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Giuliani and McCain Spar for Hollywood Support

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 29 January 2008 03:00 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Giuliani and McCain Spar for Hollywood Support
2. Scarlett Johansson and Sylvester Stallone Endorse Candidates
3. Lawyers Tussle over Britney Spears Case
4. Retraction Sought for Jessica Simpson Super Bowl-Related Story
5. Oprah Winfrey's New Reality Show Draws Stars

1. Giuliani and McCain Spar for Hollywood Support

Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Miller, Robert Duvall, Jon Voight, Adam Sandler, Lionel Chetwynd and Joel Surnow are some of the big-name Hollywood personalities that have thrown support Rudy Giuliani's way in his campaign for president.

Duvall hosted a fundraiser for the New York mayor in 2007, and Voight has been accompanying Giuliani on the campaign trial.

But when John McCain's campaign bounced back off its heels, other prominent Hollywood folks began to take a second look at the Arizona senator.

McCain recently won the endorsement of Sylvester Stallone.

MGM CEO Harry Sloan plans to host a big fundraiser at his home for McCain. The entertainment executive told The Associated Press, "As [McCain] wins each primary, the ticket sales [for the fundraiser] have gotten better and better."

Giuliani and McCain have essentially split the funds coming from Tinseltowners with GOP leanings.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, as of the end of September 2007, McCain had taken in $386,325 and Giuliani had raised $376,826; fairly substantial amounts from Hollywood for Republican runners but quite meager compared to the more than $2 million that Dems Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama garnered from entertainment industry sources.

2. Scarlett Johansson and Sylvester Stallone Endorse Candidates

Scarlett Johansson just returned from the Persian Gulf where she helped to bolster the morale of those serving in the military.

As part of a USO tour, Johansson visited troops stationed at U.S. bases in Kuwait.

The actress not only expressed her support for the Democrat presidential candidacy of Barack Obama, she made an announcement that probably didn't go over all that well with the Illinois senator's wife.

"I am engaged ... to Barack Obama," Johansson quipped to the press. "My heart belongs to Barack, and that is who I am currently, finally, engaged to. Yes." The actress was most likely trying to avoid being questioned about rumors of a possible engagement to her current boyfriend, actor Ryan Reynolds.

The Obamas have yet to comment on Johansson's statement.

As for the servicemen and women she met in Kuwait, Johansson appeared to be genuinely surprised by the graciousness of the military.

"Everybody that I met there was so incredibly friendly and polite and genuine and generous," she said. "They were so, so sweet. I mean, I was just amazed."

Meanwhile Sylvester Stallone has endorsed a Republican for president.

Setting up an ultimate fighting match with Walker, Texas Ranger, Rambo used a Hollywood metaphor to give John McCain a big-screen candidacy boost.

"There's something about matching the character with the script," Stallone explained.

Alluding to the years McCain spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, Stallone suggested that McCain is the right person to lead the country in difficult times, saying, "Reality is pretty brutal and pretty hard-edged like a rough action film, and you need somebody who's been in that to deal with [it]."

McCain had this message for the celebrity endorser of Mike Huckabee: "Look out Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone is coming after you. He's coming after you and he's going to get you."

3. Lawyers Tussle over Britney Spears Case

Britney Spears' lawyer and the prosecutor in the criminal case against her are butting heads.

The parties apparently can't agree which law applies, and so the attorneys have requested more time to sort things out.

Superior Court Judge T.K. Herman has set a deadline of February 20 for the lawyers but says there won't be any more delays after that.

"It's this court's intention to force both sides to go to trial within 30 days of that date," the judge says.

Spears is charged with driving without a valid license.

In August 2007, Spears was videotaped as she bumped into a parked car with her vehicle. She evidently checked out the damage and then left the scene, driving away in her Mercedes-Benz.

Spears had initially been charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run plus driving without a license, but the hit-and-run charges were dismissed.

Her lawyer, Michael Flanagan, said his client was driving with a Louisiana license that was valid because she owns homes in that state. But Flanagan also acknowledged that when a person resides in California they are required to get a California license. Spears did that within a week after the charges were filed.

"There's no dispute about the facts here," Flanagan said. "The dispute is about what the law is that's appropriate to the facts."

Both sides are working to come up with a plea bargain that will keep Britney out of the brig.

