The Baltimore Sun

Phelps sure isn't resting on his Olympic laurels

After the gold in Beijing, Baltimore's Michael Phelps is diving into the world of entertainment - and making quite a splash.

Earlier news was that the 23-year-old world-class swimmer would be the host of Saturday Night Live's season opener. But he isn't stopping there.

Yesterday, he was in New York, filming a cameo appearance for the HBO series Entourage.And the New York Post reported he earned an estimated $1.6 million advance from Simon & Schuster for a book to be titled Built To Succeed.

And now comes word that he will be a presenter at the 2008 Video Music Awards Sept. 7. His teammates for this effort will be Miley Cyrus, Scarlett Johansson, Lindsay Lohan and Ciara.

Other presenters include Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and others of the High School Musical franchise, MTV said yesterday.

Among the performers are Rihanna, Pink, Paramore and T.I., who will be making his first appearance at a major awards show since his arrest last year. The Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne (who will be SNL's musical guest the night Phelps hosts) and Kid Rock are also scheduled to do their thing onstage.

$25,000 birthday bash

A court hearing in Texas focused on Susan Duff trying to wring $25,000 from her estranged husband, Bob Duff, to throw a lavish birthday party for her actress-singer daughter ended with his being led away in handcuffs Wednesday.

Judge Thomas Stansbury in Houston determined Bob Duff violated an injunction against selling assets without court approval and ordered him held 10 days in jail for contempt of court.

This surfaced as the Duffs, involved in a bitter divorce, were fighting over the cost of the party and present for their daughter Hilary Duff's 21st birthday on Sept. 28.

Susan Duff testified she needed $25,000 because the $10,000 in interim support she gets every month from her husband is "not even enough to pay my own bills," let alone cover the birthday celebration, the Houston Chronicle reported yesterday.

Stansbury determined Bob Duff should pay Susan Duff $12,500 for Hilary's birthday party.

Neither Hilary nor sister Haylie, 23, was in court.

Labor pains: the sequel

Preparations for a possible actors strike may have caused on-location feature film shoots in Los Angeles to decline in the past two months, according to a local permitting agency.

Major Hollywood studios hurried production of some movies and delayed filming others in case actors went on strike after their contract expired June 30.

Although negotiators for the Screen Actors Guild and the studios' trade group haven't agreed on a new contract, actors haven't walked out and the union has yet to call for a strike authorization vote.

Many studios say fears of a walkout have dimmed and they will resume business as usual.

There were 898 on-location film shooting days in the Los Angeles area between July 1 and Aug. 26, compared with 1,104 in the period a year ago, a 19 percent drop, according to permitting agency FilmL.A.

From Sun news services


Movie director William Friedkin, 73.

Sen. John McCain, 72.

Movie director Joel Schumacher, 69.

Singer Michael Jackson, 50.

Actress Rebecca DeMornay, 46.

Singer Me'Shell NdegeOcello, 39.

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