People in the news

By United Press International
People in the news
Singer Britney Spears arrives at the Teen Choice 2009 Awards taping in Los Angeles, on August 9, 2009. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo

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

BRITNEY SPEARS: Pop star Britney Spears is close to signing a $15 million deal to be a judge on the U.S. version of "The X Factor," multiple sources told E! News.


Spears' representatives have been negotiating with Fox for weeks, a report said Wednesday.

"Both camps were back and forth on the money but now they have finally come to agreement on the fee," said one insider with intimate knowledge of the pending deal. "That was the big sticking point and now, thankfully, it's been sorted. All they need to do now is work out the smaller points. The fact the money is now set, means that there is nothing stopping this from becoming a reality."

Spears' fiance, Jason Trawick, who is also petitioning to become co-conservator of her estate with her father, will become a producer on the show, a second source said.


"Jason is expected to be there every day Britney is on set. He is her rock and will help guide her through the process. He is the person she trusts the most," the second source told E! News.

The deal would make Spears the highest paid judge on reality television, eclipsing singer-actress Jennifer Lopez's $12 million deal with "American Idol."

Spears, 30, is expected to start her new role on the "X Factor" judges' panel, alongside L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell, in the middle of May, E! News said.

Cowell, an executive producer on the televised talent show, fired former judges Paul Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger in January after the ratings for the first season of the U.S. edition of the international hit weren't what he expected.

MELISSA GILBERT: "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Melissa Gilbert says she has had her first "gentle rehearsal" since suffering a concussion and whiplash in Los Angeles.

Gilbert, 47, banged her head while competing Monday night. She was briefly hospitalized and missed Tuesday's results show.

Going to attempt a gentle rehearsal in a bit," she said via Twitter Wednesday.


She later reported she was "very happy" to be back to work with her professional dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

"Now back home to bed," she tweeted.

Chmerkovskiy told he is "pretty sure" Gilbert will compete again on the show.

"I think we are coming back," Chmerkovskiy said. "I'm pretty sure. It's not up to me, it's up to her, [but] I haven't heard talks of not coming back. Although, if she wakes up tomorrow and continues to have a headache, I won't let her in the studio."

Gilbert is best known for her work on the 19th century-set drama series "Little House on the Prairie."

KATE WINSLET: China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television says it cut a shot of a topless Kate Winslet from the 3D version of "Titanic."

The 1997 epic starring Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as star-crossed lovers was re-released worldwide in time for the 100th anniversary of the historic sinking of the luxury liner during its maiden voyage.

A memorable scene in which DiCaprio's poor artist Jack sketches Winslet's society girl Rose naked has been edited in China so Winslet is only seen from the neck up.


"Considering the vivid 3D effects, we fear that viewers may reach out their hands for a touch and thus interrupt other people's viewing," the administration said in a statement. "We've decided to cut off the nudity scenes."

E! News said one Chinese man complained about the alteration in an online film forum.

"I've been waiting almost 15 years, and not for the 3D icebergs," he wrote.

WOODY ALLEN: Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" is to have its North American premiere as the opening night selection for the Los Angeles Film Festival, organizers said.

Written and directed by Allen, the film follows a number of people in Italy -- "some American, some Italian, some residents, some visitors -- and the romances and adventures and predicaments they get into," a synopsis said. It stars Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. It is being released by Sony Pictures Classics June 22.

"I can't think of a better way to kick off this year's festival than with the original independent filmmaker himself, Woody Allen. It's a true honor for Los Angeles to host the North American premiere of 'To Rome with Love,'" Festival Director Stephanie Allain said in a statement.


"I've always wanted to make a film in Rome. It's obviously one of the great cities of the world, and when you make a film in a foreign city you get a chance to spend several months there, so shooting in Rome gave me and my family an opportunity to really enjoy a city I love in a way that I don't usually get to. I wrote the film especially for Rome because over the years and my many visits there little ideas occurred to me, and I was able to utilize those ideas to comic advantage, romantic advantage, combined with the visual beauty of Rome," said Woody Allen.

The festival is to take place June 14-24. It will feature a diverse schedule of more than 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries.

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