Originally created 12/01/05

People in the News

NEW YORK - Sienna Miller wants to move past what she calls a "tumultuous year."

Miller's engagement to Jude Law appeared to fall apart after the actor publicly apologized in July for having an affair with his children's nanny. Reports in recent weeks have suggested the couple may be back together.

"Yes, I wish (the tabloid coverage) wasn't in my life to the degree that it is or has been, but I accept that it has been a pretty tumultuous year and hopefully it will die down," the 23-year-old actress told reporters recently, according to AP Radio.

Miller is promoting her new movie, "Casanova," which opens in some theaters Christmas Day. The change of topic is a welcome one.

"I'm so relieved to be able to talk about a film... as opposed to my private life," she said.

Miller and Law, 32, who appeared together in 2004's "Alfie," became engaged last December. Law divorced fashion designer-actress Sadie Frost in October 2003 after a six-year marriage and three children.


NEW YORK - Jack White of the White Stripes is going to be a dad.

White's wife, model Karen Elson, is pregnant with the couple's first child, Elson's publicist confirmed to MTV News. The baby is reportedly due next spring.

An e-mail from The Associated Press to White's representative wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

White and Elson were wed in June in a ceremony conducted in a canoe on the Amazon River in Brazil. Though White and bandmate Meg White have claimed to be siblings, court records have suggested they were married for four years before divorcing in 2000.

White, 30, won a Grammy Award this year for best country collaboration with Loretta Lynn. He produced Lynn's 2004 album, "Van Lear Rose," which also won for best country album.

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SHANGHAI, China - It was "Mission: Unpredictable" for Tom Cruise when a reporter pulled out a cell phone and the actor insisted on talking to the person on the other end of the line.

"Put her on the phone. I want to talk to her," Cruise told the journalist, who sheepishly called someone Cruise assumed to be the man's girlfriend.

"Hello. Xiexie. Ni hao. Are you good?" said Cruise, handling the Chinese words for "thank you" and "hello" with ease.

"Are you good? Are you working?" he asked. "Are you going to get engaged? Soon? Maybe?"

Cruise was speaking to journalists atop the historic Bund 18 building as bells tolled and horns blared from ships passing on the nearby Huangpu River on Wednesday after wrapping up scenes for the new "Mission: Impossible" film, due in theaters next year.

"Oh, you're married?" asked the translator, who stepped in to help the conversation along. "Tell her I wish her happiness," Cruise said.

"Xiexie, bye-bye," said the 43-year-old actor before handing the phone back to the reporter.

Asked about his own plans to wed pregnant fiancee Katie Holmes, Cruise replied, "You want to know where we're gonna get married? The exact date? The exact place? The color dress, designer?"

He added: "You know, we haven't set a date.... It will happen next year."

Cruise recently said he had purchased a sonogram machine so that he and the 26-year-old actress could see the development of their baby.

Holmes' pregnancy was announced in early October. The couple, who have been dating since April, became engaged in June.


NEW YORK - DMX was slapped with a seven-day sentence by a Bronx judge who said the rapper is "a violation waiting to happen."

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving with a suspended license in the Bronx last April after his sport utility vehicle struck a car that in turn hit a police car. He was also fined $500.

Criminal Court Judge George Villegas rejected Simmons' plea for probation, saying, "I'm not going to put him on probation because he's a violation waiting to happen."

The 34-year-old rapper, who lives in Mount Kisco, already is serving a 70-day sentence for driving with a suspended license in Queens. Villegas allowed the seven-day penalty to run concurrently.

The judge joked that his children, who are big DMX fans, "are not talking to me anymore."

In the Queens case, Simmons pleaded guilty in October to violating the conditions of his release following a June 2004 incident at Kennedy Airport. Authorities said Simmons had claimed he was a federal agent and smashed his SUV into a parking lot gate to avoid paying $9.

Under his December 2004 conditional release, Simmons was required to stay out of trouble for a year - but he was twice cited for traffic violations, including a 104-mph speeding ticket and the accident with the unmarked police car.


NEW YORK - Heidi Fleiss' planned Nevada brothel of male prostitutes for female customers will be the subject of a new HBO documentary.

The opening of "Heidi's Stud Farm" - which touts itself as Nevada's first bordello of men - will be chronicled in the documentary, to begin filming in December, HBO announced this week.

"With women being so independent today, I think the time has come for this kind of enterprise," Fleiss said in a statement.

An air date hasn't been set.

The documentary will include breaking ground on the 60-acre property Fleiss owns near Pahrump to hiring the men, to the challenges of a startup business.

