Producer Abrams options new Armstrong book
NEW YORK, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Hollywood producer J.J. Abrams has optioned an investigative book on disgraced former cycling champion Lance Armstrong, sources told The Hollywood Reporter.
The newspaper said it confirmed Abrams and his Bad Robot production company secured the rights to "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong," which is being written by Juliet Macur, a reporter who covered Armstrong's glory days on the Tour de France for The New York Times.
Bad Robot is teaming with Paramount Pictures on the film.
"Cycle of Lies" is one of several books being penned about the doping scandal that resulted in Armstrong being stripped of his Tour titles and an Olympic medal.
Macur's book was picked up this fall by HarperCollins for a reported six-figure advance, The Hollywood Reporter said. It is slated for release in June.
'Wire' star Robert Chew dead at 52
BALTIMORE, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Actor Robert Chew, who appeared on HBO's "The Wire," died of apparent heart failure at his Baltimore home this week, his family said. He was 52.
Chew played drug kingpin "Proposition Joe" Stewart on the critically acclaimed crime series for its entire five-year run.
Chew's sister, Clarice, told The Baltimore Sun her brother died in his sleep Thursday. Funeral services will be held Jan.24.
David Simon, who created "The Wire," told The Hollywood Reporter Chew's performances included a series of consistently top-notch gems among "an embarrassment of riches."
"Robert's depiction of Proposition Joe was so fixed and complete -- from the very earliest scenes -- that the writers took for granted that anything we sent him would be finely executed," said Simon.
Chew also carved out an accomplished career as an acting coach in the Baltimore area. The Morgan State University graduate landed guest roles on "The Wire" for 22 of students, The Reporter said.
Longoria to be on stage at inauguration
The "Desperate Housewives" star stumped for the president last year and hosted star-studded fundraisers, generating millions of dollars for his re-election campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
Longoria said her primary goal as a political power player in Washington is to argue that "Latinos aren't a drain on the economy or criminals crossing the border."
"Most are hardworking people who are America's emerging market," she added.
After working with Obama last year on immigration policy, Longoria is now planning meetings with his advisers and other politicos -- including one she's hosting this weekend with Mark McKinnon, a strategist for former President George W. Bush and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the Journal said.
She plans to meet with former Secretary of State Colin Powell and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist to discuss investments in housing and retail developments in Hispanic communities.
Woman drops suit against Bieber
PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 19 (UPI) -- An Oregon woman who sued pop star Justin Bieber after receiving permanent ear damage at one of his concerts has dropped the lawsuit, court documents indicate.
Stacey Betts, of Wilsonville, Ore., filed the $9 million federal lawsuit against the musician, concert promoter AEG Worldwide, Island Def Jam Records and Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Rose Garden arena, last summer. She said Bieber worked the crowd into such a frenzy at the 2010 concert, the crowd's screams damaged her eardrums, The Oregonian reported Monday.
She filed documents Jan. 7 asking for the case to be dismissed because she "does not wish to put any burden on this respected court's time. Plaintiff maintains belief in the merit of her case."
TMZ reported Friday Betts did not have a lawyer and moving forward with the case on her own would have been difficult.