Contactmusic.com Movie Review 2005

By Graham Smith and Ian Garland

The lifestyles of the rich and famous continued to enthrall entertainment news fans across the globe throughout 2005. Whether reporting on the latest romantic wrangle between a celebrity couple, or following one of many sensational legal stories, Contactmusic.com writers were at the forefront.

It immediately became clear in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami that, whatever else may be happening in the showbiz world, celebrities are nothing if not generous. Again, later in the year, the desire to help was evident in the response to Hurricane Katrina.

There were numerous high-profile weddings this year: British royal Prince Charles, Renee Zellweger, Matt Damon all tied the knot in 2005, while Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner married each other. As some unions were never meant to last, following these love lives made for a white-knuckle ride.

Sadly, a number of legends passed away too. Richard Pryor, Johnny Carson, Arthur Miller, Hunter S Thompson and Pope John Paul II all left this world and are already sadly missed.

Elsewhere, the lives of some Hollywood folk never left the front pages. JENNIFER ANISTON, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, Jude Law and Jessica Simpson all seemed to exist in the spotlight, whether they wanted to or not.

Anyway, 2005 was certainly an action-packed year. So take the time to stroll down memory lane with us.

JANUARY

The year began on a sombre note with many of Hollywood's biggest names vowing to help the relief effort following the devastating tsunami in southeast Asia on 26 December 2004, in which more than 200,000 people died in over 13 countries.

Within days of the disaster, compassionate Sandra Bullock handed over $1 million (GBP555,000) to the American Red Cross, while generous director Steven Spielberg donated $1.5 million (GBP835,000) to be split between charities Care, Save The Children and Oxfam. Jet Li was caught up in the tsunami, when holidaying in the Maldives with his family and donated $158,000 (GBP88,000) to the tsunami relief fund.

On a lighter note, director Martin Scorsese and his actor protege Leonardo DiCaprio were both honoured with France's most prestigious cultural awards on 5 January. Scorsese was presented with the Legion of Honour (Legion D'Honneur) at the annual ceremony in Paris. The title was in recognition of his contribution to cinema. DiCaprio, Scorsese's collaborator on Gangs Of New York and The Aviator, was named Commander Of The Order Of The Arts And Letters (Chevalier Des Arts Et Lettres).

Clint Eastwood beat Scorsese at the Directors Guild Awards (DGA), claiming the Best Picture prize for Million Dollar Baby. Other directors recognised by the Guild jury were Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni, whose Story Of The Weeping Camel earned them the Documentary prize; Walter Hill, who claimed the honour of Best Dramatic Series for TV western series Deadwood; and Tim Van Patten, who was honoured in the Best Comedy Series category for Sex And The City.

Animated movie sequel Shrek 2 swept the boards at the 31st Annual People's Choice Awards, with five wins. The film collected gongs for Favourite Movie Drama, Favourite Movie Comedy, Favourite Animated Movie, Favourite Sequel, Favourite Animated Movie Star and Favourite Villain Movie Star. Fahrenheit 9/11 shocked viewers by claiming the Favourite Motion Picture award - despite attacking US President George W Bush - while Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ won the Favourite Movie Drama prize.

British royal Prince Harry was forced to apologise after he was photographed dressed as a Nazi youth at a birthday party, just weeks before the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Harry had attended the fancy dress party wearing the swastika and desert uniform worn by German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps during World War II.

Spider-Man creator Stan Lee won a court battle against Marvel comics entitling him to millions of dollars in royalties. Lee, who created the superhero in 1962, was awarded 10 per cent of Marvel's profits from 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man and its 2004 sequel Spider-Man 2. The films made $1.6 billion (GBP857 million) at the international box office.

An Australian court granted Nicole Kidman a restraining order against two photographers she claimed left her afraid to leave her Sydney home. Kidman finally decided to take legal action against photographers Jamie Fawcett and Ben McDonald following a high speed car chase and the discovery of a listening device outside her mansion.

Barbershop star Anthony Anderson was a relieved man after Tennessee prosecutors decided not to pursue rape charges against him. The 34-year-old actor, along with film director Wayne Witherspoon, 43, stood accused of attacking a 25-year-old female extra in summer 2004 on the set of the Sundance Film Festival success Hustle + Flow.

January was the month when Hollywood golden couple Brad Pitt and JENNIFER ANISTON announced they'd officially split after four and a half years of marriage, following months of media speculation. Before the year was out Pitt was openly romancing Angelina Jolie, while Aniston got together with her The Break Up co-star VINCE VAUGHN.

