x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

South Korea protest against Lady Gaga concert

Plus: Oprah tweets photo with Bachchans; book spills Simon Cowell secrets; Justin Bieber taunts paternity accuser; White House denied Susan Sarandon clearance; Russell Crowe leads Noah's Ark film and a surprising comedy ends Hunger Games reign.

Simon Cowell says a new book about him is unauthorised.
Simon Cowell says a new book about him is unauthorised.

About 300 South Koreans gathered on Sunday for a prayer rally against Lady Gaga's Seoul concert, organisers said, accusing the US pop star of advocating homosexuality and pornography.

A group called Alliance for Sound Culture In Sexuality last week put out street banners in Seoul accusing the eccentric singer of "spreading unhealthy sexual culture" through "lewd lyrics and performances", before they were removed by the city officials.

South Koreans under 18 have been banned from the much-anticipated concert after it was rated unsuitable for younger audiences.

Gaga arrived in Seoul on Friday, a week before her performance.

Oprah tweets photo with Bachchans

The US talk show host Oprah Winfrey posted on Twitter on Saturday a picture of herself with the Bollywood couple Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, from her visit to India in January.

She tweeted alongside the image: "India was a real #NextChapter dream for me. Leaving home of Abishek & Aishwarya having just seen their gorgeous baby."

Oprah visited the Bachchans in their Mumbai home, filming an episode for her show Oprah's Next Chapter, shortly after Aishwarya Rai gave birth to her first daughter Aaradhya.

The India episode was broadcast on Sunday in the US.

Book spills Simon Cowell secrets

A revealing new biography offers intimate - some might say too intimate – details about Simon Cowell: he gets regular colonic irrigations because "it's so cleansing – and it makes my eyes shine brighter". He is put on a drip of vitamins for a half-hour each week. He insists on black toilet paper in his home. He had a brief affair with the former The X Factor judge Danii Minogue. He gave his ex-fiancée Mezhgan Hussainy, a make-up artist on American Idol, a US$5 million (Dh18.4m) Beverly Hills house as a parting gift.

Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell, written by the British journalist Tom Bower, paints a picture of a man who struggled for years in the music business, spurred on to success out of a desire to prove his detractors wrong.

"He had more than 20 years of humiliation," Bower said. "At school he was a total failure and as a music producer he was a total failure. But what he did have was charm."

Cowell has stressed that the book was not written with his approval, tweeting: "This book is not written by me. It is unauthorised."

Comedy ends Hunger Games reign

The romantic comedy Think Like a Man, based on a best-selling female self-help book by the comedian Steve Harvey, has overthrown The Hunger Games for the top spot in the US box office, a position it has maintained for a month. The low-budget film's blockbuster performance was a big surprise to many, including its own production studio Screen Gems.

Justin Bieber taunts paternity accuser

Justin Bieber took the time on Saturday to tweet the woman who claimed the teenage pop star fathered her son last year.

Bieber wrote: "Dear Mariah … we have never met … so from the heart I just wanted to say..." and then he linked to a loop video clip of Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat character saying: "You will never get this."

Bieber's message came amid his self-proclaimed #RANDOMTWITTERHOUR, during which he sends out assorted thoughts to his followers.

Mariah Yeater was last heard of six months ago, after her paternity claim was tossed out of court.

Russell Crowe leads Noah's Ark film

The actor Russell Crowe has officially signed on to star in Noah, a retelling of the biblical story of Noah's ark, to be directed by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler).

The movie will begin production in Iceland and New York in July, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I rejoice that Crowe will be by my side on this adventure. It's his immense talent that helps me to sleep at night. I look forward to being wowed by him every day," said Aronofsky in a statement.

White House denies Susan Sarandon clearance

The actress Susan Sarandon was recently denied security clearance to visit the White House, she revealed at an interview at the Tribeca Film Festival last week.

Sarandon, one of Hollywood's most unabashed liberals, admitted the incident after an audience member asked her if she believed she was "under surveillance".

Sarandon said she didn't just believe it, she knew it, adding: "I've gotten my file twice under the Freedom of Information Act."