Hollywood Stars Overseas
Doug Anderson writes: Dear Luke Ford,
Have you or your colleagues investigated what Hollywood stars do in Japan? Pierce Brosnan zoomed around in a sportscar for Lark Cigarettes in the early 90s. Arnold pushed a caffine-laced "sports drink" (and maybe still does). Peter Falk and Scotsman Sean Connery pushed Japanese-made Suntory Whiskey (the ads were quite tasteful, really).
Japan seems like a huge cash pit for stars on the way up, at the top, or on the way down. Is it that American audiences don't care what stars do abroad? Or is it that publicity and legal thugs prevent us from finding out about this stuff?
Luke says: I think Hollywood stars are like you and I. They want to maximize the things they like (such as money) and minimize the things they do not like (bad publicity).
SCHWARZENEGGER'S FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES BLAST PREMIERE MAGAZINE AND WRITER JOHN CONNOLLY FOR PUBLISHING ARTICLE THEY DENOUNCE AS TOTAL FABRICATION
An Article about
Arnold Schwarzenegger appearing in the March issue of Premiere
Magazine  has raised the ire of Schwarzenegger's friends,
physician and co-workers, who blasted the magazine for publishing false
statements about Schwarzenegger's health and behavior. Schwarzenegger's
former co-stars, such as Linda Hamilton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sharon Stone,
Rita Wilson and Kelly Preston, as well as director and producer James
Cameron, have come forward to denounce the Article by John Connolly, titled
"Arnold the Barbarian." Well-known producer Arnold Kopelson
also weighed in, describing an account of a purported event on the set
of Eraser as "a total fabrication."
Article written by John Connolly (whose former clients have viewed
him as a "consummate liar" as reported in New York Magazine),
has been criticized as a work of fiction denounced by a whole host of
people who are specifically mentioned in the Article but who were never
contacted by Premiere before publication.
in US WEEKLY and the LOS ANGELES TIMES also recount
the groundswell of support for Arnold voiced by his co-workers and friends,
who view the Premiere story as a "hatchet job" with political
Article relies largely on unidentified sources in describing alleged instances
of inappropriate behavior by Arnold. But the actresses and female producers
who worked with him over the years have squarely condemned the Article's
false characterization of Arnold's behavior on the set and his treatment
of women, sending blistering letters to Premiere Magazine in support
of Arnold. Others mentioned in the Premiere story also refuted
the reported incidents, which they characterized as ridiculous fabrications.
Co-Workers Decry Article As Fictional Gossip-Mongering
who co-starred with Schwarzenegger in both of the wildly-successful Terminator
films, denounced as "fantasy" the story of an incident in a
limousine in which the Premiere article claimed Arnold lifted her
onto his lap in the presence of her then-boyfriend Director James Cameron
and others (including Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver). Hamilton
stated in a letter she sent to Premiere's Editor in Chief: "Let
me be perfectly clear. In my nearly twenty years of friendship with Arnold
Schwarzenegger I have never witnessed ANY HINT of the behavior you so
carelessly ascribe him. I have known and witnessed Arnold on set as a
man who is tirelessly PROFESSIONAL, and in life as a singularly devoted
husband, father, and family man." Hamilton went on to describe the
publication as "unsubstantiated/gossip-mongering/character-assassinating/smear
For his part,
Academy Award winning Director-Producer James Cameron (who worked with
Schwarzenegger on the blockbusters Terminator, T2 and True Lies)
likewise condemned Premiere for its report of the fictional limousine
incident. In a letter to Premiere, Cameron described the report
as "pure fiction," adding that over the 18 years he has known
Schwarzenegger, he has "never seen Arnold act in the coarse fashion
[Premiere] describe[s] with any woman, at any time, ever, and most
certainly not with Linda Hamilton . . . ." Cameron added: "The
situation you describe did not take place, and though I object on principle
to your printing of pure fabrication like some cheesy tabloid, I particularly
object to the unfair and absurdly off-the-mark picture it paints of Arnold,
who is as good a man and human being as I have known."
