- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2006

‘Borat’ star beaten

Sacha Baron Cohen, star of the box office hit “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” was beaten up by a passer-by in New York City after he tried to play a prank as his alter ego, reports Drudgereport.com, citing a story published yesterday in London’s Sun newspaper.

According to the report, Mr. Cohen approached the man and said: “I like your clothings. Are nice. Please may I buying? I want have sex with it.”

The bystander didn’t see the joke. He took one look at Mr. Cohen and punched him in the face.

The British funnyman — known for his Borat catchphrase “Jagshemash” — yelled for help but was slugged again and again. He was rescued by actor pal Hugh Laurie who had been on his way to a Manhattan bar with Mr. Cohen.

Mr. Laurie, star of Fox-TV’s “House,” rushed to help and pushed the man away as Mr. Cohen struggled to his feet, the Sun reported. The incident took place after Mr. Laurie and Mr. Cohen appeared on “Saturday Night Live.” The Brit comics were on their way to a late dinner when Mr. Laurie suggested they have a drink together.

Mr. Cohen, 35, did not receive any lasting scars.

Decision pending

Malawi’s High Court said it will rule next week on whether a coalition of human rights and child advocacy groups should help decide whether Madonna is fit to adopt a 13-month-old boy, Associated Press reports.

Justice Andrew Nyirenda said yesterday that he will rule Monday on whether to admit the 67-member coalition, which includes the state-run Malawi Human Rights Commission, as a party in the adoption proceedings. The coalition maintains the proceedings have been irregular.

Madonna says she has met all the country’s requirements for adopting David Banda, and the toddler’s father, Yohane Banda, has said the human rights group’s lawsuit threatens his son’s future. The pop star, 48, and her husband, British filmmaker Guy Ritchie, were granted interim custody of the child by a High Court judge on Oct. 12. Malawi regulations stipulate an 18- to 24-month assessment period be spent in Malawi, but the couple were allowed to take David to their London home.

Alan Chinula, Madonna’s Malawian lawyer, said that as far as the Material Mom is concerned, all Malawian adoption laws have been followed.

TomKat wedding watch

Tom Cruise flew into a Rome airport yesterday, AP reports, setting off a frenzy among media and fans anticipating the star’s high-profile wedding to actress Katie Holmes.

The actor, 44, and Miss Holmes, 27, are set to marry at an undisclosed Italian location Saturday. Speculation on the location has focused on Odescalchi Castle on Lake Bracciano, near the capital. The romantic 15th-century castle, with its halls and gardens, can host up to 1,400 guests. Local officials and residents remain tight-lipped, and Bracciano’s mayor has acknowledged only that authorities received a request to clear the square in front of the castle.

Yesterday, some 100 fans mingled with photographers and camera crews in front of the Hassler, the luxury Rome hotel on top of the Spanish Steps where Mr. Cruise reportedly was staying.

Miss Holmes and Mr. Cruise became engaged in June 2005. Their daughter, Suri, was born April 18.

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

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