Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Britney Spears' latest CD "Circus" is the No. 1 album after selling half a million copies last week, according to the AP:
The singer's comeback CD — actually, make that her second comeback CD — will top the album charts next week, according to her label, Jive. Though Nielsen SoundScan does not release its official figures until Wednesday, estimates have the record selling as many as 500,000 copies in its first week of release. "This is going to reinforce her icon status," said Barry Weiss, chairman and CEO of the BMG Label Group, which includes Spears' label. "It's not just a No. 1 album."
Britney's handlers already have a two-month tour planned starting in March, but is she ready? Sources for OK! Magazine say "Are you shitting me?":
"It is too much for her," an insider tells OK! of the star. "They packed her schedule too tight and now they're trying to find free time."
"She has the talent and the musical chops top pull it off, emotionally speaking, it's a little too soon," psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman, who does not treat Britney, tells OK!. "I don't think Britney will hit rock bottom, but it does leave her vulnerable to stress and burnout."
We're going to hear the "Is Britney ready to tour?" narrative ad nauseum until the thing launches in March, so let me just answer it definitively once and for all: HELL FUCKING NO. Unless, of course, the point of the tour is to make Britney think she's Mary Poppins again then be found days later using her children as boxing gloves in an underground cock fight. In which case, okay, yeah, start the bus.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The former Baywatch star caused a stir when she arrived at one of the most important art exhibitions in the U.S., Art Basel Miami Beach, wearing a pair of orange and black patterned underpants.
Known for wearing as little as possible, Anderson at least covered the top half of her modesty, with a grey off-the-shoulder t-shirt.
Anderson enjoyed playing up to the cameras as she seductively bent over paintings, with her bottom and pink high heels in the air.
But when it came to accessories, the 41-year-old was in keeping with the art theme, as she held a Campbell's Soup handbag clutch - a hint to the work of art produced by Andy Warhol in the 1960s.
Anderson was joined by Paris Hilton at the annual week-long art fair to view the work of fashion photographer and film director David LaChapelle.
LaChapelle's exhibition 'Jesus Is My Homeboy' featured a series of surreal and sometimes humorous images of models posing with Jesus.
The American artist, with his characteristic boyish cap tilted to the side, was yesterday eager to show the bare-legged Anderson around Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
During the tour, the ex-Playboy covergirl reached out to hug a photograph of herself.
Anderson recently signed a six-figure deal to be the new face of British designer Vivienne Westwood and will front her spring/ summer outfits campaign next year.
She met the designer at a party last year, and it is believed Westwood loves her 'quirkiness'.
Art Basel is an exclusive selection of more than 250 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
EXCLUSIVE: 'What Angelina did was very uncool,' says Jennifer Aniston as she slams love rival in new interview
Now she has decided to share with the world her utter contempt for Angelina Jolie.
In the forthcoming issue of U.S. Vogue, Miss Aniston, 39, gives a searing condemnation of her notorious nemesis.
In an outburst that will lift the lid on their four-year feud, Miss Aniston icily told the publication: 'What Angelina did was very uncool'.
The brief yet explosive comment marks the first occasion that the former Friends star has spoken out publicly about her love rival.
It comes just a fortnight after Miss Jolie, 33, revealed that she and Pitt had 'fell in love' during the making of Mr and Mrs Smith in 2004, despite previously claiming their romance only started after filming.
A source said: 'This interview shows that Jennifer is no longer afraid of Angelina,' adding: 'It's hugely significant.'
In the magazine's December issue, Miss Aniston is said by industry insiders to have given her most candid interview yet, offering countless details about her new Beverly Hills estate, her unusual relationship with her parents, and intimate secrets about her romantic life.
Enlarge Star of the film Brad Pitt and his wife Jennifer Aniston arrive for the premiere of Troy, at the Palais de Festival during the 57th Cannes Film Festival in France. Thursday 13 May 2004
'She's never been this honest or brave in an interview before,' said the source, who has seen the completed, lengthy package, due on sale in the U.S. in a few days.
The source added: 'This certainly raises the bar on celebrity profiles. Jennifer opens up about her sex life, her career, and her feelings about life after her divorce.
'She must have had a lot on her mind, because she lets go on everything.'
MailOnline has learned that Miss Aniston's new Vogue appearance features the actress posing in erotic designer swimsuits and bearing her toned body on the sun-kissed beaches of Malibu.
'This thoroughly re-establishes her credibility as a sex symbol,' the source went on, adding: 'Her body has never looked tighter or more fit.'
But her thoughts on Miss Jolie, who famously started a family with Pitt, will indubitably attract the most attention.
The cover prominently blares: 'What Angelina did was very uncool', which appears to be a direct jab at Miss Jolie's 2007 interview with the same magazine.
