WEEK IN REVIEW: Guy Grilled on Madonna
RITCHIE RICH: Facing down about 600 university students inside England's Oxford Union debating chamber, movie director Guy Ritchie proved to be a popular guest on Tuesday night, PEOPLE's London Bureau reported. A good many questions concerned his wife, Madonna, 44, and their movie "Swept Away," which recently washed ashore in America and tanked so badly that it's going straight to video in Ritchie's native Britain. "It's not being released (over here) because it's sh--," Ritchie, 34, told the students. "I can't answer more eloquently than that." He was slightly more eloquent -- for a laugh -- when asked what he calls his wife at home. Replied Ritchie: "Bitch."
GLAD TIDINGS: Pals of the bride and groom-to-be, from Matt Damon to Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, are extending their best to Jennifer Lopez, 33, and Ben Affleck, 30, now that the couple has officially announced plans to get married. Damon, 32, who's a longtime pal of Affleck's, told TV's "Extra" that his "Good Will Hunting" costar and co-screenwriter has "never looked as happy as he is now. I've known him for 22 years and I've never seen him this happy. Even when he lost his virginity, he wasn't this happy." Meanwhile, Lopez's ex-boyfriend Combs, 32, called marriage "a beautiful thing" and said of the happy couple, "I hope it works out," Reuters reported.
HOUSTON HUSTLE: The reclusive Whitney Houston, 39, will have to change her tune if she is to succeed with her new album "Just Whitney," scheduled for release Dec. 10, The New York Times reported. The artist used to seem invincible, but after shunning the spotlight, suffering an arrest for marijuana possession and rumors of ill health, she will have to do a lot of promotion for her album to have a chance at success, the newspaper reported. Interviews and appearances are being scheduled for her.
RYDER REPORT: The Los Angeles County Probation Department told the Associated Press that Winona Ryder's "pre-conviction report" has mysteriously disappeared from its Santa Monica office. A backup copy is available, the department said. Meanwhile, newly released court transcripts in Ryder's shoplifting trial -- which recently concluded with a guilty verdict on two of the three felony counts against her -- reveal that the "Girl, Interrupted" actress, 31, was previously suspected of stealing from Neiman Marcus and Barney's before her arrest at Saks Fifth Avenue but was never charged in the incidents.
RUSSELL SCUFFLE: Russell Crowe put up his dukes in a London restaurant, reported Britain's ITV News. As confirmed by Scotland Yard, Crowe, 38, clashed with fellow New Zealander Eric Watson, described as a wealthy businessman, when the pair confronted each other at the Zuma restaurant in Knightsbridge, near Harrods. Police were summoned to the trendy eatery when the situation grew out of control, says ITV. No reason for the clash was given to reporters, and no legal action is expected to be taken against either party.
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