- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Hard-knock life

Before swinging into the public consciousness as Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire had a tough time getting his footing in life, People.com reports.

Just 3 when his parents — who were 18 and 20 when he was born — split up, the actor, 31, tells Parade magazine in this weekend’s issue that he nevertheless considers himself “not a victim. … They were just babies, doing whatever the heck they thought they should be doing.”

Bounced from one family member to the next as he was growing up, “I always felt that there were people in my life who cared about me — that I was special to them. It’s very complicated,” Mr. Maguire says.

“But the truth of the matter is I realized at a young age that I was responsible for myself. My feelings of love or security or happiness — they were all in my own hands. I had plenty of difficult, emotional and scary times as a kid, but I don’t dwell on it.”

“Spider-Man 3” opens May 4.

Blow by blow

Off the cuff or up the nose?

That’s the question that’s making the rounds now that Keith Richards says he was joking when he described snorting his father’s ashes along with a hit of cocaine.

“It was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke, and it is not true. File under April Fool’s joke,” said Bernard Doherty, a Rolling Stones spokesman, about Mr. Richards’ quote in NME magazine.

The magazine, though, is sticking to its guns and said on its Web site that the remark was “no quip, but came about after much thinking” by Mr. Richards, 63.

“He didn’t offer the information, I had to ask him a couple of questions to get the information out of him,” said interviewer Mark Beaumont. “He didn’t come straight out with that.”

In the interview, Mr. Richards was quoted as saying: “The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared. … It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.”

Mr. Richards’ father, Bert, died in 2002, at 84.

In a statement posted on the Rolling Stones Web site, Mr. Richards said: “The complete story is lost in the usual slanting! The truth of the matter is that I planted a sturdy English Oak. I took the lid off the box of ashes and he is now growing oak trees and would love me for it!!! I was trying to say how tight Bert and I were. That tight!!! I wouldn’t take cocaine at this point in my life unless I wished to commit suicide.”

Guardian named

The woman who claims to be James Brown’s fourth wife has selected a special guard- ian she wants appointed for her son, the first step toward determining the child’s paternity, Associated Press reports.

A DNA test proving the paternity of Tomi Rae Hynie’s son, James Brown II, cannot be done without appointing a special guardian, her attorney, Robert Rosen, said Tuesday. Mr. Brown’s trustees already have presented a list of attorneys to serve as the special guardian. Miss Hynie’s petition asks that Charleston attorney Stephen M. Slotchiver be appointed. A court hearing to appoint the special guardian has been scheduled for later this month, Mr. Rosen said.

Last month, Mr. Brown’s trustees filed a motion asking a judge to order DNA taken from Miss Hynie’s son.

Miss Hynie, who was a backup singer for Mr. Brown, and the young son were not included in the singer’s will. Mr. Brown died Christmas Day at age 73.

Marty’s master class

Martin Scorsese will be busy at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The Oscar-winning director (“The Departed”) will give a master class on moviemaking to students and film buffs May 24, the festival announced yesterday. He also will present a prize for the festival’s best film by a first-time director at the May 27 closing ceremony.

Mr. Scorsese, 64, won Cannes’ top prize with “Taxi Driver” in 1976. The festival, which runs May 16 through 27, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

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

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