In for the Long Haul
The bucks don’t stop here: With cash and fund-raisers, celebs continue relief efforts
The all-star telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes raised more than $150 million for relief efforts last month, showing Hollywood at its best following the terrorist attacks. But it was hardly the last time celebs will either raise or shell out their own star bucks for the cause.
Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger will join The Who and James Taylor, among others, reports Billboard.com, in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden for an Oct. 20 fund-raiser. (As previously announced, Paul McCartney will headline the bill.) Some of the proceeds from a concert celebrating singer John Mellencamp’s 50th birthday on Oct. 7 in his home state of Indiana will go to the New York Red Cross disaster fund. Meanwhile, Emilio Estefan lined up nearly 60 Latin artists, including his wife, Gloria, and Ricky Martin, to record “El Ultimo Adios” (The Last Goodbye), a forthcoming single whose proceeds will also benefit the Red Cross. “We are all part of this country,” says Emilio. Members of TV’s The West Wing, starring Martin Sheen, reportedly plan to donate their salaries from a special episode on terrorism to relief funds. Angelina Jolie, a U.N. goodwill ambassador who visited Pakistan in August, has donated $1 million to the organization’s efforts to help refugees fleeing Afghanistan. And Robert De Niro asks tourists to visit New York City—if not now, soon. Says the star: “It’s going to be rebuilt, bigger and stronger than ever.”
For Gayheart, a Court Date Awaits
Actress Rebecca Gayheart will be arraigned Oct. 22 on a misdemeanor vehicular-manslaughter charge stemming from the June 13 traffic accident in which she hit and killed a 9-year-old boy. If convicted, she faces up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Gayheart, 29, Luke Perry’s Beverly Hills, 90210 TV bride and a former Noxzema model, “continues to be traumatized by the fact that she was involved in a fatal accident,” her spokesman said. She has paid for the funeral expenses of Jorge Cruz Jr., who was crossing in the middle of a street when she ran into him. His family has filed a civil suit against her, which is still pending. Meanwhile, Gayheart was involved in another accident on Oct. 1, when a rental car she was driving slammed into a parked Volvo on a residential street in Hollywood. Though shaken, she was not seriously injured.
Madonna‘s Surprise Split
Among the more trying moments in Liz Rosenberg’s 20-year career as Madonna‘s mouthpiece: explaining why the star posed naked for a book called Sex; why she chose to make the semisacrilegious “Like a Prayer” video, causing Pepsi to drop her commercials; why she married Sean Penn; and why, four years later, the couple divorced. So when Rosenberg surprised the pop world on Sept. 26 by announcing that she was parting ways with the Material Girl, some believed that the famed publicist had just reached her breaking point. Not so, say those in the know. Madonna had simply tired of making herself available to the press. And a PR specialist with a silent client is about as useful as a carpenter without a saw. So Madonna will no longer express herself through Rosenberg, although the two remain close. (A new spokesperson has not been chosen as yet.) Instead, Rosenberg plans to do some volunteer work and will continue working with other Warner Bros, recording artists like Cher, Stevie Nicks and Chris Isaak.
Backstreet Boy AJ McLean misses rehab so much, he may return when the band’s current tour ends. “I didn’t want to leave,” the singer, who spent 28 days at a facility for alcohol addiction last summer, told an Orlando radio station. “I’m actually considering going back for a week. When you’re there, it’s so quiet and peaceful. There is no racism, there’s no second-guessing.” Now three months sober, McLean, 23, plans to stay that way. “It’s getting easier,” he told deejay Chad Pitt. “I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I think I look great. I’m feeling better.”
Hit the Road, Jackpot
Slot machines, with their dizzying wheels and flashing lights, are designed to dazzle the eye while lightening the wallet. But for the blind the chance to lose money like the next guy has gone unfulfilled. “I’ve played what they call the one-armed bandits, and it’s true,” says singer Ray Charles, blind since childhood. “A blind person doesn’t know what’s happening unless somebody’s there with them.” Until now. Charles, 71, along with Bally Gaming Systems, has helped develop three new slot machines—America the Beautiful, What’d I Pay and Ray’s Jukebox—which offer audio cues and Braille buttons. “I can go out and have as much fun as the next guy, and I don’t have to depend on anybody else to do it. I think it’s great,” says Charles. “Independence is a heck of a thing, man.”
