- - Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gerard Butler roughed up while filming surfing movie

Gerard Butler is OK after being held underwater by some big waves while filming for a movie about a surfer at Mavericks, a famed Northern California surf break known for treacherous, stories-high waves.

Filmmakers were shooting the 42-year-old “Of Men and Mavericks” star paddling out with competitive surfers Greg Long, Zach Wormhoudt and Peter Mel on Sunday afternoon, according to the Associated Press and San Mateo County Times.

The four were steering clear of a set of waves in the 15-foot range when a much larger set broke in front of them, said Mr. Wormhoudt.

Mr. Butler was held underwater for two waves and was washed through some rocks while tethered to his surfboard, Mr. Wormhoudt said. A safety patrolman on a Jet Ski swooped in and picked up the actor.

Mr. Butler was shaken up but not seriously injured, Mr. Wormhoudt said. He was taken by ambulance to Stanford Medical Center for examination and was later released.

Mr. Wormhoudt said Mr. Butler had not surfed much before the movie but had made an effort to improve his surfing and water skills for the film.

The group had talked about what to do if they got mowed down by big waves, and Mr. Butler wasn’t trying to show off, Mr. Wormhoudt added.

“Everything he was doing was within reason,” he said. “We took like four to five pretty big waves on the head. Basically there’s nothing you can do.

“It was intense for myself, and I’ve been through a lot out there.”

Mr. Butler’s publicist, Rupert Fowler, didn’t immediately respond to an email sent Tuesday. Coastside Fire District Battalion Chief Ari Delay would say only that a surfer sucked under by waves was on the beach when paramedics arrived. He wouldn’t name the surfer.

“Of Men and Mavericks” is about Santa Cruz surfer Jay Moriarty, who conquered Mavericks as a teen but died in a free-diving accident in 2001 when he was 22.

Jackson executors to keep more money in ruling

The executors of Michael Jackson’s estate will no longer have to pay some legal expenses and other costs out of their own pockets after a judge approved changes Monday to the estate that has earned hundreds of millions of dollars since the pop star’s death.

The changes approved by Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff mean attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain will no longer pay the costs from their share of the estate, the Associated Press reports.

The men had been paying fees for entertainment legal counsel provided by members of Mr. Branca’s firm, and Mr. McClain had been incurring expenses for the use of a recording studio founded by Marvin Gaye.

Those expenses significantly diminished their 10 percent share of Jackson’s post-death earnings.

Mr. Branca and Mr. McClain have been collecting closer to 7 percent of the estate earnings since it became a “massive entertainment business enterprise,” court filings state.

Estate attorneys sought the change, saying the executors spend more time than they anticipated on Jackson’s affairs. The men have overseen numerous Jackson-themed projects, including the licensing of music, video games and a touring Cirque du Soleil show that eventually will become a Las Vegas fixture.

The men agreed in February 2010 to accept 10 percent of the gross entertainment-related earnings of the estate, minus money generated by Jackson’s 50 percent interest in the Sony-ATV music catalog and earnings from “This Is It,” a film compiled from the singer’s final rehearsals.

The exclusions are huge revenue generators for the estate - the Sony-ATV catalog includes publishing rights to music by the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and other stars. The executors also have been excluded an interest in Jackson’s music, which has sold briskly since his death June 25, 2009, at age 50.

Since then, the estate has earned more than $310 million.

Lange, Shepard end 30-year relationship

Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard have separated after nearly 30 years together, according to the Associated Press.

A publicist for Miss Lange confirmed the split Monday. People magazine first reported the separation, saying the actors concluded their relationship almost two years ago.

The 62-year-old Miss Lange and the 68-year-old Mr. Shepard had been together since 1982. They have two grown children together.

Miss Lange won Oscars for her roles in “Tootsie” and “Blue Sky.” She’s starring in the FX series “American Horror Story.” She was nominated for a Golden Globe last week.

Mr. Shepard recently starred as Butch Cassidy in the film “Blackthorn.” He also is a playwright and author whose play “Buried Child” won a Pulitzer Prize.

Miss Lange previously was married to ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. Mr. Shepard previously was married to actress O-Lan Jones.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.