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Posts Tagged ‘John Travolta’

Idina Menzel Says She and John Travolta Are Now ‘Buddies’

Billboard is teasing its upcoming Idina Menzel cover story, which will be online Monday.

Menzel told reporter Suzy Evans that John Travolta‘s epic Oscars flub threw her for a minute. But only a minute. She has since benefited as much as Slate. On all fronts, it has turned out to be a royale flub with cheese.

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Richard Quest Recalls Dad’s Spot-On Career Advice

CNN’s coverage of the Malaysian airliner disappearance has once again thrust Richard Quest to the fore. Quest divides his time between New York and London, but for a recent interview with youthful Malaysian writer Kenneth Chaw, the location was Kuala Lumpur, where the CNN vet logged the latest episode of monthly series Business Traveller.

Chaw notes that Quest, ever the consummate broadcast journalist, had a key piece of advice for his interviewer right off the bat. Quest also shared this great memory:

Quest’s illustrious career in journalism got its start in law. “I had to have a career if it all went horribly wrong. My late father told me to get a decent job. He always said, ‘If you’re a journalist, you would have the best dinner party stories and the smallest car parked outside.’ And he was right,” said Quest, who read law in the University of Leeds and was called to the Bar.

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Winner of Second Place Behind Slate/Travoltified: The LA Times

Bravo, LA Times editors. Bravo!

In today’s print editions, for a Calendar section article by David Ng and Oliver Gettell about the endlessly fascinating John Travolta/Adele Dazeem flub, the paper went with the following headline:

LATTravoltaAdeleDazeemHed

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Meet the Critic Who Liked After Earth AND Battlefield Earth

Topless Robot editor Luke Y. Thompson knew what he was getting himself into when he gave After Earth a positive review. On his personal Facebook page Thursday, he linked to the article with the declaration “I liked it. I’ll defend it.” This prompted fellow LAFCA member Wade Major to comment: “Oh dude… That’s seriously putting yourself out there… Armor up.”

Actually, what really puts Thompson out there is that on Rotten Tomatoes, he is the only critic tagging both After Earth and John Travolta’s 2000 Scientology sci-fi epic Battlefield Earth as “Fresh:”

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THR Esq. Reporter Cries Foul Over Radar Online Travolta Item

Late yesterday afternoon, Hollywood Reporter senior editor Eriq Gardner posted a typically well-researched update about the lawsuit brought against John Travolta by a Royal Caribbean cruise ship male attendant. A California federal judge has rejected the actor’s attempts to send the matter to arbitration based on the ticketed-transaction nature of the trip.

This morning, a staff-bylined item on Radar Online covers the same territory, without any hat tip or credit to Gardner. More egregiously, there is at least one sentence in the Radar blurb that appears to be a verbatim-lift from the THR end. Can’t blame Gardner for being a little peeved.

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Tony Ortega Breaks Down Lawrence Wright Scientology Book Excerpts

The biggest thing from a media perspective about two excerpts published in The Hollywood Reporter from Lawrence Wright‘s upcoming Scientology book is that the author was able to get a familiar behind-the-scenes source to speak on the record. From Tony Ortega‘s blog:

The shorter excerpt is about John Travolta, told through his former [Church] personal assistant, Spanky Taylor. We guess it can be told now that Spanky has helped several of us reporters over the years — our relationship with her goes back over a decade — but Wright is the first to get her to speak on the record, ever. Maybe it was his Alabama charm.

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BBC Reporter Still Hoping to Publish Book About Nightmarish Scientology Experiences

Famous for his 2007 and 2010 BBC Panorama reports on the Church of Scientology, John Sweeney took today to the pages of UK’s The Independent to bang a loud warning gong against the (subsequent) symphony of Cruise-Holmes divorce settlement dispatches. Although Holmes may not have been followed by Church affiliated personnel in the streets of New York, he writes that he was:

They spied on me. I know that for a fact because the man who led the spying team – Mike Rinder, the head of the church’s secret police, the Office of Special Affairs – defected to us in 2010 and told me so on Panorama…

Private investigators whom I believe were working for the church chased me around the streets of LA, invaded my hotel at midnight and put me under surveillance at breakfast. Strangers spied on my wedding and knocked on the doors of my neighbors.

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Screenwriter Recalls the Day He Joked About CAA

When Michael Ovitz departed CAA in the mid-1990s, screenwriter-novelist Doug Richardson found himself unexpectedly caught up in a blaze of media coverage.

In a blog post titled “Spiking the Football,” he recalls that because he happened to leave the agency for William Morris right before Ovitz’s exit, he was lumped together somewhat hilariously with David E. Kelley in LA Times and New York Times coverage. Separately, when Richardson’s new agents packaged his first nove Dark Horse for mid-six figures, he did an interview with Variety’s Mike Fleming. Which got him into a lot of trouble:

“So,” said Fleming. “John Travolta as star. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard as producers. How’s that feel?”

“Great,” I answered, then added something I thought was funny. “Who knew I’d have to leave CAA to get packaged.”

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How The National Enquirer Vets Gay Sex Stories

Obviously intrigued by the glut of John Travolta gay-masseuse-sex stories coming out  in the tabloids as of late, Gawker’s Maureen O’Connor decided to look into the National Enquirer‘s fact-checking processes. Though she spoke to a few staffers at the Enquirer and its sister tabloid Star who admitted many of their stories were utterly wrong, she seems to have come away impressed with the rigor involved in going after big scoops like the Travolta stories. Sources touting scandalous revelations are routinely given polygraph tests by a former FBI interrogator. No joke.

Writes O’Connor:

“The polygraph is an insurance policy that our lawyers like,” Star editor James Heidenry explained to me. Star‘s third editor-in-chief in little over a year, Heidenry was not on staff during Mr. Clean’s negotiation, but spoke broadly about the magazine’s tactics. “We like to get them too, to be confident with the story and reach a comfort level with it, and to protect ourselves against legal action.” If a story failed the polygraph test, “we would ditch it,” he concluded.

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John Travolta’s Classic Mercedes Dismembered by Thieves

Actor John Travolta‘s 1970 Mercedes 280SL convertible has gone to classic car heaven. The vehicle, which was stolen from a Santa Monica neighborhood back in September, was gutted by thieves for parts. The car’s remains were discovered by police in an illegal “chop shop.” Santa Monica police Sergeant Richard Lewis said today of the Mercedes:

It was not recovered in whole, it was chopped. We have numerous pieces recovered but not the entire car.

Thanks to police, the streets of Los Angeles are now a little safer for classic automobiles. Two men, believed to be running a classic car theft ring, were arrested for the theft in December. D.L. Rayford Jr., 52, was sentenced to 16 months in jail and ordered to pay Travolta $50,000. Michael Green, 58, remains in custody awaiting trial.

Car pictured is similar to the one stolen. Photo via the Santa Monica Police Department.

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