- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 9, 2005

Jackson rebuffs rapper


Actor Samuel L. Jackson has turned down the chance to work with one of his movie icons because the film also stars rapper 50 Cent.

Mr. Jackson, who has been extremely vocal about sharing the stage with unproven actors, says he’s always wanted to work with Irish moviemaker Jim Sheridan and was thrilled when he heard he was being targeted for a new film by the director — until he realized he would be starring opposite 50 Cent in his movie debut.

“I like listening to 50 Cent and I can groove to his music but I don’t want to groove to him on-screen, just yet,” says Mr. Jackson, an Oscar-nominee whose new film “Coach Carter” opens Friday.

“Maybe if he does five movies and he shows some talent,” IrelandOnline.com quotes Mr. Jackson as saying.

Apparently that edict doesn’t apply to Ashanti.

The hip-hop diva, who co-stars in “Carter” with Mr. Jackson, is making her big-screen debut in the film.

The real deal

Agence France-Presse

German art experts have authenticated a painting believed to be the last portrait ever made of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The oil portrait, painted by German artist Johann Georg Edlinger in 1790, a year before Mozart’s death, was authenticated by Wolfgang Seiller, an expert on the composer. Computer comparisons with another already authenticated portrait made 13 years earlier — and Mr. Seiller’s particularly detailed knowledge of the Austrian musical genius — led him to conclude that the painting was real.

The painting, acquired by Berlin’s prestigious Gemaeldegalerie 70 years ago, was recently restored. It will go on display Jan. 27 on what would have been the 249th birthday of Mozart, who died of a mystery illness in 1791 at age 35.

Brown sued — again


A woman has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that soul music icon James Brown is to blame for her suffering from Graves’ disease because he raped her at gunpoint in South Carolina in 1988.

But a lawyer for the Godfather of Soul called Jacque Hollander’s allegations “rag sheet fodder,” adding that the woman’s claims were dismissed as frivolous in 2002 by a judge who also cleared Mr. Brown of another woman’s sexual harassment allegations. Attorney Debra Opri also said Mr. Brown never raped Miss Hollander.

In the lawsuit, Miss Hollander claims she was an aspiring songwriter working as a publicist for Mr. Brown in 1988, when while riding with him in a van, he pulled over, grabbed a shotgun and raped her. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, seeks $106 million in damages.

Case dismissed

Associated Press

Aaliyah’s record company cannot sue the video producer that arranged the 2001 airplane flight from the Bahamas in which the singer was killed, a New York City appeals court has ruled.

The Manhattan court dismissed the lawsuit brought by Blackground Records, saying only the singer’s parents had a right to sue for her wrongful death. The court said the parents did so and were compensated.

Aaliyah had just finished a music video when she and eight others were killed in the crash of a twin-engine Cessna as it left the Bahamas en route to Florida in August 2001. She was 22.

An investigation showed the aircraft was overloaded by 700 pounds, and an autopsy found cocaine and alcohol in the pilot’s body, according to a coroner’s testimony.

Defending her honor

Associated Press

A woman claiming to be a former girlfriend of Kiss rocker Gene Simmons is suing him for slander, saying the bass guitarist made her sound like a “sex-addicted nymphomaniac” during the “rockumentary” — “When Kiss Ruled The World” — on VH-1 television.

Georgeann Walsh Ward, 53, of Chester, N.Y., says in court papers that a photo of her appeared 11 times during the report on Kiss, shown on the cable network several times in July and August, while Mr. Simmons claimed to have had sexual encounters with 4,600 women.

Miss Ward’s papers say that because a photo of her with Mr. Simmons was shown during remarks about his sexual adventures, she was in effect portrayed as “wild” and “unchaste.”

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

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