Desperate Housewives star Nicollette Sheridan entered 2005 as a wife-to-be after accepting her Swedish-born boyfriend Niklas Soderblom's proposal on New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, the couple ended up going their separate ways in October.

Another seasonal engagement was announced just days into the new year, when it became public knowledge that Sienna Miller had accepted Jude Law's romantic Christmas Day proposal. Although the couple split for a while later in the year, after Law admitted he'd had an affair with his children's nanny Daisy Wright, the Alfie co-stars were back together as 2005 neared its end.

Meanwhile, French actress Beatrice Dalle married a prison inmate in a secret ceremony in her native town of Brest, Brittany. The Betty Blue beauty wed convict Guenael Meziani at the Hermitage Prison's visiting room.

In mid-January it emerged that former X-Files star Gillian Anderson was a married woman, after quietly tying-the-knot with her film-maker boyfriend Julian Ozanne in Africa. The couple had exchanged vows in a civil ceremony on 29 December on Lamu's Shella island, off Kenya's Indian Ocean coast.

Ben Kingsley split up with his wife of 15 months, Alexandra Christmann, when a German newspaper published a picture of her kissing another man. Kingsley ended up divorcing Christmann in October. He said, "It's very difficult for a man to learn on the internet that his wife has a boyfriend."

Harry Potter author JK Rowling was celebrating, when she gave birth to a girl, her third child with husband Dr Neil Murray.

January saw the passing of The Rocketeer star William Boyett, 77; Bollywood superstar Amrish Puri, 72; Hollywood actress Virginia Mayo, 84; Citizen Kane star Ruth Warrick, 89; another Bollywood star, Parveen Babi, 50; French comic actor Jacques Villeret, 53; and legendary US talk show host Johnny Carson, 79.

FEBRUARY

February in Tinseltown means new outfits, dripping jewellery and statuettes - but the Academy Awards wasn't the only headline-grabbing event in the month of 28 days, St Valentine and pancakes.

A number of movie rumours emerged this month, including mooted biopics of Donald Trump, soccer star Maradona and Egyptian queen Neftiti (played by Halle Berry); a fourth Die Hard film and a sequel to 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Russell Crowe pulled out of movie Eucalyptus in protest to a full-frontal nude scene; Liam Neeson turned down the chance to play James Bond and director Matthew Vaughn rejected the offer to helm the next 007 film.

Bond fans were given a taster of the superspy's 2006 comeback with news the next 007 film will be a remake of the first Sir Ian Fleming novel Casino Royale. We were also told Martin Campbell would direct. Fans had to wait another eight months before the identity of Pierce Brosnan's successor was revealed.

Elsewhere, Sideways was the big movie hit of early 2005 picking up accolades and plaudits. It won the Outstanding Ensemble Award at the Screen Actor's Guild Awards - and was such a success wine sales rocketed.

February went out with a big bang; with two big movie award ceremonies to toast the cream of Hollywood. First came the BAFTAs - which was dominated by Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, Jamie Foxx, Imelda Staunton and Mike Leigh in the big categories.

It was all change two weeks later - only Foxx picked up the same gong at the Oscars. This time it was all about Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, which won the Best Picture award, the Best Director prize for Eastwood and gongs for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor for Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman respectively. Foxx won Best Actor and Cate Blanchett won Best Supporting Actress.

Halle Berry, meanwhile, almost cleared the board at the Golden Raspberry Awards - the anti-Oscars - picking up five Razzies.

Elsewhere, Trekkies wept onto their limited edition Star Trek pillows in February when the latest installment Star Trek: Enterprise was axed. Another TV show bowed out - the final scenes of award-winning comedy Everybody Loves Raymond were shot on the 9th.

Paris Hilton - who has been barely out of the papers all year - got in trouble for stealing a copy of her own sex tape from a Los Angeles newsstand. Charges were later dropped. The hotel heiress got in more bother when her mobile phone was hacked into and the numbers of all her celebrity pals leaked to the public.

We also found out 70s porn sensation Deep Throat would be re-released; Desperate Housewife Marcia Cross is most definitely not gay - despite persistent rumours; Sylvester Stallone launched a magazine aimed at middle-aged men with a youthful outlook on life - called Sly; a nude portrait of supermodel Kate Moss painted by artist Lucian Freud was sold at auction for $6.65 million (GBP3.5 million).

Russell Crowe caused a storm by criticising Robert De Niro and Harrison Ford for endorsing products in advertisements. George Clooney - another advertising actor - hit back and the pair bickered for weeks through the press.

