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People in the news

By United Press International   |   Sept. 5, 2012 at 3:48 AM

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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN: Reality TV personality Omarosa Manigault was a fixture at Michael Clarke Duncan's hospital bedside for weeks before the Hollywood actor died, People.com said.

Manigault is credited with saving Duncan's life by administering CPR after he went into cardiac arrest at home July 13.

He was hospitalized until Monday when he died of what doctors suspect was a second heart attack. The star of "The Green Mile" and "Armageddon" was 54.

"She was literally there every second," a source close to the couple told People.com of Manigault. "She is a strong woman who is full of faith, but right now she is heartbroken."

Manigault worked in Vice President Al Gore's office during the Clinton administration as deputy associate director of presidential personnel but is best known as an outspoken contestant on the business-themed competition TV series "The Apprentice." An ordained minister, she first confirmed she was dating Duncan in 2010.

Duncan's death is the latest personal tragedy she has suffered. Her brother was shot to death last year and her father murdered when she was 7, Wikipedia said.


TOM CRUISE: The Church of Scientology denounced as "hogwash" a magazine's claims church officials screened possible companions for Hollywood film star Tom Cruise.

Vanity Fair quoted sources as saying church officials contacted actresses who were Scientology members under the pretense of auditioning for a training video, and then asked their thoughts about Cruise.

A Scientologist who watched the videos said whoever dated Cruise would not only have to please the actor, but also "toe the line for Scientology."

In a statement to ABC News, the church denied the magazine's claims.

"The entire story is hogwash. There was no project, secret or otherwise, ever conducted by the Church to find a bride (audition or otherwise) for any member," the statement said. "No church members were 'used,' nor were they punished, nor silenced."

Vanity Fair said Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born, London-raised actress, was chosen to date Cruise between November 2004 and January 2005. Cruise broke up with Boniadi through Scientology officials several months before he and actress Katie Holmes began dating, the magazine said.

He and Holmes recently divorced after five years of marriage.

Despite the church's denial, Oscar-winning writer-director Paul Haggis, a former Scientologist who is also Boniadi's friend, said Vanity Fair's story is true.

"Naz was embarrassed by her unwitting involvement in this incident and never wanted it to come out, so I kept silent," Haggis wrote in an e-mail published on ShowBiz411.com.

"I was deeply disturbed by how the highest ranking members of a church could so easily justify using one of their members; how they so callously punished her and then so effectively silenced her when it was done," the e-mail said.

Holmes has never been a member of the Church of Scientology.


BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG: Green Day said on its Web site it canceled a weekend performance in Italy after front man Billie Joe Armstrong was hospitalized.

The punk trio was booked to play in Bologna Sunday but had to back out after Armstrong fell ill. The band did not offer further details about his condition or diagnosis in its online video message.

"Billie got rushed to the hospital last night due to illness, and the doctors don't think it's a good idea for him to play today," bassist Mike Dirnt said in a video on the band's Web site Sunday. "This sucks. We were really, really looking forward to playing."

"We're beyond devastated. We're as sad as you guys are. Billie is extremely upset about it," drummer Tre Cool said in the video.


TERRENCE JENKINS: Terrence Jenkins is to join Giuliana Rancic as anchor of the weeknight program E! News in Los Angeles in November, the network said Tuesday.

E! President of Network Strategy and E! News Cyndi McClellan made the announcement.

Jenkins is the former co-host of BET's long-running "106 & Park" video countdown show.

"Terrence Jenkins is a talented and well-connected television personality who will bring an original sensibility to our news programs," McClellan said in a statement. "His energy and engaging personality, coupled with E! News lead anchor Giuliana Rancic's proven experience, should help cement E! News' stature as the leading source for news across pop culture, delivered to an engaged audience on all platforms."

Jenkins' film credits include "Think Like a Man," "Burlesque" and "Sparkle."

"I've always had a passion for the wide spectrum of pop culture that E! News covers so well; I can't wait to get started," Jenkins said in a statement.

"I've had a great career so far, and it's all been building toward this. And then getting to work with great people like Giuliana and the entire E! News team just makes this seem like an even more perfect opportunity."

Rancic is a breast-cancer survivor, who recently became a first-time mother.

© 2012 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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