Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gwyneth Paltrow Defending Her New Web Site

Gwyneth Paltrow Defending Her New Web Site, Which is Facing Criticisms

Written by: Karen Benardello

Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who decided to undergo a new venture with her lifestyle Web site, is now facing criticism from numerous critics over its relevance. The backlash comes just days after The New York Times published an article questioning why the site is important and attacking its perceived omniscient tone.

Paltrow fired back, telling PEOPLE Wednesday night that "I think the people who are criticizing it or criticizing the idea of it, don't really get it, because if they did, they would like it." Coincidently, she defended the site while hosting a benefit for Bent On Learning, a non-profit organization which arranges yoga and meditation classes in New York City's public schools.

The actress also defended herself by saying she believes some of the criticisms come from the fact that she's doing something new and different. "I think that people like people to stay in their 'box' – they like people to stay how they are comfortable seeing them."

But the Times article stated that "many critics find the enterprise fatuous and a bit puzzling," including one writer from Toronto's The Globe and Mail, who asked "Why is it called Goop? Perhaps 'Any Old Load of Rubbish' and 'Learn From Me, Ungrateful Peasant' were both taken."

In response, Paltrow told PEOPLE: "There's nothing incendiary about it. I find it really interesting because it's a harmless [news]letter that goes out each week." She also said she decided to launch the Web site "because I felt like I had a lot of really useful information that I was privileged enough to get, because I have this amazing, super, fortunate life."

The Times article also questioned why she is suddenly giving lifestyle, dieting and fitness tips. Paltrow said she decided to share her wisdom with the world because her friends call her all the time to ask where they should go and what they should do. "...I thought, you know maybe some other people would be interested in it as well, so I started it, and it's doing great," Paltrow added.

Crhris Brown, Rihanna Reunited

Crhris Brown, Rihanna Reunited, Spending Time Together

Written by: Karen Benardello

Singer Chris Brown and girlfriend Rihanna have reportedly reunited and are now back together, after he publicly admitted he is saddened what happened during the alleged assault on the "Umbrella" singer Feb. 8.

According to PEOPLE Magazine, the couple still cares for each other, and the two are currently spending time together in Sean "Diddy" Combs's Miami Beach's Star Island home.

Brown reconnected with Rihanna after he called her last week to wish her a happy 21st birthday. "They reached out each other. It's been mutual," the magazine reports.

While he was booked by LAPD for making criminal threats, Brown's case has not yet been presented to the District Attorney, who will ultimately determine which charges, if any, will be prosecuted.

Kendra Hopes Co-star and Pal Holly Finds What She's Looking for in Love

The Girls Next Door's Kendra Hopes Co-star and Pal Holly Finds What She's Looking For in Love After Split with Criss Angel

Written by: Karen Benardello

While former Playmate center-fold and Hugh Hefner's number one girlfriend Holly Madison announces she broke up with her latest boyfriend, illusionist Criss Angel, on Wednesday, the Girl Next Door's former co-star and pal Kendra Wilkinson told PEOPLE Magazine that she hopes she'll "find what she's looking for."

"[Holly] has so much love to give someone," Wilkinson also told PEOPLE. "I hope that she finds someone to giver her that love back."

Madison, who is 29, is notorious for dating, and splitting from, much older men. But her four-month relationship with Angel, 41, was much shorter than her seven-year relationship with Hefner, 83.

But Wilkinson also said that she just hopes Madison "stays happy and strong and I hope she finds someone that loves her for who she is – for her heart and treats her well."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Chris Brown Says He's Sorry About Incident with Rihanna

Chris Brown Says He's Sorry About Incident with Rihanna, but Won't Admitt to Any Wrongdoing

Written by: Karen Benardello

R&B singer Chris Brown, who was arrested in a domesic-violence investigation involving fellow singer and girlfriend Rihanna, said he is "sorry and saddened" by what happened.

While the Associate Press is also reporting that Brown admitted that he is indeed seeking counseling from his pastor in order to become a better person, he has not written or posted any comments about the incident on-line, and won't do so until it is resolved. Through his publicist, Brown said he would not elaborate about the incident, during which Rihanna was bruised, but would only say that much of what has been reported is "untrue."