Tyson’s Take on Stiller’s Spoof
Concerned as always with accuracy in contemporary cinema, Scoop invited superdupermodel Tyson Beckford to a screening of Zoolander, Ben Stiller’s male-mannequin movie, and asked for his thoughts. Mostly he thought it was pretty funny. Curiously, Beckford also seemed to think that he needed to stock up on a lot of food: The guy went through a box of Raisinettes, popcorn (with butter!) and a cherry Icee.
And the onscreen vamping and vapidity, the bitchy rivalries? “I’ve run into some guys like that, who think they have the most important job in the world,” says Beckford, 30, best known for showing his form in Ralph Lauren’s Polo ads. “But most models have college degrees, and most of us are friends.” For the record, he was impressed with Stiller’s physique. “He worked out hard for this role,” observes Beckford (who has a cameo in the movie). “He’s got the chiseled body.”
That’s not the only thing he and Stiller have in common. Like Derek Zoolander, who sports a laughable facial expression for the camera that he calls “the Blue Steel,” Beckford also has a trademark look. “I guess you could call it ‘the Sunset,’ he says. “When I look very seriously into the distance.” So what deep thoughts are going through his head? “Mostly I’m thinking ‘How should I spend all the money I’m making today?’ ” he admits. “I never took modeling as a real job, but they do pay you some very real money.”
No Mark on Foreign Policy
One sign that life goes on as the nation battles terrorism: President Bush found time to honor the Boys & Girls Club of America’s Youth of America award winners, who were accompanied by actor Mark Wahlberg, 30, in a Sept. 26 visit to the White House. The Boys & Girls Club “basically saved my life,” says Dorchester, Mass., native Wahlberg, who as a teenager was jailed for assault and who now raises money for the national group. “I’m from a very rough part of town, and if the club hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here today.” Meeting with the President, says Wahlberg, was a great honor, but he steered clear of advising Bush on how to do his job. “My first instinct was to retaliate,” says Wahlberg of the Sept. 11 attacks. “But I really don’t know. I’m glad I’m not in the position to have to figure it out.”
with Arnold Schwarzenegger
After New York City’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani appointed Arnold Schwarzenegger to the board of the Twin Towers Fund, intended to help the families of those lost in the World Trade Center attack, the action star and his wife, Maria Shriver, donated $1 million. Scoop caught up with the 54-year-old actor in Los Angeles.
How have the attacks affected Hollywood?
Because people are much more reluctant to go away from their homes, you will see that filming out of town, filming out of the country or in dangerous places like Africa or the Middle East will be pretty much coming to a grinding halt.
The premiere of Collateral Damage, your new film, has been postponed. Why?
The movie deals with the subject of terrorism and the cycle of violence. I felt that this was the wrong time to have that come out.
Will there be a reluctance to make those kinds of movies from now on?
There will be those who will be brave and say, “This is a great movie, and even though it deals with terrorism, we’re going to do it anyway.” Other people will say, “I’m scared of my investment—why not do something else?”
Where were you the morning of the attacks?
We were in bed, cuddling up with the kids, and then my wife got a phone call from the network. We turned on the TV right away and watched the whole thing go down.
How did you deal with your children?
It’s very important that you as a parent don’t freak out. If you’re calm, then they will be calm.
What issues will you address on the board?
People are so emotional that they just immediately send money somewhere, it doesn’t matter where. And a lot of people are going to be taken to the cleaners, especially the victims. People need to know that their money is going in the right direction.
ON THE BLOCK
Big Momma’s House raked in $118 million, but the movie’s star, Martin Lawrence, 36, seeks a mere $2.65 million for his. Built in 1994, the 5-bedroom, 6,800-sq.-ft. home, with a 26-ft.-ceiling foyer and a limestone and granite kitchen, is in a gated community in Westlake Village, near L.A. The master suite offers a balcony overlooking the pool and gardens, and a fireplace in the bathroom. “One of the things Martin loved most,” says his real estate agent Kay Cole, “is the peace and serenity there.” So why leave? Lawrence recently moved into a 14,000-sq.-ft. pad in Beverly Hills.