- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 19, 2006

Not their scene

Nicole Richie irritated a local family during taping of “The Simple Life” by asking an 11-year-old boy, in graphic language, if she looked attractive.

The boy was playing basketball Wednesday in the driveway of his home. Miss Richie, pushing a baby carriage, approached and questioned the youth about how she looked, using a profane word. Two camera operators and another crew taped the exchange.

The boy’s father refused the crew’s request that he sign a release giving them the right to use the clip with his son. Instead he complained to the show’s production company.

“The Simple Life,” which features Miss Richie and fellow celebutante Paris Hilton thrown into normal jobs and responsibilities, has been dropped by Fox. But the show was picked up this season by E! and renamed “Simple Life 4: Till Death Do Us Part.”

The episode shot in the Castaic neighborhood of Los Angeles is scheduled to air in the spring, show publicist Chris Delhomme said.

“The girls are taking turns on their own as wife and mother in their own house,” Miss Delhomme said. “The premise is fish out of water. These rich celebutantes in the environment they know little about. That’s the comedy.”

Miss Richie’s publicist did not return calls seeking comment.

Jerry Lewis honored

France formalized its fascination with Jerry Lewis Thursday with a uniquely Gallic gift for his 80th birthday: a medal and induction into the Legion d’honneur.

Mr. Lewis received the honorary title of “Legion Commander” in a raucous ceremony in Paris — hamming it up for the cameras, winking, sticking out his tongue and making his trademark funny faces.

True to form, the comedian turned what is generally a sober event — set in a gilded hall of the Ministry of Culture — into a virtual slapstick routine.

Mr. Lewis, who bucked formality by wearing slippers to the ceremony, clowned around with Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres — yawning, checking his watch and even pretending to fall asleep during Mr. Donnedieu’s 20-minute-long speech in French.

The crowd roared at Mr. Lewis’ antics, their laughter often drowning out Mr. Donnedieu’s lofty words.

At one point, Mr. Lewis tried to snatch the prepared speech from the podium, but an affable Mr. Donnedieu persevered. “The longer my remarks last the better,” he told the audience, “so you can keep on enjoying Jerry Lewis’ comic talents.”

When he finally took the microphone, Mr. Lewis apologized for not speaking French, but said that “even if the French people cannot hear my language, they have always heard my heart.”

He applauded the country’s sense of humor, saying he believed it “took France through all those difficult years, and will take it through difficult times now because the French are not afraid to laugh.”

Ministry officials wheeled in a massive cake, and the audience sang “Happy Birthday,” delivered with a heavy French accent.

Mr. Lewis said he was flattered by his induction into the Legion of Honor, and said he had been “gloriously elevated” by the award. He was one of 37 foreigners to have received the title over the past three years.

“The French people are the best in the world,” Mr. Lewis said.

Johnny Cash bio

The first Mrs. Johnny Cash had a line to walk, too, and before she died last year she told about it in a book that will be published early next year.

“I Walked the Line,” by Vivian Liberto Distin, is slated to arrive Valentine’s Day 2007, it was announced Wednesday by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster.

The book’s title plays off Mr. Cash’s hit song, “I Walk the Line,” which he wrote about Vivian. The same title was used for the recent Golden Globe-winning movie that focused on Mr. Cash’s romance with his second wife, singer June Carter Cash.

The book is based on thousands of letters exchanged by the couple before their marriage while he was overseas with the Air Force, co-writer Ann Sharpsteen said.

“The letters really reveal the real man, unclouded by drugs. Letters were his dreams, fears, a variety of subjects, fidelity, alcohol, faith. It’s like reading someone’s diary,” Ms. Sharpsteen said.

The couple divorced in 1966 after 13 years of marriage. Mr. Cash died in 2003.

Kathy Cash, one of Johnny and Vivian’s daughters, said her mother visited her father in 2003 to tell him she wanted to do the book.

“He said, ‘Vivian, if anyone on this whole Earth should write a book it should be you,’” Kathy Cash said.

“She had never gotten over Johnny, so it was a journey of healing,” Ms. Sharpsteen said.

• Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide