Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday, 11 July 2008, Allen & Co, Sun Valley, day 2

The Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley continued into its second day Thursday.

Below, more photos from the playground for the media elite —

today, with leaders from the worlds of sports, entertainment, and government added into the mix.

Thursday Jul 10, 2008

Jeff Zucker's NBCU Deal Denial and A Surprise Visit From Bill Gates

Dan Cox, on special assignment for FishbowlLA, covering the 2008 Sun Valley Media Conference.

Universal Studios CEO Ron Meyer was standing with NBCU head Jeff Zucker, waiting for Zucker's kids coming out of the Chocolate Foundry.

Both were upbeat about the Sun Valley conference.

Meyer gave kudos to colleague Jeff Katzenberg, the DreamWorks partner who had a presentation on 3-D this morning.

"It was good," Meyer said, "a great display of the technolgy."

Katzenberg gave a presentation about the uses of 3-D in film and TV and reportedly showed an "incredible" visual display of the possibilities.

Nike chairman Philip Knight was also exuberant about the display.

"It's where we're headed.

It's the future," he said.

Zucker, meanwhile, denied a newspaper report of NBC possibly unloading assets at the Sun Valley conference.

"No, there's nothing like that," Zucker said.

"I'm just here watching."

Former American Express chairman James Robinson III said he was only here out of a long-standing friendship with host Herb Allen.

But Robinson said that Katzenberg's speech, like other technology-driven segments, was fascinating and will be of great use to companies like Amex and others.

Robinson now runs RRE Ventsures, which deals in applied technology and its utilization.

Former Microsoft chair and founder Bill Gates unexpectedly showed up last night was hovering around the morning presentations.

Asked if he had any comment on the pending Microsoft/Yahoo! discussions, he said:

"No thank you.


Richard Parsons, Chairman of the Board of Time Warner, rocks the CNN hat

Vivi Nevo, of NV Investments, and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company

Anne Sweeney, president of Disney-ABC Television
Phil Knight, chairman of Nike
Brad Gray, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, is hugged by Ron Olson, of Munger, Tolles & Olson

Isla Fisher and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, here at last year's Oscars, have been forced to delay their wedding as the actress has not yet converted to her fiance's Jewish religion

EXCLUSIVE: Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher's wedding on hold

By Mark ColemanLast updated at 10:12 AM on 10th July 2008

Sacha Baron Cohen and fiancee Isla Fisher have been forced to postpone their wedding over religious issues, MailOnline has learned.

The Hollywood-based couple, who welcomed a daughter last year, originally planned to tie the knot later this summer.

But they have decided to delay the nuptials because Isla, 32, has yet to convert to the Ali G star's faith of Judaism.

A source said: 'Isla was supposed to spend her time after giving birth hard at work on her Torah studies, and that's gone far slower than expected.

It's very much frustrated her future in-laws, especially Sacha's parents, who were really hoping for a wedding this summer.'

Working mum: The Australian actress on the set of her new movie romcom Confessions Of A Shopaholic

The source added: 'Right now there's no wedding date set because Isla hasn't fully converted yet, and even though she's working at it part-time, she's far from being close to completing her studies.'

Isla, who has spent most of this summer filming her upcoming project Confessions Of A Shopaholic, is said to have a tense relationship with Sacha's mother, Daniella.

The source said: 'What made relations difficult between Isla and Sacha's mother is that she really wanted Isla to spend more time with the baby and their family in England instead of being hasty and returning to work so quickly.

Now that Isla's done shooting, she's in the awkward position of making up for lost time.'

To this end, the Australian-born actress, who found fame in Home And Away in the Nineties, is spending increasing amounts of time with her in-laws in Britain, in an apparent effort to endear herself to them.

Meanwhile the notoriously reclusive Baron Cohen, 36, is patiently playing peacemaker between his wife and mother.

Instead of wedding preparations, he has channelled his energies into work,

chalking up long hours on his new reality-based film Bruno,

which has nearly completed filming and will be released worldwide next summer.

The source said: 'Sacha is not as worried about the relationship between his parents and Isla as

everyone else is because he's extremely devoted to her and their child.

He also believes that putting too much pressure on Isla is only going to make the wedding happen later rather than sooner.