Brown surrendered to L.A. police on Feb. 8, shortly after the Grammy Awards began, which both he and Rihanna were supposed to attend. He was later released on $50,000 bail, after being arrested for investigation of making a criminal threat, which is a felony. The district attorney's office has not charged Brown with anything yet, as it is still investigating the case.

Rihanna, who remained at the alleged scene of the crime until police showed up, has not publicly stated her side of the incident either.

Facebook Reverts Back to Old User Policies

Social Networking Web Site Facebook Reverts Back to Old User Policies

Written by: Karen Benardello

After an inpouring of online protests, Facebook, the social networking website, has decided to inactivate its new user policies while it figures out how to best resolve recent questions raised by users, such as who controls posted information.

The site, which has 175 million users around the world, had discretly changed its terms of use, which is its governing document, a couple of weeks ago. The terms included that users' photos would remain posted, even after they deleted them. The changes had sparked an uproar after a popular consumer rights advocacy blog pointed them out in a post.

Facebook is trying to retain its users, which includes tens of thousands of protesters, by reassuring them that it's reverting to its previous terms-of-use policies while it resolves the raised issues. Mark Zuckerberg, the site's founder and chief executive, spelled out in plain English, instead of legal terms, that it "doesn't claim rights to any of your photos or other content. We need a license in order to help you share information with your friends, but we don't claim to own your information."

As a result of the users' protests, the site also created a group designed to let users give input on its terms of use.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Octumom's first post-birth interview

Octumom's first post-birth interview with the Today show's Ann Curry

Written by: Karen Benardello

In her first interview since giving birth to octuplets, Nadya Suleman, the California mom of 14, spoke with the Today show's Ann Curry. During the interivew, Suleman told Curry that she used the same friend for all 14 children, who were all conceived IVF.

When Curry asked Suleman how she, an only child, ended up with so many children, Suleman said that it was always a dream of hers to have a large family. "I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that I really lacked, I believe, growing up."

Suleman further went on to tell Curry that she felt she lacked a feeling of self and identity. "I didn't feels as though, when I was a child, I had much control of my enviornment. I felt powerless. And that gave me a sense of perdictability. Reflecting back on my childhood, I know ti wasn't functional. It was pretty dysfunctionial, and whose isn't?"

Curry seemed to be the perfect choice for Suleman's first post-birth interview, as Curry has cultivaed a reputation in tv news as a multi-birth specialist. For example, she interviewed the Chandler quintuplets last spring, and became one of TV's most viable reporters when she covered the McCaughey septuplet story more than 10 years ago.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

'Tween star Miley Cyrus insisting photo was innocent fun

'Tween star Miley Cyrus insisting photo was innocent fun, not meant to insult anyone

Written by: Karen Benardello

'Tween and Disney favorite Miley Cyrus may just be the next Britney Spears, now that the older pop star has cleaned up her act. In response to the public outcry and the offense some Asians have taken to the latest photo released of Cyrus, which features her and several friends slanting their eyes with their fingers, the singer and actress is trying to assure fans that she did not intend to insult anyone.

Cryus wrote on her official Web site that she's sorry if people took the picture the wrong way and/or out of context. She also wrote: "I've been told there are some people upset about some pictures taken of me with friends making goofy faces!...In no way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become news-worthy?"

However, the OCA, an advocacy group for Asian Pacific Americans, did believe Cryus and her friends were making fun of the Asain ethnicity. The group called the picture "offensive to the Asian Pacific American community," and said that Cyrus' actions set a terrible example for her young fans.

In response, Cryus also wrote that with the help of such groups as the OCA, the media is making her its latest target. "I definitely feel like the press is trying to make me out as the new 'Bad Girl'! I feel like now that Britney is back on top of her game again, they need someone to pick on! Lucky me!"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Famed filmmaker Spike Lee protests, boycotts over NY Post cartoon

Famed filmmaker Spike Lee protests, boycotts over NY Post cartoon

Written by: Karen Benardello

Famed filmmaker and director Spike Lee is asking his fellow celebrities to shun and boycott the the New York Post over the editiorial cartoon published on Wednesday, which he is calling "racially charged."

Lee feels the cartoon, which shows a dead chimp with the caption: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," is a direct comparison between President Obama and a crazed chimpanzee. As a result, he stood in front of the Post's headquarters on Friday with 300 other protestors, saying the cartoon is an insult to everyone, not just blacks. Among the other protestors was Lee's 11-year-old son and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who called the paper "a racist rag sheet."

In response to the protestors, the paper posted an editorial on its Web site on Thursday, saying the cartoon was meant to mock the federal economic stimulus bill, but it did apologize to those who were offended by the image. But the editorial also took an indirect dig at the protestors, calling them "opportunists" who were just waiting for a chance for payback with the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, which has a conservative bent.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

TV Exec arrested in wife's decapitation death

TV Exec arrested in wife's decapitation death

Written by: Karen Benardello

The Muslim-American television executive in Orchard Park, NY who is accused of decapitating his wife remained in jail yesterday, as he was not granted bail. While some people are suggesting that his background influenced the judge not to grant bail, James Harrington, the lawyer of suspect Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan, 44, disputes these claims.

Hassan appeared at the bail hearing yesterday in the Orchard Park Village Court, while his lawyer waived his right to a felony hearing.

Hassan's wife, Aasiya Hassan, 37, was found decapitated last week at the offices of Bridges TV, the Muslim-American television network the couple was promoting. After walking into the upstate police station on Thursday and telling officers his wife was dead, Hassan was arrested.

Hassan immediately became a suspect, as Orchard Park police officers had responded to domestic incidents involving the couple in the past. Also, Aasiya had begun divorce proceedings a week before her death.

While some people may believe this was an "honor killing," which are still accepted among Muslim men who feel betrayed by their wives, Harrington said that culture and religion didn't play a role in Aasiya's death. Harrington is inisting his client is innocent, as he was in a state of shock and is having trouble coping with her death.

However, Erie County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable feels that there is enough evidence to hold and charge Hassan with second-degree murder, and was emotional because security was tightened at the courthouse.

While Bridges TV was operating on television providers across the U.S. and Canada, it stopped broadcasting after the killing. The station's interim general manager, Hunaid Baliwala, issued a statement yesterday, saying the staff did not have access to its facilities, However, she said the station will eventually return to the air in honor of Aasiya, who came up with the idea after listening to post-Sept. 11 media reports.

Nancy Sanders, a former news director at the station, added that Aasiya "didn't want her children to be brought up in a world where every mention of a Muslim had some sort of terrorist connotation to it. This woman in particular fought so hard to change the image of Muslims in America," she said, "and how does she die? This brutal act at the hand of her husband. It just stuns me."

J.D. Fortune, lead singer of INXS, fired, and is now broke and homeless again.

J.D. Fortune, the lead singer of the Australian rock band INXS, fired, and is now broke and homeless again.

Written by: Karen Benardello

It looks like his fortune has run out. Four years after winning the job to be the new lead singer for the Australian rock band INXS on the reality TV competition series 'Rock Star: INXS,' J.D. Fortune is broke, homeless and back to living in his car, which was what he was doing before he was choosen.

The singer told 'Entertainment Tonight: Canada' that not only was he was fired by the band, he was informed he was let go in a Hong Kong airport, via handshake. Though Fortune wouldn't specify exactly when or why he was fired, he did say that he had traveled with the band for 23 months.

With Fortune as their new singer, INXS released the album 'Switch,' and embarked on a world tour in 2006 and 2007. While he acquired a cocaine habit while touring with the band, Fortune has since been drug free for two years. He didn't tell 'Entertainment Tonight' if the drugs played a role in his firing.

The Canadian singer won the CBS show in 2005. He replaced the band's orignal singer, Michael Hutchence, who was found dead in a Sydney hotel room in November
1997. A coroner ruled that the official cause of death was suicide.

Aside from this new development, the band is primarily known for its early hits 'New Sensation' and 'Need You Tonight,' which was featured on the Coyote Ugly soundtrack.

Brooke Mueller Sheen hospitalized with premature contractions, but husband Charlie nowhere in sight.

