LOS ANGELES – Hugh Hefner’s celebrating the new year as a married man once again.
The 86-year-old Playboy magazine founder exchanged vows with his “runaway bride,” Crystal Harris, at a private Playboy Mansion ceremony on New Year’s Eve. Harris, a 26-year-old “Playmate of the Month” in 2009, broke off a previous engagement to Hefner just before they were to be married in 2011.
Playboy said on Tuesday that the couple celebrated at a New Year’s Eve party at the mansion with guests that included comic Jon Lovitz, Gene Simmons of KISS and baseball star Evan Longoria.
The bride wore a strapless gown in soft pink, Hefner a black tux. Hefner’s been married twice before but lived the single life between 1959 and 1989. Academy extending online vote
Willard no longer faces lewd-act charges
LOS ANGELES – Actor Fred Willard has completed a diversion program for his arrest this summer for a suspected lewd act at a Hollywood adult theater.
Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, said Monday that the 72-year-old comic actor completed the program in September and as a result no longer faces charges stemming from the July 18 incident.
Willard was arrested after uniformed vice officers were conducting a routine investigation of the theater and they said they saw him engaging in a lewd act.
He was fired shortly thereafter from his job narrating “Market Warriors,” which is produced by Boston public TV station WGBH.
Academy extending online vote
LOS ANGELES – Growing concern that problems with the new electronic Oscar voting system could lead to record-low turnout has prompted the motion picture academy to extend the deadline for members to vote for Oscar nominations.
But next week’s highly anticipated announcements looming, the extension is only for a day, until Friday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday any votes received after the new deadline will not be counted.
“By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible,” said the academy’s chief operating officer, Ric Robertson, in a statement. “We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.”
Reports of difficulty accessing the Oscars’ first-ever online voting system and fears that it could be hacked have raised questions about balloting for the 85th annual contest. Earlier this year, the academy and its longtime accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, partnered with the electronic voting firm Everyone Counts Inc. to develop the system.
Prince resolves income tax issue with France
MINNEAPOLIS – An attorney for Prince says the Minneapolis rock star is all square on his taxes in France.
Prince’s attorney has filed a court notice saying the musician wrongly assumed his previous managers had submitted tax returns to the French and didn’t know until September that they hadn’t.
Attorney Gary Hansen told a federal judge Friday that Prince’s current business managers have since filed those returns.
In an interview, Hansen told the St. Paul Pioneer Press there were “just some misunderstandings” but that’s “all been straightened out now.”
The issue arose in 2011 when France told the U.S. it wanted to examine Prince’s income tax liability for 2009 and 2010.