STATED: Halle Berry says being beautiful is a blemish. At a London press conference to hype Catwoman, the Oscar winner, 37, said: “Let me tell you something – being thought of as a beautiful woman has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Love has been difficult. Beauty is essentially meaningless and it is always transitory.” Criticizing the world’s obsession with youth, she went on to say: “Personally, I’m really saddened by the way women mutilate their faces today in search of that. There is this plastic, copycat look evolving and that’s frightening to me. … It’s really insane and I feel sad that’s what society is doing to women.”
ADDED: More stars are joining the guest list for the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, to air live Aug. 29 from Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Dave Chappelle, Paris Hilton, Tony Hawk, Lenny Kravitz, Ludacris, LL Cool J, Jon Stewart, Ashlee Simpson and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs are among those set to attend. MTV also announced that hip-hop artists Lil’ Jon, Petey Pablo, the Ying Yang Twins and Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe will perform. Already slated to perform are Usher, Kanye West, Yellowcard, Jet, Hoobastank and Jessica Simpson. Jay-Z’s video “99 Problems” leads with six nominations. Beyonce, Usher, No Doubt and OutKast received five nominations each.
BOUGHT: Oprah Winfrey, 50, has purchased for more than $8 million another large parcel of land on Maui’s unspoiled Hana coast, reports Fashion Wire Daily, citing public records. The media mogul recently paid $3.2 million for a 9-acre parcel, $2.875 million for 33.79 acres and $2.1 million for a 6.333-acre tract, the records state. In February 2002, Winfrey also paid $2.95 million for a nearly 2-acre tract; in July 2002, $11.68 million for 102.09 acres, and in October of that same year, $200,000 for less than a half-acre.
CAST: King Arthur actress Keira Knightley, 19, will star in Domino, an action thriller based on the true story of Domino Harvey, the daughter of actor Laurence Harvey (star of the original Manchurian Candidate), who walked out on a career as a Ford model to become a bounty hunter. Tony Scott (Man on Fire) will direct for New Line Cinema. Principal photography is scheduled to begin next month, with a 2005 release planned, says the Hollywood Reporter.
RETIRED: Charismatic Smarty Jones, the champ of this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before losing his Triple Crown bid at the Belmont Stakes, is being put out to stud, one of his owners has decided. The 3-year-old has bruising in all four fetlock joints. In humans, that would be the equivalent of sprained ankles. “If anything else went wrong, it would break our heart, Pat Chapman, Smarty’s owner and breeder, tells The New York Times.