x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Today's entertainment news: Oliver Stone's son converts to Islam

Plus: Judi Dench not going blind; Lady Gaga says she's haunted by the devil; Chris Brown, Rihanna collaborate on song remixes; Colbert honours ailing mother and Italian jazz artists take on Dubai.

Sean Stone, son of the US film director Oliver Stone, listens to a recital of the Quran before a news conference in Tehran last Friday. Stone, a defender of Iran's nuclear programme, converted to Islam on Tuesday while filming a documentary in the country.
Sean Stone, son of the US film director Oliver Stone, listens to a recital of the Quran before a news conference in Tehran last Friday. Stone, a defender of Iran's nuclear programme, converted to Islam on Tuesday while filming a documentary in the country.

Sean Stone, the son of the Hollywood director Oliver Stone, converted to Islam in a ceremony in Iran last week and says his father supports his decision.

"My dad said, 'Allah be with you'," he told www.contactmusic.com. "My father understands that I am trying to bridge certain gaps and bring about peace."

The 27-year-old actor, who has appeared in several of his father's films, now goes by the name of Sean Christopher Ali Stone.

"People have speculated that I have done this because I am from a spoiled family or that I am lost and trying to find myself," he said. "That is ridiculous. If I can open up a debate about religion and create some understanding, then it is worth it."

On Monday he disclosed to the New York Post that he was already experiencing a backlash in Hollywood. "I've already experienced the reverse of anti-Semitism, having people within the film industry express a reluctance to work with me now," he said. "Having read the Quran and having been around Islamic culture, especially in Iran, I do believe that Mohammed is a Prophet of the same God worshipped by other religions."

Judi Dench says she is not going blind

The Oscar-winning British actress Judi Dench, who has revealed that she is suffering from a degenerative eye condition, played down concern over her sight on Monday, saying she was not going blind.

Dench, 77, said an age-related condition called macular degeneration meant she had lost part of her eyesight and has struggled to read film scripts. The admission led to widespread media speculation about her eyesight.

"In response to the numerous articles in the media concerning my eye condition, I do not wish for this to be overblown," Dench said in a statement.

"This condition is something that thousands and thousands of people all over the world are having to contend with. It's something that I have learnt to cope with and adapt to - and it will not lead to blindness."

* Reuters

Chris Brown, Rihanna collaborate on song remixes

Chris Brown and Rihanna are officially back together, musically speaking.

Two songs featuring the singers hit the internet on Monday. Brown sings on a remix of Rihanna's song Birthday Cake and she is on the remix of his upbeat tune Turn Up the Music.

Brown attacked Rihanna, who was his girlfriend at the time, at a pre-Grammy Awards party in 2009. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge and is serving five years of probation.

Last year, a judge relaxed a restraining order after Rihanna said she had no objection to the removal of Brown's stay-away provisions.

Lady Gaga: I'm haunted by the devil

The singer Lady Gaga has enlisted the help of the Indian spiritual adviser Deepak Chopra because she believes the devil is haunting her in her sleep, reported MTV UK.

"I have this recurring dream where there's a phantom in my home and he takes me into a room where there's a blonde girl with ropes tied to her limbs, pulling her apart," Gaga was quoted as saying by the Daily Star newspaper in the UK. "I told Deepak the dream was so terrifying I thought somehow that a devil force was trying to take hold of me. He laughed and told me that I should learn to embrace my own insanity.

"I told him: 'The Devil is trying to take me, Deepak. I'm a good girl!' He said not to worry."

Colbert returns, honours ailing mother

With a nod of tribute to his ailing mother, Stephen Colbert returned to broadcast on Monday. The Colbert Report last week cancelled the tapings of two episodes in a move linked to the illness of Colbert's 91-year-old mother, Lorna Colbert. While the comedian did not refer to her by name, he offered a "confidential" message to "a lovely lady".

"Evidently, having 11 children makes you tough as nails," said Colbert, the youngest of 11 children.

* Associated Press

Italian jazz artists take on Dubai

Tonight is your last chance to sample the Italian splendour at the Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival. Since Thursday at Dubai Festival City, the event has hosted the latest artists emerging from the Italian jazz scene, including Nicola Conte, Gaetano Partipilo and Alice Ricciardi.

Bringing the programme to a close at 7pm is the pianist Luca Mannutza, renowned for intense performances that fuse modern jazz with Latin musical elements.

For more information, visit www.dubaijazzfest.com.

Follow us on Twitter and keep up to date with the latest in arts and lifestyle news at twitter.com/LifeNationalUAE