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Billy Joel Back in Rehab


In the wake of his hospitalization for stomach problems last month, the Piano Man has signed on for a stint in rehab to deal with a drinking problem.

"Following a recent bout of severe gastro-intestinal distress, Billy Joel has checked himself into an undisclosed rehabilitation facility for treatment of alcohol abuse," his rep said in a statement. "Mr. Joel has asked that his privacy be respected."

Last month, the rep denied reports that Joel was suffering from pancreatitis, which is typically brought on by heavy alcohol consumption. It's not the first time Joel has ended up in rehab. In June 2002, he checked into the Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut for treatment of a substance-abuse problem, just days after crashing his Mercedes on Long Island and suffering minor injuries.

That car crash marked the first in a string of auto accidents for the entertainer. In January 2003, Joel totaled his Mercedes after driving off the road and crashing into a tree on Long Island. The singer had to be pulled from the wreckage of the car by firefighters and spent the night in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

Then, last April, Joel was on his way to pick up a pizza when he lost control of his 1967 vintage Citron on a slick road and wound up parked in the home of a 94-year-old woman. No one was injured in the crash. While Joel may be an unlucky motorist, he's proven to be luckier in love. He swapped vows with third wife, 23-year-old television correspondent Katie Lee, last October. Of late, the singer has been in a writing state of mind.

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Terrorist Chatter Sparked Russell Crowe Security Scare


It's the shocking plot that has Hollywood on high alert. Oscar winner Russell Crowe has revealed that he may have been the target of an Al-Qaeda kidnapping scheme months before 9/11.

"I didn't make a decision to go public with that. I had a conversation with somebody and they used that," Crowe stated during a press conference Thursday morning in Australia. Russell was reluctant to talk about the incident, today, but in the new GQ magazine, Crowe comes clean about the real-life drama that unfolded during his Oscar run for the mega hit "Gladiator."

GQ Deputy Editor Michael Hainey told us Crowe had trouble even comprehending the threat until FBI agents broke the news. "At first he thought it was his mates in Australia playing a prank on him," Hainey explained. "He told GQ that French intelligence agents were hearing chatter in North Africa that Russell was going to be the target of a kidnapping plot."

So why would Crowe be a target of Osama Bin Laden? Early speculation was it would help the terror network culturally destabilize the U.S.

Crowe took no chances, immediately beefing up security and accepting protection from the FBI. "He kept the bodyguards and the FBI with him through 'A Beautiful Mind' and, to a lesser extent, 'Master and Commander,'" Hainey revealed.

But Crowe is no longer living in fear: he's been told the threats no longer loom.

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Singer Whitney Houston Enters Rehab Again


Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

NEW YORK (Reuters) - her publicist, Nancy Seltzer, told The Associated Press Wednesday. She declined to provide details.

The news was first reported by syndicated entertainment TV show "Access Hollywood." In March 2004, Houston checked herself into an undisclosed rehabilitation center.

After years of denying drug use, the pop diva said she had used cocaine, marijuana and pills in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Primetime" in 2002. She has said she was using the power of prayer to help her get over drugs.

In January 2000, Houston left behind a bag at an airport in Hawaii that allegedly held less than half an ounce of marijuana and three partially smoked marijuana cigarettes; a petty misdemeanor drug charge was dismissed when a counselor said Houston didn't need treatment for substance abuse.

Houston, 41, has been working with producer Clive Davis on a comeback album. The Grammy-winning singer is known for her rendition of "I Will Always Love You" and her role in the 1992 film "The Bodyguard." Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown have been married since 1992 and have an 12-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Brown has a history of drug and alcohol arrests. The couple live near Alpharetta, a suburb north of Atlanta.

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Guest GaYToR

What Whitney needs to do is check into Divorce Court and get rid of Bobby Brown. I never have understood that pairing, but then again I rarely understand breeders. (YES! breeders! That should get me a few bashings. :D)

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Guest ranster627
What Whitney needs to do is check into Divorce Court and get rid of Bobby Brown. I never have understood that pairing, but then again I rarely understand breeders. (YES! breeders! That should get me a few bashings. :D)

I agree on all counts!

