Showbiz Roundup: Shhh, did you hear?

Congratulations Reese – Just Don’t Rub It In To Renee

Britney’s been dating hers for years and Scar-Jo dragged hers along as her Oscar date, now Reese Witherspoon has taken the trend a step further and tied the knot with her agent Jim Toth. The couple exchanged vows at her £4.5 million estate in Ojai, California, where the 35-year-old mum-of-two wore a stunning Monique Lhullier dress. Among the 120 guests were Matthew McConaughey, Robert Downey Junior, Tobey Maguire, Salma Hayek and Renee Zellweger, who was no doubt putting on a brave face after her recent shock split from her fiancé Bradley Cooper. (We hear she had already bought the wedding dress!) We suspect Renee and Reese had a lot to talk about after reports that Bradley has been getting very cosy with his Limitless co-star Abbie Cornish. Yes, THAT Abbie Cornish, the woman behind Reese’s split from her baby daddy and former husband of eight years Ryan Phillippe. But it looks like Reese finally has her happy ending with Toth – they met in January 2010, got engaged at Christmas (he presented her with a £150,000 four-carat Ashoka diamond – bit lame after hearing about Liz Taylor’s love mementos below right?) and wasted no time in making things official yesterday. Hell, they even released 80 white doves into the air when they said ‘I do’… aaagh. Why 80, I’m not sure, but if I’d got my invite I’d have found out, wouldn’t I, Reese? How rude.

Mama Mariah’s Close Call!

There’s never a dull moment in the whirlwind diva-infused life of Mariah Carey. The 200,000,000-selling record singer was getting ready to go out and party last night – it was, of course, her 41st birthday party – with hubby Nick Cannon. He’s a rapper or TV something or producer, isn’t he? Anyway, the tots – a girl and a boy – are due in a few weeks, but during preparations for her big party, Mariah suffered contractions and was rushed to the hospital! Now don’t panic because all is okay. ‘Finally they said I could come home after they got it under control,’ she Tweeted. ‘They almost came on 3/27 – happy anniversary indeed! We have a few more weeks to go but – wow!’ Bless. No doubt we’re all wondering about the astonishing TWIN-MANIA that’s hit Hollywood – Brange, J.Lo, Celine Dion, SJP, Julia Roberts, LM Presley – with many assuming something laboratory-involved happened (well it’s so easy – two for the price of one major body overhaul/upheaval/etc and time off work), but Mrs Cannon insists her little uns were conceived naturally. We’re all gripped with the exciting news on what will no doubt be delectably spoilt kids to knock Suri Cruise off her block (I have heard astonishing nurseries – diamond-encrusted iPods, flatscreen TV coming down from the ceiling, £1,390 Chelsea Sleigh cribs and a Clara changing table worth £1,780), but the couple’s joy is particularly sweet due to a devastating loss shortly after they wed in 2008. Mariah miscarried and the couple decided to keep the matter private. We hear the singer couldn’t be happier, but is ‘looking forward to the birth in ways you could not imagine’. Hmmm.

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore

It was a very sad week to hear that violet-eyed screen queen Elizabeth Taylor has gone to meet her maker – and hopefully a passionate rematch with the love of her life Richard Burton. And I feel it is my duty to explain why Liz T is so more than an old friend of Michael Jackson’s, after being completely gobsmacked by a silly little foetus contestant on Australia’s Next Top Model who, given the task of recreating one of Liz’s most famous photographs, admits: ‘I don’t know who Elizabeth Taylor is? I think she’s ugly.’ Cue AK47 machine gun fire followed by a frantic online shop for a new telly on Amazon. But the eight-times-married Liz’s romantic life would have made Jordan look like a nun. From construction workers to A-list Hollywood hunks, Liz once said: ‘I am a very committed wife. And I should be committed too – for being married so many times.’ Of course, of her eight weddings, Sir Richard Burton was one man she took up the aisle more than once. One of the many extravagant gifts he gave her was a whopping 69.42 carat pear-shaped diamond, which was forevermore named ‘the Taylor Burton diamond’. He also gifted her the 33.19-carat Krupp Diamond and the 50-carat La Peregrina Pearl, once owned by Mary Tudor. But Liz had no problem affording her own bling. In fact it was her title role in Cleopatra in 1963 that earned her the first seven-figure paypacket for an actress in Tinseltown history. At the time, the role of the Egyptian queen was the most sought-after Oscar-guaranteed part in movieland – and it seems history repeats. With talk of a new remake under way, it will come as no surprise to hear that Angelina Jolie and Catherine Zeta Jones have reportedly fallen out after their aggressive campaigns to win the role in the new flick. My money’s on Angelina – not because she’s the better one for the role, but because she bears many a trait with the late great Elizabeth Taylor. They both have a reputation for stealing other women’s men and both court headlines as one half of the most-watched and emulated A-list couples under the spotlight. It was said that half the American film industry’s income came from Taylor/Burton movies. Rest In Passion, Liz and Dick.

