Daily dose of celebrity


PARIS (AP) – A French screenwriter who alleges that “Syriana” was largely plagiarized from her script has filed a lawsuit against George Clooney and Warner Bros.

Stephanie Vergniault claims the complex global thriller borrowed “very largely” from a script she completed in 2002. Titled “Oversight,” her story line involved CIA intrigues with oil companies in the Persian Gulf, according to the court filing.

A preliminary hearing is set for Monday.

Warner Bros. France said this week it had no immediate comment.

The lawsuit targets Clooney’s production company, Section Eight, which he formed with director Steven Soderbergh, Warner Bros. and “Syriana” writer-director Stephen Gaghan.

Clooney received a best-supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of a veteran CIA officer in the film.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain, hospitalized last month for quadruple bypass heart surgery, is back home.

“He’s doing great, watching his diet, listening to the doctor,” said Fountain’s agent, Benny Harrell. “He’d like to get somebody to bring him a fried oyster po’boy, but I told him I’d kill them if they did.”

Fountain, 75, hadn’t been feeling well since Mardi Gras. His Half Fast Marching Club made its trek down St. Charles Avenue without him on Fat Tuesday for the first time in 46 years.

Fountain, a New Orleans native, lost his $1.5 million house in Mississippi, as well as his gold records, memorabilia and 10 musical instruments to Hurricane Katrina. His New Orleans home also was damaged but has been repaired.

“He really wants to be able to play at Jazz Fest,” Harrell said. “His doctor told him to start playing some and we’d see how it goes.”

Fountain is scheduled to close out the Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 7.

DETROIT (AP) – Eminem’s dysfunctional relationship with wife Kim has hit another low – he has filed divorce papers, less than three months after remarrying her.

“There has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved,” according to the filing, which was made Wednesday in Macomb County on behalf of Marshall Bruce Mathers III, Eminem’s real name.

The filing also states that the 33-year-old rapper and his wife signed a prenuptial agreement a week before their Jan. 14 wedding ceremony in Rochester. It doesn’t describe the specifics of the prenuptial agreement, other than to say that “the property of the parties should be divided in accordance with” the agreement.

It also says that Kim Mathers isn’t pregnant and that Eminem is seeking joint custody of their 10-year-old daughter, Hailie Jade Scott.

Kim Mathers’ lawyer, Michael J. Smith, said the filing caught his client off-guard. “But we have to deal with it, and we will deal with it,” he said.

Eminem’s publicist, Dennis Dennehy, and lawyer, Harvey Hauer, both confirmed the filing, but neither had any other comment. “I will not discuss their personal life,” Hauer said.

The rapper has used his tormented relationship with his high school sweetheart – the pair grew up in the suburbs along Eight Mile Road, Detroit’s northern border – as a source of his most popular and demented rhymes. He’s killed her off in song and assailed her with his lyrics – but that was before they got back together.

Their first marriage ended in 2001. They reconciled in late 2004, and Eminem announced in December 2005 that they would get back together.

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NEW YORK (AP) – Tom Cruise says his father was abusive and that school, where he faced other bullies, was difficult, in an upcoming issue of Parade magazine.

“He was a bully and a coward,” the 43-year-old actor says of his father, Thomas Cruise Mapother III. “He was the kind of person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you. It was a great lesson in my life – how he’d lull you in, make you feel safe and then, bang!

“For me, it was like, “There’s something wrong with this guy. Don’t trust him. Be careful around him.’ There’s that anxiety.”

Cruise has two children, Connor, 11, and Isabella, 13, from his marriage to Nicole Kidman, and his 27-year-old fiancee, Katie Holmes, is in the final stages of her pregnancy with the couple’s first child.

The star of the upcoming film, “Mission: Impossible III,” also says he was bullied regularly in the 15 different schools he attended in 12 years.

“So many times the big bully comes up, pushes me,” he says. “Your heart’s pounding, you sweat, and you feel like you’re going to vomit. I’m not the biggest guy, I never liked hitting someone, but I know if I don’t hit that guy hard he’s going to pick on me all year.

“I go, “You better fight.’ I just laid it down. I don’t like bullies.”

In 1974, when Cruise was 11, his parents divorced. Cruise’s mother, Mary Lee, moved her family to Louisville, Ky., her hometown, the magazine says in its April 9 issue.

Ten years later, Cruise says he reunited with his father, who was “in the hospital dying of cancer, and he would only meet me on the basis that I didn’t ask him anything about the past.”

“When I saw him in pain, I thought, “Wow, what a lonely life,”‘ Cruise says. “He was in his late 40s. It was sad.”

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