Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cracked Out

Thank the stars above ... it would seem that Britney Spears has regained some semblance of sense in the past week or so as it appears that she is finally making good decisions in her life again. The first sign that she regained some of her senses was that she seems to have expunged Adnan Ghalib from her life after allowing him to weasel his way into her inner circle so that he could take advantage of the situation over the past few weeks. The next positive sign is that Britney, on the arm of her pal Sam Lufti, actually showed up to be deposed by her ex-hubby's lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan at his office yesterday morning. And finally, there is new word that Brit Brit has a "plan" to try and comply with the court, on her own terms, so that she may be able to win back some visitation rights with her sons Sean Preston and Jayden James. Could things be on the upswing for our dear Britney?

Photo credit: Splash News

Britney Spears spent more than two hours at the Los Angeles office of Kevin Federline's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, Monday for an ongoing deposition in the ex-couple's custody battle. At 10:40 a.m., Spears, 26, wearing a dark blue top and jeans, drove up to the office in her white Mercedes-Benz SL65 with friend Sam Lutfi. Both had serious expressions on their faces. The singer was spotted leaving at 1:20 p.m. The singer has missed numerous appointments for the court-ordered cross examination. She was expected to be grilled about her past drug and alcohol use, her apparent failure to follow court orders and other matters pertaining to her parenting skills. Federline's attorney will use evidence gathered in depositions to try to convince a court that his client should retain primary physical custody of the ex-couple's children. A custody trial is set for April. "Kevin wants nothing more than to be able to parent his children with participation by their mother," Kaplan previously told PEOPLE. "But the best interest of the children require that they be in the most sound, safe, nurturing and consistent environment. That is paramount." On Jan. 3, Spears was deposed for only 14 minutes, after arriving one-and-a-half hours late. That night and into the next morning Spears had a four-hour standoff with police, ending with her brief hospitalization.

It is very clear that Britney has NO INTEREST in sitting before opposing counsel so that she can be grilled on her controversial behavior ... the fact that she went thru it at all seems to show that she is serious about winning back the right to see her children again. This is a good sign.

TMZ has learned Britney Spears' lawyers will go to court tomorrow and ask Commissioner Scott Gordon to allow Brit "monitored visitation in a therapeutic setting." TMZ has learned Brit's family and professionals in her life have been planning a "creative way" to get Britney mental help. As TMZ first reported, Britney has some sort of bipolar disorder. We know the plan is not involuntary commitment -- under the law she's simply not a candidate. It's not voluntarily commitment either -- Brit has refused to do that. The family and professionals have devised a different way of getting her evaluated and hopefully treated ... TMZ has learned Commissioner Scott Gordon has repeatedly ordered Britney Spears to undergo a psychological evaluation but she has refused to comply. We're told the Commish has issued multiple orders -- known as a 730 evaluation. Now, as we just reported, Brit's family and professionals have devised a plan to get her mental health help in a "creative way." But given his previous orders, the Commish may not be receptive, and almost certainly K-Fed's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, will object. Evaluating bipolar disorder is a long process. If it's done pursuant to a 730 evaluation, the results are submitted to the court. If the Commish were to accept the alternative form of treatment, a doctor-patient privilege could prevent certain information from making its way to the court (unless the privilege is waived). Here's the likely scenario based on what we're hearing: K-Fed (and probably the court) will not want Brit to bypass the 730 evaluation process. That could make it unlikely for Brit's lawyers to win a bid to regain visitation in a therapeutic setting.

Despite the fact that Britney seems to want time with her children again, I think it's a bad idea for her to try to convince the court that it should be done on her terms. I think it makes her look combative and I can see how the judge may not want to take her seriously. Even if you forget all of Britney's crazy behavior on a day to day basis, there is no way the judge is going to give her access to her children after that very public meltdown she suffered on the night of January 3 without getting some serious help. Still, it's very encouraging that she seems willing to at least show up for court-mandated appointments. She may try to get away with whatever she thinks she can but in the end, she's gonna have to comply with the court's rulings. I honestly believe that she will eventually comply with the court orders and prove that she can be a mother again. And who knows, she might even get some psychological help along the way and actually help herself in the long run. [Source, Source]

The nominations for the 80th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning ... and I, for one, was pretty surprised by the outcome. As usual, the big names that one would expect to receive noms did, in fact, receive their noms but some other unlikely folks/movies also got some Oscar love this morning and still others were shut out:

