N.Y. Police Arrest Courtney Love on Assault Charge

NEW YORK - Rocker Courtney Love was arrested in New York early on Thursday after throwing a microphone stand into a nightclub audience and hitting a man on the head, police said.

Hours before her arrest, Love, 39, known for her sensational, erratic behavior, bared her breasts on the CBS "Late Show with David Letterman."

A police spokesman said Love was charged with assault and reckless endangerment after the 2:30 a.m. incident at an East Village nightclub. She was scheduled to appear in Manhattan criminal court on April 19, prosecutors said.

She threw a microphone stand into the audience and a 24-year-old man was injured in the head, police said. The name of the man was not released.

The arrest came hours after a burst of outlandish behavior on Letterman's show. Walking onto the set singing "Danny Boy," Love jumped up on Letterman's desk and, with her back to the audience, declared, "Oh, Drew, you've had it," and pulled up her blouse. She was not wearing a bra. Her exposed skin was pixilated by the camera for TV viewers.

Actress Drew Barrymore famously performed a similar stunt on Letterman's show for his 48th birthday on April 12, 1995.

"Thank you very much. That's very sweet of you," Letterman said to Love, laughing. "They're gonna lose their liquor license."

"You know, I haven't shown my boobs in so long," she said after climbing down from his desk. When he tried to ask about the drug possession charges pending against her in California, she turned around and flashed Letterman again.

At one point during the rambling and sometimes incoherent interview that followed, Love started to pull her shirt up again facing the camera as Letterman pressed her about her legal troubles.

When Letterman asked, "Are things going well, or not?" she replied, "Yeh, they're going great! Handcuffed in the bedroom, handcuffed outside, doesn't matter." Later she joked, "I used to be a porno star" and asked Letterman, "Do you think I'm, like, whacky and stuff?"

"Are you whacky?" he asked her back.

"OK, but is that against the law?" she said.

"No, it's not against the law. It's not a good idea, but it's not illegal," Letterman said.

While performing a song from her new album, "America's Sweetheart," Love took off her guitar and hurled it across the stage.

Love, frontwoman for the defunct rock band Hole and widow of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, had appeared in court in Beverly Hills, California, on Tuesday for a hearing to determine if she will be tried on drug charges. The hearing was postponed but not before she had disrupted proceedings and was admonished by the judge to keep quiet.

Love has pleaded not guilty to illegal possession of the prescription painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone. The charges stem from Love's Oct. 2 trip to a local hospital for what police called "a medical emergency."

Asked on TV Wednesday night by Letterman if drugs were involved in her arrest, Love replied, "Yeh, one expired Percocet and one Ambien." Percocet is a narcotic analgesic that contains oxycodone. Ambien is used to treat insomnia.

She faces two charges in a separate case stemming from her pre-dawn arrest the same day outside a boyfriend's home, where police said she was breaking windows.

Love was set to play another Manhattan concert on Thursday to promote her solo album "America's Sweetheart."
Charity Way to Go-Go for George Michael

LONDON - Pop singer George Michael's career has made him so wealthy he wants to donate all the money raised from any of his future releases to charity.

The singer's new album "Patience" will be the last fans can buy in record shops -- in future if they want to listen to his new songs Michael wants them to download them from the Internet and make a charitable donation.

"I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years so I really don't need the public's money," he told BBC Radio 1 on Wednesday.

"I'd really like to have something on the Internet which is a charitable donation optional site, where anyone can download my music for free. I'll have my favorite charities up there and people will hopefully contribute to that."

The singer, who in a career spanning nearly two decades has sold more than 75 million records, hopes his decision will also help reinvigorate his life.

"It takes the pressure off to have a collection of songs every so many years, which is what nearly killed me.

"I'm not pretending I won't be famous any more, but in the modern world if you take yourself out of the financial aspect of things, you're not making anybody any money, you're not losing anybody any money.

"Believe me, I'll be of very little interest to the press in a certain number of years."

Michael shot to fame in the early 1980s with Wham! In 1998 the singer was fined for lewd conduct after being arrested in a public toilet -- an event that prompted him to acknowledge publicly that he was gay.
'Passion' Grows to $125 Million at Box Office

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" keeps on defying conventions.

The film's boffo preliminary weekend estimates were revised upwards Monday when final numbers came in. The Friday-to-Sunday haul came in at a stunning $83.8 million, bringing total sales to a massive $125.2 million since its Wednesday opening. (The number includes $3 million from private previews the prior two days.)

Early estimates on Sunday put the weekend at $76.2 million and the total at $117.5 million. But that projection was based on a somewhat typical weekend model, where Saturday is the biggest day of the weekend, followed by Friday and Sunday.

"Passion" rendered that model irrelevant. When the final grosses were in, Friday's was $22.9 million, Saturday's was $33.1 million, and Sunday's was $27.9 million -- 22% higher than Friday and down just 16% from Saturday.

For a film to sustain such a small drop from Saturday to Sunday, and likewise make that big of a leap from Friday's gross, is unheard of at the box office in this day and age.

"I am not really sure what the reason is but it's probably a combination of things," Newmarket Films president Bob Berney said. "We had very strong Sunday matinees, and the overall strength of the weekend pushed people into the Sunday evening shows when they realized the daytime shows were sold out. We're also getting a strong response from the Latino moviegoers, and Sunday is typically a big movie day for that audience."

The weekend debut of the Icon Prods. film is by far the biggest opening in history outside of the near-summer and year-end holiday periods; it's the ninth-highest grossing weekend of all time; the biggest opening in February, topping MGM's "Hannibal" ($58 million); it's the second-biggest debut for an R-rated film, behind Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Matrix: Reloaded" ($91.8 million); and it's the largest debut ever for an independent film.

"Passion" holds the crown for the second-highest-grossing first five days for a film opening on a Wednesday. Minus the $3 million in previews, the first five days of "Passion" pulled in $122.2 million, just behind New Line Cinema's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" ($124.1 million), but ahead of 20th Century Fox's "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" ($105.7 million).

While most prognosticators have been wide of the mark on nearly every prediction about "Passion," if exit polls are any indication, the picture should hold up very well in the weeks ahead. According to CinemaScore.com, a sensational 99% of respondents gave "Passion" a positive grade.

The audience skewed slightly female at 52%. It was an older audience, but fairly balanced: 29% were under 24 years of age, 30% were between 35 and 49, and 27% were older than 50. Not surprisingly the main draw of the film was the subject matter.

Industry sources speculated that midweek business for "Passion" would probably be cut in half or more from the weekend totals, and that next weekend's box office should hold up very well, slipping perhaps 30% or so. Most blockbusters lose about 50% in their second weekend.

Other films opening last weekend included Paramount's "Twisted," which landed in the third slot with a discouraging $8.9 million. The R-rated thriller doesn't seem likely to fare well in the weeks ahead as a dismal 63% gave the film a positive nod, according to CinemaScore.com. Genders were in equal proportions, and it was a largely older audience, with 81% over 25.

Lions Gate's "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" placed fifth on its debut with a disappointing $5.8 million. The film received a favorable grade from 83% of those polled. The dance-themed romantic drama drew more females than males, at 64%, and played younger, with a solid 63% being under the age of 25.

Fox Searchlight's "Club Dread" arrived in the 10th spot with a bleak $3 million in its debut. The youth-oriented comedy, which carried an R rating, generated an 83% positive grade in exit polls and played predominantly to young males.