Have We Been Conned, Natalie?

We all marvelled at the hypnotically horrific meltdown of Natalie Portman’s ballerina in Black Swan – even more so the breath-holding dance routines, but when we heard Ms Portman studied ballet for 18 months to prepare and that ’85 per cent of that movie is Natalie,’ according to Black Swan choreographer (and Nat’s baby dady) Benjamin Millepied…, why it was deemed absolutely necessary and just and true and right that Natalie win the Oscar, Globe, Bafta, SAG, etc etc. However, it turns out Natalie did not do anywhere near as much of the ballet moves as we’ve been told. According to Nat’s ballet body double Sarah Lane, 27, we’ve all been misled: ‘Of the full body shots, I would say five per cent are Natalie,’ the American Ballet Theatre soloist said, adding: ‘All the other shots are me.’ Sarah says she performed many of the dance sequences and Nat’s face was digitally placed onto her body. Well that explains why most of the ballet community were less than impressed with the film. Tamara Rojo, principle dancer with the Royal Ballet told The Guardian newspaper: ‘I really have a problem with this film using an actress, not a dancer, to play Nina. The director seems to think that, in a few months, you can learn a profession that it takes years just to understand, let alone be good at. And in the film, Nina is supposed to be awesome. This is a very lazy movie, featuring every ballet cliche going. If you want to look at the dark side of ballet, do it properly, don’t just give us shots of a ballerina suddenly vomiting. Nina’s mother was beyond the cliche of a ballet mum – she was a psychopath. And the only people who looked like they were having a good time were the ones having sex.’ Snip.

Prince Harry, Er, Wills Has His Cake

My favourite item of Royal Wedding memorabilia thus far has been the mug made by a Chinese company celebrating the wedding of Kate and William’s bro Harry! Now I’m not sure if Guandong Enterprises did it on purpose (as the company is actually registered in Britain, I’m smelling an elaborate hoax), but for £9.99 you can get the ‘collector’s item’ featuring pictures of Kate and Harry. I’m very tempted to nab one myself as no doubt this is one particular item of memorabilia that WILL appreciate in value. Meanwhile, we hear Ms Middleton, who is reportedly suffering major panic attacks as her big day approaches, has decided on TWO wedding cakes. The sweet-toothed couple have asked Leicestershire cake designer Fiona Cairns to make a traditional multi-tiered fruit cake. Mrs Cairns said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. I’m very excited, very daunted and very privileged – a mixture of emotions.’ No more so that biscuit makers McVitie’s, who have been specially commissioned to make the second cake – Williams favourite cake made from Rich Tea biscuits and dark chocolate. Chefs at McVitie’s have been sent the recipe from Buckingham Palace and requested to make a giant version using 1,700 biscuits and 40lbs of chocolate. Cor – why don’t guests just cut out the middle man and cellotape a slice to their thighs!?

by Justine Harkness
[picture credits:mysunshine; Nikki Nelson / WENN; Wenn]
Justine Harkness

Justine Harkness

Now based in Los Angeles, Justine had worked for publications from Now to Look, OK! to Loaded, in the UK as well as for weekly magazines in Australia. She has written everything from in-depth celebrity interviews to covering every showbiz party, hotspot, the three ‘Fs’ (fads, fashion, fitness), awards ceremonies, travel (to Mustique, no less), you name it, for all the big magazines. A regular showbiz and lifestyle expert commentator for radio and TV, including BBC, Sky and all the terrestrial channels. There’s more, but there always is. She lives in Santa Monica with her ridiculously fluffy kitten Cookie (‘We should have called her Queen Latifah,’ she shrugs), chasing the latest celebrity stories. Justine’s mantra in life is: ‘In vodka we trust.’ She successfully out drinks many, yet is a bit of a hippy at heart. Just don’t ask her about grammar.

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