During that interview, Miss Jolie condescendingly offered to meet with Miss Aniston to hash things out and resolve their feud.
'If she wanted to [meet] then I would be open to it,' she famously told the publication.
Meanwhile Miss Jolie, currently promoting a new film, revealed yesterday that she and Pitt plan to have more children together.
Speaking in Hollywood alongside Dustin Hoffman, she told reporters: 'I have a great partner. He's the best daddy and we have fun, so whenever it gets hard we can just look at each other and find a way to laugh about and just appreciate that they're only little once, and we should enjoy every minute.
On adding to their brood, she said: 'Anything could happen. We're open to anything, we love kids and we're having a great time. It's chaos in our house but it's so much fun. We'll definitely have more.'
But as a fresh-faced Amy opened her door to snappers, she revealed a head of lush, glossy curls, showing for the first time in many years just how the singer looks without her trademark matted beehive.
Amy unveiled the glossy, curly locks, as she came to the door of her north London home.
But later a coy Amy stuck on her headscarf as she stepped out with friend 'good Blake'. Amy was seen leaving her north London home with the American photographer Blake Wood.
She then met up with a few friends to go for a drink in a local pub.
Looking more filled out than before, and showing off a pretty rounded stomach, Amy came to her door to in a string vest, under which she wore a nude coloured bra, and bizarrely offered the waiting snappers slices of cheese on toast.
But aside from her healthier-looking appearance, it was her glossy curls which caught the eye, as she looked even more like her mother Janice with her new mumsy look.
She happily posed for pictures and showed photographers her hospital tags when she opened the door of her north London home to ask a photographer to use their mobile.
She then went back into her home with the phone and returned a short while after with the phone in hand and slices of cheese on toast for the photographers.
Amy then chatted to photographers updating photographers on her recent movements revealing she was getting medical treatment for the rash which could be seen on her stomach.
Later on Amy went to a pub in Kentish Town, where she met a few friends including DJ and TV presenter Nick Grimshaw.
After enjoying a few afternoon shots a smiling Amy headed for home.
Blake, 26, boasted that the pair are still very much in love and that he is expecting a visit from Amy 'at any time now.'
He declared: 'We will be together for the rest of our lives.'
But as he made his comments, Amy's mother Janis has said that she is praying that Blake stays away from her daughter.
Janis, 53, told Closer magazine that Amy was devastated that he didn’t tell her he was getting out of prison before his release into rehab last Wednesday.
She said: 'What sort of husband doesn’t tell his wife that he’s being released? That says it all really, doesn’t it?'
Blake has been staying at a rehab clinic in Woking, Surrey, since he was released from prison last Wednesday.
He was locked up for a year for his part in a vicious assault on a pub landlord.
He allegedly asked Amy to pay the £30,000 fee for his treatment, but she refused.
Amy has not yet visited her freed husband, sparking rumours of a rift between the couple.
She is said to be livid that she did not know her husband was leaving Edmunds Hill jail in East Anglia for a seven-week course to cure his heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
Monday, November 10, 2008
'We'll be together forever,' declares Amy Winehouse's husband from rehab (but she STILL hasn't visited him)
Blake Fielder-Civil, 26, defiantly boasted that the pair are still very much in love and that he is expecting a visit from Amy 'at any time now.'
He declared: 'We will be together for the rest of our lives.'
Blake has been staying at a rehab clinic in Woking, Surrey, since he was released from prison last Wednesday.
He was locked up for a year for his part in a vicious assault on a pub landlord.
But Amy has not yet visited her freed husband, sparking rumours of a rift between the couple.
Amy is said to be livid that she did not know her husband was leaving Edmunds Hill jail in East Anglia for a seven-week course to cure his heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
But Blake denied their relationship was in any doubt.
He said: 'We are not breaking up. She hasn't dumped me.
'We both love each other very much and will be together forever.'
He also hit back at Amy's father Mitch who said the couple had not spoken to each other in months.
Mitch is said to be spearheading talks with lawyers in an effort to guard the star's £10million fortune from her husband.
Huddling from the rain in a red and white T-shirt and smoking a cigarette at the £4,000- a-week centre, he said: 'We have spoken on the phone and I'm expecting a visit from her at any time now.
'We can't wait to be back together again.'
Blake was released from prison looking pale and with his arms covered in red scars.
He has fought a long battle with drug addiction and was not due to be set free until next month - but was released after agreeing to attend rehab.
And despite only being there for less than a week, Fielder-Civil insists he was now free from his drug shackles.
He said: 'I'm over the worst of it. I won't be going back to that lifestyle.
'After being in prison the only drug I need is the smell of free air - that and my beautiful wife Amy.'
