- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2007

Aiken performing badly

Singer Clay Aiken was involved in an airplane disturbance with another passenger Saturday while en route to Tulsa International Airport in Oklahoma, a newspaper reported.

The dispute on a Continental Airlines flight took place between Mr. Aiken, who was traveling to a performance at the Brady Theater, and a woman, the Tulsa World reported for its editions yesterday.

Concertgoers who attended the show said afterward that Mr. Aiken, a runner-up on TV’s “American Idol” talent show in 2003, joked onstage about being beaten up by a girl earlier in the day.

FBI Special Agent Gary Johnson said there was a dispute between a male passenger and a woman on the flight but could not confirm the passenger was Mr. Aiken. He said the dispute was over the male passenger’s foot resting on the woman’s armrest. He said there was an allegation the woman gave the male passenger a “minor shove” during the argument.

“At that point the flight crew was able to resolve the situation,” Mr. Johnson said.

Tulsa Airport Authority spokeswoman Alexis Higgins said the passengers were held until FBI agents arrived to interview them. No injuries were reported and no arrests were made.

Style icon celebrates

Italian fashion designer Valentino marked the 45th anniversary of his design house on Saturday, breaking with tradition and unveiling his haute couture collections for women in Rome instead of Paris.

Mr. Valentino, 75, sent 60 of his creations, mostly evening wear for autumn-winter 2007-08, down an extra-long catwalk a stone’s throw from the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Square.

The designer invited around 1,000 guests, including actresses Uma Thurman and Sarah Jessica Parker and models Claudia Schiffer and Elle McPherson.

His work included reinterpretations of the “White Collection” that brought him recognition in 1968 and dresses in “Valentino red,” acolor he has often worked in.

Mr. Valentino, dressed in an impeccable white suit, was wildly applauded.

Asked at a press conference on Friday whether he would permanently return his collections to Rome, Mr. Valentino said that he had not yet made up his mind.

The designer opened his first studio in Rome in 1959 and made his name with his first collection presented in Florence a decade later.

Christmas Carrey

Jim Carrey, who brought Dr. Seuss’ Grinch to life on the big screen, will soon portray another holiday curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as the three Christmas ghosts in a remake of “A Christmas Carol,” the Walt Disney Co. said Friday.

Robert Zemeckis will direct from his own script, based on the Charles Dickens classic novel, a Disney spokeswoman said.

The movie will blend live action with 3-D digital animation and a computer-graphics style called “performance capture,” which Mr. Zemeckis used in his 2004 holiday adventure “The Polar Express” and his upcoming film “Beowulf,” the spokeswoman said.

Mr. Zemeckis, the Oscar-winning director of Tom Hanks’ 1994 hit drama “Forrest Gump,” wrote his “Christmas Carol” screenplay specifically for Mr. Carrey, who will portray the miserly Scrooge through various periods of his life. Mr. Carrey also will play the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future who visit Scrooge.

Seven years ago Mr. Carrey, 45, starred as the title character in the Ron Howard-directed “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” based on the popular Dr. Seuss story.

“Grinch” was a huge box-office hit, but in recent years Mr. Carrey has suffered through a string of flops such as “Fun with Dick and Jane” and “The Number 23.”

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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