- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 5, 2003

Bette hits the road

Four-time Grammy winner Bette Midler is hitting the road for the first time in four years with her Kiss My Brass tour. The first leg of the tour kicks off Dec. 10 in Chicago and continues through mid-February.

The tour will hit the nation’s top 40 cities — including the District, although a date and venue have not yet been announced.

News of the Divine Miss M’s tour, announced last Thursday, comes on the heels of her latest release, “Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook” — an effort that re-teams Miss Midler with Barry Manilow, her original pianist and musical director — which landed in stores on Tuesday.

The disc, a loving tribute to the late Rosemary Clooney, contains Miss Midler performing 11 of her greatest hits including “You’ll Never Know,” “White Christmas” and Miss Clooney’s signature, “Come On-A My House.”

Miss Midler will next be seen on the big screen in a remake of “The Stepford Wives,” due out next year.

Strict-Lee business

New York Post

Spike Lee can drive a hard bargain.

Victor Colicchio, co-scripter of “Summer of Sam,” says Mr. Lee demanded a screenwriting credit once he agreed to direct the 1999 movie. “I wrote it with my wife,” Mr. Colicchio said.

“First I gave Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) the script. He was supposed to direct, but then he gave the script to Spike, and Michael was going to play the role that went to Adrien Brody. Michael suggested a few changes. He never asked for a writing credit, but I gave it to him because he made the deal with Spike. I never knew Spike was going to give himself a writing credit until I saw the movie.”

Mr. Colicchio is in talks with Voletta Wallace, mother of Notorious B.I.G., to do a biopic about the slain rapper.

Break-up blues

Internet Movie Database

Oscar winner Halle Berry split with husband Eric Benet because his career woes were dragging her down, according to pals.

The couple last week announced plans to separate after two and a half years of marriage, and those close to Miss Berry believe she was unable to take any more stress. Mr. Benet openly admitted to cheating on the actress and went into rehab for sex addiction. He has since been concentrating on his music career. But his new material failed to spark much interest and, according to the New York Post, he spiraled into depression. “During the summer he was out drinking wine and just kept going on about how his music wasn’t selling,” a source close to the couple says. “He wasn’t good company, and Halle wasn’t happy about how he’s been wallowing in self-pity. Eric is distraught.”

Miss Berry, meanwhile, will next appear in the film “Gothika,” opening Nov. 21. She also appears in the video “Behind Blue Eyes” a song from the movie. The video was directed by and features Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, who after filming, said that he and Miss Berry “shared the greatest kiss ever” in the video.

Mr. Durst reportedly also visited Miss Berry twice on the “Gothika” set during filming in Vancouver, Canada.

Family feud settled

Reuters News Agency

Eight grandchildren of Ernest Hemingway have settled a bitter feud with the widow of the writer’s transsexual son Gregory over his $7-million estate, which included a portion of Mr. Hemingway’s literary rights, one of the children said Thursday.

The death of Gregory Hemingway two years ago, of cardiovascular disease on the floor of a cell in the women’s annex of the Dade County Jail, put a Miami judge on the verge of a potentially precedent-setting decision on whether the author’s troubled son was a man or a woman.

Details of the settlement were confidential, said Lorian Hemingway, one of the eight grandchildren.

In life, the youngest son of the “Old Man and the Sea” author battled alcoholism, drug abuse, manic depression and a cross-dressing fetish that ultimately led to a sex-change operation and a new name, Gloria.Gregory Hemingway was arrested on Sept. 26, 2001, in the exclusive Miami island town of Key Biscayne, after stripping off his dress, thong and high heels. He died in his cell four days later and an autopsy found he had surgically-created women’s genitalia.

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

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