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UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News

May 2, 2009 at 2:11 PM   |   Comments

'Wolverine' enjoys strong early opening

LOS ANGELES, May 2 (UPI) -- The highly anticipated U.S. summer movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" earned at least $4.5 million during early midnight showings, 20th Century Fox says.

The studio said while preliminary data was still being finalized Friday, it appeared the new superhero film enjoyed a strong opening Thursday in advance of weekend showings, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Studio executives told the Reporter the action movie, which stars Hugh Jackman as its title character, could pull in more than $70 million through Sunday.

The predicted success follows the online release of a pirated copy of an unfinished version of the summer film.

The Reporter said the movie, which follows the emergence of Wolverine in the superhero community, will also be released this weekend in 101 international territories.


Assault costs playwright honorary degree

STIRLING, Scotland, May 2 (UPI) -- A Scottish playwright's past has caught up with him, forcing him to turn down an honorary degree from Stirling University because of an undergraduate assault.

Gregory Burke, 41, author of "Black Watch" about Scottish soldiers in Iraq and the new play "Hoors," was banned from Stirling after he beat up Mark Campbell in the early 1980s, The Scotsman reported. He was allowed on campus only for classes and visits to the library and dropped out in his second year.

Christine Hallet, the university principal, apologized to Campbell in a letter for any distress the news of the honorary degree had caused him and his family.

"Mr Burke has advised the university that he wishes to decline the offer of award of honorary degree," she said. "He explains that he does not wish to embarrass anyone at the university or to make any member of the alumni feel uncomfortable."

"Black Watch" premiered at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival and has been shown in cities around the world. "Hoors" opened in Edinburgh this weekend.


Husband of model Crawford facing lawsuit

SAN DIEGO, May 2 (UPI) -- Rande Gerber, husband of model Cindy Crawford, sexually harassed two female employees at a San Diego business he owns, the women allege in a lawsuit.

Shelly Scott and Gillian Walker allege in their suit filed in San Diego Count Superior Court in March that they both endured sexual harassment while working at the Gerber Group's Moonstone Lounge, TMZ.com reported Friday.

The women allege they lost their waitress jobs after refusing the sexual advances of staff members, including Gerber.

One of the women alleges Gerber attempted to kiss her and reach under her dress on one occasion in 2008, E! Online said.

A representative for Gerber dismissed the women's allegations.

"These allegations were previously investigated and shown to be baseless. This lawsuit has no merit," the unidentified representative said.


Plaintiff: Hudgens settled contract suit

LOS ANGELES, May 2 (UPI) -- Music producer Johnny Vieira says "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens has settled a breach of contract lawsuit he filed against her in Los Angeles.

Vieira, of Johnny on the Spot Productions, said in a statement Friday the two sides in the Los Angeles Superior Court case reached an amicable settlement, E! Online reported.

Vieira, who worked with Hudgens early in her entertainment career, had alleged the 20-year-old singer owed him at least $5 million.

The settlement comes less than two weeks before the suit was to go to trial May 11. Details of the settlement were not reported.

E! Online said the dispute originally was part of a lawsuit that included other allegations, including discrimination claims against both Hudgens and her father, Greg.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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