- - Sunday, October 16, 2011

Swift donates 6,000 books to Pennsylvania library

Taylor Swift wants children in the Pennsylvania city of Reading to hit the books - and she has made that easier by giving 6,000 volumes to the local library.

According to the Associated Press, librarians unveiled the donation from the Grammy-winning country singer last week. Miss Swift, who grew up in nearby Wyomissing, wasn’t able to attend the event.

Miss Swift partnered with publisher Scholastic Inc. to donate the books for children and young adults. The titles were chosen by local librarians.

Librarians say Miss Swift’s books will be marked with a white star on the spine and a sticker inside. They say they hope her popularity will motivate more children and teens to read.

Female director chosen to helm ‘Thor’ sequel

Hollywood has signed up its first female director for a major superhero movie, the Associated Press reports.

Marvel Studios announced last week that Patty Jenkins will direct “Thor 2,” the sequel to the summer hit. The movie is due in theaters Nov. 15, 2013.

Miss Jenkins is best known for writing and directing 2003’s “Monster,” which earned Charlize Theron the best actress Academy Award. Her credits also include episodes of “Entourage” and “Arrested Development.”

Chris Hemsworth will reprise his title role in “Thor 2” as the Norse god of thunder, with co-stars Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston also returning.

The first “Thor,” directed by Kenneth Branagh, took in $448 million worldwide.

U.K. judge nixes ‘Goo Goo’ after Lady Gaga lawsuit

Pop star Lady Gaga has won an injunction stopping the makers of an online children’s game from promoting an animated character called Lady Goo Goo, the company involved said Friday.

According to the Associated Press, British company Mind Candy is behind the Moshi Monsters site, which allows children to adopt a virtual pet monster.

Its characters include Lady Goo Goo, a sunglasses-wearing blonde baby who appears in “The Moshi Dance,” a video that became an online hit after it was posted on YouTube in June.

The company had planned to release the song as a single, but the British High Court ruling bars it from “promoting, advertising, selling, distributing or otherwise making available to the public” any work involving Lady Goo Goo.

Law firm Mishcon de Reya confirmed it had represented Lady Gaga in the case but did not give further details.

Mind Candy founder Michael Acton Smith said the ruling was “a huge disappointment.”

“It was all done in the name of fun, and we would have thought that Lady Gaga could have seen the humor behind this parody,” he said.

Val Kilmer nets $18.5M in sale of N.M. ranch

Actor Val Kilmer has sold the bulk of his 5,300-acre ranch in northwestern New Mexico to a Texas oil and gas executive and his wife for $18.5 million.

According to the Associated Press, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the deed transfer filed Sept. 30 with the San Miguel county clerk’s office indicates Mr. Kilmer sold all but 141 acres to Benjamin A. Strickling III and his wife, Roxann.

Santa Fe lawyer Ralph H. Scheuer handled the agreement for Mr. Kilmer and declined to comment on whether the star whose movies include “Tombstone,” “Top Gun” and “The Doors” would keep a home in northern New Mexico.

The ranch originally was put on the market in 2009 for $33 million.

Even facing foreclosure, comedian still can joke

Chris Tucker has a sense of humor about his $11.5 million debt to the Internal Revenue Service - which could cost him his $6 million Florida home, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“That’s the last time I let Wesley Snipes help me out with my taxes,” joked the “Rush Hour” star, 39, during a recent Miami stand-up comedy routine. Snipes is serving a three-year prison sentence for not filing tax returns.

Of bill collectors, Mr. Tucker said, “They calling you acting like you owe them the money personally. I don’t owe you [anything]. This is between me and the company.”

SunTrust Bank recently filed foreclosure papers on Mr. Tucker’s 10,000-square-foot waterfront home, according to court documents first obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

Mr. Tucker signed a two-picture deal with New Line Cinema in 2005 for an estimated $40 million. “Rush Hour 3” grossed more than $250 million globally.

Hilary Swank to donate money from Chechen party

First she apologized; now her publicists say she is donating the money. In response to a query from the Hollywood Reporter, Hilary Swank’s representative said the Oscar-winning actress will give fees she received for attending a controversial celebration in Chechnya “to various charitable organizations.”

Miss Swank has drawn criticism for attending the Oct. 5 government-organized 35th birthday bash for Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who, according to human rights groups, has been linked to torture, abductions and killings.

Earlier Thursday, Miss Swank said she had not been aware of the accusations against Mr. Kadyrov.

“I deeply regret attending this event,” Miss Swank said. “If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone.”

Miss Swank issued the message after Human Rights Watch and other groups criticized her - along with actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, singer Seal and British violinist Vanessa Mae - for attending the show. All the performers were paid to appear at the event.

Mr. Kadyrov has consistently denied wrongdoing, saying accusations against him were fabricated.