Fielder-Civil was sentenced to 27 months in prison in July after assaulting barman James King, 36, outside a pub in East London and plotting to bribe him with £200,000 not to testify.
He had already spent nine months in custody after his arrest in November last year.
It is believed Fielder-Civil will be assessed at the rehab clinic for several weeks before being released.
Jayden James was raced to the emergency ward after lapsing into a 'vague and unresponsive' state.
The toddler fell ill yesterday afternoon at the family home in Kentwood, Louisiana.
The entire Spears clan made the 25-mile dash to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Centre, Mississippi.
Doctors were unable to pinpoint the problem straight away and kept the toddler in for overnight observation.
Distraught Britney, 26, refused to leave his side and asked for a bed next to him in the ward.
Her ex-husband, rapper Kevin Federline, is now believed to be making plans to jet out of Los Angeles to be at Jayden's bedside.
It's the first time Britney has been allowed to leave California with sons Sean Preston, 3, and Jayden since their dad K-Fed was given full custody in July.
She flew them into Louisiana on a private jet with her dad Jamie on Friday, the morning after her surprise appearance onstage with Madonna in Los Angeles.
The special week-long visit was to steal some family time ahead of Britney's forthcoming promotional tour of her new album 'Circus'.
She was also anxious to be reunited with her little sister Jamie-Lynn, 17, who recently gave birth to daughter Maddie-Briann.
Sources say chaos erupted when Jayden suffered a suspected seizure out of the blue, at about 3pm yesterday.
'One minute Britney and her sons were relaxing and enjoying their first visit to Kentwood in months, and the next minute Jayden had fallen ill,' said a source.
'He was vague and unresponsive so Britney dialled an ambulance. But she was told it would take half an hour to arrive, and she was best trying to get Jayden to the hospital herself.'
Minutes later, two cars tore out of the Spears' 'Serenity' residence.
The first, a Lincoln Navigator, carried Britney, her mum Lynne and dad Jamie as well as the poorly toddler. A Range Rover driven by Jamie-Lynn also carried their brother Brian.
When the convoy reached the motorway, Jamie-Lynn reportedly thwarted following photographers by refusing to let them pass.
She drove slowly alongside another vehicle to keep them back while her sister accelerated away.
When snappers arrived at the hospital, which is now being manned by police, Britney and her son had already dashed inside.
'Jayden James had to be kept in hospital overnight for observations,' said the source. 'We don't yet know what's wrong with him.
'Britney was insistent that wouldn't leave him. She asked for a bed to be made up in the same room so she could be there at his side.'
Saturday, November 08, 2008
At one point, it appeared the blonde socialite was attempting the moves to the ultimate 80s track - YMCA by the Village People.
But if that was her intention she was missing the Y, so perhaps Paris was just showing off her toned arms to her fellow party goers.
Paris has just returned to the US after spending time in Britain filming her new TV show My New Best Female Friend.
Last night, she was joined by boyfriend Benji Madden for the nightclub party.
But while Paris hit the dancefloor and was quickly surrounded by fans clicking photos, her guitarist boyfriend stayed at the bar, where he watched the crush from a safe distance.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Two shows of epic proportions are hitting Britain next year under one roof: Britney Spears and a live action adaptation of the Oscar-winning Ben Hur.
The Ben Hur spectacular is set to premiere at London's O2 Arena. Starring 400 performers, 100 animals and five chariots, the multi-million pound extravaganza has taken 15 years to make.
Mark Fisher, chief stage designer at the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, has been hired to provide the audience with a multi-sensory experience.
Hollywood producer Klaus Badelt has created a full symphoic soundtrack for the show, which premieres on September 15.
"I have aimed to create something completely new, with a high level of artistry, that would excite the audience," producer Franz Abraham told the Evening Standard.
"The show will have the speed of a musical, the depth of great theatre, the power of a rock concert and the visual opulence of a Hollywood blockbuster."
The show - part of the O2 Monumental series - will feature light, sound, water, wind and pyrotechnic effects with a state-of-the-art water wall installed to carry huge projections.
Meanwhile, Britney is also set to perform at the arena next summer as part of her comeback.
The pop star, 26, will bring her tour for up to 10 nights next June or July in London.
Diva Mariah Carey arrives with 20 suitcases ahead of X Factor performance... well, she is staying three nights
The singer and her husband Nick Cannon needed two huge trolleys to carry their bags. Porters pushing them through Heathrow airport seemed bemused by their haul.
When the newlyweds arrived at the Dorchester they were met by a crush of Mariah's fans, who held up banners saying 'Congrats MC and Nick'.
Mariah, who is 11 years older than her 27-year-old actor husband, dressed for comfort in grey leggings and open toe boots.
