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Phoenix enters rehab



Published: Fri, April 15, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Phoenix enters rehab

NEW YORK -- Joaquin Phoenix saw the signs and has decided to get some help for his alcohol problem, reports E!Online. The Oscar-nominated actor has announced that he voluntarily checked himself into an undisclosed rehab facility two weeks ago to kick his booze habit. Phoenix was "uncomfortable with the way that he was living his life and found the courage to deal with his disease," said his publicist, Susan Patricola, in a brief statement. "He has welcomed the opportunity to change his life in a positive and profound way, in the hopes that coming forward will encourage others with the same disease to get help as well." No further details were disclosed. The 29-year-old star knows firsthand the tragedy of substance abuse. His older brother, River, died of a drug overdose in 1993 after a night of partying in Hollywood. Despite starring in blockbusters including last summer's "The Village," 2002's "Signs" and 2000's "Gladiator," which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination, Phoenix has managed to maintain a lower profile than his Hollywood peers. Phoenix is earning early Oscar buzz for his role as late music legend Johnny Cash opposite Reese Witherspoon in the anticipated biopic Walk the Line. Phoenix learned to play guitar and does his own singing in the film, which is due to be released in November.

Aniston talks of breakup

LOS ANGELES -- For months, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt have kept tight-lipped about their breakup, fueling media speculation over what caused the rift. But now, as divorce details are finalized, Aniston has opened up her heart about the real reasons behind the split, reports Ananova.com. The "Friends" star says her fairy-tale marriage to Pitt made her feel too insecure. "Marriage brought up all the kinds of things I pushed to the back-burner -- the fear, the mistrust, the doubts and the insecurities," she said. "Brad is the kindest person I know and the sweetest goofball on the planet. He helps you with your chair in restaurants and opens the car door for you. He's a gentleman and accepted me with all of my crap and dysfunction and insecurities and struggles." But she says she always felt inferior to the "Troy" heartthrob, and that her relationship with him went through "rough and nasty" patches. Despite rumors that she put her career above having a family with Pitt, Aniston told how she longs to have children, saying: "Babies are so magical that I want at least one of my own." Pitt recently said that his love was never enough for Aniston. "It was becoming a nightmare," he said. "When something so good goes so bad, it's awful. Jennifer refused to recognize the problems and she had an inability to let go, always bringing up the good memories. I'm not the bad guy."

Joel completes rehab

LOS ANGELES -- Billy Joel has finished a 30-day stay at the Betty Ford Center in California for treatment of alcoholism, his second stint in rehab since '02, reports the New York Daily News. Joel, 55, is reportedly fit, and according to a friend, "has completely sworn off all alcohol." Joel checked out Sunday morning, flying back to Long Island, N.Y., with wife, Kate Lee.

France honors Willis

PARIS -- Bruce Willis has been made an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France's highest cultural honors, reports BBC Online. Willis, 50, received his decoration in Paris on Wednesday from French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, who said Willis symbolized "the power of U.S. cinema" and the "mythical proportions" of its characters. Willis said the award proved "cinema has no boundaries and that we all belong to the same artistic community." Speaking in French, the "Die Hard" star said he was "very touched" to receive the medal. "Thank you France and Culture Minister for this great, great honor," he said. Also present at the ceremony were French actor Jean Reno and Willis' "Pulp Fiction" co-star, Maria de Medeiros. De Vabres praised Willis' "quiet strength and empathy." "Your roles cannot be reduced down to the fight against good and bad which is so popular in the U.S. film industry, even if you have killed lots of villains," he said. Other recent recipients of the award include Sir Alan Parker, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Willis is in Paris to promote the thriller "Hostage," directed by French filmmaker Florent Siri. His latest film, "Sin City," topped the North American box-office chart in its first week of release.

PARIS -- Bruce Willis has been made an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France's highest cultural honors, reports BBC Online. Willis, 50, received his decoration in Paris on Wednesday from French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, who said Willis symbolized "the power of U.S. cinema" and the "mythical proportions" of its characters. Willis said the award proved "cinema has no boundaries and that we all belong to the same artistic community." Speaking in French, the "Die Hard" star said he was "very touched" to receive the medal. "Thank you France and Culture Minister for this great, great honor," he said. Also present at the ceremony were French actor Jean Reno and Willis' "Pulp Fiction" co-star, Maria de Medeiros. De Vabres praised Willis' "quiet strength and empathy." "Your roles cannot be reduced down to the fight against good and bad which is so popular in the U.S. film industry, even if you have killed lots of villains," he said. Other recent recipients of the award include Sir Alan Parker, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Willis is in Paris to promote the thriller "Hostage," directed by French filmmaker Florent Siri. His latest film, "Sin City," topped the North American box-office chart in its first week of release.

Domingo wants to singpoetry written by pope

ROME -- Opera tenor Placido Domingo wants to sing poetry written by Pope John Paul II that he says is of "great literary value," reports Agence France-Presse. "I've asked my son Placido, who is a composer, to write a musical score for lyrics based on the verse of John Paul II," Domingo said. "I hope we will be able to make use of the poems very soon." Domingo said he was a great admirer of the late pontiff, who granted him three audiences and for whom he performed three times. "He was a great pope, and it would not be a surprise if his successor wanted to call himself John Paul III," he said, adding that he expected the pontiff to be made a saint within a very short time.

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