- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Bad Wall call

Oscar-nominee Natalie Portman said filming a kissing scene beside Jerusalem’s Western Wall for her upcoming movie “Free Zone” was a mistake.

“I really don’t want to offend anyone’s beliefs or impose anything on anyone, and it was mistaken to do it,” Miss Portman told the TV show “Access Hollywood.”

According to the report, the 23-year-old Israeli-born actress and her crew were confronted by ultra-Orthodox Jewish worshippers last week while filming the scene with Israeli actor Aki Avni.

Casual contact between the sexes is forbidden at the site, a remnant of the last Jewish temple and a holy ground for prayer that is monitored by ultraobservant Jews.

“As soon as it offended people, we moved,” Miss Portman said. “We had a very hectic work schedule, so we weren’t thinking. We shouldn’t have done it.”

No game

If there is indeed no such thing as bad publicity, violence-plagued rapper 50 Cent generated some all-too-real publicity for his just-released “Massacre” CD.

A man was shot in the leg Monday night in the lobby of a New York radio station while 50 Cent was making an on-air appearance to promote the release.

According to Newsday, the injured man was a member of 50 Cent’s entourage. The shooting took place shortly after the rapper announced he was booting his protege the Game from his hip-hop clique, G-Unit.

Associated Press notes that in 2001 rapper Lil’ Kim’s entourage engaged in a shootout at the same radio station — WQHT-FM — that left one man wounded. A jury for the trial related to that shootout was, incidentally, chosen the same day as the 50 Cent shooting.

Gang’s all here

Ten years since its last reunion, the Liverpudlian post-punk Gang of Four, a heavy influence on bands such as Franz Ferdinand and the Futureheads, is set for a return to the United States.

The original lineup of singer Jon King, singer-guitarist Andy Gill, bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham re-formed in January for a string of United Kingdom shows.

According to its publicist, the band just finished work on a new double disc to coincide with its U.S. tour. Gang of Four is scheduled to play the 9:30 Club May 20.

Happy house

Despite showing up stag at the Oscars, Gwyneth Paltrow shot down rumors her marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is on the rocks.

“We’re a happy household,” she told roving reporter Gayle King backstage at Sunday’s ceremony.

British tabloids are rife with rumors that too much work — and too little face time together in public — spell doom for the famous couple, who had a daughter, Apple, in May.

Miss Paltrow insists the low profile is deliberate.

“You see people sort of get together and break up, and it always seems like the ones who are the most public with it sort of suffer the most publicly if it doesn’t work out,” she said.

“It just seems like it invites the whole world in, and I just prefer to not do it that way.”

Empty house

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and John Stamos are officially divorced, according to court papers.

AP reports Los Angeles Superior Judge Harvey A. Silberman signed off on the family law judgment Thursday, nearly a year after the couple announced that they were separating after five years of marriage. At the time, a publicist said the split was amicable.

They have no children.

Both appear busy with acting jobs. Miss Romijn-Stamos, 32, a former model, is filming “Man About Town” with Ben Affleck, and “Full House” veteran Mr. Stamos has an ABC comedy, “Jake in Progress,” slated for a March 13 debut.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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