- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2007

Hurley gets hitched

Elizabeth Hurley married an Indian businessman in a private civil ceremony at a 15th-century castle where photographers and spectators descended Saturday to catch a glimpse of their lavish party.

Gloucestershire County Council confirmed that Miss Hurley and Arun Nayar married Friday at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, 125 miles west of London. The pair held a blessing and party at the castle Saturday evening, with guests including Elton John, Kate Moss, Elle Macpherson and Miss Hurley’s ex, Hugh Grant.

Security guards on Saturday patrolled the castle where a large tent and covered walkway had been erected on the grounds.

Miss Hurley, 41, and Mr. Nayar, 42, reportedly have signed a lucrative deal with Hello! magazine for exclusive rights to images of the event. Miss Hurley made appearances in the “Austin Powers” movies and “Bedazzled” and for several years was the international face of Estee Lauder cosmetics.

According to reports, the couple will fly to India for celebrations in Bombay and Rajasthan next week.

Let’s be friends

Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone wants to be friends again with Tom Cruise.

The actor’s behavior over his romance with Katie Holmes and his aggressive defense of Scientology were reasons cited by Mr. Redstone when he broke ties with Mr. Cruise last year after a long and lucrative relationship at Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures.

Mr. Cruise has since signed a deal with MGM to resurrect the United Artists movie studio.

Although Mr. Redstone hasn’t talked with Mr. Cruise since the falling out, he said last week he hopes the two can resume their friendship.

“He was a great friend,” Mr. Redstone told People magazine at Thursday’s Los Angeles premiere of “Zodiac.” “And I look forward to being his friend again.”

Mr. Redstone said he was surprised that his original comments were as explosive as they were.

“I just gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal. In the course of it, they asked me what was going on. I said, you know, ‘he would no longer be in the lot,’ ” Mr. Redstone told the magazine. “They treated that like I was firing him. I didn’t fire him. I had nothing to do with it. But they treated it explosively. And I didn’t like it.”

Jacko in Japan

A relaxed-looking Michael Jackson smiled and waved at screaming fans as he arrived in Japan yesterday for his second visit in recent years to host an exclusive party and sponsor a fan art competition.

Mr. Jackson made his first official foray back into the spotlight after his acquittal in 2005 on child molestation charges with an appearance last year in Tokyo to accept an MTV Japan award.

Mr. Jackson, in trademark sunglasses and black leather jacket, was ushered by security personnel past hundreds of screaming fans at Narita International Airport. Some in the crowd carried signs that read “We love Michael” and “Welcome to Japan.”

At a VIP party, guests paying $3,500 will get to mingle with Mr. Jackson and spend 30 to 60 seconds each of exclusive face time with the Gloved One, according to organizers. It was not known whether the star would perform any songs.

While in Tokyo, Mr. Jackson will host a fan art contest for those who cannot afford VIP tickets, organizers Davis, Bain and Associates said.

Three winning artists chosen by Mr. Jackson will have brunch with the star and their picture taken together.

Mr. Jackson, 48, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, has lived abroad since his acquittal, forsaking his Neverland Ranch in California for residences in Bahrain, France and a castle in Ireland.

Mr. Jackson’s VIP meet-and-greet party was scheduled for Thursday, with the fan art contest on Friday. Promoters refused to comment on how much he would be paid.

• Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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