WITH RUMORS SWIRLING ABOUT HIS SON CHARLIE'S MARITAL SPLIT, MARTIN SHEEN LASHES OUT AT THE MEDIA
Charlie Sheen may not be speaking out, but someone in his family is. Since his wife, Denise Richards, filed for divorce March 2, Sheen has for the most part remained mum about reports that the rift was caused by his returning to some of his old vices, including drug and alcohol abuse, only saying through a spokesman that there has been no relapse. But on March 22 his dad, actor Martin Sheen, spoke out forcefully. In a joint statement with his wife, Janet, Sheen said, "We cannot remain silent during what appears to be a ruthless and savage attack by the media on Charlie's character. To imply that he is in any way regressing to the behavior that cost him so dearly and almost ended his life just seven years ago...sinks to the level of defamation.... It would behoove us all to give thanks for Charlie's remarkable success and heroic recovery."
Richards had no comment on the Sheens' statement. But a source close to the actress says, "She just wants to move on." As for reports that Charlie, 39, and Richards, 34, didn't speak to each other during their 1-year-old daughter Sam's birthday party earlier this month, the insider says, "They definitely talked. They were very nice to each other."
Meanwhile their lives go on. Richards, seven months pregnant, is filming her UPN pilot Wildlife. And Charlie is back on the set of CBS's Two and a Half Men. Both stars also expect to be involved with the family. "Denise does want him to be part of the children's lives," says a friend. "She wants her kids to have a dad."
From: The Legal Community
Re: The Whole Truth
On March 17 a New York City jury convicted rapper Lil' Kim of perjury. They found the singer had lied to a federal grand jury about a 2001 gunfight outside a radio station involving members of her entourage. Kim faces up to 20 years in jail, although legal experts expect she'll receive a considerably lighter sentence. The moral of the story: Don't lie to the feds!
Lil' Kim Says
Asked if "at any point during this day [Feb. 25,2001] had you seen [her then manager] Damion Butler?" the rapper told a grand jury, "No."
Shown a photo of [her then friend] Suif Jackson, Kim said to the grand jury, "I think I have seen him, but I don't know him too well. I don't know his name."
Surveillance video showed Kim and Butler arriving at the radio station together that day and, later, Kim standing behind Butler on the sidewalk seconds before the shooting.
Kim later said in court that she'd known Jackson, who earlier had pled guilty to weapons charges, since her teens. He had also appeared in one of her music videos and was acknowledged in the liner notes for two of her CDs.
LINDSAY AND WILMER: BACK TOGETHER?
Are Lindsay Lohan and Wilmer Valderrama rekindling their romance? The couple, who split last November, crossed party-hopping paths in New York City last week while out with their respective pals, and a source says the former couple had a minor makeout session at Marquee on March 18. Lohan's rep denies the canoodling, adding, "They're just friends, but they're happy to see each other."
The amicable vibe carried into the next night at two Saturday Night Live afterparties. At the restaurant Docks, Valderrama (there to support SNL host and buddy Ashton Kutcher) and Lohan spoke again. But the actress seemed more thrilled to meet SNL musical guest Gwen Stefani, especially when Stefani said that she and her nieces do karaoke to the teen queen's music.
Later at the club Hiro, Valderrama and Lohan barely acknowledged each other, as Lohan chilled in one room while Valderrama hunkered down at the bar with his buddies.
So is it love renewed? Valderrama says no, and that his work schedule is too hectic for a social life. "I just finished three films and am producing a pilot I created for MTV. I rarely sleep. The only time I get to see my friends is right now," he says.
As for dating, "not right now," he says. "But I'm open-minded. I'd never say never."
A Party for The O.C.
Trading reshoots and rehearsals for mai tais and mingling, the cast and crew of The O.C. gathered March 21 for a party and panel discussion about the show sponsored by the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences. Any secrets revealed? "Ideally, [in] the last episode everyone gets married," joked Adam Brody.
