Friday, August 15, 2003

'Angel' extortion charges filed

Los Angeles -- A Los Angeles photographer has been charged with trying to extort $3.3 million from actress Cameron Diaz for topless pictures taken at a private modeling session before the actress became a star.

Photographer John Rutter, who claimed to possess a 1992 release signed by the "Charlie's Angels" star, was charged with attempted extortion, attempted grand theft and perjury, and two counts of forgery. He is accused of forging Diaz's name on the release, according to Sandi Gibbons of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, and faces up to six years in prison if convicted.

Last week, a judge ordered the photographs and a videotape of the actress sealed. Diaz, 30, made her film debut opposite Jim Carrey in the hit 1994 comedy "The Mask" and has gone on to become one of Hollywood's top female stars.

Harry to join the army

London -- Although Britain's Prince Harry passed two university entrance exams, he will join the army instead. His grades -- a D in geography and a B in art -- fell short of the requirements of top British universities and were lower than those of his father, Prince Charles, who got a B in history and a C in French when he took the exams.

Harry, 18, will take a year off before applying to the prestigious Sandhurst military academy.

Bergman exhibit ready to roll

Stockholm, Sweden -- The Swedish Film Institute offered a sneak preview Thursday of a new exhibit focusing on filmmaker Ingmar Bergman's first forays into cinema.

The exhibit, which was shown to journalists and film devotees in the capital, Stockholm, will go on a European tour later this month with stops in Helsinki, Finland; Paris; and Rome and Turin, Italy. Each stop is expected to last about a month.

Titled "Before Ingmar Became Bergman," the exhibit is composed of personal letters, behind-the-scenes film footage and archived work from when he was in his early 20s and still a nascent filmmaker. The writer and director, now 85, donated the material to the institute last year.

Bergman, whose 1983 film "Fanny and Alexander" won an Oscar for best foreign film, made about 60 movies before retiring from filmmaking.

Ventura moved to Saturday

Minneapolis -- MSNBC has dropped plans for a weeknight show starring Jesse Ventura, saying Thursday the former Minnesota governor will instead be host for a program on Saturdays.

The network still hasn't announced a start date or a time slot for Ventura's program, which will be broadcast from St. Paul.

MSNBC announced it had signed the former professional wrestler for a topical talk show last winter, saying it would be on the air in March. But there were a series of delays as concepts were tested off-air.

Ventura said he thought the Saturday time slot "is not as confining as weeknight programming and will allow me more freedom to strut my stuff and make my case."