There will be a close Oscar race this year, and it's anybody's guess who will be left behind. There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men lead the pack with eight each after nominations were announced Tuesday morning in Hollywood. Atonement and Michael Clayton are close behind with seven nominations each. Joining them in the best picture category is Juno, which picked up four nominations overall. No frontrunner has emerged because none of the films ran away with critics' groups awards this season, and none of them has achieved box office blockbuster status. Leading Blood and Clayton are two best actor nominees: Daniel Day-Lewis as an oil tycoon in There Will Be Blood and George Clooney as Michael Clayton, a fixer for a law film. Among surprise acting nominations: Tommy Lee Jones for playing the father of a missing soldier in In the Valley of Elah. Other best actor nominees are Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd and Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises. Cate Blanchett received her second best actress nomination for playing Queen Elizabeth I. She got the first as the young British monarch in 1998's Elizabeth. And now, she portrays the mature queen in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Blanchett is the fifth performer and first woman nominated for playing the same role in two films. Julie Christie, suffering from Alzheimer's in Away From Her, and Marion Cotillard, the volatile French singer Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, were considered locks in the best actress category. Ellen Page's inclusion for playing the pregnant teen in the comedy Juno delighted many critics and pundits. Somewhat a surprise among the group is Laura Linney, who cares for her aging father in The Savages. Blanchett's name appeared again when supporting actress nominees were announced. For her role as Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, she is the second performer to get a nomination for playing a member of the opposite sex. Linda Hunt won in 1984 for The Year of Living Dangerously. Joining Blanchett on the list are Ruby Dee,American Gangster; Saoirse Ronan, Atonement; Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; and Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton ... Those expected to be nominated for acting awards but coming up short in the voting are Keira Knightley for Atonement, Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart and Emile Hirsch for Into the Wild. The biggest unanswered question of the day is whether the Oscar show will go on Feb. 24 if the Writers Guild of America remains on strike.

Drats! The dreaded Writer's Strike is still marring everything Hollywood-related ... but still, the nominations announcement is still very exciting. I'm thrilled for Cate Blanchett -- I'll deffo be rooting for her ... BUT, I'm so excited for Ellen Page. I would love it if she would win Best Actress and if Juno won Best Movie but I somehow doubt that will be the case. What a bummer for Into the Wild -- neither lead actor Emile Hirsch nor director Sean Penn got any love from the Academy. And you know that Kiera Knightly is bawling into her 'kerchief right now that she didn't get a nom for her work in Atonement. Welp, the noms are out ... and now we have to wait for the big show which will air on February 24. Click HERE for the full list of 2008 Academy Award nominees. [Source]

The other big story of the day isn't quite as positive as the Oscar noms ... The Sun has procured a shocking video of Amy Winehouse lighting up and smoking on what looks to be and is being reported as a crack pipe after revealing on camera that she just took 6 Valium pills. While I'm not entirely surprised by this behavior, it is still very disarming to actually see it in practice:

Photo credit: The Sun

WILD AMY WINEHOUSE was filmed blitzed out of her skull and struggling to talk after sucking in crack fumes from a glass pipe. The tormented singing sensation took hit after hit of the deadly drug after a 19-minute binge in which she snorted powdered ECSTASY and COCAINE. And she admitted she had just popped six VALIUM pills to "bring myself down". Amy's spiral of self-destruction was revealed in a harrowing video filmed at her East London home and seen by The Sun. It will horrify relatives and friends who fear she could soon end up dead. The footage also laid bare the Back To Black singer's squalid lifestyle as she stumbled around in a grubby vest surrounded by junkies and parasitic hangers-on. At one point, lank-haired Amy is warned to watch out for smashed glass on the floor as she scours a bedroom for her kitten barefoot. The dazed and confused star accuses a guest of taking the pet from a quiet room into the drug-fuelled hubbub of her house party. She mumbles wearily: "If I was that cat I'd leave on my own accord -- I'd call a cab. It ain't right. This ain't Toys R Us. They took my cat." A friend of the waif-like chart-topper said last night: "Amy is locked in a nosedive towards oblivion -- she is killing herself. The video shows a woman completely out of control. Her family and her few real friends have begged her to pull herself from the brink many times. But here is proof she has pressed the self-destruct button. Her fans would scarcely recognise the drug-addled wreck in the video as the talented performer they love. We can only pray she will get a wake-up call when she watches the video herself and sees the terrible state she is in" ... Amy threw the party at her trendy home in the early hours of Friday -- just before she went to court to support husband BLAKE FIELDER-CIVIL at a remand hearing. Within seconds of greeting pals at the door, she greedily snorted powdered ecstasy offered on the corner of a credit card. Minutes later, with her head swimming, she is seen on the video being offered cocaine. A friend cautions her not to take too much because the drug is from a highly-concentrated stash. But Amy disregards the warning and hungrily snorts a clump. The star, her new bottle-blonde hair looking dull and lifeless, then drifts through her lounge in search of the next fix. She appears oblivious to booze and drugged-up hangers-on milling around and playing on her pool table. The surreal scene is played out against a soundtrack of 1950s songs from the stereo, including It's All In The Game by crooner Tommy Edwards, who drank himself to death at 47.

