- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Oh, rats!

San Francisco Chronicle

Golden Globe nominee, Charlize Theron, is having a slight problem settling into her Hollywood Hills home because it’s infested with rats.

The South Africa native is surrounded by so many of the pests in her abode, her Great Dane Orson has become a cat-like rat catcher.

“Orson is like a cat,” Miss Theron said. “He catches rats like nobody’s business. He catches rats while he’s on a leash. You’ve never seen anything like it.

“He’ll just be walking, and he kind of looks like an alien a little bit. His ears will go up and he’ll just dive his head into a bush and pull out a rat. It’s insane. I scream, the rat screams, it’s a mess. I have tons of rats. At night I’ll take a bath and they’ll be having a party and you hear the music. It’s crazy. That’s the price you pay when you live in nature, so it’s fine.”

Basinger, Baldwin battle

Internet Movie Database

The long split between Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger is about to hit the headlines after an independent arbitrator was fired.

The pair had hired the arbitrator to sort out their problems in private, in a bid to spare their 8-year-old daughter Ireland from a messy custody battle. But, according to reports in the New York Post’s Page Six column, it’s all gone terribly wrong.

“He was trying to protect his daughter. But once the arbitrator started ruling against Kim, she found a loophole and had him fired. So now they are facing a very public trial next year,” a friend of Mr. Baldwin’s told Page Six.

Miss Basinger claims her husband was “emotionally and physically abusive.” But after the National Enquirer ran a story claiming Mr. Baldwin beat his wife in April 2002, the actor’s brother Billy Baldwin spoke out, branding the Oscar-winning actress a “nut case.”

“Is my brother a saint? No. Is he volatile? Yes. But he is not a wife beater,” Billy Baldwin told the tabloid. “I think what may have happened is that Kim may have taken a run at Alec during a fight, and he may have put his arm up to protect himself or push her off. But that’s not beating your wife.”

In a statement to Page Six, Miss Basinger’s publicist said: “An independent evaluator in the child custody case of Kim Basinger and Alex (sic) Baldwin’s daughter, Ireland, has recommended primary physical custody to Miss Basinger and visitation rights to Mr. Baldwin. The report exonerates Miss Basinger of all false allegations made by Mr. Baldwin and acknowledges that Miss Basinger lived in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage for 10 years. Miss Basinger has accepted this report. The only reason the case would end up in court would be if Mr. Baldwin rejects the report or continues to make false allegations against Miss Basinger, which would therefore only cause additional distress to their daughter.”

Mr. Baldwin, a Golden Globe nominee for his role in “The Cooler,” has issued no comment at this time.

Outstanding balance

New York Post

The management of the New York nightspot Show says Barbara Walters and her cohorts at ABC News are stiffing the place on a $2,000 bill.

When Miss Walters selected the club for the site of her interview with Queen Latifah last May, the owners generously charged the network a mere grand rather than the usual $10,000. On top of that, Babs treated herself and crew to a $300 breakfast and a $700 lunch.

A rep for Show says they’ve called ABC producers 15 times over the last seven months, and haven’t seen a cent.

A network spokesman says the club filled out the invoice incorrectly — but adds a check is on the way.

Campbell canned

Internet Movie Database

Fears are rising for the mental health of supermodel Naomi Campbell after she reportedly threw so many tantrums on the set of a fashion shoot that she was replaced with another model.

The British beauty was in Spain with Vogue magazine, when she angered staff by not coming out of her hotel room at the Madrid Ritz for four hours. According to the British tabloid The Daily Star, the shoot began six hours late and Miss Campbell then refused to pose for the agreed pictures, which featured her as an actress accepting an Oscar. Her constant tears and refusals led the magazine to replace her with a Russian model, while Miss Campbell was taken to Madrid Airport for a flight out of the country.

“Naomi was just impossible,” an unnamed source told the Internet Movie Database. “She kept crying every five minutes and screaming to her assistant. She was saying she was depressed because of a personal thing. She also kept asking for strange things.”

Miss Campbell’s spokesperson did not comment on the incident.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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