Spring is definitely in the air, what with the hint of rehab romance (Britney), community service romance (Naomi) and titanic onscreen reunion romance (Kate and Leo cast in Dreamworks' "Revolutionary Road"). But for others, this week proved to be as thorny as a rose bush.
Mel Gibson: To paraphrase your "Lethal Weapon" LAPD partner Murtaugh, "This s**t's getting old." As reported exclusively by TMZ, the 51-year-old Aussie gave first-time director Russell Crowe ("The Bra Boys") a lesson on how NOT to field questions from the audience Thursday night, when he unleashed a Northridge earthquake of his own. CSUN Assistant Professor of Central American Studies Alicia Estrada dared to question the historical accuracy of Mel's "Apocalypto." In going Mayan on her ass, he swapped out last summer's invective "Hey Sugar Tits!" for the less flirty come-on "Lady, f**k off!" But c'mon, Mel! Seriously, you're done at this point on the apology trail; just cut to the chase and start working on a script for "The Michael Richards Story."
Jennifer Hudson: What in the name of Effie were this gal's William Morris agents thinking? As reported by TMZ, by the agents yanking Starbucks' chain with rider requests such as early-morning baked chicken wings and all-day humming humidifiers, they caused Chairman Howard Schultz to deem this Dreamgirl a nightmare -- and he pulled the plug on a performance planned for a Seattle shareholders meeting. The loser here may quickly turn out to be WMA, if Hudson punishes them for this unauthorized behavior by sashaying down Wilshire Blvd. to, say, CAA. Call this one a Venti screw-up.
Eddie Murphy: Maybe if Hudson runs into fellow WMA client Murphy in the halls of the agency's El Camino Drive headquarters, she can launch into a stirring rendition of, "And I Am Telling You (I Am Not Getting Why You're Doing Starship Dave)." Less than a month after Oscar voters told Eddie to stick it where the Sunshine shines, the actor is - incredibly - trading in his "Norbit" fatsuit for an "Adventures of Pluto Nash" era spacesuit. That's right; in the science-fiction comedy "Starship Dave," to be directed by "Nortbit" helmer Brian Robbins, we can all look forward to watching Eddie star as both an alien and the lovestruck, human embodiment of his spaceship. Danger, Mr. Robinson!
Terry McMillan: Up San Francisco way, a juicy, juicy post-divorce saga is brewing, thanks to a $40 million lawsuit filed by the author of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and other tomes against her Jamaican-born ex-husband, Jonathan Plummer. She insists that the now openly gay hairdresser (and his attorney) committed perjury during the 2005 divorce proceedings, while unsuccessfully attempting to nullify a pre-nuptial agreement. At that time, Plummer's accusations included claims that McMillan repeatedly used the word "fag" and once threw a ceramic object at him while visiting his dog-grooming business. Throw in McMillan's claim that Plummer has violated the restraining order against him, and you've easily got the most titillating SF smackdown this side of Phil Bronstein.
Brian Grazer: They're calling it Grazergate, but it's really more like Martinezgate. Through no fault of his own, the Imagine Entertainment titan got dragged into an unholy Spring Street mess this week, when his guest-edited Sunday L.A. Times Op Ed pages were scrapped, after revelations that the paper's Opinions Editor, Andres Martinez, was dating a 42 West publicist linked to Imagine. In the ensuing fracas, Martinez quit, and now Grazer may have to offer him a three-picture deal or something. Some pundits are calling Times publisher David Hiller the Grinch Who Stole Grazer's Thunder; others are applauding his handling of this so-called ethics plunder. But one thing's for sure; the paper's Op Ed pages have never even come close to being this exciting.