Blah ... and the sad scene goes on from there. A spokesperson for her record label, Universal Records, has issued this statement:

"We are deeply disappointed and upset by these latest revelations and are doing everything we can to offer Amy our full support in dealing with her problems."

Again, I don't really know that this new "revelation" is all that shocking ... what is shocking is that we are actually able to see Amy do the things that we've all suspected (she was apparently so blitzed she couldn't care less that she was being videotaped doing drugs). As with the release of the video of Pete Doherty shooting up drugs last year, this latest vid only confirms what we've been thinking all along -- Amy Winehouse needs serious help. It's just so incredibly sad. [Source, Source]

UPDATE: In the wake of the release of this new video, Amy has finally checked herself into rehab. Let's hope she finally cleans up her act.

UPDATE 2: Scratch that -- Amy has, once again, said No, No, No to rehab.

Man ... let's move on to something positive as quickly as we can. Here are a whole slew of photos of David Beckham, in his role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, visiting the people of in the town of Makeni in Sierra Leone's Northern Province of West Africa over the weekend. Becks visited West Africa to call international attention to the issue of child survival, ahead of the UNICEF State of the World's Children 2008 report:

David Beckham made a secret trip to West Africa's Sierra Leone last weekend on behalf of the international children's charity UNICEF. His visit to the impoverished nation – where child deaths are the highest in the world – is designed to publicize the horrors of growing up in a country once wracked by civil war. "We can't turn a blind eye to the tens of thousands of young children who die every day in the developing world," he said in a statement released Tuesday. "One in four children dies before reaching their fifth birthday – it's shocking and tragic especially when the solutions are simple – things like vaccinations against measles or using a mosquito net to reduce the chance of getting malaria." Beckham, 32, signed on to help UNICEF years ago, while he was playing for Manchester United. He made his first foreign trip to Thailand in 2001. "Saving ... children's lives is a top priority for UNICEF," he said, "and as an Ambassador I hope I can help to draw attention to this issue across the world." Although this is Beckham's first high profile engagement, the father-of-three has long helped under-privileged children. "He works a lot with charity and has his own with [wife Victoria Beckham]," says a friend. "A lot of the work he does is behind the scenes and he doesn't want publicity. But this trip is about making people aware of the issue to help funding." The soccer star – who, during his off-season, has watched his wife perform in more than ten Spice Girl concerts in London – returns to Beverly Hills next month to resume training with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Le sigh. Le sigh. Le sigh. Not only is Becks a hottie but he also has a heart of gold. I think it's absolutely commendable of Becks to use his high-profile fame to bring attention to such an important cause ... and the fact that he did so while shirtless is an added bonus ;) All kidding aside, it really is wonderful that Becks is taking his role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador so seriously because he really does have the capability to help effect change in the region. Click HERE for information on how YOU can help UNICEF. [Source]

Elsewhere in the world, Scarlett Johansson was doing her part to bring a little starpower to our troops in the Middle East who are languishing in our neverending war. Here are pics of ScarJo pressing the flesh with the soldiers stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait in the Persian Gulf:

Scarlett was there as part of as part of a USO/Army Morale Welfare Recreation Entertainment Tour, where she was happy to pose for pics, sign autographs and kiss a few cheeks. I'm sure her presence in Kuwait was much-appreciated by the troops yearning for a taste of home. I think it's so awesome of celebs to forgo their own comforts in order to spend some time making our soldiers feel at least a little bit better about their situation overseas. Much love and kudos to Scarlett, for taking the time to be so awesome. [Source]

In NYC yesterday afternoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar paid a little visit to the CBS studios for her appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Here are a few pics of the illustrious SMG as she met with fans and then posed for pics in the bitter NYC cold before heading into the studio:

Photo credit: Splash News

SMG was in Letterman's hiz to promote her new movie The Air I Breathe ... but there is just no way I can't see Buffy every time I see her. I know, it gets old when I keep bringing up the Buffyness but it's true. She looked really freakin' good in that outfit ... it was very nice of her to shed the warmth of her coat so that we could see what she had going on underneath. The Air I Breathe opens in limited release this Friday. [Source]

One more bit of SMGness, Sarah Michelle has been named the new face ... er ... body of Vaseline Intensive Care lotion. Here are a few of the new ads which feature SMG's smooth and supple bod:

I love this campaign. It's sexy, it's classy and it drives home the point. If Vaseline can help folks achieve SMG-like flawless skin, I'm sold. [Source]

Um, why do you suppose that Madonna is walking around town trying to hide a black eye with sunglasses that do no such thing?