Elsewhere, Pitt denied a fling with model April Florio; The A-Team star Mr T found a new job preaching Bible sermons on American TV and British-born Jane Seymour became an American citizen.

February was a sticky legal month for actor Tom Sizemore who was jailed briefly by a judge who claimed his drug problem was "out of control", after Sizemore violated probation by failing a drug test.

Gerard Depardieu also got in hot water for taking money from a fugitive Algerian businessman to attend a soccer match.

Trouble was stirring for pop superstar Michael Jackson - ahead of his trial on child molestation charges, teen stars Macaulay Culkin and Corey Feldman were lined up as prosecution and defence witness respectively. Feldman expressed concern in the press about his childhood friendship with the singer.

Comedian Bill Cosby discovered he wouldn't face charges stemming from claims he fondled a woman and Anna Nicole Smith lost her latest attempt to get her hands on the money left for her by late husband J Howard Marshall.

The month of love, it's only fitting February was crammed with love matches... and a fair share of dispatches. We discovered Britain's Prince Charles would marry longterm partner Camilla Parker Bowles in April. Also planning a trip to church were Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman, who announced their engagement.

Our news hounds also predicted that sweethearts Kelly Brook and Billy Zane; Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher; and Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz would soon be newlyweds. As the year neared its close, one out of three had been proven correct.

Elsewhere, Cupid was also reportedly on target for Matt Dillon and The Apprentice reality TV star Tara Dowell; VINCE VAUGHN and the freshly-single JENNIFER ANISTON, although they spent much of 2005 denying they were romantically involved; SHARON STONE and news executive Eason Jordan; Renee Zellweger and Damien Rice - she has since married and divorced someone else; Tom Cruise and Latin stunner Sophia Vergara.

There was good news for Nicolas Cage and his wife Alice Kim, and Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor - both couples announced pregnancies in February.

But there were just as many falling out of love. Following Pitt and Aniston's split, Christian Slater and his wife Ryan Haddon filed for divorce. Designer supercouple Dolce + Gabbana also ended their personal relationship. Orlando Bloom and Kate Bosworth split early in February. But fans of the British heartthrob didn't have long to catch his eye - the pair were back together before summer was out.

James Gandolfini and his lover Lora Somoza ended their engagement, and Heather Graham also split with actor Josh Lucas after just three months.

Emergency rooms were kept busy in February with a spate of illnesses. Lindsay Lohan was hospitalised suffering chest pains and diagnosed with bronchitis. There were similar problems for Bernie Mac who was diagnosed with respiratory disease sarcoidosis, which restricts oxygen from the lungs and can lead to heart attacks.

Later in the month, Matthew Perry was rushed to hospital suffering a series of severe drug-induced seizures - a reaction to prescription drugs. Dame Elizabeth Taylor is, however, very much alive - despite reports at the time claiming she was close to death.

We lost two cultural icons in February. Legendary playwright, and ex-husband of Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller died on 10 February aged 89 after a battle with pneumonia, cancer and a heart condition. Just ten days later, writer and journalist Hunter S Thompson committed suicide at his home in Colorado. He was 67. Thompson is most famous for writing books Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, which was turned into a movie starring Johnny Depp.

MARCH

The month began with a whole host of post-Oscars stories. Firstly, it emerged how Cate Blanchett kept her cool when her Best Supporting Actress statuette went missing at Vanity Fair's Academy Awards after-party. The missing statuette mysteriously re-appeared at 2am when the bash began to wind down.

Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein branded Martin Scorsese's Academy Award snub "ridiculous". Scorsese has never won the Best Director statuette despite being nominated on five occasions. Weinstein said, "I've won Best Picture and Best Director with lesser movies."

Meanwhile, Melanie Griffith came clean about how she really smashed her foot after claiming she'd fallen while attempting to climb Mount Everest. The Working Girl actress eventually explained, "I got mad and kicked a door and I broke my foot."

In the news, boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson sparked fury in Italy after promoters invited him to a musical festival as a special guest; Martha Stewart celebrated her release from prison with the announcement her defunct US TV show Martha Stewart Living had received three Daytime Emmy nominations. The lifestyle queen was jailed for five months in 2004 for stocks fraud.

Following the suicide of Hunter S Thompson, it emerged the writer left a type-written suicide note containing just the word "counselor". According to a sheriff's report Thompson - who shot himself - was found seated at a chair in the kitchen of his Woody Creek, Colorado, compound with a typewriter in front of him containing a single piece of paper with the word on it.

