updated 12/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST
Stressed to the max, Russell Crowe chills
Even gladiators need a breather. Russell Crowe has announced that his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts is canceling their upcoming tour and that Crowe is heading home to Australia for a hiatus. In a statement on the band's Web site the actor said he needed to recover from an "undeniably massive level of stress" brought on by his grueling workload as well as concerns over his father's upcoming surgeries to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Crowe, 38, also said his relationship with singer-actress Danielle Spencer was a factor. "I am in love with Danielle Spencer, but I don't get to spend nearly enough time with her," the actor said in his posting.
A spokesman for Crowe stressed that the star was taking a break only from his musical career and that his acting gigs, including starring in the upcoming war film Tripoli, would go on as scheduled. (Crowe recently completed filming the naval drama Master and Commander, based on Patrick O'Brian's novel.)
There was no word on whether Crowe's decision to take a break was related to a reported Nov. 13 brawl with New Zealand rugby league team owner Eric Watson at a London eatery. One thing is certain-fellow band members are behind Crowe, saying on their Web site, "We ask that you respect our decision and resist contributing to random speculation about the possible reasons for the tour cancellation."
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Bizarre Michael Jackson Stunt of the Week
In Berlin on Nov. 19 to accept an award for music—but clearly not parenting instincts—Jackson totes a towel-draped tot to greet fans outside his hotel.
Moments later Jackson alarms the crowd below his fifth-floor balcony by dangling another infant—also covered by a towel—over the railing's edge.
Afterward, the King of Pop trades the royal treatment for a window treatment, swaddling himself in a curtain for laughs. Funny, wasn't it?
DiCaprio: Viva Las Vegas!
Some stars just know how to party. Like Leonardo DiCaprio, who turned 28 on Nov. 11 and celebrated with a good old-fashioned birthday blowout the following weekend at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. After a steak dinner with 20 of his closest cronies, including Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, Leo and the carousers hit the nightclub Ghostbar, where DiCaprio cut loose on the dance floor and shot pool with current Real World cast member Arissa Hill, 23. (The encounter wasn't romantic. "I have a boyfriend and he was there," says Hill.) In the wee hours DiCaprio and his posse retired to a private party. "He invited a lot of girls," says pal Henry Penzi, the party's organizer (including, according to the Las Vegas Sun, showgirls from the Aladdin hotel). Says Penzi: "Leo said it was by far his best birthday."
From Poster Girl to Muse
Mona Lisa may have stirred da Vinci's imagination, but was she ever a Charlie's Angel? Farrah Fawcett was, and now, like Leonardo's muse, she can claim a place in art history. A new exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art features assorted sculptures of Fawcett, one of the most prominent a marble statue of the actress reclining coyly in the nude. The brainchild of noted sculptor Keith Edmier, the exhibit is called "Keith Edmier and Farrah Fawcett 2000," and according to the artist, it's meant to examine the relationship between celebrity and fan. Which explains why there is also on display a nude bronze of Edmier, created by Fawcett. "I wanted [the works] to be almost timeless," says Edmier. "That's why the sculptures don't have clothing."
Some anonymous callers have questioned the legitimacy of the exhibit, which sits next to works by Rodin and Man Ray. But museum curator Lynn Zelevansky defends the sculptures. "Farrah warned me," Zelevansky sighs. "She said, 'I'm a publicity machine.' " But is it art? "Farrah is challenging us to see her as a complex human being, not simply the object of fantasy," Zelevansky says, adding: "If she were Meryl Streep, nobody would be asking these questions."
This Old Hat
Practical, modish and oh, so versatile, the snug-fitting knit cap, which hugs the craniums of so many of today's recording artists, can be traced to our primate ancestry—the Monkees' Michael Nesmith.
with Lisa Ling
One of America's most popular kaffeeklatsches loses a key member Dec. 5, when Lisa Ling bids goodbye to ABC's The View for a new gig hosting MSNBC's documentary series National Geographic Explorer. Before heading off to places like Kuala Lumpur, Rangoon and other exotic sites, Ling talked to Scoop about the career move.
Why switch jobs?
I'm 29 years old. I'm not married and I don't have kids. If I don't do this now, I don't know if I could do it in a couple of years. For a woman to have the freedom to travel is kind of a unique thing, and I really want to capitalize on it.
What did you learn from your colleagues on The View ?
I learned about performance. These women are brilliant in front of an audience.
Are you now going to compete against Barbara Walters for exclusive interviews?
I'd defer to her. She's my guru. But I would like to get her exclusive interview one day.
What would you ask?
Who [was] her favorite Asian employee?...No, honestly, I would ask what kind of advice she would give young women trying to juggle career and personal life, because Barbara was successful at a time when women had to make a choice.
Will you continue giving opinions or straight news?
I consider this more adventure reporting, so I think I'll be able to include opinions.
You'll be traveling a lot on the new job. How do you deal with the boredom of flying?
I do a lot of writing. I'm one of the few people who actually loves to be on a plane, because it's the one place where I'm not distracted by the telephone or television.
What do you watch?
A lot of HBO. And I love John Ritter's show. I'm also a huge Friends fanatic.
But you'll miss all that once you start the new job.
ON THE BLOCK
Model home for sale: Rachel Hunter, 33, is selling her Beverly Hills house for $2.95 million. Hunter purchased the English-country-style estate in 1999 for $1.7 million, after her split from rocker Rod Stewart. According to Realtor Asher Dann, the 4,500-sq,-ft, residence features five bedrooms, including a master suite with fireplace and skylights, as well as a tennis court and swimming pool. Not to mention the memory of Roseanne and then-husband Tom Arnold, who rented the place for $16,000 a month from 1989 to 1990.