LOS ANGELES – Clint Eastwood said his use of an empty seat as a prop at the Republican National Convention was a spur-of-the-moment decision when someone backstage asked him if he wanted to sit down.

In his first interview since he attended the convention to pledge his support for Mitt Romney, Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone, a small California weekly newspaper, that his speech was not only unscripted, it was pretty much spontaneous.

“There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Eastwood told the newspaper, which published the article Friday. “When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody.”

Eastwood’s peculiar, sometimes rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama in an empty chair set the blogosphere and social media ablaze. His appearance was intended to be a ringing endorsement for Romney, but the esteemed 82-year-old actor and director opened himself up to ridicule.

Eastwood said he achieved what he set out to do and got across three points.

“That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job,” Eastwood said.

Eastwood’s longtime manager, Leonard Hirshan, told The Associated Press he was not aware of the Pine Cone newspaper article. “You’re telling me something for the first time,” he said.

While Eastwood said his presentation was “very unorthodox,” that was his intent from the outset and he had plenty of people giving him advice on what to say.

“Everybody had advice for me, except the janitor,” Eastwood said.

Eastwood said he was told to speak for five minutes but he said it was difficult to gauge time and there weren’t any signals or cues telling him to wrap up.

Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, later came backstage to thank him.

“They were very enthusiastic, and we were all laughing,” Eastwood said.

Lawyer puts hefty price on slander

LOS ANGELES – Steve Wynn’s attorney says jurors should consider awarding the casino mogul $12 million in his slander trial against “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis.

Attorney Barry Langberg suggested the multimillion verdict during closing arguments Friday in Wynn’s case against Francis. Francis claims the casino creator threatened to kill him over a gambling debt.

Wynn has denied Francis’ allegations and says they have hurt his reputation and may hurt his casinos and their thousands of employees.

Langberg said during closing arguments that Francis’ allegations amount to character assassination.

Re-emergence by Stewart delights fans

TORONTO – “Twilight’s” newest vampire re-emerged in public at the Toronto Film Festival.

Kristen Stewart made her first public appearance in nearly two months Thursday night to promote her latest movie. The 22-year star went into lockdown mode after she publicly apologized for having a tryst with the married director of her last film, “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

For her return, hundreds of fans eagerly gathered early in the morning Thursday, awaiting her walk on the red carpet for “On the Road.” It’s based on the classic Jack Kerouac novel, and one of Stewart’s favorite books.

“I’m somebody that has loved the book their whole life,” Stewart said, first reading it at age 14.

Stewart posed for photographers, spoke to a few television crews — while paired with co-star Garret Hedlund — and signed lots of autographs for fans.

– From news service reports