This isn't the first time that we've seen Madge sportin' a shiner like this. Could the bruises be the aftereffects of some surgery or was she just on the receiving end of an ass-whippin'? If Maddy did get herself into a tussle, I'd hate to see what the other guy looks like. [Source]

Hilary Duff has been spending some town in Brazil recently to play a few shows for the hotties down there. Here are a few pics from Hilary's recent concert in São Paulo:

From what I understand, everyone had a great time ... and Hilary was very surprised that so many Brazilians were able to sing her songs with her. Hello ... doesn't she understand that the message of her epic song Come Clean resonates with people of all walks of life, all around the globe. Duhvs, that's why MTV decided to make it the theme song to their hugely successful show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. [Source via Source]

Pink reader Betty sends in this cute pic of Drew Barrymore makin' out with her boyfriend Justin Long at the Pussycat Dolls Lounge inside Pure nightclub in Las Vegas last Wednesday night:

The pic was snapped as the couple sucked face in celebration of Jason's birthday that night. They make such a cute couple ... and it looks like Jason got exactly what he wanted for his birthday. [thanks Betty]

Not as cute is this pic of Jared Leto sucking face with Paris Hilton at a Sundance Film Festival party this week:

Blech. Seeing this pic makes me want to go rise my mouth out with Listerine! Yesterday we got to enjoy really cute pics of Jared walking the streets of Park City, UT but this pic kinda ruins that notion for me. Again, I say, Blech. [Source]

Elsewhere in Park City, UT the soon-to-be ex-husband of Pamela Anderson was spied roaming the streets like a lost puppy looking for his owner:

Photo credit: Splash News

I could almost feel sorry for poor Rick Solomon if I actually had a shred of concern for him. [Source]

Aww look ... Matthew McConaughey is getting ready to start carrying around a diaper bag by practicing with his new leather manbag from MUXO that was designed by his babymama Camila Alves:

Photo credit: Splash News

He's even wearing stylish flip-flops with his ensemble. Could becoming a daddy really have this much of an effect on the once wild party animal? While I'm a big fan of the manbag (oh hush, I have a lot of crap to carry around) I must admit that it looks so wrong on Matthew. Maybe if he was shirtless the whole look would seem more palitable. Props for choosing to sport this hot bag, tho. The man has got taste. [Source]

New ads for Edwin jeans which feature Brad Pitt have been popping up all over Japan recently:

Braddykins signed on to promote Edwin jeans in Japan back in 1996 (back when celebs could do ads in other countries without folks here in the States finding out about it) and still remains their spokes model ... so either he really loves their jeans or they are paying him a very pretty penny. I wonder how much it costs to get Brad Pitt into your pants. [Source]

In other spokes model news, Aubrey O'Day -- of the Diddy-created group Danity Kane -- has signed on to be the new face (and breasts) of Travis Barker's Famous Stars and Straps clothing line. Here are a few of her new pics as spokes model:

If Aubrey is going for the Tara Reid-look then she succeeded. Unfortch, it fails to achieve the sexy-look. If this is all it takes to become Famous then I weep for the future state of celebrity. [Source]

And finally ... here is a pic I snapped last night of the exit sign for Cloverfield Blvd. in Santa Monica, CA:

I understand that the new movie Cloverfield was code named after this street beacause 1.) JJ Abrams was trying to keep the details of his monster movie under wraps and 2.) it's the street where his office is located. Want more Cloverfield secret stuff? Check out THIS page with deets, explanations and links to a whole bunch of Cloverfield-related sites that contain pieces of the larger puzzle. [Source, thanks Erica]

Les News:
Last night, at the last minute, Darion invited me over to his place to hang out with him and Kirsten and I jumped at the opportunity since I haven't been able to hang with Kiki for some time now (actually, the promise of a pizza with double pepperoni is what made me jump, but I was really excited to see Kirsten). Darion's friend Matt and his friend Hannah also came over for some DVD-watchin' and pizza eatin':

And a great time was had by all. I got some really great news last night which I'll keep under my hat for now but will be able to reveal in due time this week. I'm very excited and anxious ... but deets cannot be divulged just yet ;)

Tonight, Darion and I are going to see The Color Purple here in LA so I'm also excited for that. Woot! I hope y'all have a great day ... I am out.