- The Washington Times - Monday, October 4, 2004

Stop making sense

Richard Gere, actor and self-appointed ambassador to the East, weighed in on a burning question in Taiwan: Did the island’s leader fake an assassination attempt to win sympathy votes?

In an interview airing yesterday, Mr. Gere told Taiwan’s TVBS news that he didn’t believe President Chen Shui-bian staged the shooting that grazed his stomach during a campaign parade March 19 — just one day before his narrow re-election.

“What I thought was kind of bizarre was that the opposition assumed that he had set it up, in some way had himself shot,” Mr. Gere said, shaking his head with a slight laugh. “That doesn’t sound right.”

‘Get’ outta here

Michael Caine’s classic gangster flick “Get Carter” was named the greatest British film of all time.

A poll of 25 critics in Total Film magazine said the 1971 movie was tops, ahead of films such as “Trainspotting,” “Life of Brian” and even “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Mr. Caine plays ruthless London killer Jack Carter, seeking revenge for the death of his brother in the Newcastle underworld.

A Hollywood remake by Sylvester Stallone flopped in 2000.

Wing and a prayer

Zack Sinclair had better pray for a good lawyer and a lenient judge.

Mel Gibson obtained a temporary restraining order against him for reportedly showing up at Mr. Gibson’s Malibu estate and the chapel he attends, demanding they pray together.

Associated Press reports that Mr. Sinclair, 34, was arrested Sept. 20 for investigation of disorderly conduct and loitering. He remained jailed late last week on $5,000 bail pending a court hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

The restraining order was issued a day after his arrest and bars him from coming within 150 yards of Mr. Gibson, his wife or their seven children. Mr. Sinclair also cannot contact the actor.

It’s said Mr. Sinclair approached the gate of Mr. Gibson’s estate twice in September and asked to pray with the superstar. He was first ordered away and then detained.

“I continue to be extremely concerned for the safety of my family,” Mr. Gibson said.

Papa does preach

Elton John apparently was surprised that Madonna was nominated for best live act at the British Q Awards, where he received a songwriting honor.

“Since when has lip-syncing been live?” Mr. John asked. “Anyone who lip-syncs in public onstage when you pay 75 pounds ($134 U.S.) to see them should be shot.”

“That’s me off her … Christmas card list,” he added, “but do I give a toss? No.”

Madonna’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, refuted Mr. John’s potshots.

“Madonna does not lip-sync, nor does she spend her time trashing other artists,” Reuters News Agency quoted Miss Rosenberg as saying. “She sang every note of her Re-Invention tour live and is not ashamed that she was well paid for her hard work.”

Flying the coop

No Doubt’s sexy frontwoman, Gwen Stefani, will make her solo debut when she opens the 32nd annual “American Music Awards,” singing “What You Waiting For,” the first single release from her forthcoming album. The awards show will air live on ABC Nov. 14.

Killer told ‘Stay put’

An online petition by John Lennon fans opposing parole for his killer, Mark Chapman, has grown to more than 3,000 signatures as the deadline approaches, the BBC reports.

Chapman, 49, is due to go before a parole board this week for the third time since murdering Mr. Lennon in 1980.

He was sentenced to life in prison for shooting the former Beatle outside Mr. Lennon’s Manhattan apartment. Under state law, he was eligible for parole after serving 20 years.

Mr. Lennon would be 64 Saturday.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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