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Neil Young Treated for Brain Aneurysm


NEW YORK - Neil Young was treated for a brain aneurysm this week and remains hospitalized, although doctors expect a full recovery, his publicist said Friday.

The 59-year-old rocker underwent a procedure to treat it Tuesday night at a New York hospital, where he was expected to remain for a few more days, publicist Bob Merlis told The Associated Press. Dr. Pierre Gobin, who performed the procedure with another doctor, said: "Mr. Young had a dangerous brain aneurysm and was treated successfully by the minimally invasive neuroradiology team here. He is now resting comfortably ... but we strongly recommend that he not travel for several days."

Young had been expected to perform Sunday at the Juno Awards

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'Insider' Anchor O'Brien Enters Rehab


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Television host Pat O'Brien (above), anchor of "The Insider" news magazine show, has entered an alcohol rehabilitation program, he said in a written statement Sunday to The Associated Press. "I have had a problem with alcohol. I have decided to take action by checking myself into an intensive recovery program," the 57-year-old broadcast journalist said.

"Overcoming this problem is a top priority in my life and I am excited to return to work as soon as I am able," he continued. There were no details about the recovery facility or when O'Brien entered the program.

O'Brien, who covered the Summer Olympics in Greece for MSNBC and NBC late-night programming, was a TV news reporter in Los Angeles and Chicago before joining CBS Sports.

He occasionally hosted "Entertainment Tonight" and in 1997 became the full-time host of "Access Hollywood." That contract expired last year and he began hosting "The Insider."

"We support Pat's decision to seek treatment and look forward to welcoming him back on the air at the appropriate time," said Manfred Westphal, a spokesman for Paramount Domestic Television, which syndicates "The Insider."


Westphal said the show's New York host, Lara Spencer (above), will take over during O'Brien's absence

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O'Brien Will Return to 'Insider'

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - "The Insider" anchor Pat O'Brien will likely be back in front of the camera by May. The 57-year-old O'Brien, who checked himself into an alcohol rehab program in late March, is set to complete the program and return to the syndicated showbiz-news program in time for May sweeps, the New York Post reports. He's also likely to be the subject of a sit-down interview upon his return.

A number of would-be interviewers are angling for the get, but the paper reports that talk-show host Dr. Phil McGraw is the favorite. Both McGraw's show and "The Insider" are distributed by divisions of megia giant Viacom.

Ken Sunshine, O'Brien's spokesman, tells the Post that nothing's been settled yet. O'Brien checked into rehab on March 20, saying that getting past the problem "is a top priority in my life." At the same time, he was facing the revelation of voice-mail recordings, reportedly left by O'Brien for a female acquaintance, that graphically describe a number of sex acts. "Insider" co-anchor Lara Spencer has been hosting the show solo for the past couple of weeks.

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Joaquin Phoenix to Rehab

By Charlie Amter


The Oscar-nominated actor announced Tuesday that he had voluntarily checked himself into an undisclosed rehab facility two weeks ago to kick his booze habit.

Phoenix was "uncomfortable with the way that he was living his life and found the courage to deal with his disease," said his publicist Susan Patricola in a brief statement. "He has welcomed the opportunity to change his life in a positive and profound way, in the hopes that coming forward will encourage others with the same disease to get help as well."

No further details were disclosed.

The 29-year-old Signs star knows first-hand the tragedy of substance abuse. His older brother, River, died of a drug overdose in 1993 after a night of partying in Hollywood.

Despite starring in blockbusters like last summer's The Village, 2002's Signs and 2000's Gladiator, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination, Joaquin Phoenix has managed to maintain a lower profile than his Hollywood peers. "The less someone knows about me, the better, because my intention is to play a variety of characters," Phoenix once told E! Online.

Aside from The Village, Phoenix starred in four films last year: the firefighter flick Ladder 49 with John Travolta, the Oscar-nominated Hotel Rwanda with Don Cheadle and the little-seen indie It's All About Love, which costarred Sean Penn and Claire Danes.

Phoenix recently completed narration for the documentary Earthlings, which tackles the subject of animal abuse and features appearances by Pamela Anderson, James Cromwell, Bill Maher and Charlize Theron. The film debuts later this month at the Hollywood Film Festival.