The 38-year-old kept warm with a long black cardigan, while Cannon dressed smartly in a pinstripe suit.
This week on the X Factor all the contestants will be performing a Mariah ballad - with the soul singer on hand to instruct them.
There are are plenty to choose from - with a career spanning 18 years, Mariah was named the best selling female artist of millennium in 2000 and has had more US number one hits than any other female in history.
The hopefuls have already covered one of Mariah's songs, Hero, currently at Number One in the British charts.
The track is raising funds for the Help For Heroes campaign and looks set to be one of the biggest selling British records of all time.
On Saturday night Mariah will join the remaining finalists on stage in a special performance of the track, as well as performing her latest single I Stay In Love.
Her X Factor debut comes after Simon Cowell personally stepped in to request her.
Mariah has also been tipped as a possibility to replace X Factor judge Dannii Minogue at the end of the series, when the singer is widely tipped to leave the show.
Following her X Factor performance Mariah and her husband will be flying to Monaco for the World Music Awards.
The couple, who originally met at the Kids' Choice Awards in 2005, married at her private estate in the Bahamas in April after a whirlwind six week romance.
They fell for each other when Cannon flew to Antigua at the end of March to play Mariah's love interest in the video for her single Bye Bye.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Blake leaves jail and checks straight into rehab... but Amy is too busy throwing a tantrum to greet him
The Back To Black singer was nowhere to be seen as the 26-year-old left jail for the first time in 12 months.
Instead, she opted to stay at home in London's Camden.
Winehouse, who left hospital on Monday after receiving ongoing treatment for a 'chest infection', looked far from jubilant as she emerged from the residence this afternoon with make-up smeared across her face.
She appeared to be in an agitated state, lunging at a photographer stationed outside her home.
It is not yet clear when the couple will be reunited.
Fielder-Civil was in better spirits, grinning from ear to ear as he walked out this morning wearing jeans, a striped red T-shirt and a trilby hat.
He was, however, showing signs of his time behind bars, sporting a chipped front tooth and red scratches down his arms.
But his freedom was short-lived - he is believed to have checked straight into a rehab facility as part of the terms of his release.
Fielder-Civil pleaded guilty to assaulting James King, 36, outside a pub and then plotting to bribe his victim in a £200,000 deal not to testify in court.
It's almost a year to the day since eight plain-clothed officers hand-cuffed Fielder-Civil at the couple's flat in Bow, East London, and led him off to cells as a hysterical Winehouse watched on.
Fielder-Civil's own mother has previously expressed concern about his return to Winehouse's world and his family are desperate for him to stay with them at their Lincolnshire home.
Georgette Civil said in July: 'Giving him and Amy another chance is like putting a gun to Blake's head while playing Russian roulette.'
'If he goes it could be a death sentence for the two of them.'
The former Miss Northern Ireland somehow managed to hold up her revealing red dress at a party to celebrate the release of a special Coronation Street DVD.
Could she have borrowed some sticky-back plastic from the art and craft box?
The gorgeous blonde sent pulses racing in the dress - which was slit down to her stomach.
Salmon, 28, became the 30th Blue Peter presenter when she joined in 2004. She quit the BBC1 show earlier this year.She recently told her how her appearance in the show had won her many young admirers.
'The thing is they are all in school uniform and about 12 and proclaiming their love.
'It’s nice and sweet and I try to let them down gently but it’s not easy. Some even cry,' she told the Daily Star.
Salmon isn't the first Blue Peter star to shed the prim and proper image usually adopted by presenters on the popular children's show.
Konnie Huq tunned heads in a stunning satin gown with a plunging neckline at the Spiderman movie premiere last year.
The show which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has been slowly losing popularity with figures for the last series falling below 500,000.
Editor Richard Marsden resigned last year after a it emerged that a child had posed as a competition winner, leading the BBC to be fined £50,000 by the television industry regulators Ofcom.
The show was at the centre of a number of scandals last year when bosses changed the results of a vote to name the show's cat, asked a visitor to pretend to be a competition winner and admitted two competition winners were child actors.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Two months ago, I sat in a Chelsea hotel suite with opera star Katherine Jenkins and during a lengthy interview for GQ magazine, the following exchange
Q. ‘Have you ever taken any drugs?
A. (shakes head).
Q. ‘Woah...was that a hesitation there?’
A. ‘No! I’ve never taken drugs.’
Katherine blushed slightly as she said this and looked rather flustered. Which I put down to the fact that, according to my extensive research, nobody had ever actually asked her this question before and she was just a bit taken aback.
It seemed, frankly, impossible to imagine Katherine being a drug abuser.
I was mistaken.
