Giving the press an earful

London -- Magician and endurance artist David Blaine has turned to sleight of hand, apparently lopping off part of his ear in front of reporters.

The stunt took place Monday during a news conference to promote Blaine's latest feat, a six-week stint in a plastic box suspended above the River Thames.

The 30-year-old New Yorker appeared to hack at his ear with a knife after a reporter asked him to perform a trick. He left the news conference with blood apparently streaming from his head and returned to show an ear that looked like it was missing a chunk.

Blaine, who previously has encased himself in ice for three days and spent 35 hours standing atop a 100-foot pole, pictured at left, plans to enter a plastic box suspended from a crane 40 feet above the Thames on Friday. His goal is to remain there, consuming only water, for 44 days.

Actress defends comeback film

Emma Thompson came out fighting after her emotional comeback film, "Imagining Argentina," was booed and jeered at the Venice Film Festival, reports The Guardian.

The film, set during the seven-year reign of terror in which 30,000 people "disappeared" at the hands of the Argentine military junta, has been criticized for its supernatural element.

Thompson is kidnapped by the military and her husband (Antonio Banderas) gains the power to "see" what is happening to her and other victims.

"I think there was always going to be a great deal of different kinds of responses," Thompson, 44, said. "When you're dealing with a subject that is so tricky, such as state-sponsored torture, and mixing it with magical realism, you're stepping a fine line."

New Guido in the house

New York -- John Stamos will be Broadway's new Guido Contini.

Stamos will replace Antonio Banderas Oct. 7 as the film director obsessed with women in the Tony Award-winning revival of "Nine," playing at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

The 40-year-old Stamos, best known for starring on the television sitcom "Full House," has appeared in several Broadway musicals. He replaced Matthew Broderick in the revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

Cue to 'Rocky' theme

Tokyo -- Bob Sapp will fight Mike Tyson anytime, anywhere.

"I'm confident I could beat him," the 29-year-old former NFL lineman said Monday. "I know he wants to fight me, and all we have to do now is work out the rules."

Sapp and Tyson engaged in a heated verbal exchange on Aug. 15 in Las Vegas after Sapp defeated American Kimo Leopoldo in the K-1 World GP 2003.

K-1 combines karate, taekwondo and kickboxing. Bouts are regularly staged before crowds of up to 70,000 in Japan.

Sapp, nicknamed "The Beast," is a 6-foot-7, 350-pound former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman.


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