Natalie Portman issued an apology for filming a kissing scene in the shadow of Jerusalem, Israel's Western Wall. The Israeli-born actress stirred up controversy by kissing actor Aki Avni for their movie Free Zone near the holy prayer site. Portman, Avni and the film's crew were escorted from the religious site by local police after Jewish bystanders took offence and started shouting at the pair.

Squeaky clean Lindsay Lohan confessed she once smoked marijuana, despite insisting she was anti-drugs in 2004, and Tom Cruise escaped unharmed when he crashed his brand new turbo-charged Ducati motorcycle in Beverly Hills, California, after skidding on a patch of oil. Cruise ended up sprawled on the road but was able to give concerned onlookers autographs before re-mounting his mean machine.

Elsewhere, Kiefer Sutherland turned into a hero on the set of hit TV drama 24, when he gave a crew member who suffered a heart attack CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).

And Russell Crowe's rock band 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts split this month, after a message from the actor appeared on a number of fan websites. Crowe also revealed he'd been stunned to discover he was a kidnap target for terrorist group Al-Qaeda. The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) warned Crowe and a number of other stars prior to the 2001 Academy Awards that Osama Bin Laden wanted to kidnap them - nine months before Bin Laden spearheaded the 11th September attacks on New York and Washington DC.

Carrie Fisher revealed she discovered the body of her close friend, and leading US political advisor, Greg Stevens at the end of February. Stevens passed away from heart failure in Fisher's Beverly Hills, California, home just hours after the two friends had left an Oscar after-party.

Czech supermodel Petra Nemkova received the devastating news on 8 March that the body of her dead fiance, who had been missing since the southeast Asian tsunami in December 2004, had been found. Photographer Simon Atlee was swept away by the tidal waves that hit Thailand, where he was holidaying with Nemkova, while she clung to a treetop to survive.

There were two pieces of news that surprised movie lovers this month. George Lucas warned parents his forthcoming Star Wars prequel, Revenge Of The Sith, is not suitable for children; and Paul Newman, at the age of 80, announced his intention to retire from acting after just one more film.

Quentin Tarantino, meanwhile, abandoned plans to direct the next James Bond film after Pierce Brosnan was fired by studio heads, while actor Daniel Baldwin declared himself a "drug addict", after getting hooked on painkillers.

Sarah Michelle Gellar Hollywood ditched the William Morris Agency after its president dismissed the star as "nothing at all". David Wirtschafter offended the actress with his comments in the New Yorker surrounding her performance in horror movie The Grudge. A few days later, Halle Berry also ditched the prestigious agency.

In many of March's legal stories, Berry won a three year restraining order against a security guard she had accused of sending a series of threatening letters to her home.

Robert Blake was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Jurors also found Blake not guilty of one count of soliciting someone else to kill his spouse. But the panel deadlocked on a second solicitation of murder charge in the case, and the judge declared a hung jury, effectively dismissing that charge. However, a day later a lawyer for Bakley's family announced plans to "wipe that smile off his face" in a civil case.

Hilary Swank was ordered to hand over $163 (GBP85) for taking an apple and orange into New Zealand, while supermodel Naomi Campbell's spokesman vehemently denied claims she attacked an assistant with a hand-held computer.

Sir Ridley Scott was accused of plagiarising an historical author's research for his then-forthcoming epic Kingdom Of Heaven. Author James Reston Jr claimed Scott ripped off his book Warriors Of God: Richard The Lionheart And Saladin In The Third Crusade.

Mel Gibson reached an agreement with US cinema chain Regal Entertainment over a lawsuit filed by the Braveheart star's company Icon Distribution. Gibson's company sued Regal over box office receipts for The Passion Of The Christ, claiming it had not been paid its fair share of receipts.

Bill Cosby apologised to Andrea Constand who accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his Philadelphia home in January 2004. Despite protesting his innocence throughout the five-week investigation, which was abandoned due to a lack of evidence, Cosby admitted his actions were inappropriate.

Basketball star Kobe Bryant breathed a sigh of relief when a judge dismissed a civil lawsuit against him, following his settlement with his rape accuser.

And Sir Sean Connery filed a countersuit against his New York neighbour, after the townhouse resident sued the acting legend for being a "rude, foul-mouthed, fat old man". In a countersuit, Connery accused Dr Burton Sultan of embarking on "a campaign of harassing" him and his family.