On Wednesday night, I was sitting down to watch Arsenal play Spurs in a Dubai hotel bar – I’m filming an ITV documentary on the Middle Eastern playground – when my phone rang.
‘Piers, it’s Katherine Jenkins. I need to tell you something that’s been bothering me.’
For the next hour, the beautiful young singer poured her heart out to me about how she had regularly taken cocaine, Ecstasy and cannabis.
And she was searingly honest about why she finally stopped.
‘I could have ended up messing it all up, and that would have just been a tragic waste of the opportunity I was given,’ she told me.
Katherine, 28, is, genuinely, one of the nicest people I’ve met in the often self-obsessed music industry: a sweet, polite, touchingly naive, unaffected girl from Neath in South Wales, who just happens to have one of the greatest mezzo-soprano voices in the world.
Last week, she signed a stunning £6million record deal with American label Warner Music and is flying to Los Angeles in the New Year for a few months to try her luck cracking the United States.
So, with things going so extraordinarily well professionally, confessing to her secret drugs shame past is not a decision she has taken lightly.
‘It’s not something I ever wanted to talk about publicly,’ she said, ‘because taking drugs is the biggest regret of my life. But I’ve always tried to be honest about my life and I’ve had sleepless nights since that GQ interview appeared, because I knew I’d lied to you.’
Her voice sounded trembly. ‘Are you OK?’ I asked.
‘Yes. But I’m very, very nervous about admitting what I did, and I know some people may be shocked. But I will feel relief, too, that it is finally out there and I can get on with my life without worrying that one day it may all come back to haunt me.’
Katherine told me she didn’t even know what drugs looked like when she first went to live in London in 1997 to study at the Royal Academy of Music. She was in her late teens, fresh-faced and woefully uneducated as to the sleazy ways of clubland life in the capital.
‘I was very naive about things like drugs,’ she said. ‘There was nothing like that around where I grew up. I never saw a drug or even knew what they looked like.
‘But when I started going out in London, I slowly became aware that when I went to parties, or went clubbing, a lot of people were taking drugs. I didn’t know what was going on to start with, because I’d never seen anyone take drugs. And I was quite shocked initially when I finally realised what they were doing. A lot of people I was around at the time were taking drugs openly when we went out together, and
I resisted for a long time but after a while I just joined in.’
Katherine’s first narcotic experience came at a friend’s house after a hard night on the town.
She recalled: ‘We’d all been drinking and when we got back to my friend’s house, I was offered cocaine by someone. Having said no so many times before, curiosity just got the better of me and I said yes. I thought it would be fun, because everyone else seemed to be having a good time after taking cocaine.
‘It wasn’t what I thought it would be like,’ she said. ‘I thought it would have some massive, dramatic effect on me but it didn’t. It made me feel powerful though and I felt like I had so much energy. I became really talkative too – even more than usual, if you can believe that!’
Katherine laughed, a little nervously, at her attempt to bring a bit of levity to the conversation. I could tell she was hating every second of having to do this, but at the same time knowing in her heart that it was better in the long run to come clean now.
‘I tried one line of cocaine that first time. I’m not going to blame anyone else for giving it to me, or even say who it was. I take responsibility for my own actions and always will. I took cocaine a handful of times more after that, maybe five or six. It was usually in private at friends’ houses, though I did once take it in the loo of a London club.’
How much did she take?
‘I’d take up to three lines a night, a bit of a lightweight compared to some of them!’
At which point, she half-laughed again. I felt sorry for her – this was not an interview Katherine ever thought she’d be giving and she was trying to deal with it in the same cheery way she deals with normal interviews, while knowing that the subject matter was as far from cheery as you can get.
It didn’t take long for the drugs to reveal their ugly side.
Katherine said: ‘The truth about drugs like cocaine is that after a while you see what it does to people around you and it’s not pretty, is it?’
Katherine’s career hadn’t kicked off properly at the time, leaving her doing the odd gig and spending the rest of the time teaching others to sing – and partying.
‘I was young and silly and never really thought about the consequences,’ she admitted.
‘I did not know I’d ever become famous, and I was at an age where you don’t care about the future much, do you?
‘I just liked going out with friends, getting drunk on too many Malibus and Cokes, and then someone would usually produce some drugs and occasionally I would take some.
‘I was hanging around with a bad crowd. Coming from where I come from, it tends to take me a while to see the bad in people. I was very trusting, and keen to please. I never really enjoyed taking drugs, it just made me fit in better. But I normally like to be in control of everything and I look back on that time and think, “What was that about?”
Did guilt set in?
‘Yes, I felt very guilty when I was doing it. I worried about what my family would think if they found out. I wasn’t happy with the situation, and I didn’t really understand the consequences of what I was doing because I had never been around, or involved with, drugs before in any way. It was all new to me.’
