People talk 5/30/03

Friday, May 30, 2003

Jolie, Thornton call it quits after two years

LOS ANGELES -- The marriage of Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton is officially over.

The "Tomb Raider" actress filed for divorce from the "Sling Blade" star last July, after only two years of marriage. Jolie cited irreconcilable differences for the breakup.

The union between the 27-year-old actress and the 47-year-old actor was dissolved Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Their separation came four months after they adopted a baby boy, Maddox, from Cambodia.

The pair's wild love life became media fodder after they married in May 2000. They bragged about their sex lives in interviews, and, at one time, wore vials of each other's blood around their necks.

It was Thornton's fifth marriage and her second.

Television academy chairman stepping down

LOS ANGELES -- Television academy chairman Bryce Zabel, whose tenure included an Emmy Awards postponed by terrorism and war and a boost in network fees for the ceremony, won't seek re-election.

"My duty has been done and I'm going to move on," Zabel said Wednesday. "I'm gratified and satisfied that I accomplished what I started out to do."

Zabel, who became head of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in the fall of 2001, will remain in office until Oct. 1.

The academy twice scrambled to modify and postpone the Emmy Awards after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. The show, traditionally held in September, finally went ahead in November.

Another milestone for Zabel and academy President Todd Leavitt was renegotiating the license fee paid to the academy by the networks that air the Emmy broadcast.

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, which share the ceremony on a rotating basis, had been paying about $3 million annually. The new agreement called for payment of a total of $52 million over eight years.

Record label executive has theory on shooting

LOS ANGELES -- Rap impresario Suge Knight believes a "jealous boyfriend or a jealous husband" probably fired the seven bullets that smashed through the windows and front door of his Tha Row Records offices Tuesday morning.

No one was injured by the gunfire, which erupted about 2:30 a.m., said officer Jack Richter, a police spokesman.

Police didn't know of a motive or suspect, Richter said, but Knight issued a statement offering his own theory for the gunfire at the company formerly known as Death Row Records.

"The crime was probably committed by a jealous boyfriend or a jealous husband," Knight said.

"We've got a lot of artists like Crooked I, Eastwood and Kurupt that are currently working on new albums. And because of the hype and media attention associated with these two projects, there have been a lot of girls flocking to them at the studio and at the clubs," he said.

Knight, 38, was jailed earlier this year for allegedly violating terms of his parole.

He was sentenced to probation in 1992 after pleading no contest to two counts of assault stemming from an attack on two rappers at a Hollywood recording studio.

Legal 'complexities' hinder fire investigation

PONTIAC, Mich. -- Authorities investigating an Oct. 25 arson that destroyed Aretha Franklin's mansion plan to ask the state Attorney General's office for help.

A meeting of police and fire officials and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office Tuesday failed to produce a consensus on what, if any, charges could be issued, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said "legal and factual complexities" in the case prompted them to request an independent review and analysis by Attorney General Mike Cox's office.

Oakland County officials said they would offer no additional comment on the case until the state review.

Franklin, dubbed the Queen of Soul, lost her $1.6 million Bloomfield Township mansion in the Oct. 25 blaze, which authorities ruled as arson.

Franklin was subpoenaed and met with investigators in February. The 61-year-old singer was out of the state at the time of the fire.

School district gives ground on film stance

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam County is reconsidering a date with Hollywood.

Putnam County Schools superintendent Sam Sentelle -- fearing negative portrayals of West Virginia -- told three high school principals earlier this month to decline a request by DreamWorks to film scenes at their schools for the upcoming "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!" Sentelle had said he was concerned the county would be viewed as "cute and country," and that the schools would become the "Ridgemont High of 2003," referring to the 1982 teen angst film, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

But after learning more about the plot, Sentelle decided the romantic comedy starring Kate Bosworth would show West Virginia in a better light than the horror-thriller "Wrong Turn," which opens today. "Wrong Turn" is the story of six young people who come into contact with three gruesome mountain men in the woods of West Virginia, according to the movie's Web site.

Sentelle said Tuesday that Poca High School principal Vic Donalson has notified DreamWorks that it can use the school's mascot, the Poca Dots, in the film.

The film stars Bosworth as a grocery store clerk from West Virginia who wins a date with Hollywood star Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). She ends up having to choose between Hamilton and an old friend (Topher Grace).

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Memphis Rock 'N' Soul Museum is losing its operations director, Jimmy Ogle, who's resigning after three years at the museum and more than two decades in the Memphis tourism-hospitality business.

"I wanted to change some things in my life that I felt needed to be changed to make me a better person," Ogle said this week.

Ogle, 50, declined to say what he would do after leaving the position, which paid $65,000 a year. His resignation is effective June 30.

Museum board member Kevin Kane said his group hopes to select a replacement before Ogle leaves. The board has identified about 15 candidates, he said.

"It's a big loss as far as we're concerned. Jimmy's been a valuable part of the Rock 'N' Soul team since its inception," Kane said. "It takes a lot of dedication to make sure those doors are open and closed."

Kane and Ogle both said it was Ogle's decision to leave.

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