Michael Jackson’s estate claim the Internal Revenue Service’s tax investigation is grossly flawed.
The late singer’s executors have hit back at the IRS after they launched a legal battle in a bid to secure $505 million and an additional $197 million in penalties, claiming the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker’s assets were grossly undervalued following his death in June 2009.
One point of contention is he estate’s original valuation of the pop star’s interest in a trust that includes the rights to some of his biggest hits and most of The Beatles back catalogue – including ‘Yesterday,’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and ‘Get Back’ – at zero value, while the IRS claimed it was worth $469 million.
Now sources close to the star have told TMZ only put a zero on the tax return because Michael and Sony were 50/50 partners in the catalogue, which had a total net value of $800 million.
They claim Michael – who left behind three children Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket – borrowed $320 million against the catalogue and owed another $200 million in personal debt, so they balanced his $400 million share out at zero.
The estate also believes the IRS is off base when it comes to Michael’s likeness and images, which they valued at a mere $2,105 at his time of death compared to the IRS’s $434 million.
They insist the King of Pop had made no cash from his image in the 15 years running up to his death, because his popularity had been diminished by child sex abuse allegations.
The estate also claims the Jackson 5 music collection is worth $11.2 million and not the $45.5 million the IRS is suggesting.
John Travolta claims he was Princess Diana’s ”Prince Charming”.
The 59-year-old actor shared a famous dance with the late Princess of Wales – who died in 1997 during a car crash in France – at the White House gala dinner in 1985 and he insists he was able to take her back to her younger years.
He said: ”There really was something lovely and girlish about her and I felt that I had taken her back to her childhood when she had probably watched ‘Grease’ [the musical Travolta starred in as Danny Zuko in 1978] – and for that moment I was her Prince Charming.”
However, the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ star is adamant he wasn’t nervous when he took the stunning royal into his arms because he’d watched how she’d dance with her husband Prince Charles – who is now married to Duchess Camilla – in the past.
He explained to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: ”I’d seen her dance with Prince Charles beforehand so I knew that she was strong. But she looked like she was leading him and because I knew that the world was watching I thought that I really needed to give her certainty that I knew what to do. I put my hand in the middle of her back, brought her hand down so that it wouldn’t be so high and gave her the confidence that we would do just fine.
”She was the real deal. And I think that was partly because she followed the rule that. ‘it’s OK to be important as long as everyone else is equally important.”
Shia LaBeouf wore a brown paper bag over his head to the German premiere of his new movie.
The 27-year-old actor, who announced he was retiring from "all public life" last month, refused to show his face at a red carpet screening of ‘Nymphomaniac’ in Berlin on Sunday night (02.09.14).
He cut two eye holes into the bag and wrote the words "I’m Not Famous Anymore" in black capital letters on it before placing it over his head and attending the event in a dapper tuxedo, according to gossip website TMZ.com.
The ‘Transformers’ star was clearly eager to make a statement just an hour after storming out of a press conference for the movie.
When asked if it was uncomfortable filming sex scenes for the movie, Shia let his co-star Stacy Martin answer first.
After hesitating for a moment, the disheveled-looking star, who was missing a bottom tooth, then quoted retired French soccer player Eric Cantona’s famous words to answer unwanted media attention: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much."
He then walked off stage much to the amusement of Stacy.
Shia announced in January that he was taking a step back from the limelight after he was forced to apologize for plagiarizing author Daniel Clowes’ graphic novellas, ‘Justin M. Damiano,’ for his short film ‘HowardCantour.com’.
He wrote on Twitter: "In light of the recent attacks against my artistic integrity, I am retiring from all public life."
He added: "My love goes out to those who have supported me. #stopcreating."
The young Vietnamese creator of hit mobile game Flappy Bird has removed it from the App Store and Google Play saying it ruined his life.
The game which was uploaded in 2013 but only surged to the top in downloads earlier this year was removed early Monday.
The success of the game that based its appeal on being simple and also maddeningly difficult made its creator Nguyen Ha Dong, 29, a minor celebrity.
The game was downloaded more than 50 million times on App Store alone. In an interview with The Verge website, Dong said Flappy Bird was making $50,000 a day in advertising revenue
But tech blogger Carter Thomas said the sudden popularity of Flappy Bird might have been due to use of fake accounts run by computers to create downloads and reviews.
Thomas said he couldn’t prove his suspicion and that the success of Flappy Bird might also be explained by it being "just a wildly viral game."