'He is happy taking his time to get married the same way he was happy having a long engagement.

'But in the meantime Isla's had to endure a lot of awkward moments with Sacha's mother, who just doesn't seem to understand her future daughter-in-law's drive to become a big star.'

Happy families: Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher with their daughter Olive

For Isla's part, the actress is said to be looking forward to becoming a Cohen.

The source said: 'No matter what Sacha's mother throws at her, Isla isn't going to be scared away from the relationship or the family.

You really get the sense that her devotion to Sacha is total, even if she's stalled a little bit on her Jewish studies.

She loves sharing her life with this guy.'

Wacko Jacko hits a toy shop in pyjamas, a surgeon's mask, a rasta wig and a wheelchair

By Richard Simpson

Last updated at 9:12 AM

on 10th July 2008

Any popstar worth their salt knows that to survive in the business, you have to reinvent yourself every so often - and the King of Pop must know that better than any.

But quite what Michael Jackson thinks this look will do for his career is anyone's guess.

As he approaches his 50th birthday next month, the singer's appearance just seems to be getting more and more bizarre.

Looking every inch the invalid, Michael Jackson is wheeled around Las Vegas

Pictured on a visit to a toy and book shop near his current home in Las Vegas, the singer was slumped in a wheelchair wearing pyjamas, a dreadlocked wig, a surgeon's mask, a baseball cap and sunglasses.

Such theatre was presumably designed to prevent shoppers from discovering his true identity.

The irony is of course that Jackson is now better known for wearing such ludicrous disguises than not.

Indeed he would have stood a much better chance of not being noticed had he strode into the shop without any disguise - and had not pulled up in four cars filled with his eight-strong security team.

It remained unclear last night whether Jackson, who is most famous for his footwork and in particular his moonwalk,

actually needs the wheelchair to get around or whether he was just using it as a prop.
Family affair:

A rare glimpse of the Jackson kids, Paris, Prince and Blanket

He has been spotted both with and without the chair in recent weeks.

He has battled numerous health problems over the years, having being diagnosed with lupus and vitiligo and the amount of surgery he has had has rendered him unrecognisable from his former self.

Following accusations of child molestation in 1993, Jackson lost a massive amount of weight.

In late 1995, he was rushed to hospital after collapsing during rehearsals for a televised performance; the incident was caused by a stress-related panic attack.

During his further trial on molestation charges, the singer again suffered from stress-related illnesses and severe weight loss.

He has also been addicted to various painkillers over the years to cope with the accusations levelled at him.

The last time he was in the chair was to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Las Vegas in May at the MGM Grand hotel.

On that occasion, he also draped a coat around his face to try to disguise himself. But as always, the peculiar appearance only drew more attention to himself.

On this occasion, Jackson arrived with his three children, who were unusually unmasked, and headed straight for the children's book section, where he remained alone for some time.

An eyewitness said: 'They arrived at the Barnes and Nobel shop in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon.

First Michael was in the childrens' section on his own in the wheelchair reading books.

The three children were at another table with the bodyguards.

He was in the children's section for about half an hour.

He then went to the music section and was sitting in the chair looking through various books.

But this time the children were in the children's section.

Then he pushed himself around in the wheelchair for a while and ended up in the magazine section.

He was in the shop for about two hours in total.

There was no special treatment.

The shop was not closed to the public at any point.

'There were quite a few members of the public in the shop who knew he was there but no one approached him.

To be honest, he looked a bit weird wheeling himself around covered up in a surgeon's mask and that is probably what freaked people out to not want to approach him.

When they left the shop, the children came out first and he was wheeled out behind them. He never left the wheelchair at any point in the shop.'

A Jackson family friend indicated last night that the wheelchair was indeed needed for a recurring back problem that Jackson has had ever since his performing days.

'He has a problem with his back which surfaces from time to time,' the friend said.

Jackson is currently living in Las Vegas trying to land a residency at one of the big venues in the city to clear massive debts he has accrued.

His career fell apart and he spiralled into debt - despite selling 170million records worldwide -

after a string of child sex allegations were made against him in 2005, of which he was later cleared.

Looking every inch the invalid, Michael Jackson is wheeled around Las Vegas

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