Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International  |  March 27, 2002 at 6:33 AM
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The New York Daily News, citing sources, reports that Nicole Kidman asked former husband Tom Cruise to stay away from the Oscars.

According to the report, best actress nominee Kidman already had enough stress without also having to worry about the eyes of the world focusing on her and Cruise -- to see how one of Hollywood's most celebrated divorced couples would behave in public.

Kidman, however, told the newspaper she did not ask Cruise to make himself scarce on Sunday. "We see each other all the time," she said at the Vanity Fair party. "We have dinner. We have to get along because of the kids."

The News cites another source, which said Cruise's people demanded that TV cameras not cut away to Kidman during his appearance on the show. A publicist for Cruise denied that report and said the actor actually waved to his ex-wife from the stage.


Nick Stahl -- best known as the son whose murder destroys the lives of a comfortably upper-middle class couple in "In the Bedroom" -- is headed for a higher profile, as one of the stars of "Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines."

E! Online reports that Stahl has been cast as John Connor, targeted for termination by cyborgs programmed to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny as a leader of the resistance, so machines can take over the world.

Connor will team up with his T-800 cyborg buddy from "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" -- played by Arnold Schwarzenegger -- to take down the latest thing in cyborgs, the T-X, played by Norwegian actress Kristanna Loken.

John Connor, you may recall, is the son of Sarah (Linda Hamilton) and Kyle (Michael Biehn), conceived in the first "Terminator" picture in 1984. According to E!, producers have not ruled out the possibility that Hamilton might appear in "T3" -- perhaps in flashbacks. Schwarzenegger has said her character dies before the start of "T3."

(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


A Sarasota, Fla., jury has convicted a man of second-degree murder for beating his ex-wife to death just hours after their appearance on "The Jerry Springer Show" aired.

Ralf Panitz, 42, was convicted Tuesday of killing Nancy Campbell. The prosecution had sought a first-degree murder conviction, but the jury opted for the lesser charge after deliberating more than 16 hours over two days.

Prosecutors said Campbell had been stomped to death after she was choked. Defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger -- famous for representing euthanasia advocate Dr. Jack Kervorkian -- said she died from a heart attack suffered in a fight with somebody other than Panitz.

Panitz, Campbell and his current wife, Eleanor Panitz, taped an episode of the Springer show titled "Secret Mistresses Confronted" in May 2000. The show aired in Sarasota on July 24, 2000, and Campbell, 52, died within hours.

Campbell and Ralf Panitz had a history of domestic violence, and she had obtained a restraining order against him the day she died. Prosecutors also said investigators found Campbell's DNA on Panitz's shoes.

In 1995, a man who had been a guest on "The Jenny Jones Show" was killed after appearing in an episode about secret crushes. When guest Jonathan Schmitz found out his secret admirer was a man, Scott Amedure, he later shot and killed him. Schmitz was convicted of murder and the victim's family won a $25 million judgment against the program.

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