Following the highs of the parties, there always came the inevitable sickening lows afterwards.
‘After taking cocaine, I felt absolutely terrible. It was like the worst hangover in the world times ten, times a hundred. And I’d not be in a good mental place afterwards either. I’d feel depressed and paranoid, it was awful. And I was shocked that something could affect me in such a massive way like that. I’d feel horrible for at least a day, sometimes longer.’
Cocaine was not the only drug with which she experimented.
‘I also tried Ecstasy and MDMA, which is the powder form of Ecstasy. That had a totally different effect, a really massive one. I took half a pill the first time, and it made me feel excited, passionate, in love with everyone and everything, and really happy, very very happy. I took Ecstasy pills after that four or five times, and MDMA too. But afterwards that made me feel worse than cocaine. I didn’t want to live the next day, it made me feel so depressed. It was horrible, just horrible.’
On other nights, she tried cannabis.
‘I never smoked it, I just used to eat these cakes with cannabis in them. I did that seven or eight times. I can’t remember the exact number. It seems so long ago now. It just made me feel relaxed and sleepy. And slightly out of control again.’
Just when her life seemed to be spiralling out of control in a booze and drug-fuelled haze, Katherine got the break that would change her life for ever, and perhaps even save it.
At the age of 23, in 2003, she was offered a six-album deal by Universal Records worth over £1million.
It was one of the biggest contracts ever signed by a new classical music star in Britain and pitted Katherine directly against Charlotte Church as the new queen of the mass-market aria.
But lurking behind the tearful smiles on that astonishing day was the long, dark cloud of Katherine’s other, secret life. And she took an instant decision.
‘I knew in that moment that I had to stop taking drugs,’ she said.
‘I’d been given this amazing opportunity and I just couldn’t let myself mess it all up for the sake of cocaine or Ecstasy.’
Katherine resolved to quit the partying and braced herself for a meeting with the one person whose opinion she valued above all others – her mother.
Katherine said: ‘We have a great relationship, and I wanted to be honest with her. I went back home to Wales, sat her down and told her about the drugs. And she was shocked and asked me why I’d done it and wanted to make sure I wasn’t still taking them. I said I wasn’t, and wished I never had, and would never, ever take them again.
‘And then she just gave me a disapproving look that said it all – it was like, ‘KATHERINE!’
Her mother was the only relative that Katherine confided in. Her father had died a few years before.
‘I didn’t tell anyone else in the family because I have young cousins and didn’t want them to be influenced by what I’d done. But I will tell them about this before it comes out. And I will tell them that I regret it massively. I would want anyone thinking twice about trying drugs to read this and think, “God, I don’t want to go through that.” Because I wish I hadn’t. I feel so ashamed. Drugs are dangerous and destroy lives.’
In her worst nightmares, Katherine looks at images of another gifted young singer and sees the way her life might have gone if her music deal hadn’t happened.
She said: ‘Look at Amy Winehouse. She’s an amazing talent but she is in such a bad way, it’s such a shame. I could have ended up like her. It’s possible. I don’t think I’d ever have got that bad, but who knows with drugs?
‘They’re frightening. And that’s why I feel so lucky to have stopped when I did. I was never comfortable with it and I was so fortunate that my record deal came when it did and made me realise that I might ruin everything by staying in this disgusting situation.
‘Drugs just disgust me now. I have nothing to do with them. And I have no family or friends who have anything to do with them either. I just stopped seeing anyone who used drugs. I’m so anti, it’s unbelievable!’
She must, I suggested, come across some narcotic-enhanced individuals on her travels in the music industry.
‘I do see people in the business under the influence of drugs occasionally, of course I do. You just don’t get much of it at the Classical Brits...’
I laughed. ‘I don’t think we’ve had a cocaine, Ecstasy and cannabis scandal rocking the classical music world before. How do you think they will react?’
Katherine gasped with a mixture of unsuppressed horror and just the merest hint of hilarity.
‘Oh goodness me...I don’t want to cause a stir, I just want to be honest.’
And I believed her, on both counts.
I was curious as to what really prompted Katherine’s mea culpa. After all, it’s not every day a major star rings me to confess all about their drug-taking. Sadly.
She said: ‘I didn’t like the fact that I lied to you in that GQ interview. I felt really bad about it. It’s always better to be honest about your life, and I hadn’t been. Now, if I can help other people by being honest about it and saying how terrible drugs made me feel, then that is hopefully one good thing that can come out of it.
‘I do feel really nervous about this coming out though and I don’t want to cause distress to my friends and family. I’m worried about how people will react, especially my fans. I want them to know that this was something I did a very long time ago, and that I live my life very differently now and I am very dedicated to what I do.