MATT DAMON UNDER COVER COP
To research his role as an Irish gangster who infiltrates the Boston police department in Martin Scorsese's drama The Departed, Matt Damon recently rode along with some members of the Massachusetts police force (at left). For three days, the actor got pointers from the gang and drug units. "We showed him frisk tactics and pat downs—and no, we didn't try them on him," says State Police Sgt. Daniel Risteen. "He seemed like he had a pretty good working knowledge [already]. Things weren't going over his head." On his last night, the Oscar winner watched from an unmarked state trooper cruiser as detectives arrested three suspects and recovered about $1,000 in drug money and paraphernalia. Says Matt's older brother Kyle: "He promises me that he wore a Kevlar vest."
Clay: From Idol to Angel
Who'll be the next American Idol? To be honest, says Clay Aiken, "I haven't paid much attention to the show this year." Instead, Aiken, 26, has been focusing on his new role as UNICEF ambassador. Joining the organization in November, Aiken made his first field mission in March to Indonesia and Malaysia, where he saw tsunami relief efforts and toured camps for displaced survivors. At one stop he sang with kids in their native Bahasa Indonesia ("a little difficult," he says); at another he toured a makeshift school. "I thought to myself, 'I've seen tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes—throw them all together and maybe I could understand the scope of this thing,' " says Aiken. "But when you finally get on the ground, there's no way to describe it."
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LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Who will be the next American Idol?
Your favorites: Bo Bice (24%), Carrie Underwood (17%) and Anwar Robinson (16%).
Rehab for O'Brien
"I have had a problem with alcohol," said Pat O'Brien, the anchor of the syndicated entertainment-news program The Insider, in a March 20 statement announcing that he had checked himself into an undisclosed rehab facility. O'Brien said, "Overcoming this problem is a top priority in my life." Meanwhile, a spokesman for The Insider said, "We support Pat's decision to seek treatment and look forward to welcoming him back on the air at the appropriate time." The show's New York anchor Lara Spencer will fill in for O'Brien during his absence.
Between movie roles, Ashley Judd works with YouthAIDS, an organization seeking to promote HIV/AIDS prevention programs for young people around the world, and NutritionAID, a related group, trying to combat obesity and poor eating habits here at home. Judd, 36, spoke with Scoop about her causes.
How did you get interested in these causes?
Bono approached my husband and me about the HIV/AIDS emergency. We educated ourselves and soon became very motivated and involved with educating young people.
Who do you want to help through YouthAIDS?
People between the ages of 15 and 24 and high risk groups, including commercial sex workers and truckers—people who engage in risky sexual behavior.
You are also informing the public about a different health crisis: obesity.
We have our own malnourishment problem in this country. Overfed but undernourished.
Did you eat healthy when you were a child?
I ate pretty healthy. We started eating a lot of almonds to keep cancer away in the second grade. We were a carob-only household for a while.
Your sister Wynonna has been vocal about her struggle with weight and poor eating habits. Did she influence your new cause?
No. She and her husband have just started a whole portion-consciousness movement in their household because their kids, like all of us, are indoctrinated to think that huge portions are normal healthy servings.
Has your charity work changed your lifestyle?
Quite a lot. It changes the way you choose to spend.
So what have you done?
I looked at my budget from last year and decided that I wanted to reduce it by two-thirds. I was going to buy a cute little top this week and it was $53, and I said, "No way!" Do you know what $53 would buy for the friends I made in Kenya and South Africa? I would rather send them the money, and I've done that, than put it on my own back.
ON THE BLOCK
LOOK WHO'S MOVING
PRICE: About $3 million
PLACE: Oahu, Hawaii
John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston, who own residences in Maine, Florida, Santa Barbara and Brentwood, Calif., are selling their Hawaiian estate to supermodel-turned-superentrepreneur Kathy Ireland, who will rent it as a corporate retreat and vacation villa. The 3,400-sq.-ft. oceanfront A nest comes with an indoor pool and a lava waterfall.