Originally created 03/08/06

People in the News



NEW YORK - Donald Trump joked that he would date his 24-year-old daughter, Ivanka - if he weren't her father.

Trump and Ivanka, a vice president of real estate development at the Trump Organization, appeared Monday on ABC's "The View" to promote her five-episode stint as a boardroom adviser on "The Apprentice."

When asked how he would react if Ivanka, a former teen model, posed for Playboy, Trump replied, "It would be really disappointing - not really - but it would depend on what's inside the magazine."

He added: "I don't think Ivanka would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."

His comments drew laughs from the audience, and prompted "View" co-host Joy Behar to crack, "Who are you, Woody Allen?"

Trump's representative, Jim Dowd, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Trump "was absolutely joking."

"He was making fun of himself for his tendency to date younger women," Dowd said. "It's a sense of humor that people don't see (from him) all the time."

Ivanka and her brother Donald Jr. are filling in for Carolyn Kepcher and George Ross for multiple episodes of "The Apprentice" reality show, which airs Mondays on NBC (9 p.m.).

Trump's 35-year-old wife, Melania, is expecting the couple's first child this spring.

On the Net:

http://abc.go.com/daytime/theview/

http://www.nbc.com/The-Apprentice-5/

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SAN FRANCISCO - It was only two weeks ago that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and actress Sofia Milos were introduced, but the pair's possible romance already has sparked discussion of religion, divorce and other weighty matters - at least among political pundits.

Milos, whose TV credits include a role on "CSI: Miami," and Newsom were fixed up Feb. 19 by a former city supervisor whose son got married that day.

Newsom, whose divorce from Fox News Channel legal commentator Kimberly Guilfoyle is not yet final, was spotted with Milos at a restaurant after the wedding.

The mayor flew to Los Angeles the following weekend to accompany Milos to a dinner hosted by a group co-founded by the Church of Scientology that opposes the widespread use of psychiatric drugs. Milos is a practicing Scientologist.

By last week, Newsom was being asked about his attendance at the dinner and whether he had any interest in converting to the church founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

"I think the only thing to be concerned about is the absurdity of the whole thing and the fact that people would be taking these things so seriously," Newsom told reporters.

"My gosh, folks," he said. "Relax. I'm a practicing Irish Catholic. I'm not a Scientologist, and I couldn't tell you two things about it."

As for his relationship with Milos, Newsom wouldn't reveal even one thing about it.

In a statement issued in January 2005, Newsom and Guilfoyle described their split as mutual and amicable.

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NEW DELHI - Amitabh Bachchan will likely return to work in two weeks after staying off the sets for almost four months due to health problems, a news report said.

Bachchan is one of the biggest stars in Bollywood, but has not shot any films since undergoing surgery for an intestinal ailment in late November.

The 63-year-old actor said he would probably return to work after March 20 in a film directed by his makeup man, Deepak Sawant, the Indo-Asian News Service reported Monday. The movie is being shot in the Bhojpuri language of northern India.

"Then I'll shoot for Karan Johar's 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna,'" Bachchan was quoted as saying.

Bachchan has appeared in more than 150 Indian movies in a career spanning three decades.

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LOS ANGELES - After a long break, John Travolta's got the music in him again.

He thrilled moviegoers in 1977 as a disco dancer in "Saturday Night Fever," and he was a bad-boy bopper in 1978's "Grease." Then Travolta put musical roles aside.

Until now.

The actor will take on the role of Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray," an upcoming film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical based on John Waters' 1988 movie. Travolta will star opposite singer-actress Queen Latifah, who has signed on to play Motormouth Maybelle, according to New Line Cinema.

The film's producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, said shepherding Travolta's return to musicals is "a dream come true." They're aiming for a summer 2007 release.

Zadan and Meron also produced the Oscar-winning musical "Chicago."

"Hairspray" opened on Broadway in 2002 and went on to earn eight Tony Awards, including best musical. Harvey Fierstein won a Tony for his role as Turnblad.

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NEW YORK - Madonna says she had some explaining to do when her daughter, Lourdes, asked about that kiss with Britney Spears at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

"(Lourdes) is really obsessed with who is gay," says Madonna in an interview in Out magazine's April issue. "And she even asked, 'Mom, you know they say that you are gay?' And I'm, 'Oh, do they? Why?' And she says, 'Because you kissed Britney Spears.'"

"And I said, 'No, it just means I kissed Britney Spears. I am the mommy pop star and she is the baby pop star. And I am kissing her to pass my energy on to her.'"

The 47-year-old pop diva, considered by some to be an icon in the gay community, tells the magazine that her 9-year-old daughter likes to guess who is gay: "Oh, and the other thing she likes to do when we go out, she says, 'Mom, do you want me to point out who the gay men are?' And I say, 'OK, but I think I already know.'"

Madonna also addresses her feud with Elton John, who in 2004 accused her of lip-synching.

"He seems to be angry," she says. "I seem to have become a target. It's not very gentlemanly or gracious. But he did send me a letter apologizing for his last outburst, right before his wedding." (John and filmmaker David Furnish took civil-union vows in December.)

Lourdes is Madonna's daughter with actor/fitness instructor Carlos Leon. She has a 5-year-old son, Rocco, with her husband of five years, filmmaker Guy Ritchie.

On the Net:

http://www.out.com

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LAS VEGAS - A federal judge has ordered Rod Stewart to pay a Las Vegas casino more than $3 million for a canceled show in December 2000.

U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks ordered the British rocker's lawyers to pay an additional $153,483 in contempt-of-court sanctions and legal costs for failing to turn over information to lawyers for Harrah's Entertainment before trial last year.

Stewart's lawyer, Louis "Skip" Miller in Los Angeles, declined comment Monday on the sanctions. Miller said Stewart intends to appeal the verdict and jury award.

Hicks' judicial order, dated Friday, put Stewart on the hook for $3.06 million, including the $2 million advance he was paid by the Rio hotel-casino and more than $1 million in interest, penalties and attorney fees.

Stewart and his lawyers are jointly responsible for paying the sanctions.

Harrah's lawyer Kristina Pickering in Las Vegas called the civil breach-of-contract judgment "the right result" and "a long time coming." The casino company intends to ask the court to order Stewart to reimburse it for additional attorney fees and court costs, Pickering said.

The judgment resulted from a Sept. 7 federal jury finding that Stewart should not have kept an advance he received for the 2000 New Year's weekend show that he said he was unable to perform because of throat surgery several months earlier.

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LOS ANGELES - Could there be Oscar gold ahead for Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen?

Fresh from the Turin winter games, where she came back from a fall to take second place in figure skating, Cohen has taken a spin into the Hollywood arena.

The diminutive brunette served as a special correspondent for TV's "Inside Edition" at Sunday's Academy Awards and the star-studded parties that followed. Her whirl through the celebrity world led to an offer for a cameo role in an upcoming picture, she said.

Actor-comedian Ben Stiller approached her at the Vanity Fair party to talk about his next project: a comedy focusing on figure skating, Cohen said.

"I want to do it," she said. "It's not like it would be a stretch and hopefully I'll get to be funny."

Cohen, 21, said the world of competitive skating should provide ample comedic material.

"There are a lot of characters in skating," she said.