‘I hardly even drink any more. This was a very silly period in my life, and I hope nobody is hurt or upset by it.
‘I haven’t taken drugs for well over five years and I wish I never had. I really do.’
Katherine’s boyfriend, Welsh TV presenter Gethin Jones, is totally behind her confession.
‘He has been very supportive. He thinks I am doing the right thing.’
As we finished our extraordinary conversation, I congratulated Katherine on setting the record straight. It’s always, always the best policy for any celebrity to correct lies they have perpetrated to the media.
‘How bad will it be for me next week?’ she asked.
‘Well put it this way,’ I replied, ‘probably not half as bad as Jonathan Ross or John McCain’s week is going to be.’
And Katherine laughed again, in that delightfully natural way that has, together with her regular trips to perform for British troops abroad, made her the modern day Vera Lynn.
She never cried during the interview, never shirked a question, and never asked for any sympathy. She just said what she wanted to say, and that was that.
And while you may not admire her drug-taking, it’s hard not to admire the courage it took to talk about it in such a frank and self-condemnatory way.
Later, I dug out the tape of our GQ interview and chuckled at the following exchange:
Q. ‘Is there a devil hiding inside you, Saint Katherine?’
A. ‘That’s for me to know, and you to find out, Piers...’
The star will be singing her new record Womaniser on the show later this month, because Simon Cowell is a fan.
He said: 'I'm really excited about it, because she has got her act together and the new record is terrific.
'She has come back from a very dark place and is a terrific artist.'
It has become a tradition on the X Factor for established artists to perform, and advise aspiring acts.
Take That, Will Young, Kylie Minogue are among the stars who have already appeared.
Spears' scheduled appearance seals her return to form after her life spiraled out of control.
In September the star made an acclaimed return at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards and has her single Womanizer has been well received.
But the past three years have been turbulent for the troubled star.
The 26-year-old has had two failed marriages and lost custody of her children, and battled drug addictions that led to her being taken in to psychiatric care.
After Spears and Kevin Federline's three-year marriage ended in a divorce, she went on to lose custody over sons Sean Preston, three, and two-year-old Jayden James.
Last year her mental health seemed to deteriorate - marked a period of strange behavior by Spears, during which she shaved her head and was continually in and out of rehab.
She attempted a comeback in 2007 performing at the MTV Video Music Awards, but was jeered and criticized for a shambolic performance.
The star was out of shape and forgot the words to her track Gimme More.
Then in January this year, she was put under lockdown at a mental institution after she held her son hostage at her LA home.
She is planning a world tour next year and is releasing her album Circus in December. The star has also made a documentary about her breakdown.
In the 90-minute special, Britney: For The Record, she talks frankly about her problems.
She said: 'I sit there and I look back and I'm like, "I'm a smart person. What the hell was I thinking?"
'I've been through a lot in the past two or three years, and there's a lot that people don't know.
'Sometimes I think I get kind of lonely because you don't open the gate up that much, you know I mean? You're guarded. You have to be that way, so I'm kind of stuck in this place and it's like: How do you deal? And you just cope, and that's what I do. I just cope with it, every day.'
Friday, October 31, 2008
But now it seems Amy Winehouse is finally on the up.
Her sunken cheeks had filled out and her skin had a more healthy glow as she was pictured out in the capital.
Her hair, seen tangled and dishevelled so many times, was neatly tied up with a bow.
An onlooker said: 'She seemed to have colour in her cheeks for once and looked really perky. Her face seemed to have filled out a little.
'Hopefully this means she has finally turned a corner.'
Perhaps the singer is finally heeding advice to improve her health after a series of scares.
Just a few weeks ago, she arrived at a pub to celebrate her 25th birthday underdressed and looking thinner than ever.
Earlier this year, Miss Winehouse, who has fought a yearlong addiction to crack cocaine and heroin, collapsed with convulsions after a suspected overdose.
She has also had treatment for a lung condition and last year suffered 'severe exhaustion'.
Drug dealers who sold a video of Miss Winehouse apparently smoking crack for £50,000 were warned by a court yesterday that the money could be seized.
Katie Holmes and daughter Suri get into the Halloween spirit with matching pumpkin-coloured costumes
Mother and daughter headed out to New York's Central Park to play on the swings dressed in their seasonal dresses.
Later in the day, Holmes took her newfound love of fashionable urban chic to a new level by wearing a pair of sleek stilettos and PVC leggings.
The 29-year-old donned her almost all-black ensemble - the shoes had some dark blue ribbons on them - as she left her apartment in the city.Holmes has thrown herself back into work after taking a couple of years off to raise her only child and has been starring in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons for the last five weeks.