Jamie Lee Curtis,
who won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Schwarzenegger's wife
in True Lies, said that the Premiere article "outrages"
her. She wrote of Schwarzenegger in a letter to Premiere: "I
admire him as a man, husband, father, friend and icon of the power of
the American dream. I hold him in the highest esteem." Curtis stated
that she worked with Arnold for seven months on True Lies, during
which his trailer door was always open. She added that she never observed
anything like the behavior described in the article, noting that Arnold's
"wife and his family are the most important things to him in the
world." Curtis lambasted the article as a "smear campaign"
and a "politically motivated hatchet job." Chastising Premiere's
publishers, Curtis told them, "you should be ashamed of yourselves."
who played Schwarzenegger's wife in the comedy Jingle All The Way,
wrote to Premiere that Arnold "has acted only in the most
professional of ways" when they worked together. She added that he
"always treated me with respect, as well as everyone else on the
set. He never stepped over any boundaries or made me feel uncomfortable."
Also noting that Schwarzenegger's trailer doors were always open, Wilson
said that she was "saddened" by the hurtful article.
Preston, who has known Schwarzenegger since working with him on the 1988
comedy Twins, also wrote to Premiere to challenge its characterization
of Schwarzenegger, stating that she has "never known him to be anything
but kind, respectful and a true gentleman." She also described him
as "a loving father and devoted husband," adding that she counts
her "experience working with him as one of my fondest memories."
players in Hollywood have also rallied to Arnold's defense.
Arnold Kopelson, who produced Eraser, challenged the article's
account of a purported incident in Schwarzenegger's trailer during that
production. Kopelson, who won a Best Picture Academy Award for Platoon,
noted Schwarzenegger's professionalism, and described procedures on the
movie set which would have made it close to impossible for the reported
incident to have taken place. Kopelson cited his extensive presence on
the set during which he and Schwarzenegger were "virtually inseparable
for major blocks of hours during each day and more often than not, on
weekends as well," as support for his conclusion that the incidents
described in the Premiere article could not have taken place, since
had they occurred Kopelson certainly would either have observed them or
would have heard discussions about such improprieties on the set.
did observe were discussions with Arnold exhibiting "only
love and respect for Maria and their children." Describing the article
as "dribble," Kopelson said that the events described in the
article were "inconceivable," and concluded that Premiere's
account of Schwarzenegger's behavior is "a total fabrication."
who has been President of Lightstorm Entertainment since 1993 and was
Executive Producer of True Lies, and who was an executive at Carolco
Pictures when it produced Red Heat, Terminator 2 and Total Recall,
wrote to Premiere that "In all this time I have never once
witnessed any of the incidents described in your article or any other
conduct consistent with the very stilted picture you paint of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Quite the contrary, he has always treated me and the other women producers
and executives involved in these various projects with the utmost respect
and courtesy." Sanchini continued: "Although I have worked with
Premiere on a number of past articles, I was not contacted in connection
with this story, and the names of the many other women producers whom
Arnold has successfully – and repeatedly – worked with were also notably
long-time dresser, Gregory Allen Hall, who has worked with Arnold for
nearly a dozen years, sent his own scathing letter to Premiere's
editor after reading the story's account that Arnold had supposedly humiliated
him with cruel comments during the filming of Terminator 2, allegedly
leading to Hall's termination. Hall denounced the story about him as false,
telling the editor, "Mr. Schwarzenegger has been extremely generous
to me and aside from being a good boss he is a good friend. While it is
true I was fired from a film, nothing else you reported is true. The film
was 'True Lies' not 'Terminator 2,' and I was fired by my boss the Costume
Supervisor, not a producer and it was Mr. Schwarzenegger who rehired me
(as his personal dresser) when he found out I had been fired." Hall
went on to chastize the magazine for failing to contact him about the
the London television program The Big Breakfast on which Schwarzenegger
appeared with host Denise Van Outen, denounced the claims in the Premiere
article that any improprieties took place when Arnold did the show. In
fact, they were so delighted with Arnold's appearance that Producer Nicholas