Brooke Mueller Sheen hospitalized with premature contractions, but husband Charlie nowhere in sight.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Brooke Mueller Sheen, the wife of actor Charlie Sheen who is pregnant with twins, is currently recovering after being hosptialized with premature contractions.

Brooke was taken to a Los Angeles area hospital Tuesday morning with the early birthing scare, but Stan Rosenfield, her husband's publicist said in a statement released a statement saying that early contractions "is not uncommon at this stage of a pregnancy carrying twins."

E! News reported that Charlie wasn't with his wife at the time of the scare, but was instead in Las Vegas for business. While the actor is known for his partying ways, especially when he was younger, he is denying reports that he left his wife's side to go to the party town for the sole purpose of drinking and gambling.

Whether or not Charlie was in Sin City solely for business or pleasure, hopefully this early labor scare will make him want to stay at Brooke's side until she does actually give birth to the twins, who will be his fourth and fifth child. (He has two young daughters with ex-wife and actress Denise Richards, and another daughter, who's in her 20's.)

Conan O'Brien announced he's worried, emotional over move to the Tonight Show

Conan O'Brien announced he's worried, emotional over move to the Tonight Show

Written by: Karen Benardello

Prankster Conan O'Brien, who will host his last episode of Late Night tonight at 12:35, is saying that he'll probably "cry like a baby" during the taping. While
O'Brien will continue to entertain audiences with his comic stylings during his new gig at the Tonight Show, which airs during the 11:35 timeslot. While some critics are celebrating the move, calling it an upgrade for the comic, others are calling it a downgrade, and don't think he'll be able to live up to the anticipated hype.

While on Late Night, O'Brien was able to hold that oh-so-delicate balance between maintaining a smart comedic edge and keeping things accessible to all of his viewers.
For every witty reference or brilliant piece of satire, there was a silly stunt, such as a diapered masturbating bear, to keep things in balance.

Critics fear that the freedom Conan's post-Midnight slot gave him, which largely contributed to his success, may be hindered with his move to the earlier, coveted 11:35 zone, where such silliness isn't as acceptable.

But O'Brien admitted that he knows that taking over for the legendary Leno won't be easy. "I feel like that's sacred ground. That's the job I signed up for, and that's the job I'm excited about," he told the New York Times.

Adding to O'Brien's anxiety is current Tonight Show host Jay Leno's unexpected non-departure from NBC (in December, it was announced that he will be given a daily 10 p.m. show). Critics are saying that O'Brien is getting "the short end of the stick," as people will be paying more attention to Leno's new show once it starts in the fall, and NBC will most likely start saying that late night now begins at 10 o'clock.

O'Brien admited to the Times that the new venture has worried him a bit, but he ultimately knows his talent has gotten him this far, and will hopefully get him through the future.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Travolta family grieving, moving on from loss of son Jett last month

Travolta family grieving, moving on from loss of son Jett last month

Written by: Karen Benardello

The Travolta family has been staying out of the spotlight while trying to cope with the loss of their 16-year-old son Jett from a seizure on January 2 in their Bahamian vacation home, PEOPLE magazine is reporting. "The family is doing their best to get through the pain and sadness," the publication also stated.

The magazine is also reporting that the Travoltas are "regrouping and pushing through the grieving process." John, Kelly and eight-year-old daughter Ella are "trying to...return to some sort of normalcy." But the family is finding it hard to be normal without Jett.

What makes the loss even more painful is the on-going criminal case into the alleged extortion plot. Prosecutors are claiming that a Bahamian politician and paramedic were trying to extort $25 million from the Travoltas, and said if they didn't receive the money, they were going to release the details, and possibly a photo, of Jett's death.

PEOPLE is also saying that while the Travoltas are upset by the extortion attempt, "...things have calmed down. Every day it gets better."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Salma Hayek, Francois-Henri Pinault married in Paris on Valentine's Day

"Salma Hayek, Francois-Henri Pinault married in Paris on Valentine's Day"

Written by: Karen Benardello

Though the couple broke off their engagment in July 2008, actress Salma Hayek ended up marrying French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault in Paris on Valentine's Day, various French reports confirm.