The play has so far been well-received, and it has already become the highest-grossing play on Broadway in its first full week of previews, raking in $684,002 so far.
The star made a return to television recently as a lawyer in the US show Eli Stone.
Dressed in a black unitard, Katie displayed her impressive singing and dancing skills while performing Duke Ellington's Hit Me With a Hot Note.
A respectable 8.8million people watched the first episode she starred in.
A source told newpaper London Lite: 'Amy seems to be constantly stuffing herself with sugary snacks. She loves all of the stuff from her childhood in the Eighties, from Slush Puppies to Bull's Eyes and liquorice. It may seem harmless but it is not doing her any good.
'She's suffering from chest and lung infections at the moment and she has been warned that all of the sweets could flare up the problems. She used to walk to the local shops at all hours of the night to pick up her sweet fixes, but now she doesn't have to.
'All of her gadgets have been put in one room so she has all she needs whenever she wants it.'
While friends point out that Winehouse is harking back to her innocent childhood days, there might be a more sinister side to the new obsession.
Heroin addicts often have low blood-sugar levels, leading to cravings for sweet things, and many users eat ice lollies or slushies to cool the burning sensation the killer drug can cause.
Winehouse has battled heroin and crack cocaine addiction for more than a year and is currently trying to work on material for her next album.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The Desperate Housewives star, who sparked pregnancy rumours after gaining weight for Gabrielle Solis's latest storyline, slipped into a skin-tight lavender dress for a visit to hairdresser Ken Paves in Los Angeles yesterday.
It's the second time in as many days the actress, who is once again back in amazing shape, has put her svelte physique on show.
A night earlier she looked gorgeous in a flirty little black dress as she arrived at her Hollywood restaurant Beso.
The new Desperate Housewives series, which is currently airing on Channel 4, picks up in the year 2013 when Eva's character has transformed from neighbourhood sex kitten to dowdy mother of two.
In real life, Eva was forced to fend off 'baby bump' rumours, regularly denying she's expecting a child of her own.
The 33-year-old said: 'I'm not pregnant. I stopped working out and gained about seven pounds over the summer, which is a lot for a small person.
However, she is hoping to start a family with husband Tony Parker sometime soon.
She has said: 'I can't wait!'.
Monday, October 27, 2008
So one would imagine that she's been coining it in during her recent over-extended stay in the capital.
But this time, the credit crunch has definitely hit the hotel heiress.
Despite the fact that she's been pictured posing and pouting outside almost every fashionable club in London, she's only managed to rack up around £25,000 - which is close to £50,000 less than her last visit.
A source close to the 27-year-old socialite said: 'Paris demanded £50,000 from Paper nightclub. They were prepared to pay - but on the condition that she turn up twice, not go anywhere else before or after that evening, and stay for a minimum of two hours.
'But she didn't want to adhere to all the conditions so the club cancelled her appearance.'
Our spy added: 'Whisky Mist also refused to pay. But she went there anyway because there was a chance that she would bump into royalty - and she did in the end.
'The only club that paid her was Movida, and that was an estimated £25,000. Although it's a lot of money, to Paris's people it's nowhere near as much as she used to be able to command.'
Paris is over in the UK filming her new TV show, Paris Hilton's My New BFF (Best Friend Forever), which sees her trawling Britain in search of a new pal.
However, we reckon not many potential chums have had the chance to get near her - as she's spent most of her time holed up in her hotel room, or deep inside various nightclubs' VIP areas surrounded by bodyguards.
The American star caused quite a stir in Movida after turning up and making a bee-line for glamour model Katie "Jordan" Price. The pair were spotted dancing away in the VIP room where Paris quenched her thirst with bottles of Fiji water.
The singer, 25, who was seen heading to hospital looking painfully thin, with yellow teeth and scabby skin, was taken to The London Clinic on Saturday.
Her spokesperson denied initial reports the troubled star was heading back to rehab.
He said: 'Amy is being checked out for a chest infection. She's fine and is expected to return home soon.'
Amy, who has largely remained out of the spotlight in recent month, was joined in the cab by her American friend Blake Wood.
Ms Winehouse, who has been fighting a very public battle against heroin and crack cocaine, has been hospitalised numerous times this year.
In June she was given the stark warning by doctors to 'quit drugs or die' and at the end of that month she was diagnosed with the early stages of the lung disease emphysema.
However, as soon as she left the clinic she was seen smoking a cigarette.
In yet more troubling news, the singer has been warned she faces arrest after failing to earlier she failed to turn up for a meeting with police last week.
The Metropolitan Police want to quiz the singer over claims she hit a female fan, according to reports.