Dong, from Hanoi, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the Internet sensation caused by the game "ruins my simple life" and he now hated it.
"I will take Flappy Bird down. I cannot take this anymore," he wrote.
Dong had agreed to talk to The Associated Press about the game in an interview scheduled for Friday, but cancelled.
On Twitter he didn’t address the inflated downloads allegation, but denied suggestions he was withdrawing the game because it breached another game maker’s copyright.
"It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore," he wrote.
Leonardo DiCaprio became the latest victim of prankster Vitalii Sediuk on Thursday night (02.06.14).
The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ star was surprised when the Ukrainian TV reporter, who previously attempted to interrupt Adele’s speech at the 2013 Grammy Awards and tried to kiss Will Smith at a movie premiere, rushed towards him and dropped to his knees on the red carpet at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California before wrapping his arms around the actor and nuzzling his face against Leonardo’s nether-regions for several seconds.
The Oscar-nominee patted Vitalli on the neck and attempted to laugh off the practical joke as he gently tried to free himself from his assailant before the prankster was seized by security and hurled away from the scene.
The 25-year-old journalist, who pulled the same prank on Bradley Cooper and left the ‘American Hustle’ star red-faced at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards in Los Angeles last month, was not arrested.
Not all of Vitalii’s victims have been amused by his stunts. He was slapped in the face by Will after planting a kiss on his cheek at the Moscow premiere of ‘Men in Black III’ in 2012.
He also raised security questions when he managed to sneak into the Grammy Awards last year without a ticket and took Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine’s unused seat.
Vitalii later made his way to the stage and attempted to interrupt singer Adele as she collected the award for Best Pop Solo Performance from presenter Jennifer Lopez.
The intruder tried to claim the award as his own but was quickly ushered away by Jennifer.
Leonard Nimoy has been diagnosed with chronic lung disease.
The 82-year-old actor – famous for playing Mister Spock in the original ‘Star Trek’ TV series and movies – has developed obstructive pulmonary disease, despite quitting smoking 30 years ago, and has urged his fans to ditch the cigarettes before it’s too late.
He wrote on Twitter: "I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP
"Smokers, please understand. If you quit after you’re diagnosed with lung damage it’s too late. Grandpa says learn my lesson. Quit now. LLAP
"I’m doing OK. Just can’t walk distances. Love my life, family, friends and followers. LLAP [live long and prosper] (sic)"
Nimoy – who had a cameo as Spock Prime in 2013 film ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ star – was spotted last month in New York City leaving the hospital in a wheelchair, while attached to a breathing apparatus.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used for a number of illnesses affecting the lungs, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which affects millions of people around the world.
The disease damages the air sacs and passages into the lungs, which can then make breathing difficult, and the majority of cases are believed to be caused by cigarette smoke.
The private funeral for Philip Seymour Hoffman in Manhattan on Friday attracted a sombre, star-studded audience that includes Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Ethan Hawke, Louis C.K., Ellen Burstyn and Spike Lee.
The list of mourners also included Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Joaquin Phoenix, Mary Louise Parker, John Slattery, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei, Diane Sawyer and her director husband, Mike Nichols.
Hoffman, 46, was found dead Sunday of an apparent heroin overdose in his apartment. He leaves behind his partner of 15 years, Mimi O’Donnell, and their three children.
The ceremony was being held at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, the same limestone church that hosted the funerals of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lena Horne and Aaliyah. The 1898 Baroque-style marble interior is reminiscent of a Roman basilica.
A larger memorial service is being planned for later this month. On Thursday evening, family and close friends gathered for a private wake at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan.
The rumpled, heavy-set Hoffman was known to dive into roles and was nominated for Academy Awards four times: for "Capote," ”The Master," ”Doubt," and "Charlie Wilson’s War." He also received three Tony nominations for his work on Broadway, which included an acclaimed turn in 2012 as the weary and defeated Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman."
The theatre community mourned the actor Wednesday with a candlelit vigil outside his beloved LAByrinth Theatre Company downtown and with Broadway’s marquee lights turned off for a minute.
More tests are needed to determine what exactly killed Hoffman, who was found with a syringe in his arm and what authorities said were dozens of packets of heroin in his apartment. Autopsy results were inconclusive, authorities said this week.
Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, the versatile actor reportedly checked himself into rehab for 10 days last year after relapsing in 2012.