According to the French magazine Le Point, an anonymous official at the City Hall in Paris' 6th arrondissement said that Hayek married Pinault in a civil ceremony on Saturday. Mayor Jean-Pierre Lecoq subsequently confirmed the report when he spoke to the Agence France-Presse.

Though it was known that the couple had seperated last summer, there have been recent reports that the newlyweds, who have a daughter together (Valentina Paloma Pinault, born in September 2007), had reunited.

Hayek is best known for her 2003 Academy-Award nominated role in 'Frida,' which she also produced. She also recently made national news for visiting poverty-sticken Sierra Leone and breastfeeding a hungry child.

Pinault, meanwhile, is the chief executive of the French luxury group PPR. He has two kids from a previous marriage.

Friday, February 13, 2009

With High Unemployment Rates Among Young Adults, They Should Look to Friends for Help

National Scene Magazine, February '09 National article

With Unemployment Among Young Adults on Rise, College Students Should Look to Friends, Technology For Help

Written by: Karen Benardello

Achieving the American dream of being offered multiple high-paying, respectable jobs used to just require receiving a college degree. But now as the job market is saturated with recent college graduates, and the economy is in a recession, the United States Department of Labor reported the first decrease in new jobs in four years, which is hitting the post-graduate age group harder than the rest of the population.

Unemployment among 20- to 24-year-olds, the age group during which most college students graduate, rose to 9.8 percent in 2008, as opposed to the 7.7 percent it reached in 2007, according to the Labor Department.

The department also reported that there was only a monthly average of 44,000 new jobs across the country for June, July and August 2008, the time most college students start looking for employment, as opposed to the 110,000 it projected. This is in part due to the fact that approximately 55 percent of hiring managers said they would not be hiring additional summer employees, according to a study conducted by the website

Students should get an internship in their chosen field, even if it’s unpaid, as it helps them get experience, connections and their foot in the door. They should also start their job search early, even if it’s a semester before they graduate, so that they can network as much as possible and keep in touch with people they know who are already working in their chosen field.

For those people who don’t find their dream positions right away, they should turn to entry-level career positions in nursing and senior care, government services and homeland security, accounting and technology, as the online job search engine reported over the summer that there is a need to fill these jobs the most right now. Anyone needing a job should look into these areas, as employers believe that presently, the most desirable potential employees are those with degrees in math, science and technology because the health care, information technology and accounting industries are thriving.

Zimbabwe President Cutting Rights, so South Africa Protesting

National Scene Magazine-February 2009 International Article

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s Cut in Rights, Reporting Lead to South Africans’ Cut in Eating, In Effort to Boycott these Practices

Written by: Karen Benardello

South Africans eager to see a change in Zimbabwe’s government and to isolate their neighboring country’s president, Robert Mugabe, are planning a hunger strike and other protests over the leader’s policies and practices, and are encouraging their own government to step in and stop him.

However, the South African government isn’t listening to these pleas, as it feels that confronting the 84-year-old president, who is accused of limiting the democratic rights of his citizens and overseeing an economic collapse, could backfire. The South African government feels Zimbabwe could continue to run and function smoothly under the September power-sharing agreement it consented on, under which Mugabe would remain president and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai would become the new prime minister.

Many activists who are against this plan and want to draw attention to, and see a change in, the way the government is run vow to publicly announce and shame South African companies doing business in Zimbabwe, which could lead to boycotts. Kumi Naidoo, one such activist who is also a veteran of the anti-apartheid campaign, hopes such a plan will raise more awareness amongst South Africans, who have largely been protesting the Israeli strikes in Gaza, but have been relatively quiet about their neighbor Zimbabwe.

Elinor Sisulu, who married into one of South Africa’s most prominent political families (the Sisulus are heavily involved in the African National Congress, South Africa’s governing party), said this may be because they don’t understand the situation in Zimbabwe, due to Mugabe’s government imposing international reporting restrictions. Sisulu is also claiming that his opponents experience the same detention, harassment and torture that her in-laws experienced under apartheid.

