- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Eddie’s early exit

Losing the Academy Award for best supporting actor to Alan Arkin Sunday night apparently didn’t sit well with Eddie Murphy, and the comic-actor spilt the scene as soon as Mr. Arkin’s name was announced, FoxNews.com reports.

He didn’t stay to see Jennifer Hudson win best supporting actress in “Dreamgirls” or his fellow cast mates (Miss Hudson, Beyonce, Keith Robinson and Anika Noni Rose) perform the show’s three nominated songs in a stellar staging by “Dreamgirls” director-writer Bill Condon, who wasn’t an Oscar nominee.

Mr. Murphy, 45, had been considered the front-runner after earlier winning the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for his role as soul singer James “Thunder” Early.

‘Babel’ spat deepens

The chasm is growing wider between the filmmaking duo who gained worldwide success with movies about the connections among disparate locations and characters — and people are taking sides.

Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have accused each other of trying to steal the spotlight amid the success of their latest film, “Babel,” Associated Press reports. Now Mr. Inarritu and other “Babel” collaborators, including actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Adriana Barraza and composer Gustavo Santaolalla, have signed a letter criticizing Mr. Arriaga for “claiming media attention.”

“It’s a shame that in your unjustified obsession to claim sole responsibility for the film, you seem not to recognize that movies are an art of deep collaboration,” said the letter, published in the latest edition of Mexico’s Chilango magazine, released Monday.

In a radio interview, Mr. Arriaga shot back that Mr. Inarritu was stealing credit for “Babel” by listing himself in the credits as the movie’s creator.

Both Mr. Inarritu and Mr. Arriaga were nominated for Academy Awards for their work on “Babel,” which was also up for best picture. Mr. Santaolalla was the only winner Sunday night among the film’s seven Oscar nominations, taking home his second straight statuette for best original score.

Mr. Inarritu and Mr. Arriaga had been a team for nine years, gaining acclaim with their films “Amores Perros” and “21 Grams.”

Back in the slammer

A Massachusetts judge on Mondayordered former New Edition singer Bobby Brown to remain in a Norfolk County jail until he paid $19,000 in late child support and court fees, his lawyer said.

According to AP, Phaedra Parks, an attorney for Mr. Brown, said he has been struggling to meet monthly payments to Kim Ward, of Stoughton, Mass., the mother of his two teenage children. Mr. Brown, 37, is in the midst of a divorce from pop diva Whitney Houston, 43, after 14 years of marriage.

A judge in Norfolk Probate and Family Court ordered Mr. Brown held in the county jail in Dedham, Mass., on Monday, one day after a bounty hunter arrested the singer while he was watching his daughter’s cheerleading competition.

In October, Mr. Brown paid $11,000 in delinquent child support after being threatened with arrest if he stepped back into Massachusetts. He currently owes child support payments from January, plus late penalties, Miss Ward’s attorney fees and constable fees, Miss Parks said.

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

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