MOVIE ACADEMY BANS WILL SMITH FOR A DECADE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Will Smith can be nominated for – and even win – as many Oscars as he can over the next ten years. He just can’t show up to pick them up in person – or present one to a fellow actor. It’s part of the punishment handed down against Smith, who won best lead actor at this year’s awards. Of course nearly everyone on the planet knows that happened a little over an hour after he slapped comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife. In response to that the movie academy slapped a decade-long ban on Smith this past Friday. Smith says he accepts and respects the Academy’s decision. Last week, he preemptively resigned from the academy saying, his attack on Rock was “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
BEN AFFLECK, JENNIFER LOPEZ ENGAGED?
LOS ANGELES (AP) – They like each other. But did he put a ring on it? That’s the question being asked about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. J-Lo is dropping some strong hints the two are taking the next big step in reviving their romance. In a video on her Twitter feed, a giggling Lopez says she has “a really exciting and special story” to share with her fans. The story is posted on her site for her “inner circle.” Another clip posted there shows Lopez gazing at her left hand, which is sporting a large green gem. A rep for Lopez referred inquiring reporters to her online post. A rep for Affleck didn’t respond to a request for comment over the weekend.
KEVIN SPACEY SEEKS DISMISSAL OF ACTOR’S ABUSE LAWSUIT
NEW YORK (AP) – Actor Kevin Spacey is asking a judge to throw out a sexual abuse lawsuit against him. In paperwork filed with the court this past Friday, Spacey says the allegations that Anthony Rapp has made against him are false. Rapp says as a teen, Spacey abused him at a 1980s party at the actor’s home in Manhattan. In the filing, Spacey’s lawyers say the encounter can’t qualify as sexual abuse under New York’s laws because Spacey didn’t make contact with any “intimate” part of Rapp’s body – except for his hand grazing the then-teenager’s buttocks as he tried to lift him onto a bed.
DAVID LETTERMAN PRAISES R.I. HOSPITAL
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – David Letterman is giving glowing reviews to a hospital in Rhode Island. The comedian has created a video to praise the staff of Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. In the clip, he says he was visiting Providence with his son last August, when he fell on a sidewalk, struck his head – and lost consciousness. Letterman says the hospital did all the necessary tests, cleaned his wound and stitched him up – and even brushed his teeth. Letterman, who is 74, says he was scared by the experience – but says the hospital staff put him at ease.
UNDATED (AP) – “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” wasted no time racing to the top of the box office list, doing it in its first weekend of release. It took in $71 million – which is even higher than the total posted by its predecessor. Finishing second is “Moribus,” followed by The Lost City,” “Ambulance” and “The Batman.”