Phoenix is also earning early Oscar buzz for his role as late music legend Johnny Cash opposite Reese Witherspoon in the anticipated biopic Walk the Line. Phoenix learned to play guitar and does his own singing in the film, which is due in November.

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Former TV Talker Tom Snyder Diagnosed With Leukemia

Rick Ellis, Staff Writer

Former late night television talk show host Tom Snyder has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Snyder, who hosted NBC's late night "Tomorrow Show" as well as CBS' "The Late, Late Show With Tom Snyder," disclosed the news on his web site. He wrote on Friday that he got the bad news after battling "uncontrollable sweating," "bloating" and "general lack of stamina." He was also concerned that he had gained close to 50 pounds in the five years since he quit smoking.

"I have been diagnosed with something called chronic lymphocytic leukemia," he wrote on his Web site. "When I was a kid leukemia was a death sentence. Now, my doctors say it's treatable! With pills or chemotherapy or a combination of both."

Snyder wrote that while he is optimistic about his chances, he is also realistic about the future.

"They say this kind of leukemia is not fatal, that people can live with it for thirty years. Notice, they don't say people will live 30 years. But they 'can' live up to 30 years," Snyder wrote.

"I looked up chronic lymphocytic leukemia on the Internet and found a source that predicted people who are diagnosed early can live up to 12 years. Those who are not diagnosed early--and the website does not define 'early' -- have a survival rate of about two years," he continued. "I don't know if my diagnosis was early or late

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George Lopez Undergoes Kidney Transplant

By Charlie Amter


Comedian George Lopez

LOS ANGELES - George Lopez has received the ultimate gift from his wife, Ann: one of her kidneys.

The comedian underwent a successful kidney transplant last week, his publicist, Marleah Leslie, announced in a brief statement Monday. The organ was donated by Ann Lopez, his wife of 12 years.

George Lopez, 44, suffered from a genetic disorder that caused his kidney to deteriorate, his publicist said without elaboration. He and his wife are recuperating at their Los Angeles home, according to Leslie. Both are doing well and expected to fully recover.

No further details were disclosed.

Lopez had given no public indication that he was ailing, maintaining a vigorous schedule in recent weeks. On Apr. 17, he served as grand marshal for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, becoming the first person to say, "Gentleman, start your engines" in Spanish at a NASCAR event.

The previous week, the California-born funnyman told the New York Daily News that he expected his eponymous ABC sitcom to be reupped for a fourth season, and he was planning to take a more hands-on approach in 2005-06. "We've already gotten the unofficial word," he said. "I don't see the show not being on the air."

The Sandra Bullock-produced sitcom, which has already wrapped for the season, has been delivering mediocre ratings since it bowed in 2002, averaging 7.6 million viewers a week this season opposite Fox ratings powerhouse American Idol.

Lopez repaid Bullock last month for her dogged support of the series (she has guest-starred on the sitcom twice and frequently plugs the show during late-night talk-show appearances), turning up for the unveiling of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Mar. 24.

Four days later, he appeared in a different venue--the Santa Maria, California, courthouse--to testify in Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial.

Lopez testified he met Jackson's accuser at a comedy camp for underprivileged children in 1999. When the child became ill with cancer in 2000, Lopez said he helped out the family with small donations--$40 or $50, here and there. Soon, Lopez said, the boy's father became "pretty aggressive" about the funds. "It seemed to me at that time that [the father] was more interested in money than he was about his son," Lopez said.

Lopez is expected to be well enough to hit the publicity circuit for his upcoming movie project, Dimension Films' The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D. The Robert Rodriguez-helmed feature is due in theaters June 10.

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'Insider' Host Pat O'Brien Exits Rehab

NEW YORK (AP)- Pat O'Brien, host of "The Insider" syndicated entertainment news magazine, has left an alcohol rehabilitation program and will be back at work next week. "I want to thank everyone for their support during the past few weeks," O'Brien said in a statement Tuesday. "I plan to continue my recovery with the help and support of my family, colleagues and friends, and look forward to getting back to work."