Amid an investigation into Hoffman’s death, three people have been arraigned on drug charges, including one who is facing a felony charge of heroin possession with intent to sell. Lawyers for the three people charged vigorously denied their clients had any role in Hoffman’s death.
Most of those who attended the funeral had deep ties to Hoffman. He and Blanchett co-starred in "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and Hoffman starred in Lee’s "The 25th Hour." Burstyn and Hoffman were in "Red Dragon," and Hawke co-starred with Hoffman in "Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead." Slattery directed Hoffman in his new film "God’s Pocket," and Nichols directed Hoffman on Broadway in "Death of a Salesman." Phoenix shared the screen with Hoffman in "The Master."
One Direction have been given a year’s worth of free cab journeys from a London minicab firm.
The boy band mention Addison Lee in their hit single ‘Midnight Memories’ when they sing "Way too many people in the Addison Lee", and the company were delighted to receive free publicity from one of the most popular boy bands around.
They were inspired by Louis Tomlinson after he took to Twitter this weekend (02.01.14) urging the firm to arrange some kind of deal following the "name drop".
He wrote: "Surely we get some kind of @AddisonLeeCabs gold card for the name drop haha !!?? (sic)"
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Addison Lee were delighted to be mentioned in the song. They even tried to see how many people you could actually fit in one of their cabs off the back of it.
"So they were more than happy to give something in return. Thanks to Louis, they came up with the idea of giving them a year’s worth of free cab journeys."
1D – which also includes Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles – were catapulted to the spotlight following their success on singing contest ‘X Factor’ in 2010 which is when they began using Addison Lee.
The source added: "One Direction have used Add Lees since they were on the ‘X Factor’, and continued to use the company after they were signed.
"They actually ended up using the same driver quite often, so they took him to Wembley one week to thank him for ferrying them around.
"Lots of the ‘X Factor’ alumni are still customers of the cab company.
"They’ve been looking at coming up with a celebrity scheme like this for a while, so the boys Âactually catapulted them into action."
Madonna received death threats for defending Pussy Riot.
The ‘Hung Up’ hitmaker gave an impassioned speech at the Amnesty International Concert in New York last night (05.02.14), in which she described herself as a "freedom fighter" as she introduced the Russian group – who were jailed on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral – to the stage to address the audience at the Barclays Center.
She said: "The right to be free, to speak our minds, to have an opinion, to love who we want to love, to be who we are — do we have to fight for that?
"I’ve always considered myself a freedom fighter since the early ’80s when I realized I had a voice and I could sing more than songs about being a material girl or feeling like a virgin. And I have definitely paid for and have been punished for speaking my mind and for sticking my neck out for this kind of discrimination. But that’s OK."
Madonna also admitted she was threatened with arrest for her performances in Russia in 2012 because they promoted "gay behavior".
She added: "Needless to say, I did not change one moment of my show. 87 of my fans were arrested for gay behavior – whatever that is."
And the 55-year-old singer – who raises children Lourdes, 17, Rocco, 13, David, and Mercy, both eight – also joked about the group’s name.
She said: "I’d like to thank Pussy Riot for making pussy a ‘sayable’ word in my household. Now, my eight year olds say it all the time."
While Madonna and Pussy Riot didn’t perform at the concert, stars including Cold War Kids, Lauryn Hill and Blondie performed a selection of their hits.
Selena Gomez left rehab four weeks early.
The ‘Come & Get It’ hitmaker checked into The Meadows in Arizona last month and spent two weeks having treatment before departing the facility, but it has now been revealed she had been enrolled in the six-week long DAWN program and staff at the clinic advised her to see out the whole course of treatment.
Selena – who was reportedly being treated for alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug Ambien use – checked out to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Utah to promote her movie ‘Rudderless’ and told her advisers she would return to the clinic afterwards.
However, according to website TMZ, she then decided she was "cured" and had no reason to return.
The 21-year-old star – whose on/off relationship with Justin Bieber is said to have contributed to her problems – felt completing the initial "survivor’s week" was enough as that is regarded as the hardest part of the program.
Following her treatment, the brunette beauty – who cancelled a planned tour of Australia this month – is now focused on returning to work and has been reading lots of scripts and attending casting calls in a bid to move forward.
The former Disney star was spotted leaving an audition with a script and a big smile on her face in Studio City, California earlier this week.
Charlie Sheen threatened to put Ashton Kutcher in the hospital shortly after apologizing to him.