If Mugabe truly does limit his citizens’ rights, allowed the economic collapse, restricts the information that leaves his country’s borders and detains, harasses and tortures his opponents, members of the African National Congress in South African shouldn’t allow him to stay in power, even under the power-sharing agreement.

While it’s admirable that the South African government wants representatives from both political parties to take control in Zimbabwe, the fact that the agreement is stalled in a dispute over distributing Cabinet posts should be a sign that the sides can’t even work together on simple issues. Even if South African residents don’t know the true extent of what’s going on in their neighboring country, the South African government should step up and intervene, in an effort to save the peace and dignity among the people and government.

Do Dead Stars Help Create New Planets Come?

National Scene Magazine-February '09 Space

Do Dead Stars Help New Planets Come to Life? NASA Scientists Studying Spitzer Space Telescope Findings Seem to Think So.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Dead stars are doing more than just floating around space until they incinerate-they are actually helping new planets evolve, as discovered on January 5 by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists through observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, an infrared space observatory.

With its infrared spectrograph, an instrument that breaks light apart into wavelengths, the Spitzer observed shredded asteroid pieces around, and in, six dead “white dwarf” stars. The scientists believe that these asteroids, which not only make up our planet but also the other rocky bodies in our solar system, could be common in solar systems across the universe. If this is indeed true, then rocky planets similar to Earth could be common in other solar systems besides our own.

New planets form when the dusty material that swirls around young stars sticks and clump together, and asteroids form from the leftover debris. When stars become older and near the end of their lives, they dispose of their outer layers and shrink down into a “white dwarf.” When an asteroid wanders too close to a “white dwarf,” the gravity of the dwarf shreds the asteroid.

It seems very likely that planets in our neighboring solar systems are similar to Earth. In all of the “white dwarfs,” the Spitzer observed that their dust contains a glassy silicate mineral similar to olivine, which is commonly found on Earth. The telescope also found that there is no carbon in the rocky debris, which is also similar to the asteroids and rocky planets in our solar system.

In order to find absolute proof that other solar systems can support planets similar to Earth, the NASA scientists have to continue using the spectrographs to analyze the dusty material. They should also analyze what elements are present and in what abundance, in order to see how other star systems use their planetary materials.

American Idol Top 36 Contestant JOanna Pacitti Ruled Uneligible to Continue in Competition

American Idol Top 36 Contestant Joanna Pacitti Ruled Uneligible to Continue in the Competition

Written by: Karen Benardello

While 35 American Idol are finally able to publicly celebrate their entry into this season's top 36, which was announced on the hit FOX show on Wednesday night, Joanna Pacitti, the last contestant, has since been disqualified.

Pacitti underwent attacks by fans and critics alike after it was discovered earlier in the season that she has an extensive music career background. In response, FOX releaed a press release after the show’s broadcast Wednesday night, announcing that she was ruled ineligible to continue.

“It has been determined that (Joanna) Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition,” the statement said. “...Felicia Barton has replaced Ms. Pacitti as part of the Top 36.”

The network made the decision to avoid any suggestion of unfairness. Pacitti once worked with a person who was subsequently hired by 19 Entertainment, one of the producers (along with FremantleMedia) of the show. Pacitti also once knew another employee of 19 Entertainment.
Pacitti was also disqualified because, as previously reported, she had been cast in Annie on Broadway. She also recorded an album for Geffen records, named This Crazy Life, which was released in 2006.

Pacitti also record songs for movie soundtracks; they include Watch Me Shine for Legally Blonde, as well as Out From Under from the Bratz movie, which was later re-recorded by Britney Spears on her new CD, Circus.

Many fans agreed with FOX's desicion, as seen on American Idol’s official forum. The posts generally state that since she is a semi-professional, she already has a built-in fan base that will automatically send her through to the top 12.

Controversy Arises Over American Idol Contestant Joanna Pacitti

Originally Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2009

Controversy Arises Over American Idol Contestant Joanna Pacitti <-here's the link!

By Karen Benardello

On air for just three weeks, this season of American Idol is already stirring up contestant controversy. Just like last year’s Carly Smithson, fans are in a fury that producers allowed 24-year-old Joanna Pacitti to audition, as she has a history in the music industry.