Former Baywatch star Michael Bergin had a miserable March, after he was sent to jail for 30 days after being found guilty of a felony drink-driving charge, while a man was arrested in Montana this month for allegedly plotting to kidnap comedian David Letterman's son Harry and his nanny.

Tom Sizemore was sentenced to just under two years in jail for repeatedly failing drug tests while on probation. Later the same day, Sizemore was also sentenced to an additional inpatient drug treatment in a separate felony methamphetamine case. Despite the sentencing, Sizemore remained free to appeal a domestic violence conviction.

Brigitte Nielsen married for the sixth time, after tying the knot with her Italian fiance Mattia Dessi in a romantic Caribbean ceremony. However, before the month was over it emerged the marriage wasn't legal - because Nielsen was still married to her previous husband.

Supermodel Heidi Klum announced she was pregnant with her second child with fiance Seal. Klum was delighted to be expecting a sibling for 10-month-old daughter Leni - whose father is Italian racing boss Flavio Briatore. And Christian Bale was celebrating after his wife gave birth to his first daughter on 27 March.

Orlando Bloom was rumoured to be romancing Salma Hayek, and ex-Sex And The City beauty Kristin Davis supposedly found love with Steve Martin, 20 years her senior. Both reported romances never materialised.

Elsewhere, Mark Wahlberg reignited his on/off romance with model love Rhea Durham; Denise Richards filed for divorce from her husband Charlie Sheen, while pregnant with the couple's second child; Rebecca Romijn and John Stamos officially became divorced nearly a year after they announced they were separating; Katie Holmes split from her fiance Chris Klein; Shannon Elizabeth and husband Joseph Reitman split; Sideways director Alexander Payne and his wife Sandra Oh announced their separation; and JENNIFER ANISTON filed for divorce from Brad Pitt - dashing any hopes of reconciliation for Hollywood's first couple.

Unwell celebrities this month included former US President Bill Clinton, who had his chest cavity opened for the second time in six months. And model-turned-businesswoman Kimora Lee-Simmons, married to rap mogul Russell Simmons, revealed she was battling eating disorder anorexia. Unlucky Christina Applegate was forced out of the Boston tryout of the Broadway-bound revival of Sweet Charity, after breaking her foot during a performance in Chicago.

It was announced that Nicole DeHuff, the actress who was famously smashed in the face by a volleyball in Meet The Parents, died after two medics misdiagnosed her pneumonia. And famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran Jr, who represented both OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson, died of an inoperable brain tumour.

APRIL

April opened with the incredible story of British royal Prince Charles launching a scathing attack on the media, while unaware his every word was picked up by microphones and broadcast to millions of open-mouthed viewers.

Just days before his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles attended a photo call with his two sons Princes William and Harry near the ski slopes in Klosters, Switzerland. Growing increasingly frustrated with the awkward questions being thrown at them, Charles leaned towards his sons and launched into a whispered assault on the journalists present, saying, "These bl*ody people. I hate doing this." And when Charles spotted British reporter Nicholas Witchell in the crowd, his mood worsened: "I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is."

The biggest story of the month was the death of Pope John Paul II, who died in his private apartment in The Vatican on 2 April. He was 84. The Polish-born leader of the Catholic Church had been suffering kidney and heart problems for several months.

On 19 April, German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was named the new Pope and became Pope Benedict XVI. Wasting no time, Pope Benedict swiftly blasted JK Rowling's Harry Potter books for "undermining the soul of Christianity".

Following the news, Desperate Housewives bosses were forced to edit a scene in the hit TV show's 3 April episode, in which Marcia Cross' character Bree Van De Kamp's reference to Catholics was dubbed over after it was deemed inappropriate so soon after the Pope's demise.

Out of respect, Prince Charles postponed his marriage to Camilla so he could attend the Pope's funeral. The royal couple had been due to wed on 8 April, but when the pontiff's funeral was scheduled for the same day, they pushed their ceremony back a day.

On 9 April, Charles and Camilla married at the Guildhall in Windsor, England, before moving on to St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle for a blessing, which was attended by 800 friends and family, including Queen Elizabeth II and Princes William and Harry.

Meanwhile, Heidi Klum's former employers at German fashion house Otto slammed her claims they fired her because she was pregnant with her second child.

And just a week after Christopher Eccleston quit BBC TV series Doctor Who, the corporation was forced to apologise to the actor after they failed to consult him before they announced he would be quitting the show.