The 48-year-old actor reached out to the ‘Two and a Half Men’ star, who replaced him when Charlie was fired from the show over his erratic behavior in 2010, after the 35-year-old star called him out for repeatedly bashing his performance in the CBS comedy on Twitter.
The ‘Anger Management’ star promised to stop berating his successor after Ashton blasted him during an interview on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on Wednesday night (02.05.14), saying: "Dude, shut the f**k up! Enough already. It’s three years later and you’re still blowing me up on Twitter. Come on dude, really?"
Charlie took to Twitter this morning (02.06.14) to apologize for his bitter attitude.
He tweeted: "Ashton, message received. so sorry, u sounded like me! well done! my bad I was pissed at other crap & took it out on you. hope u r good xox c. (sic)"
But he minutes later, he added: "but news flash Dood, you ever tell me to shut the F*** up, EVER again, and I’ll put you on a hospital food diet for a year. c #YaFeelMe Jr?"
Charlie regularly sends Ashton public messages on Twitter, calling him "lame."
Praising his former co-star Jon Cryer in a series of tweets last year, he wrote: "hey Jon!!! u r a GENIUS!!! I effin love and MISS YOU old pal! Q; who’s your lame side-kik? c #NiceTryCanonBoy #CH (sic)"
He later added: "hey relax everyone! read the hash tag! oh and Jon I’m so sorry I insulted your sidekik I meant REALLY lame c (sic)"
In another attack on the former ‘Punk’d’ star, he wrote: "hey Ashton sorry bro all good. now quit barfing on my old brilliant show. Remember Punk’d? how duz it feel? c harp (sic)"
Channing Tatum is happy to have gained a lot of weight.
The ‘Magic Mike’ star, who is well known for his chiseled physique and was voted the Sexiest Man Alive in 2012, has stopped working out so he can spend more time with his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and their eight-month-old daughter, Everly.
When teased about always being asked to take his clothes off, the 33-year-old actor told ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ today (02.06.14): "You definitely don’t want that right now.
"Right now – what me and my wife [Jenna Dewan Tatum] like to call it, I am very ‘fappy.’ I’m very fat and happy right now … I’ve been working for two straight years, and now it’s some really needed downtime."
Channing is currently recording vocals for the upcoming animated movie, ‘The Book of Life.’
The actor is glad to have more time to watch Everly develop.
He gushed: "Ah, man. She’s 8 months old now. She’s saying ‘Da, da, da, da, da.’ I don’t think she knows what it means just yet, but it doesn’t matter."
Jenna, 33, previously said that Everly is a huge fan of Drake and Channing admitted she is very picky when it comes to lullabies.
He said: "She actually has better taste in music than I think I do, because she will only fall asleep to really good music. She might be conceited, I’m not sure but … Prince’s ‘The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,’ she loves falling asleep to that."
Emma Watson is "socially awkward".
The 23-year-old actress struggles in big crowds because she finds it difficult to chat to people and often escapes to the bathroom on the rare occasions she goes to parties.
She said: "I feel like I’ve been given a lot of credit where it isn’t due that I don’t like to party.
"The truth is that I’m genuinely a shy, socially awkward, introverted person. At a big party, I’m like Bambi in the headlights. It’s too much stimulation for me, which is why I end up going to the bathroom! I need time outs!
"I get anxious. I’m terrible at small talk and I have a ridiculously short attention span."
In 2009, Emma enrolled in prestigious Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island but deferred her studies after 18 months because she was also working on the ‘Harry Potter’ film series.
Because of her hectic schedule, the ‘Noah’ star – who went on to study for a year at Oxford University in the UK before returning to Brown last year – has learned how to relax and appreciate she can’t do everything.
Speaking to the new edition of Wonderland magazine – which she has guest edited – she said: "Now I really know how to take care of myself, how to be alone, how to deal with stress.
"If I hadn’t been through that time, I wouldn’t have got there. I never knew I had limits. You make good friends and you make bad friends, and you have to figure it all out.
"You realize you can’t do everything. I really did think I could do it all – commute back to the UK for ‘Potter’ filming and press, then go to Brown for finals, and keep up with my friends and family. You can’t do it, by the way. You do have to take breaks.
"It’s how I became interested in meditation and yoga. I developed bedtime rituals."
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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are to host the Golden Globe Awards next year.