O'Brien left the program Sunday, Manfred Westphal, a spokesman for Paramount Domestic Television, which produces the syndicated TV program, said Tuesday.

There were no details about the recovery facility or when the 57-year-old O'Brien entered the rehab program.

Linda Bell Blue, the show's executive producer, said O'Brien will return to work May 5. "I spent time with Pat recently and he's looking and feeling great," she said in a statement. "We're all excited to welcome him back to the office and back on the air."

Last month, O'Brien announced he "had a problem with alcohol" and that "overcoming this problem is a top priority in my life and I am excited to return to work as soon as I am able."

O'Brien's image has recently taken a beating after obscene phone messages left by what sounds like his voice were distributed on the Internet.

The show's New York host, Lara Spencer, has taken over the show during O'Brien's absence.

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Dr. Phil Confronts Pat O'Brien in Special

NEW YORK (AP) - This didn't take long: Pat O'Brien, fresh from rehab, will have to face Dr. Phil next week in a prime-time CBS special.

Dr. Phil McGraw will "confront O'Brien about the incidents that led up to his stay in the recovery program, the issues he faced while in treatment and the stories about his personal life that made headline news," CBS said Friday.

The hour-long special will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. (ET).

O'Brien, host of "The Insider" syndicated entertainment newsmagazine, is expected back at work Thursday after undergoing treatment in an alcohol rehabilitation program. He exited the program April 24.

A recording of obscene phone messages left by what sounds like O'Brien's voice hurtled around the Internet while he was gone and became frequent water cooler talk.

O'Brien will talk about how he will deal with his colleagues when he returns to work and how to approach life without alcohol, CBS said.

He'll also appear May 5 on the syndicated "Dr. Phil" talk show.

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Whitney Houston is out of rehab less than a month after she was checked in, People reports, and apparently it was her own mother, gospel great Cissy, who asked the court to force her to get treatment. A rep for Bobby Brown's troubled wife says she's "entering the second phase" of her recovery. Which would be what, exactly? Relapse?
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What an amazing and disgraceful waste of a talented, strong, and beautiful woman. This makes me sooooo terribly sad. I wish her all the strength in the world to battle her demons.

And yes, the first demon she needs to part ways w/ is Bobby Brown.. poor Whitney :cry:

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Guest ranster627

Not to be contrary here, but I also think it would be good for him to part from her ... sometimes two people together are just not good, bringing out the weakness in EACH OTHER ... JMHO

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Oh absolutely Ranster, they have a toxic relationship..I worked for several years in the Court systems and I handled the Restraining Orders...I have seen sooo many toxic, unhealthy relationships. Two people who are equally miserable feed off of one another. The only cure is to just separate and learn from your mistake so that the cycle doesn't perpetuate.
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Guest XandraSkye
I hope both of them find partners that strengthen them!

Why don't you go ahead and hope for World Peace while you are at it since you seem to be in the mood to make fanciful wishes. :P

Toxic relationship is right. I feel sorry for their little girl. What a mess she's gonna grow up to be.

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Chappelle Reportedly Checks Into Facility


AP Television Writer

NEW YORK - Comedy Central star Dave Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa, the magazine Entertainment Weekly reported on Wednesday.

The comedian's whereabouts and condition have been unknown since Comedy Central abruptly announced last week that the planned May 31 launch of the third season of "Chappelle's Show" had been postponed and production halted.

Chappelle flew from Newark, N.J., to South Africa on April 28 for treatment, said the magazine, quoting a source close to the show it would not identify. Entertainment Weekly said it had corroborating sources for its story. "We don't know where he is," Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox said. "We've heard about South Africa. We don't know. We haven't talked to Dave."

Chappelle's spokesman, Matt Labov, would not comment on the magazine's story. "It seems like the issues he's contending with are really quite serious," said Dade Hayes, a senior editor at Entertainment Weekly. "It isn't a case of him spending a weekend someplace recuperating from exhaustion."

The magazine's sources say Chappelle is still in the facility, which was not named, Hayes said. Chappelle's representatives have denied that the comedian was abusing drugs.

Chappelle reportedly signed a $50 million deal with Comedy Central for two more seasons of his show, a payday made possible because of the explosive sales of the show's first season DVD.

