- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2003

A plentiful pout

Internet Movie Database

Meg Ryan stunned the Toronto Film Festival by displaying a newly inflated pair of lips.

The blond actress, 41, who is promoting her new movie “In The Cut” at the Canadian movie convention, has created sweeping rumors she has resorted to cosmetic surgery, after appearing with noticeably plumper lips. “No one actually had the nerve to ask her about her lips but they drew the eye,” notes the Internet Movie Database quoting an unnamed movie industry source at the festival.

“It’s not a very subtle look. I guess there’s pressure on celebs to look their best,” the source continued. “It’s especially tough in Los Angeles for a fortysomething, even a thirtysomething, actress.”

Madonna’s ‘Roses’ in bloom

Reuters News Agency

Pop superstar Madonna reached out to a new generation of fans yesterday, introducing her children’s book “The English Roses” simultaneously in 100 countries and 30 languages in an unprecedented publishing blitz.

Madonna, who caused a sensation in 1992 with her book of erotic photographs, “Sex,” said her new venture was inspired by her studies of the kabbalah, an esoteric offshoot of Judaism. “The distance covered between these two publications is too vast and complex to be explained in a few words. Suffice it to say that my vision of the world and of my responsibilities have enormously changed,” she said in a statement.

“Having children sets off a chain reaction of questions and answers to seek. I found answers when I started studying kabbalah seven and a half years ago,” Madonna added in comments released in French by her Paris-based publisher Gallimard.

The pop diva, who has sold close to 200 million albums in a career spanning 20 years, said she would donate all profits from the sale of the books to children’s causes.

Madonna has toned down her image since the birth of her daughter Lourdes and her marriage to filmmaker Guy Ritchie, the father of her son Rocco. However the entertainer, who turned 45 in August, proved she still has the capacity to shock when she planted an open-mouthed kiss on Britney Spears at the MTV Music Video Awards.

Madonna is the latest in a string of celebrities, including Will Smith, Jamie Lee Curtis and Spike Lee, to try their hand at children’s books following the success of the “Harry Potter” series which follows the fortunes of a boy wizard.

The Queen of Pop read excerpts from “The English Roses” at a children’s tea party in London on Sunday and came to Paris to officially unveil the book, a tale of four young girls who exclude the lonely Binah from their friendship. The tome, the first in a series of five, features whimsical illustrations by Jeffrey Fulvimari, best known for his work for fashion publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

It is being touted as the biggest multi-language release in publishing history.

Madonna, whose favorite books as a child included “Charlotte’s Web” and “Alice in Wonderland,” said the books aimed to teach children to overcome negative feelings. The next book, “Mr Peabody’s Apples,” will be released Nov. 15.

And baby makes three

Associated Press

Actors Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards are being cast in the role of new parents.

They’re expecting their first child early next spring, a publicist said yesterday.

Mr. Sheen also has an 18-year-old daughter, Cassandra, from his first marriage.

He and Miss Richards married in June 2002. They’re also co-starring in “Scary Movie 3,” which opens Oct. 24.

Mr. Sheen also appears in the new CBS series “Two and a Half Men.”

Miss Richards, 32, and Mr. Sheen, 38, met while shooting the independent film “Good Advice” in 2000. They began dating after she guest-starred on the actor’s former ABC sitcom, “Spin City.”

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

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