Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of a drug overdose; Dylan Farrow opens up about abuse, which Woody Allen denies; Potter Regrets; Back to the Future musical coming to London and Scarlett buys a home in the Hamptons.
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Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in his New York apartment yesterday. He was 46. The actor, who was nominated for a total of four Academy Awards and won Best Actor for Capote, was discovered by a playwright friend who went to check on him after he failed to pick up his kids Sunday morning. According to cops, Hoffman was found in his bathroom with a needle in his arm. Five empty bags of what was believed to have been heroin were found near the body, along with three unused bags. “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” read a statement from his family. “This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.” Hoffman had a history of drug addiction and checked himself in to rehab last May. He had reportedly been clean for 23 years before relapsing in 2013. He most recently appeared in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and was due to appear in the film’s third installment Mockingjay as well. According to Lionsgate, the studio behind the film, Hoffman was just seven days shy of completing his work on Mockingjay. His role is not expected to be recast, although it will likely be scaled back.
Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a letter written by Woody Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in which she detailed the sexual abuse she says she endured at the hands of the famous director. “What's your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house," Farrow, now 28, wrote. "He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me." Allen was first accused of abusing Dylan back in 1993, but he has always denied it. Dylan says that because of the abuse she began cutting herself and also developed an eating disorder. Dylan finally decided to speak out after Woody was given another Oscar nomination for his film Blue Jasmine. "It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away,” she wrote. “But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don't have to be silent either."
Meanwhile, on Sunday, a lawyer and a publicist for Woody Allen rejected Dylan Farrow’s accusations of sexual abuse. The lawyer seemed to blame Dylan’s mom, and Woody’s ex Mia Farrow. “It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities,” read the statement from lawyer Elkan Abramowitz. “The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.” The publicist added, “Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon...At the time, a thorough investigation was conducted by court appointed independent experts. The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow. No charges were ever filed.”
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling now says she wishes Harry had ended up with good friend Hermione in the books, instead of Hermione falling for Ron Weasley. "I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment," Rowling tells Wonderland magazine guest editor and Hermione portrayer Emma Watson. "That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron." Rowling admits the differences in Ron and Hermione probably would become a problem later in their marriage. "I know, I'm sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that," said Rowling. "It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility." She then added, “Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this? I hope not."
Scarlett Johansson has bought herself a summer home. The actress, who just split from the humanitarian organization Oxfam over her gig with SodaStream, has purchased a $2.2 million home in the Hamptons. The 3,500-square-foot, custom-built pad sits on 1.4 acres in Amagansett, and features four bedrooms, including a master suite with its own balcony.
A musical version of the 1985 Michael J. Fox hit Back to the Future is coming to the London stage. “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode” are among the tunes set to appear in the show, along with new music to be written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri. The musical is expected to debut on London’s West End stage in 2015, which happens to be the 20th anniversary of the film.