Hermes apologizesfor snub of Oprah
PARIS -- The luxury store Hermes has apologized to Oprah Winfrey for turning her away from one of its Paris boutiques last week, saying it was closed for a public relations event when she came knocking. The talk-show host and "an entourage" unsuccessfully tried to enter an Hermes boutique on Paris' posh Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore at 6:45 p.m. on June 14, Hermes said in a statement. The store's normal closing time is 6:30 p.m., although high-end shops are known to make exceptions for celebrities. On that particular night, however, "a private public relations event was being prepared inside," the statement said. "Hermes regrets not having been able to welcome Madame Oprah Winfrey and the people accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermes is committed to giving each of its clients in the world," said the statement, released Tuesday. "Hermes expresses its sincere regrets for any misunderstanding that these circumstances could have caused."
Leguizamo bites the bullet
LOS ANGELES -- So would John Leguizamo rather take the bullet to the head and be done with all this zombie fuss, or would he prefer to become one of the walking dead himself? Depends on where he is when the zombies bite him. Leguizamo, 40, co-stars in the zombie thriller "George Romero's Land of the Dead," which opens today. In director Romero's zombie lore, once bitten by a zombie, people inevitably die and come back as flesh-craving ghouls themselves. The only way to avoid that fate is a bullet to the brain. If bitten, Leguizamo told The Associated Press, he might view his transformation into a zombie as a way to get payback on show-business people who have crossed him. "If I was in Hollywood and I got bitten by a zombie, I would want to stay a zombie and then take down as many people as I could," said Leguizamo, who lives in upstate New York. "But if I was back with my family, I would definitely bite the bullet, because it's my loved ones, and I don't want to hurt my loved ones. "But if I'm out here, let me be. I want to bite as many people as I can. Bite them back, so to speak."
Red-hot Peppers concert
LAS VEGAS -- It might have been too hot to handle a crowd of 50,000 concertgoers in an asphalt parking lot near the Las Vegas Strip in the middle of a southern Nevada summer. Las Vegas Centennial planners said Tuesday a July 2 outdoor concert featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer will instead be held on a grassy soccer field near Sam Boyd Stadium. "On reflection, this is a better place," Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said. Organizers also added a $100,000 fireworks show to the free concert, one of a series of events this year marking the city's 100th anniversary. Authorities cited concerns about triple-digit temperatures affecting people in the crowd, while security planners cited difficulties getting people to and from the original site near the Las Vegas Convention Center -- about a block off the Las Vegas Strip. Event organizers said tickets will be honored at the new venue at the Silver Bowl Sports Complex, about 9 miles southeast of the Strip. No new tickets will be issued. The concert generated controversy in April when scalpers snapped up free tickets minutes after they were available online and began offering them on the Internet at prices of up to $70 each.
LOS ANGELES -- Jury selection began this week in Los Angeles in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of late New York rapper Notorious B.I.G. The hip-hop star, also known as Biggie Smalls, actual name Christopher Wallace, was gunned down in March 1997 in L.A. as he was being driven home from a party. He was 24. In the eight years since, investigations by police and the FBI have failed to net a suspect. But there's been no shortage of theories suggesting that B.I.G. was the victim of a gang hit, corrupt cops, or bicoastal rap rivalry. The suit charges that the LAPD covered up a former officer's alleged involvement in the murder.
Actor Al Molinaro is 86. Comedian Jack Carter is 82. Movie director Claude Chabrol is 75. Actress Michele Lee is 63. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 63. Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 62. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 61. Singer Arthur Brown is 61. New York Gov. George Pataki is 60. Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) is 60. Actor Peter Weller is 58. Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) is 56. Actress Nancy Allen is 55. Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) is 55. Actor Joe Penny is 49. Reggae singer Astro (UB40) is 48. Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) is 46. Rock singer Curt Smith is 44. Actress Danielle Spencer is 40. Actress Sherry Stringfield is 38. Singer Glenn Medeiros is 35. Singer Solange Knowles is 19.