Wednesday, April 9, 2003

A Bono-fied charity event

Rome -- Nearly a decade ago, Luciano Pavarotti and Bono teamed up in a benefit concert for children in Bosnia after the war there. Now, the singers plan to perform together to help Iraqi war refugees.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday that Pavarotti and Bono will share the stage in a May 27 benefit concert in Modena, northern Italy, the Italian tenor's home town.

Pavarotti has given an annual benefit concert for the past 10 years. This year, the concert's funds will help the United Nations deal with the humanitarian emergency created by the Iraq war.

The U.N. refugee agency has set up camps in Jordan, Syria and Iran, which border Iraq.

Cruz takes issue with magazine

Sydney, Australia -- Penelope Cruz is suing an Australian magazine for defamation over an article it published, her lawyers said Tuesday.

Lawyers for the Spanish actress filed defamation proceedings against New Idea in the New South Wales Supreme Court. The case is scheduled to appear before the court May 30.

The action relates to a story the magazine published about Cruz and Tom Cruise, her co-star in the film "Vanilla Sky," whom she's been dating since summer 2001.

"The proceedings state that the article contains a number of false and defamatory statements concerning Ms. Cruz," her legal firm, Gadens Lawyers, said in a statement Tuesday.

Cruz, 28, has made headlines in Australia ever since Cruise took up with her following his split from local heroine Nicole Kidman after nearly 10 years of marriage.

Queen of the divas

New York -- Queen Latifah will reign as host of this year's "VH1 Divas" concert, which will feature performances from Mary J. Blige, Jewel and Chaka Khan.

The show is scheduled to air May 22 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Other scheduled musicians will be announced later.

While previous "Divas" shows have included duets, this year's will have even more of an emphasis on them. The concert series, now in its sixth year, raises money for VH1's Save the Music Foundation, which restores music programs in America's public schools.

Beautiful day for Beau

Los Angeles -- It was a family affair when Beau Bridges received his star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame -- right next to stars for his younger brother, Jeff, and his father, Lloyd.

The 61-year-old actor-director-producer got into the business as a child actor, appearing in the movie "The Pony" in 1949 and the hit 1950s TV show "Sea Hunt," which starred his father.

A three-time Emmy winner, he now plays CIA director Tom Gage in the CBS TV show "The Agency."

He has appeared in such films as "The Fabulous Baker Boys (with his brother), "The Hotel New Hampshire," "Norma Rae" and "Heart Like a Wheel."