The comediennes have fronted the star-studded ceremony for the past two years, and have now agreed to host the 72nd annual event on January 11, 2015, held at the glitzy Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Hollywood Foreign Press Association president, Theo Kingma, announced the news in a press release, saying: "Not only do we have the privilege of announcing the date of the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards, we are very appreciative of Tina and Amy for hosting the ceremony for a third year in a row.
"There is no doubt they will once again host a memorable Golden Globe Awards celebration!"
Fey, 43, and Poehler, 42, inked deals last year to present the ceremony this year and next year after they received raving reviews for their hosting skills of the prestigious event in January 2013.
The former ‘Saturday Night Live’ stars opened the awards this year with well-received jokes about Matt Damon, Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio.
However, the funny duo were forced to apologise to Taylor Swift last year after Fey upset the country singer – who is renowned for dating a string of Hollywood stars – by warning her to "stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son" and advised her to take "some me time".
Poehler later apologised, saying: "Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist, and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff."
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have brought forward their wedding date.
The couple, who have an eight-month-old daughter, North West, have decided to tie the knot in Paris, France in May instead of July because they are so excited to get married.
A source told Us Weekly magazine that the 33-year-old reality TV star and the ‘Yeezus’ rapper, 36, want their daughter to be heavily involved in the ceremony.
An insider said: "North will have a large role in the wedding!"
Another friend said that the couple’s wedding plans are well underway and they will have "lots of events leading up to the big day" for their guests.
However, Kim, who was married twice before, is said to have been very reluctant to have a lavish ceremony and Kanye is the driving force behind the event.
One insider said: "Kim isn’t totally pumped about a huge wedding. But she’s going along with it."
The brunette beauty is letting Kanye handle most aspects of their wedding but is overseeing her own dresses.
A friend said: "She’ll do one dress change."
The wedding is set to air on ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ and Kim was previously criticized for allegedly making a huge profit from her $10 million televised wedding to her now ex-husband, Kris Humphries, in August 2011.
‘The Michael J. Fox Show’ has been cancelled after just 15 episodes.
The ‘Back to the Future’ actor’s self-titled sitcom has lost its prime time Thursday night slot in favor of ‘Hollywood Game Night’ – a game show presented by Jane Lynch – after network NBC decided to pull the plug because of poor ratings.
Entertainment Weekly confirmed the news on Wednesday night (02.05.14) and with only 15 out the 22 episodes of the show having been aired so far, it’s still unclear whether the remaining installments will be broadcast at all.
The reports come after NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt described ‘The Michael J. Fox Show’ as a "uphill battle" at the Television Critics Association press tour last month, admitting he wasn’t happy with its dismal ratings.
Despite the show’s failure to pull in audiences, the series was honored, along with five others, with the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series in June last year.
The series marked a highly anticipated return to television for Fox, who hadn’t had a leading role in a sitcom since his five-year stint in ‘Spin City’ came to an end in 2000 as his battle with Parkinson’s disease – which he was diagnosed with in 1991 – worsened.
The actor – who set up the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure for the degenerative condition – had only made several minor guest appearances on TV shows, including ‘Rescue Me’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘The Good Wife’, before ‘The Michael J. Fox Show’ was commissioned.
Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have reportedly split up.
The duo, who began dating in 2011 after meeting on the set of the movie, ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ and have always been notoriously private about their romance, ended their relationship over Christmas because they wanted different things.
A source told InTouch magazine that the 39-year-old actress and the 33-year-old ‘The Notebook’ star are still on good terms.
The insider said: "They started having problems back in September. They decided to quietly call it off for good around Christmas. There is no ill will."
The heartthrob has retreated to his native Canada to get over their break-up.
A friend told Life & Style magazine: "Neither is rushing out to date other people right now. They just knew it was time.
"They knew it was time to take the next step and get married. But neither was sure they wanted that to happen.
"He packed up and moved back to Canada for a while. He felt like he needed time out of the limelight to refocus."
Ryan’s desire to start a family and Eva’s love of the spotlight drove the couple apart.
A source explained: "Eva loves Hollywood, the parties, the glamour, loves going out," and added Ryan is "introverted, very serious and a total homebody."
The ‘Training Day’ actress previously admitted she wasn’t interested in becoming a mother.
She said: "I’m certainly not thinking about being a mom. I can’t imagine it. I’m too selfish."
While Ryan said in the past he would love to be "making babies."
A spokesperson for the brunette beauty declined to comment.