Fleiss, 39, was released from a California prison in 1999 after serving 21 months for money laundering, tax evasion and attempted pandering.

Known as the "Hollywood Madam," Fleiss was convicted in 1995 of running a prostitution ring in which models-turned-prostitutes were flown around the world to meet wealthy actors and clients who paid as much as $10,000 for a single meeting.

Nye County, where the ranch is located, is among 10 rural Nevada counties in which prostitution is legal under county and state oversight.


NEW YORK - What's in a name? In Jessica Simpson's case, at least $15 million.

A company that markets celebrities' names says it set up the deal that got Jessica Simpson Brand Management LLC $15 million for worldwide rights to her name to market certain merchandise, including clothing.

But the company, Icon Licensing Group LLC, says it wasn't paid its commission and has filed a lawsuit to get it. In papers filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, Icon says it is owed at least $180,000 by the JSBM company.

Icon's court papers say the company entered into an agreement May 9, 2005, with Andrew Kirpalani, owner and manager of JSBM, in which Icon would get a percentage commission if it successfully finalized a sale of Simpson's name.

Icon's court papers say it arranged a deal between JSBM and Camuto Consulting Group Inc. in June 2005. Under the deal, court papers say, "the rights to the worldwide master license for the trademark 'Jessica Simpson' were sold, transferred and otherwise assigned to Camuto for $15,000,000."

The agreement called for Icon to get 10 percent of the amount over the first $10 million after certain credits and discounts were taken out, which meant Icon should have received 10 percent of $1.8 million.

Court papers filed Friday say that JSBM through Kirpalani, without cause or justification, "directed, instructed, advised and otherwise caused Camuto not to pay the commission to Icon," despite Camuto's willingness to do so.

Icon's lawyer, Robert A. Schachter, said Tuesday, "We don't know who said what to whom, but somebody caused Icon not to get paid."

He said the 25-year-old singer-actress, who wasn't named in the lawsuit, was not involved in the JSBM deal.

Kirpalani didn't return calls to his office for comment.

Simpson and her husband, 32-year-old singer Nick Lachey, recently announced their separation after three years of marriage.

Her 2004 album, "In This Skin," went platinum. She starred in this year's "The Dukes of Hazzard" film.


LOS ANGELES - Kevin Costner has sued Ascendant Pictures, claiming the company broke an oral agreement to pay him $8 million to act in the romantic comedy "Taming Ben Taylor."

The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court on Tuesday, alleges that Costner and Ascendant agreed in December 2004 on pay and movie royalties. The Beverly Hills company then pulled out of the agreement in June, according to the lawsuit.

Calls to Ascendant Pictures late Tuesday weren't immediately returned.

The movie was never made. The script was about a grouchy, divorced man who refuses to sell his failing vineyard to the golf course next door.

Costner is seeking $8 million and reimbursement of legal fees.

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HAVANA - Chucho Valdes will pay tribute to New Orleans and the victims of Hurricane Katrina with an original composition during Cuba's annual international jazz festival this weekend.

The Grammy-winning pianist will host this year's event, "Jazz Plaza 2005," which opens in Havana on Thursday, Cuba's state media reported.

The tribute concert, featuring Valdes' composition "Canto a Dios," will be performed Sunday at the event's closing by the pianist, his quartet, Cuba's National Symphonic Orchestra and Cuba's National Chorus. The words to the new song were written by Cuban folk singer Pablo Milanes.

Musicians expected at the four-day event include Chicago-based jazz vocalist Lola Pfeiffer, Canadian trombonist Hugh Fraser and Brazilian pianist-composer Ivan Lins, who won the 2005 Latin Grammy album of the year award for "Cantando Historias."

Valdes' latest album, "Virtuoso," was released in early November.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Billy Joel will play a special concert at Syracuse's Carrier Dome to cap the stadium's 25th anniversary.

The concert, to be held March 25, is part of the singer's first major solo concert tour in nearly seven years.

In September, Joel gave a $320,000 gift to Syracuse's Setnor School of Music to establish the Billy Joel Fellowships in Composition. This will be the fifth time Joel has played the Carrier Dome.

"We consider him a hometown boy, he's played here so many times. We're thrilled to have Billy come back," said Pat Campbell, the dome's managing director.

Joel's tour begins in January in Jacksonville, Fla., and includes stops in Tampa, Fla.; Boston; New York; and Las Vegas. On Tuesday, he released the career-spanning, five-disc box set, "My Lives."

Syracuse University is celebrating the Dome's silver anniversary with events throughout the 2005-06 academic year.

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