Odessa, played by Precious star Gabourey Sidibe; a former Burger King employee-turned-elevator operator named Enrique (Michael Pena); and the doorman, Lester, played by Stephen Henderson.

Within the first 10 minutes of Tower Heist, we meet all of these characters and learn what a great guy Josh is…especially when he’s asked to essentially evict Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), a Yale grad and father of two who was downsized and has lost everything. Josh arranges for Mr. Fitzhugh to stay in the building for a few more days. Aww.

For all of his good intentions, Josh made one terrible mistake. Unbeknownst to his staff, he asked Mr. Shaw to invest his staff’s pensions -- a total of $20 million. This foolish decision comes back to bite him when Mr. Shaw is busted by the FBI for bilking his investors.  Josh slowly realizes the great guy who owns the penthouse is, in reality, a great big (insert your own expletive).

Shaw needs to get his staff’s pensions back.  But how?  Enter Eddie Murphy’s Slide, a career criminal Josh went to school with when he was six years old.  Josh assembles a team consisting of Slide, Charlie, Mr. Fitzhugh and Odessa -- who, as luck would have it, knows how to crack a safe.  Together, they concoct a caper to retrieve the stolen money.

If this entire setup sounds ridiculous to you, that’s because it is ridiculous.  It’s also incredibly entertaining. Murphy makes one of the better decisions of his recent career in doing a comedy where he doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Stiller, Affleck, Broderick and Pena are all hilarious, with an honorable mention for Gabourey Sidibe, who’s surprisingly funny after turning in one of the last decade’s most memorable dramatic performances in Precious.

However, the person who may deserve the most credit for Tower Heist is director Brett Ratner.  He shows a level of maturity with this film that he’s never before displayed, taking a ridiculous story and keeping it grounded in reality by masterfully playing to all of his actors’ strengths.

Rating: Four out of five stars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


No Post-Birth Beer for Mariah Carey

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Mariah Carey is quashing earlier reports that she had a beer after her twins Moroccan and Monroe were born last spring at a Los Angeles hospital.

The beer allegation prompted the involvement of California Child Protective Services, who, Carey said, investigated whether the babies were subject to “neglect.”

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Carey told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview airing on ABC’s 20/20 Friday.

Carey said that, at the time, the newborns — who are now six months old — were being cared for in the hospital’s neo-natal intensive care unit.

“The babies were in the most protective environment because it’s the NICU,” she said.

Carey said the beer story started with a suggestion by a nurse who brought the singer a beer, saying it would help improve lactation.

But, Carey said, “I didn’t even drink the beer.”

Watch Barbara Walters’ exclusive interview with Carey and husband Nick Cannon, plus see their babies’ faces for the first time, on ABC's "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Katie Couric Begins Working at ABC

ABC/RICK ROWELL(NEW YORK) -- Katie Couric has begun working at ABC, and one of her first tasks was co-hosting ABC’s The View on Wednesday.

Couric’s own daytime talk show won't debut until September 2012, but she still took time to give it a plug, telling viewers she plans to tackle serious subjects and also have “a lot of fun as well.”  

Couric will also be part of the ABC News team, participating in special events coverage, conducting interviews and more.

2011 ABC News Radio


'Goddess' Bree Olson: Life with Charlie Sheen Full of Tension

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Bree Olson was a key part of Charlie Sheen's "warlock" fantasies. The porn star was one of Sheen's two "goddesses," the girlfriends he said he loved and who lived in his Los Angeles mansion.

The two women -- Olson and former marijuana model Natalie Kenly -- completed "the three parts of my heart," Sheen has said.

While they portrayed their relationship as close-knit and kinky, it was anything but behind the scenes. In an interview with ABC News, Olson, 24, acknowledged that things were sometimes tense inside Sheen's home, in part because of Kenly.

"It was like you could cut the air with a knife sometimes," she said. "I felt like I couldn't show Charlie the affection and the love that I wanted to show him, because of how she would react."

ABC News reached out to Kenly for comment but she declined.

Sheen's career imploded this year after bouts of unpredictable behavior, including his trashing of a posh New York hotel while on a bender last fall. In subsequent interviews, the actor claimed to be a "warlock" with "tiger blood" and "Adonis DNA" who took "seven-gram rocks" of drugs while he partied. He was fired after he lashed out publicly at executives of his hit show, Two and a Half Men.

Sheen, 45, has been to court numerous times to hammer out a custody agreement with ex-wife Brooke Mueller for the couple's two young sons. Mueller herself has been to rehab multiple times.

Sheen's life had taken several twists, but on television, things inside his home appeared great. They weren't, however, especially not between the two women.

"I think she was trying to convince herself that it was great," Olson said of Kenly. "But I mean, she was crying like every day. She was really upset about it."

So how did a farm girl from Fort Wayne, Ind., end up in this public love triangle? She became interested in the adult movie business when she was a 19-year-old, pre-med student. Five years later, Olson was a bona fide porn star. That's how she met Sheen. The actor had a long-running interest in adult film stars.

Olson said Sheen made her laugh.

"He doesn't have a regular, 'How's the weather?' conversation, you know?" she said.

The two started dating almost right away. She says she was aware of reports that Sheen could be violent -- that he allegedly held a knife to Mueller -- and that he trashed a hotel room with another porn star in it. But she figured it was tabloid misrepresentation.

"I did not get that vibe from him whatsoever," she said of the reports.

Asked if she has ever witnessed Sheen being violent, Olson replied: "No. I've never seen Charlie behave in -- violent in any situation."

She added that she has never felt scared or threatened while she was around him. She also says she's never seen Sheen do drugs, not even when she moved into his house in February.

But there was one thing that surprised her when she moved in: Kenly, the woman she refers to as "Natty." Olson said she had no idea that there would be another woman also living in the house.

A week after she moved in, the war between Sheen and Chuck Lorre, the creator of Two and a Half Men, began.

During the media blitz that followed, Sheen said he was "winning" and on a drug called "Charlie Sheen." Some thought Sheen had become psychologically unbalanced, but Olson had another take.

"He was just relaxed and trying to have fun. And people who don't know him -- they just don't get it," she said.

The memory that stings the most from that period, she says, was the uproar stemming from the so-called goddesses' caring for Sheen's young sons. In an interview with Good Morning America earlier this year, Sheen was asked if he saw Olson and Kenly as mother figures to his two young sons. His response, "absolutely, sure," prompted a wave of criticism.

"That is so absurd that, 'Oh, a porn star is not capable of being around children,' Olson said. “Just because I've chosen to do what everyone else does in this whole entire world on camera does not make me uneligible to be around children."

Olson, who is on the August cover of Playboy magazine, remained with Sheen through the beginning of his disastrous comedy tour across America. But the pressures of the road, and what she said was meddling by Kenly, led her to leave.

Even so, she won't say anything negative about Sheen. Indeed, she's protective of the troubled TV star.

"I see, like little Charlie in him, you know. Like I see little boy Charlie that I just want to [be protected] from the world that's after him," she said.

Kenly has also left Sheen. Now, Olson says, she wants to make the jump to mainstream acting.

"I think that I'm a damn good actress and I think that I could be in blockbuster hits," she said. "I think that I could be a main character on a series role." If that fails, Olson said she wants to get married and have children.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Katie Couric to Appear on 'The View'

ABC/RICK ROWELL(NEW YORK) -- Katie Couric will make an appearance on her new network home on Aug. 3, when she guest co-hosts ABC's The View.

Couric -- formerly of NBC’s Today and more recently the anchor of the CBS Evening News -- left CBS for ABC last month.

She will launch her own talk show in September of 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio