December 22, 2009

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 05:29 PM ET

Is there life after death? 

We are debating the topic with some of the best minds out there:

  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Dinesh D’Souza
  • Michael Shermer


Meet an 11 year-old boy who says he had memories of being shot down in World War II.  Was he reincarnated?  His parents used to be skeptics…but no longer.


A high school football coach collapses and goes into cardiac arrest on the field.  He says he died.  But he’s back to tell us all about his near-death experience.  According to the Near Death Research Foundation, nearly 800 near death experiences happen each day.  But can medical science and technology prove or disprove these people’s claims? 

“Survivor” host Jeff Probst fills in for Larry tonight.

Tune in tonight at 9pm ET / 6pm PT and join the discussion below…

We want to know…


Filed under: Larry King Live

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FBI helped authorities in Jackson molestation case

Posted: 02:08 PM ET

via New York Post

The FBI today released its files on Michael Jackson, including how it helped Santa Barbara County, Calif., authorities pursue molestation charges against the pop singer in 2003 and 2004.

Among the interesting items from the files:

–A report dated Jan. 24, 1997 discusses a video tape received by government on Oct. 23, 1995. The tape is marked, in part "Michael Jackson's Neverland Favorites An All Boy Anthology."

But there's no mention of what's on the tape, only that it was "poor quality third or fourth generation recording."

–In September 1993, the Los Angeles Police Department asked the FBI if it “would be interested in working on a possible federal violation against Jackson concerning the transportation of a minor across state lines for immoral purposes: the Mann Act.”

But the FBI responded that the US attorney had no interest in pursuing the case.

–Jackson had 16 Macintosh computers in his home, all of which were searched by authorities. But it appears that none had incriminating evidence on them. One after another, the handwritten FBI notes state “nothing” beside the words “search string” for each computer.

–Officials from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office met with FBI agents from the agency’s Behavioral Analysis Unit to discuss the case.

–There were indications that the feds could pursue charges against Jackson.

–The Santa Maria Police Department was worried that Jackson’s April 30, 2004, arraignment could provide a target for terrorists.


Filed under: Michael Jackson

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The stars we lost in 2009

Posted: 01:23 PM ET

(CNN) - The recent passing of actress Brittany Murphy adds another high-profile name to the list of those who have died in 2009.

The year seems to have been filled with an inordinate amount of high-profile deaths - some even on the same day.

Among those who passed: Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Natasha Richardson, Bea Arthur, Dom DeLuise, Karl Malden, David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, John Hughes, Ed McMahon, Walter Cronkite and Don Hewitt.

Authors John Updike, Frank McCourt and Dominick Dunne died, as did blues legend Koko Taylor, Ventures guitarist Bob Bogle, Mary Travers of Peter, Paul & Mary, guitar innovator Les Paul and Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein.

In sports, NFL players Steve McNair and Chris Henry died as did veteran basketball coach Chuck Daly.The politcal world mourned the loss of Sen. Edward Kennedy, and former U.S. Housing Secretary Jack Kemp.

Even celebrity pitch personalities weren't immune as 2009 also saw the passing of Oxiclean pitchman Billy Mays and Gidget, the chihuahua best known for hawking Taco Bell.

But was 2009 any more notable for celebrity deaths than other years? Or, in our hyper-caffeinated, overly Twittered culture, is there simply more awareness?


Filed under: Don Hewitt • Ed McMahon • Kennedy • Michael Jackson • Patrick Swayze • Walter Cronkite

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Polanski exit strategy suggested by court

Posted: 01:16 PM ET

By Harriet Ryan via Los Angeles Times

A state appellate court Monday rejected Roman Polanski's bid to have his 1977 child-sex prosecution dismissed but outlined a way that could end the long-running case without Polanski serving more time behind bars or returning to the American justice system he fled three decades ago.

In a 3-0 ruling, the 2nd District Court of Appeal suggested that Polanski ask to be sentenced in absentia for the statutory rape he admitted committing 32 years ago.

According to the three-justice panel, the sentencing hearing held in his absence would provide a forum for a Los Angeles County judge to evaluate Polanski's allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in the original handling of the case.

If the evidence is persuasive, the justices wrote, "we are confident that the trial court could fashion a legal sentence that results in no further incarceration for Polanski."

The opinion made clear that the justices were troubled by the misconduct allegations, enough so that they took the unusual step of injecting themselves into the details of a specific case.

"We exhort all participants in this extended drama to place the integrity of the criminal justice system above the desire to punish any one individual, whether for his offense or for his flight," the justices wrote.

The move surprised legal experts.


Filed under: Crime • Roman Polanski

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A 'frantic' attempt to save Brittany Murphy

Posted: 01:03 PM ET

via TMZ

Brittany Murphy's husband and mother made a frantic attempt to revive her before paramedics arrived ... this according to notes written by an investigator from the L.A. County Coroner's office. And, there were a shocking number of strong prescription meds on Brittany's nightstand.

TMZ has reviewed the documents, written by Investigator Blacklock. According to his notes, Brittany Murphy "had been complaining of shortness of breath and severe abdominal pain" for 7 to 10 days prior to her death. According to the notes, Murphy went into the bathroom at around 7:30 AM Sunday and shut the door.

A half hour later Brittany's mother, Sharon Murphy, went to check on her daughter, opened the bathroom door and "discovered the decedent lying on the floor unresponsive." According to the notes, Sharon yelled for help. Brittany's husband, Simon Monjack, who was in bed, heard the screams and ran to the bathroom.

According to the notes, Sharon called 911 and Simon "attempted to revive the decedent by placing her in the shower and running the water."

The notes continue - "The decedent remained unresponsive and purged her stomach contents prior to the arrival of the paramedics."

When the paramedics arrived, Brittany was "without signs of life."

Paramedics moved Brittany from the bathroom to the master bedroom, where they found a slew of prescription drugs - "A check of the nightstands revealed large amounts of prescription medication in the decedent's name. Also noted were numerous empty prescription medication bottles in the decedent's husband's name, the decedent's mother's name and unidentified third party names."

According to the notes, the medications included Topamax (anti-seizure meds also to prevent migraines), Methylprednisolone (anti-inflammatory), Fluoxetine (depression med), Klonopin (anxiety med), Carbamazepine (treats Diabetic symptoms and is also a bipolar med), Ativan (anxiety med), Vicoprofen (pain reliever), Propranolol (hypertension, used to prevent heart attacks), Biaxin (antibiotic), Hydrocodone (pain med) and miscellaneous vitamins.


Filed under: Celebrity News

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Poll: Tiger Woods' popularity plummets after scandal

Posted: 08:56 AM ET

The popularity of golfer Tiger Woods has plummeted in the weeks since his now-infamous car crash and infidelity admission, according to a new poll.

In the survey conducted December 16-20, Woods' favorable rating dropped to 34 percent. That compares to a rating of 60 percent in early December, days after Woods' crash.

In 2005, the star golfer's favorable rating was at 85 percent.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicated the drop in Woods' popularity was not as dramatic among African-Americans.

About two-thirds of blacks still held a favorable view of Woods, while only 28 percent of whites felt the same way.

Views of women and men were similar; 40 percent of men liked Woods, compared with 39 percent of women, the poll showed.

Woods' woes started late in November when he crashed his car outside his Florida mansion. Authorities issued a citation for careless driving, and he was given a $164 fine.

Woods was not required to talk to police about the wreck and declined to talk with investigators on several occasions.

In the week after the crash, Woods apologized for "transgressions" that let his family down. The same day, US Weekly published a report alleging that Woods had an affair with Jaimee Grubbs, a 24-year-old cocktail waitress.

US Weekly's report followed a National Enquirer article before the crash that the athlete was having an affair with New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, an assertion she vigorously denied, according to The New York Post.

(Read More)

Filed under: Tiger Woods

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Brazilian child custody decision delayed

Posted: 08:50 AM ET

A Brazilian Supreme Court decision in an international custody battle was delayed until Tuesday, said Orna Blum, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia.

David Goldman has been locked in a legal battle over custody of his 9-year-old son, Sean, with the family of the boy's deceased mother.

Last week, a lower court unanimously upheld a decision ordering that Sean be returned to his father in New Jersey.

David Goldman arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to be reunited with his son, but one of the justices issued a stay, ordering Sean to remain with his Brazilian relatives until the high court could consider the case.

On Sunday, Brazilian Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes said he would make the final decision on Monday.

The custody battle began in 2004, when Goldman's wife, Bruna Bianchi, took their then 4-year-old son from their home in New Jersey to Rio de Janeiro for what was to have been a two-week vacation. She never returned. Instead she remarried there and retained custody of Sean. She died last year in childbirth.

Goldman has argued that as the sole surviving parent, he should be granted custody.

The Bianchi family argues it would traumatize Sean to remove him from what has been his home for five years.

While the chief justice studies the case, Brazilian Attorney General Luis Inacio Adams said that the executive branch sides with Goldman.

(Read More)

Filed under: International

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December 21, 2009

LKL: Howie Mandel & his compulsive behavior disorder

Posted: 12:02 PM ET
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Latest in the death of actress Brittany Murphy

Posted: 08:47 AM ET

Brittany Murphy, the bubbly, free-spirited actress who appeared in such films as "Clueless" and "8 Mile," died Sunday, apparently of natural causes, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said. She was 32.

Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. PT Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart told CNN Radio.

An autopsy had not been scheduled as of Sunday night, but Captain John Kades, a spokesman for the coroner's office, told CNN that there was no sign of foul play or trauma. He added that it's not unusual for a younger person to die of natural causes.

The coroner's office is looking into Murphy's medical history. A final report could take up to eight weeks.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the death, and robbery and homicide detectives will be at her home, LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said.

"The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy," her family said in a statement issued by her publicist. "She was our daughter, our wife, our love and a shining star. We ask you to respect our privacy at this time."

Funeral arrangements are pending, the family said.

Murphy starred in several movies, including "Just Married," "Don't Say a Word" and "Riding in Cars with Boys." She also voiced the character Luanne on the animated TV series "King of the Hill."

She is survived by her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, whom she married in 2007.

(Read More)

Filed under: Hollywood

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December 20, 2009

TMZ: Brittany Murphy Dies at age 32

Posted: 04:19 PM ET

via TMZ

Brittany Murphy died early this morning after she went into full cardiac arrest and could not be revived, multiple sources tell TMZ.

She was 32.

A 911 call was made at 8:00 AM from a home in Los Angeles that is listed as belonging to her husband, Simon Monjack, the Los Angeles City Fire Department tells TMZ.

We're told Murphy was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Murphy starred in such films as "Clueless," "8 Mile," and "Don't Say a Word."

UPDATE 3:11 PM ET - Sources tell TMZ Brittany Murphy's mom discovered her unconscious in the shower. We're told when paramedics arrived, they quickly determined Murphy was in full cardiac arrest and immediately administered CPR. They continued CPR in route to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center - several miles away - and Murphy was unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Filed under: Hollywood

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