The magazine said Chappelle had shot four to five episodes' worth of sketches for the new season, but none of its onstage introductions.

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Former Partridge Family star Danny Bonaduce has checked into a rehabilitation clinic in a bid to win his battle with alcoholism. The 45-year-old actor left the set of his new VH1 reality show Being Bonaduce to enter the facility on May 2. A representative says of the series, "Production will slow down so that (he) and his family can work through their issues."

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Australia's Kylie Minogue diagnosed with breast cancer

By Michael Perry


SYDNEY (Reuters) - Pop diva Kylie Minogue, whose hit album "Fever" went platinum in the United States, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has postponed her Australian and Asian tour, her management said Tuesday.

Minogue, 36, is Australia's biggest music star, rising from humble beginnings as an Australian teenage soap-opera actress to international stardom as one of the world's top pop singers and, most recently, as a flamboyant gay icon revered in Britain.

The Frontier Touring Co. said the singer often known just as "Kylie" was diagnosed with early breast cancer while visiting family in Melbourne this week. "She will undergo immediate treatment and consequently her Australian tour will not be able to proceed as planned," the company said in a statement. Minogue is the second pop star to be diagnosed with the disease in as many years. American singer Anastacia underwent treatment for breast cancer in 2003 after the illness was detected when she was 29 years old.

Minogue's "Showgirl Tour" was to open Thursday in Australia before performances in Asia and a headlining act at Glastonbury, Europe's biggest music festival, at the end of June. She said was sorry to disappoint her fans. "Nevertheless, hopefully all will work out fine and I'll be back with you all again soon," Minogue said in a statement. Her record label Parlaphone, owned by music company EMI, confirmed she had pulled out of Glastonbury, host to most of greatest names in pop and rock since it started in a field in western England in 1970.

Minogue, who is signed to EMI, was worth about A$60 million (US$46 million), according to a 2004 list of rich young Australians compiled by BRW magazine. In 2002, one of Minogue's bras sold for $6,880 in London at an auction to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Minogue has also worked to raise awareness of prostate cancer, after her father was diagnosed with it. "It is unusual because breast cancer is predominately a disease of older women," Professor John Toy, the medical director of the charity Cancer Research UK, told Reuters. "To be diagnosed at 36 is unusually bad luck for her."

But Toy said the disease was diagnosed early, which speaks well for Minogue's prognosis. Australian concert promoter and long-time friend Michael Gudinski said Minogue was fit and strong. "It was diagnosed this morning," he told reporters. "I'm hoping and praying because the doctor found it so early that everything will be okay. She's got a few tough weeks ahead of her. The one thing I know about Kylie is, she's a fighter."

Minogue is understood to be staying with her family at their home in the Melbourne suburb of Canterbury, local media reported. Her sister Dannii, also a successful singer, was expected to return from London, Australian media reported. It was unclear whether Minogue's French boyfriend, actor Olivier Martinez, was with her in Australia.

Fans bombarded Kylie Minogue Web sites with messages of support. "I have always admired you for being a strong and successful woman," wrote fan Helen Fornber. "I have no doubt you will get through this." Minogue, who stands 154.9 cm (five ft, one inch) and is usually seen in stilettos, has become a global music icon through an ability to continually re-invent herself -- from the girl next door in the 1980s to today's sexy, but innocent, pop princess.

Her acting career took off in 1986 as the teenage character "Charlene" in the Australian soap opera "Neighbors" which led to her singing career. The Kylie phenomenon reached fever pitch in 2001 with the release of her hit "Can't Get You Out of My Head" from the multi-platinum selling album "Fever."

Over the years her career has hit rocky patches but each time Minogue, renowned for her hard work and drive, bounced back. She has had a series of high-profile relationships, dating in 1989 the leader of Australian rock band INXS, Michael Hutchence, who was found hanged in a Sydney hotel in 1997.

Minogue is revered by some almost as much for her signing as for her bottom since wearing gold hotpants in one raunchy music video. The hotpants have been deemed culturally significant and are now on display in Australia. (Additional reporting by Patricia Reaney in London)

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