September 23rd, 2009
04:25 PM ET

Travolta's heartbreaking testimony

John Travolta is being forced to reveal personal details about the day his son died—and admitting for the first time that Jett suffered from autism.

Tarino Lightbourne and former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater are accused of trying to extort $25 million from Travolta.  It is alleged that the two conspired to extort money in return for not making documents pertaining to Jett’s treatment public.

John and his wife Kelly Preston walked into the Bahamian courtroom together before Travolta took the stand for the prosecution.

PEOPLE Magazine reports John testified that he and Kelly woke to banging on their door and then ran to their son’s side where they found people already trying to help him. "I took the place of the woman who was doing CPR.” John said according to PEOPLE. "Jeff, the other nanny, was doing some compressions. I was doing the breathing."

It was during his testimony that he revealed for the first time that Jett suffered from autism- something that he and Kelly had long denied. According to PEOPLE John said, "My son was autistic and he suffered from seizure disorder every 5 to 10 days, he would suffer a seizure that would last 45 seconds to a minute and sleep for 12 hours."

September 23rd, 2009
11:35 AM ET

GOOD celeb news? That's Ludacris!

Entertainment news has been even more of a moral cesspool than usual lately, from obnoxious behavior and bitter breakups to alleged extortion, drug abuse, and now claims of incest.  If you don't enjoy reading such stories, rest assured it's not much fun writing them either - not for me, anyway.  (And for those of you who do enjoy them ... well, I still don't like writing them.)

So, in keeping with Alex Haley's admonition to "find the good and praise it," I'd like to call to your attention a story from earlier this month that some of you may have missed.  Many people are struggling to find work right now, and that can be even more difficult if you don't have a car.  Well, that's no longer a problem for 20 job seekers in Atlanta, thanks to a local auto dealer and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges.  The rapper/actor and the car dealer teamed up to give away 20 new cars to contest winners who explained in essays how being without a car made their search for a job even tougher.

Sure, Ludacris gets good press out of it, and the dealership likely gets a tax writeoff.  But 20 people are more likely to be able to find work, support their families, and pump money back into the economy as a result ... and those same people got an amazing lift at an especially tough time.  Who couldn't use that?

At the same time people rush to dump on Oprah and others who use their celebrity for good, we also hear a constant stream of "why don't you report good news?"  Consider this our latest attempt to do just that, and encourage more of it.

September 23rd, 2009
10:59 AM ET

Brad Pitt in 'Sherlock Holmes'

Brad Pitt is in talks for a "Sherlock Holmes" sequel. Jay-Z is headed to London, England. And a "Twilight" star is set to go musical. CNN's KJ Matthews has more on these tidbits in today's buzz:


Filed under: movies • Music
September 23rd, 2009
10:28 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's going on in the world of entertainment today:

  • He's written about the White House; now he's taking on Facebook. "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin's script for "The Social Network," about the founding of the popular Web site, is moving forward as a movie. The stars attached are Justin Timberlake, Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, according to Variety. David Fincher ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") will direct.
Kevin Federline
  • Variety reports that Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody will adapt the "Sweet Valley High" book series for the big screen. The books were previously turned into a TV series in the mid-1990s.
  • J.J. Abrams, best known for "Lost" and the recent "Star Trek" movie, will try his hand at comedy next, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He will be the executive producer on a "comedic medical show" for the Fox network. Few details are known beyond that, such as how much it might differ from ABC's "Scrubs."
  • Britney Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline is set to appear on VH-1's "Celebrity Fit Club," according to People. Look for it in February of next year.
  • It's a girl for Sarah Michelle Prinze (formerly Gellar) and husband Freddie Prinze, Jr. Charlotte Grace Prinze was born to the couple on Saturday, People reports.
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