Saturday 24 February 2018

Orla Healy's US Gossip Diary

Helen Mirren and Al Pacino in a scene from the HBO film Phil Spector. AP
Helen Mirren and Al Pacino in a scene from the HBO film Phil Spector. AP

Who has been making headlines Stateside this week...

Al Pacino has weathered his fair share of bad press, but even he must be taken aback by the sheer volume of the criticism being heaped on his latest performance as the title character in a HBO biopic Phil Spector airing stateside tonight.

"Al Pacino does not depict my husband accurately," Rachelle Spector tells Rolling Stone magazine. "If they had wanted to do that, they would have actually met the man himself. They would have wanted to know his voice inflections, his mannerisms, even his thought process when he was working in the studio when he was working with those musicians, or what he was going through mentally or emotionally when the trials were happening. They had the opportunity to make an amazing film, what with the actors and the money involved."

The David Mamet scripted/Barry Levinson directed film, which co-stars Helen Mirren as Spector's defence attorney Linda Kenney Baden, is also coming under fire from friends of Lana Clarkson, who died from a gunshot wound in the music producer's home in February 2003. They are livid at the implication that she killed herself because she was depressed at turning 40.

While Rachelle, who became Mrs Spector in 2006, is less than impressed with "the cheesy portrayal of my husband and the gun-waving, the yelling and the crazy stuff, what they did get right," she says, "was the forensic evidence that could set my husband free".

The "forensic evidence" Rachelle references is actually discrepancies in blood splatter patterns and gun-powder residue that might, with the right lawyering, be interpreted as a credible question as to why Spector, 73, is serving a 19-year jail sentence for second-degree murder.

"They didn't get OJ Simpson, they didn't get Michael Jackson and they didn't get Robert Blake, so my husband is it," the sound-bite savvy Rachelle tells Rolling Stone. She also manages to slip in quite a few plugs for her new single ("PS I Love You,") a tribute to her husband which, ca-ching, was coincidentally released last week.

All loved up on 'Mad Men'

JON Hamm's privates weren't the only big story to erupt on the Mad Men lot last week when Vincent Kartheiser (who plays Pete Campbell) and Alexis Bledel (his small-screen married lover) announced their engagement.

The couple, who met on the set, were front and centre Wendesday night when they joined cast-mates Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss and Jessica Pare for a screening of the season six premiere.

And while everyone did their best to ignore the saucy story that Hamm had to be asked to wear underwear during filming in order to minimise the impact of his man-parts in the extremely form-fitting trousers Don Draper wears this season, it was next to impossible for anyone to say anything that didn't result in red faces.

Take Elisabeth Moss telling reporters how happy she was for Kartheiser and Bledel. "We've all been through so many different stages of our lives and we've literally seen every single person in the cast go through so much personally and professionally and it's incredible to watch people grow ... ," Moss bubbled, before trailing off. The man himself played it super cool. Yes, he confirmed, he had heard the stories but, he grinned: "I don't need to talk about that."

Naomi in red frock shock

ACTRESS Naomi Watts doesn't mince words when it comes to style. Or lack thereof. Discussing her black-tie wardrobe preferences, the star of the upcoming Diana movie succinctly revealed why we won't be seeing her in a red gown anytime soon. "Blondes plus red, to me, looks a little bit porno."

And to think the people at Valentino thought the Anne Hathaway Oscar debacle was a crisis.

Wacko clan in court battle

Michael Jackson's family might have tipped their hand too far last week when they filed a motion in their upcoming lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live by asking that evidence on the paternity of Jackson's three children Prince, Paris and Blanket be excluded from the trial – which, of course, has everyone wondering why such a strange strategy is necessary.

According to court papers obtained by TMZ, the Jacksons also asked that any evidence of financial problems within the family be left off the docket. And they want so much as a whisper of those child molestation allegations ruled out of order during the trial which has now become all the more fascinating.

The Jackson clan, who are suing the entertainment giant that sponsored Jackson's ill-fated This Is It tour for alleged negligence in hiring Dr Conrad Murray, are also looking for $4bn in damages.

They have their work cut out for them. The family infighting over money has been so well documented, it will be difficult to gloss over. Murray, the star's physician who has already been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering a fatal overdose of sedatives and Propfol, says he will plead the Fifth if called to testify.

And then there's Dr Arnold Klein, Jackson's former dermatologist, who as recently as January not-so-subtly hinted that he is the biological father of Jackson's 15-year-old son, Prince Michael, when he posted side-by-side photos of himself as a young man and Prince on his Facebook page with a simple caption: "hmmmmm." Jackson famously met his ex-wife Debbie Rowe, who gave birth to Prince and Paris, when she worked as a secretary in Klein's office.

Last April, Jackson's former bodyguard Matt Fiddes claimed he was Blanket's biological father. Fiddes has been suspiciously quiet ever since. The court proceedings, which will no doubt generate plenty of fresh headlines, are slated to start April 2.

Irish Independent

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