According to a report published in the New York Post, Pacitti’s first claim to fame was in 1996, when she was cast in the Broadway production of Annie. However, she was fired before the show hit the stage, and her parents sued the producers, but later settled for an undisclosed amount of money.

Next in her professional career, Pacitti was represented by major label A&M, and some of her songs were released on movie soundtracks, including Legally Blonde and Nancy Drew. The record company released her full-length album This Crazy Life in 2006, which, according to Billboard, has sold a modest 15,000 copies. Pacitti was given even more public exposure when Britney Spears covered her song Out From Under (which Pacitti she recorded for the Bratz movie soundtrack) on her latest album Circus. Also, Pacitti is no stranger to reality TV, as she previously appeared on an MTV show that followed her struggle to break into the music business.

The Post has not received any news over whether or not Pacitti made it past the show’s “Hollywood round.” But if the American Idol producers want to keep up this controversy, and raise the show’s slumping ratings from the past few seasons, they will encourage the hosts to keep her on until the public begins to vote. But the creative forces behind the show are smart, as Smithson made it to the top six last season.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Josh Duhamel and Fergie Marry in Private Ceremony on January 10

“What Is Going On, Blog” Article, 1/11/09

Hollywood Couple, Actor Josh Duhamel and Singer/Actress Fergie, Marry in a Private Ceremony Last Night

Written By: Karen Benardello

There was another spark among the stars last night-two Hollywood stars, that is. Transformers actor Josh Duhamel finally married Black Eyed Peas singer, actress and long-time girlfriend Fergie at the Church Estate Vineyards in Malibu, California. The pair followed the lead of another Hollywood couple, actor Ryan Reynolds and actress Scarlett Johansson, by marrying in a secret ceremony and publicly announcing their legal union the next day.

According to People, the 33-year-old Fergie, whose real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson, held a bouquet mixed with white flowers and crystals. The white flower theme continued as the ceremony was held under magnolias filled with white roses.

Fergie’s dress, which was fitted and corseted with a mesh tulle overlay, was designed by Dolce & Cabbana. Duhamel, 36, also wore Dolce & Cabbana, as did the 10 bridesmaids, who came in wearing black dresses, and the groomsmen, dressed in black suits and white ties.

The couple exchanged H. Stern wedding rings, which both contained personal messages the two wrote for each other. Fergie’s band was set to match her 4-carot diamond engagement ring, which is set among smaller diamonds. Duhamel’s band is made of 18K white gold.

The fact that the two went through with the marriage wasn’t a surprise; Fergie told Blender last month that the two were practically married before the ceremony, and Duhamel proposed in December 2007, which is a long engagement by Hollywood standards, as couples typically rush into marriage. The two also dated for three years before they became engaged, another long span for celebrity couples. Since the pair managed to stay together this long without any major public problems, the likelihood that they’ll stay married is high.

What is a surprise, however, is the fact that Fergie and Duhamel decided to keep the ceremony a secret, only revealing to the public that they were tying the knot sometime this month. They could have created more publicity for themselves if hey announced he actual date, since they have both been out of the public eye for some time.

Fergie’s last record, her solo debut album, The Dutchess, was released in 2006, and the last U.S. Top Five single from it, “Clumsy,” hit the airwaves in 2007. Her last acting role was in Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez’s half of the double horror feature Grindhouse, which was also released in 2007. Duhamel’s prime-time show Las Vegas ended nearly a year ago (on February 15, 2008), and his last movie role was in Transformers, which was released in 2007.

The union was only confirmed when guests, including Fergie’s fellow Black Eyed Peas, several of Duhamel's Las Vegas co-stars, such as James Caan, Molly Sims and Vanessa Marcil, Kid Rock, Kate Hudson, Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell were overheard saying that the two had wed around 5:09 p.m. There were also cheers coming from outside the estate around this time.

The two did deserve some privacy during this intimate time of their relationship, and were able to pull off the newest trend of a secret Hollywood marriage ceremony quite well. However, they are not immune to public interest, since they both had such huge career successes in the past. When the honeymoon is over, the new Mr. and Mrs. Duhamel should pay tribute to their fans by releasing some of their wedding pictures.