After the hoopla surrounding Paris Hilton's jail stint, it's unlikely that prison administrators would be able to stomach a Britney Spears paparazzi parade at their correctional facility.

4. Retraction Sought for Jessica Simpson Super Bowl-Related Story

Jessica Simpson is not happy about a recent article in OK! magazine.

The singer-actress has directed her attorney to dispatch a retraction demand to OK! over a piece that claimed Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo called it quits in his relationship with Simpson because his team lost in the playoffs, which put the kibosh on the Cowboy's bid to play in the Super Bowl.

In the letter, Simpson's lawyer, John Rosenberg, characterized the OK! article as a "personal attack masquerading as journalism."

Simpson's spokesperson, Cindi Berger, let the press know that, according to her, the story was "fabricated," and "made up."

The OK! article implied that Simpson is bad luck, a charge that could have real life ramifications.

One thing that looms large in sports locker rooms as well as in Hollywood dressing rooms is superstition.

Holy habits, favorable foods and even charmed undergarments have been known to play a part in the rituals surrounding both stadium and studio activity.

Here's a sampling of star-sized superstition and bad luck deflection from the sports and entertainment worlds:

— When Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, he wore his lucky college gym shorts underneath his Bulls uniform.

Tiger Woods believes there's a lucky charm in the color red. When in 1997 the golf sensation won his first Masters tournament, guess what color he was wearing?

Wade Boggs was known as the "Chicken Man" because he would eat poultry before every game. The baseball great also took exactly 150 ground balls during practice, entered the batting cage at exactly 5:17 p.m. and began sprinting at precisely 7:17 p.m.

— Pitcher Turk Wendell would brush his teeth between every inning.

— Hockey goalie Pelle Lindbergh would wear an old Swedish-made orange T-shirt under his equipment. Each time the shirt started to fall apart he would have someone mend it. Between periods he would only drink a Swedish beverage called Pripps that was delivered by a special team trainer.

— Hockey player Patrick Roy routinely talked to the goalposts during the game.

— Tennis player Goran Ivanisevic would always attempt to be the second person to get up from his chair on the change-over and would avoid stepping on any of the lines. When he won, he would repeat all the events of the day, going to the same restaurant, ordering the same food and talking to the same people.

Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, refused to attend the premiere of the fifth film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Since he was unable to make previous premieres due to scheduling conflicts, the actor skipped "Phoenix" to avoiding jinxing the box-office.

Cameron Diaz has some treasured lucky charms and methodically knocks on wood.

Geoffrey Rush brings a plastic Daffy Duck figure to awards shows. In 1997 the actor was nominated for his role in "Shine." He brought Daffy to the Oscars and picked up a gold statue.

Cate Blanchett keeps her "Lord of the Rings" elf ears on her mantle for luck.

— True TV host Star Jones never puts her purse on the floor.

— Legend Eartha Kitt won't stay in a hotel room above the 8th floor.

Robin Williams has a lucky carved ivory figurine that belonged to his father.

Meat Loaf travels with two stuffed bears.

5. Oprah Winfrey's New Reality Show Draws Stars

Critics have been panning reality shows for years.

Some shows have been absurd while others have brought family entertainment back to the TV screen.

But now big-name celebrities are lining up to be on a new reality show that's produced and hosted by Oprah Winfrey.

John Travolta, Jennifer Aniston and Jada Pinkett-Smith are among the Hollywood A-listers who will join sports stars Danica Patrick, Andre Agassi and Tony Hawk, music icon Natalie Cole and reality show host and mogul Donald Trump to participate in Winfrey's series "Oprah's Big Give."

According to Nate Berkus, a contributor to "The Oprah Magazine," the show's entire premise revolves around what you can do for other people.

Contestants will travel across the U.S. helping others and giving away money. What they won't know is that they could be rewarded for their generosity.

And that will be a big give to our cultural psyche.

"Oprah's Big Give" premieres March 2.

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Giuliani and McCain Spar for Hollywood Support2. Scarlett Johansson and Sylvester Stallone Endorse Candidates3. Lawyers Tussle over Britney Spears Case4. Retraction Sought for Jessica Simpson Super Bowl-Related Story5. Oprah...
Tuesday, 29 January 2008 03:00 PM
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