Planet Pop


Mon, Dec 11, 2006 - Page 13

Sharon Osbourne, the matriarch on the hit reality show The Osbournes, revealed Saturday how she responds to her fiercest critics: by sending them a carefully wrapped jewelry box containing an unexpected gift: her excrement.

The 54-year-old wife and manager of rocker Ozzy Osbourne said on occasions throughout her career, she has dispatched such parcels to her detractors.

"I've done it for an awfully long time. I suppose I find it funny," Osbourne was quoted as telling The Guardian newspaper in an interview published Saturday.

Osbourne, who starred with her husband and two of her three children in MTV's The Osbournes, said her last target was a reviewer for a US newspaper. "The last turd? Three, no, four years ago — when the first review came out of The Osbournes," she said.

She said the critic worked at a respected publication but did not name the newspaper.

Osbourne said the reviewer had made unpleasant comments about her children Kelly and Jack, now ages 21 and 20, being "fat and how unappealing that was." She said she attached a note to the artfully wrapped box from the famous Tiffany & Co jeweler.

"I said: 'I heard you've got an eating disorder. Eat this,'" Osbourne said.

Mariko Ishihara, Japan's best-known actress of the 1980s, sparked a media frenzy this weekend with the publication of her tell-all book, which lifts the lid on widespread sexual abuse and bullying in the upper echelons of the country's entertainment industry.

The book, Irregular Secrets (Fuzuroi na Himitsu), released a year after Ishihara's return to her native country after 15 years of self-imposed exile in the US, proved an instant hit with the public but has left many of her former colleagues uncomfortable as Japan has been gripped by the dark secrets revealed.

The initial print run of 20,000 sold out as soon as it was delivered to shops and another 30,000 are being rushed into print. It has secured Ishihara, 42, endless coverage on Japanese TV shows and media.

Her decision to break with showbiz kiss-and-tell protocol by naming her former lovers and tormentors, rather than referring to them by their initials, has guaranteed her acres of negative coverage.

She names 13 former lovers — "the saviors of my life" — many of whom are now household names and to whom she turned after the break-up of her tempestuous relationship with iconic 80s pop singer Koji Tamaki.

She claims that Tamaki, who was married when she first met him as a rising 21-year-old actress, frequently beat and kicked her. "When Tamaki was beating me, I thought it was a woman's role to accept a bit of rough handling," she told Josei Jishin women's magazine.

Tamaki's alleged abuse, and the pressures of being hounded by Japan's notorious tabloid media, led to her attempting suicide.

Bluesman B.B. King, who picked cotton before picking up a guitar, was among this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, the White House said last week.

"For more than half a century, the 'King of the Blues' and his guitar 'Lucille' have thrilled audiences, influenced generations of guitarists, and helped give the blues its special place in the American musical tradition," Bush said of Riley "B.B." King in his proclamation.

King, whose 60th anniversary tour kicks off next month, launched his professional career in 1947, leaving the Mississippi Delta where he worked on a plantation and heading for Memphis, Tennessee. Last April, at his eponymous club in New York, King played his 10,000th concert.

"It's been a long journey, but I've enjoyed every minute of it, bringing the blues to so many enthusiastic audiences around the world," said the 81-year-old musician.

President George Bush also named "Buck" O'Neil, the grandson of a slave who became Major League Baseball's first black coach, historian and author David McCullough and ex-Soviet dissident and human rights activist Natan Sharansky for the US' highest civilian honor.