Lazarus urged him to return to the show again when his schedule permits,
writing "we would dearly love to welcome you back on to The Big Breakfast
very soon." Describing Schwarzenegger as a "fantastic guest,"
he added that Van Outen had no problem with the interview and enjoyed
meeting Arnold, stating that they consider him "a great friend of
Cardiac Surgeon Proclaims Medical "Facts" In Article "Represent
No Facts At All"
cardiac surgeon, Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes, also chastised the magazine for
its false depiction of Schwarzenegger's 1997 elective heart valve replacement
surgery. Schwarzenegger, a former 13-time "Mr. Universe" and
6-time "Mr. Olympia," who has served as Chairman of the President's
Council on Physical Fitness, Chairman of the California Governor's Council
on Physical Fitness & Sports, and Chairman of the Inner City Games
Foundation, previously sued with successful results when false statements
were published about his health. Among other bogus statements in the Article,
the Premiere story states that Schwarzenegger had three of his
heart valves replaced with pig valves during his 1997 surgery. In fact,
however, Schwarzenegger's cardiac surgeon confirmed that the valves used
in Schwarzenegger's surgery were human homograft valves, not pig
valves, used to correct a congenital defect. During the successful surgery,
two, not three, of Schwarzenegger's heart valves were replaced. Dr. Starnes,
who serves as Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at
the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California,
wrote to Premiere: "I would like to comment on the medical
facts of this article. [¶] First of all, they represent no facts at all."
Starnes went on to confirm that Schwarzenegger's "condition was not
obtained by the use of steroids" but was rather the result of a congenitally
acquired condition. Dr. Starnes also confirmed that Arnold's "outlook
is excellent with the expectant duration of this valve to be far in excess
than quoted for a pig valve."
does not shy away from filing defamation lawsuits in response to false
stories about his cardiac health. Most recently, the Berlin High Court
in Germany reaffirmed Arnold's victory in a defamation suit he filed against
German cardiologist Dr. Willi Heepe, who was ordered to pay Schwarzenegger
monetary damages and attorneys’ fees, and to issue a public retraction.
And a little more than a year ago, Schwarzenegger settled his $50 Million
defamation action against the US tabloid, the Globe, which had
published an article falsely stating that Schwarzenegger suffered from
a "heart crisis" and was a "ticking time bomb" long
after his complete recovery from valve replacement surgery. In addition
to payment of an undisclosed amount and a charitable contribution to the
Inner City Games Foundation, the former owners of the Globe admitted
it made a mistake and published a prominently placed retraction, correction
John Connolly replied to his critics in the May issue of Premiere, 2001: During the course of researching this article, neither James Cameron nor anyone at his company, Lightstorm Entertainment, responded to my numerous requests for an interview regarding Arnold Schwarzenegger. Linda Hamilton’s spokesperson told me on four separate occasions that Ms. Hamilton was too busy to speak with me. Nor did Jamie Lee Curtis return any of my phone calls.
In addition, I called Dr. Starnes’s office five times for an interview. He, too, never returned any of my calls. Furthermore, my story states that Mr. Schwarzenegger had three, not four, valves replaced. As for the issue over whether they are pig valves, in June 1997, Mr. Schwarzenegger appeared on Oprah Winfrey. When asked whether he chose a synthetic or pig valve for the replacement, Mr. Schwarzenegger responded, “I’m not going to say which valve I chose, but now every time I see bacon, I start crying.”
I repeatedly requested that Mr. Schwarzenegger grant me an interview, either on or off the record. I made these requests through Mr. Schwarzenegger’s publicist and through other associates of his. All of these requests were denied. Mr. Schwarzenegger refused to talk to me. I stand by my story.
XXX writes: "I've directed interviews with Arnold on a bunch of junkets and he's never been even flirty (not that I'm such a babe). But he was nice and signed a copy of his book for my Austrian-born mechanic. I'd wonder more why a conservative guy is getting so much heat when lots of liberals are such dogs."
LA Unified Teacher Under Pressure To Inflate Test Scores
Peter writes: I am a teacher in Los Angeles interested in writing an expose under a pseudonym about the current situation in public schools vis-a-vis testing and the dirty underbelly of the system. The pressure is enormous to bend, if not break, my ethics to produce higher scores. I am in a personal dilemma.....want to expose it.