Actor Vincent Gallo regrets putting a curse on film critic ROGER EBERT - because the hex almost came true.

Upset by Ebert's scathing review of his controversial Brown Bunny film, Gallo cursed the critic's prostate - just before he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Gallo insists the curse wasn't as random as it seemed at the time - he was actually suffering from prostate problems when he was asked about Ebert's review in an interview.

He says, "Because of the stress levels that I put myself under to make Brown Bunny, I have a swollen prostate. They have to go in there with a couple of fingers and do this massage, which you can't imagine the brutality of it.

"I'm battling this thing all the time and I've had big clumps of hair fall out. One day I come out of this urologist's office and somebody calls me up and says they're doing a piece on the Cannes Film Festival and Roger Ebert said this and that.

"I still have grief on my butt from this massage and I say, 'Oh yeah, well you tell that bastard I curse his prostate and I hope it blows up to the size of a cantaloupe.'

Ebert took the curse well and joked about it on TV, but Gallo was mortified when it was made public.

He adds, "I never cursed anybody. I'm petrified of darkness. I can't watch a scary movie. If somebody said to me, 'I'm going to put a hex on you,' I would have a breakdown."

18/08/2004 02:24