Meanwhile, Brooke Shields confessed she was so low after giving birth to baby daughter Rowan in 2003, she contemplated suicide. Similarly, Naomi Watts credited 2001 movie Mulholland Dr with saving her life - because she regularly contemplated suicide until she got her big break in the film.

Watts' best friend Nicole Kidman revealed she still mourns the baby she lost following a miscarriage shortly after her marriage to Tom Cruise began to falter.

Producers of the forthcoming James Bond sequel refused to comment on our story British star Daniel Craig had won the coveted superspy role. And former Bond girl Grace Jones denied attacking a train manager during a row over ticket fares on a trip from Paris to London.

Campaigning actor Sean Penn hit back at those who criticised his trips to war-torn Iraq, labelling them "envious", while Jane Fonda returned to her campaigning roots during an appearance on David Letterman's US TV show when she said, to applause from the studio audience about the conflict in Iraq, "I think the war is wrong. I think it's a mistake and I think that we should get out."

Later in the month, Fonda was left drenched in tobacco spit when a Vietnam veteran spat at her during a book signing in Kansas City. Michael Smith, who carried out his assault in response to Fonda's controversial 1972 trip to Hanoi, was arrested by police after handing the actress a copy of her autobiography My Life So Far to sign, and then spitting on her. He was charged with disorderly conduct.

Meanwhile, Richard Gere urged Israelis and Palestinians to put their complicated history behind them and make peace during a visit to Israeli capital Jerusalem.

Paul Newman hinted he might not retire from acting after all, despite his announcement in March he was stepping away from Hollywood. But cycling champion Lance Armstrong did announce his plans to retire from professional racing after the summer's Tour De France.

The Sony Corporation completed its purchase of Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) for $2.9 billion (GBP1.5 billion). Sony also took over the distribution of MGM's library of 4,000 films and 10,000 TV shows, adding to its current catalogue of 3,500 movies and 35,000 TV programmes. MGM was the last major independent Hollywood studio.

Bruce Willis was honoured in Paris on 13 April for his contribution to the film industry, by the French government. Willis was made Officier Dans L'Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres (Officer In The Order Of Arts and Letters) at a ceremony in the capital.

Reese Witherspoon became the latest celebrity to challenge the paparazzi after a scuffle and a chase through Hollywood. The actress was left so shaken after over-zealous photographers blocked her car, so she couldn't drive off after working out at a Los Angeles gym, and a subsequent car chase she called police with an eye to press charges.

Demi Moore also became involved in a fracas with a photographer in April, after denying a snapper a picture at the New York premiere of A Lot Like Love. Moore and her partner Ashton Kutcher had ignored Steve Sand's pleas for a shot.

And the British royal family urged the paparazzi to leave Prince Harry alone, after photographers pursued him in a car chase which mirrored the high speed pursuit that left his mother Diana, Princess Of Wales dead in 1997.

In legal news, tennis beauty Anna Kournikova's alleged stalker William Lepeska was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial by a Miami, Florida, judge, after he repeatedly shuffled papers in a loud manner and spoke in a disjointed and fragmented way.

American Pie actress Natasha Lyonne was slapped with an arrest warrant after failing to appear in court to answer charges stemming from her alleged threats to molest a dog.

David and Courtney Cox Arquette threatened legal action against anyone who published photographs of their baby, after a snap was leaked to media organisations. Coco, then 10 months old, was snapped at her christening, where JENNIFER ANISTON was named godmother.

Chris Tucker claimed he was in a hurry to make it to church on time when police caught him speeding. Law enforcers pulled over the comedian's speeding Bentley - which they stated was doing 109 miles per hour on Georgia's Interstate 20.

Bill Cosby was in more hot water in April when 11 of his alleged former mistresses came forward with stories the comic drugged and assaulted them. The women were responding to accusation Cosby drugged and molested basketball player Andrea Constand.

Meanwhile, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was branded a sexist again - after mocking pre-menstrual stress during a live radio interview.

Love was in the air in April. Tom Cruise announced he had a new girlfriend in the shape of newly-single actress Katie Holmes. Chad Michael Murray wed his One Tree Hill co-star Sophia Bush. Ben Affleck asked his girlfriend Jennifer Garner to marry him by presenting her with a 4.5 carat Harry Winston ring at her 33rd birthday party.

Elsewhere, on/off Hollywood couple Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal laughed off reports they are engaged to be married. Likewise, Uma Thurman denied stories she was planning to wed her boyfriend Andre Balazs.

And Orlando Bloom annouh   h   h   h   h   nced he'd puh   h   h   h   h  


Contactmusic

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