Celebrity news

September 03, 2004

Witherspoon baffled by appeal of tabloids

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Reese Witherspoon doesn't understand the appeal of tabloid magazines.

"I can't believe somebody is so interested - particularly in all the pictures of me at the grocery store or at preschool," says Witherspoon, who stars as Becky Sharp in Mira Nair's new film, "Vanity Fair."

"It's like every day I'm wearing the same sweat suit. It's like, 'Is this really interesting? And to who?'" she told reporters recently, according to AP Radio.

The "Legally Blonde" actress says she and her husband, actor Ryan Phillippe, try to laugh at the photos and stories. "It's pretty funny, and it's amazing the kind of things that people can make up in their minds," she says.


Witherspoon and Phillippe, who appeared together in 1999's "Cruel Intentions," have two children - daughter Ava, born in 1999, and son Deacon, born last year.

Witherspoon, 28, recently has been filming "Walk the Line." She plays June Carter, wife of country music legend Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix plays Cash.

N.M. appeals court rules against Kilmer

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The state Court of Appeals has ruled against actor Val Kilmer and his ex-wife, actress Joanne Whalley, in a dispute over a tax refund of more than $300,000 sought by the couple.

The court said Tuesday the Taxation and Revenue Department had no authority to act on the refund claim because the time period for doing so had expired.

Kilmer, who stars in Oliver Stone's upcoming film, "Alexander," has a ranch near Santa Fe.

The refund claim was for $304,217 in personal income taxes paid for the year 1995. The couple said they were due the refund because Whalley - who had filed for divorce - had moved to California in the latter part of the year.

The claim was filed at the end of 1999, after California tax officials made a preliminary determination that Whalley had been a California resident as of August 1995.

The amended 1995 New Mexico return claiming the refund, which was filed by the couple's accountant, wasn't processed because the department lost it.

In addition, for three months in early 2000 the agency decided to delay work on prior-year claims while it caught up with processing the current returns.

Under state law, if the department doesn't approve or deny a claim within 120 days, taxpayers then have 90 days to either file a protest or go to court. Kilmer and Whalley did neither, and the 210-day window for the department to act on a claim expired, the court said, upholding a department hearing officer's ruling.

Bernstein series will air on radio

NEW YORK (AP) - Susan Sarandon's signature raspy voice will narrate an 11-part radio documentary series about the life and work of composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein that will air internationally next month.

Just about every aspect of his life and career will be explored in "Leonard Bernstein: An American Life" through the words of his own correspondence and interviews from over 100 people who knew and worked with him, including composer John Adams, conductor Marin Alsop, songwriter Betty Comden, crossover artist Bobby McFerrin and composer Stephen Sondheim.

"These 11 hours of radio tell a monumental story," said producer Steve Rowland, who spent six years working on the documentary.

Bernstein, the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, led orchestras around the world, was a top pianist and composed numerous works, including the music for "West Side Story." He died in 1990 at age 72.

The series of 60-minute programs was produced for the WFMT Radio Network in cooperation with The Leonard Bernstein Office and a formal association with The Library of Congress.

Actress Schram, 'Monk' part ways

NEW YORK (AP) - Actress Bitty Schram and "Monk" have parted ways. The critically acclaimed USA Network series that stars Tony Shalhoub as an obsessive-compulsive private eye is removing Schram's character, Monk's personal nurse.

"'Monk' has decided to go in a different creative direction with some of its characters. Bitty Schram will not continue with the cast," USA Network announced Tuesday.

John Kelley, a spokesman for USA, said the network has yet to develop what the new direction for the show will be.

"Monk" is now in the middle of its third season, with new episodes to return in January.

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