This week’s Hollywood gossip

No-one is recognised as knowing more about Hollywood and celebrities than David Hartnell MNZM. He’s not only spent a lifetime reporting on Hollywood’s trivia, gossip and scandals, but he counts many celebrities among his personal friends. Every Monday morning David will give you an exclusive weekly update on the gossip, scandals and trivia of Hollywood’s elite.

David is an award winning broadcaster and columnist and he is also the patron of The Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Inc.

Her Majesty The Queen, awarded David the Insignia of a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (formerly an MBE) in the Queen’s birthday Honours list 2011 for his recognition for his services to entertainment.

In 2012 he was made an Ambassador of St. James Saviours, the trust formed to save the iconic Auckland theatre. In 2014 he was made an Ambassador to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

In 2016 he was made Patron of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians. In late 2017 he was awarded the prestigious VAC Presidents Medallion from The Variety Artists Club of New Zealand. The medallion acknowledged his lifetime commitment towards excellence in the entertainment world both here in New Zealand and Internationally.

Visit David’s Website

Under a spell – David Hartnell’s First Love,‘ in the NZ Woman’s Weekly.  View the article here on David’s website.

Godfather of gossip honoured in the Sunday Star Times


Monday 13th November

I’m not one to gossip but………………..Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are absolutely not taking a “second chance at love,” despite a new tabloid cover story. This is the same recycled narrative that one gossip magazine has published again and again this year.

The new cover of In Touch is announcing, “A Second Chance At Love.” The front of the issue further teases, “The moment Jen forgave him for leaving her,” and “How she’s helping him through his ugly divorce from Angelina Jolie.” According to the accompanying article, the former spouses have “reestablished a very special relationship” and “grown closer than ever” in the wake of his split from Jolie a year ago.

“Brad’s conversations with Jen have helped him negotiate his new life as he’s getting divorced. He feels a deep connection with her,” a so-called “source” is quoted as saying. And while the outlet’s supposed snitch maintains he would “never dream” of breaking up her marriage to Justin Theroux, “Brad would take a second chance at love in a heartbeat.” What’s more is the publication claims that a split between Aniston and Theroux is “not out of the realm of possibility.”

The same alleged tipster, who contends he or she knows Pitt’s feelings, also purports to know that Aniston and Theroux have had “their fair share of marital problems,” primarily because they “basically have very little in common” and spend a lot of time apart. In contrast, the tabloid maintains Pitt and Aniston “still have an intense bond.” The magazine repeats its old allegation about the actor calling his former wife over the summer to “apologize” for their failed marriage, and claims “she was so charmed” that “they’ve continued to talk.” Now Pitt supposedly “envisions much more of Jen in his life,” asserts the outlet.

“He’s come to realize that leaving Jen for Angelina was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. And while he’s not in love with Jen, he realizes how much he does love her,” the purported snitch tells the publication, which further alleges that “even if they can’t be together romantically, [Pitt] wants to work with his ex” on various projects. “What that means for them in the future is very much up in the air,” concludes the tabloid.

Actually, nothing is “up in the air.” Aniston has every intention of remaining married to Theroux, and Pitt has no intention of taking a “second chance at love” with her. A Pitt contact insists the claims are “false,” while a rep for Aniston exclusively says the cover story is “ridiculous,” adding, “It’s all a fabrication.” It’s also part of an ongoing storyline made up by In Touch.


Sir Elton John has been honoured for his humanitarian work on HIV AIDS.

The legendary singer was given the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award in recognition for his work in support of HIV/AIDS research.

He was joined at the awards by his husband David Furnish and their two sons.

Accepting the honour, he called frontline workers “the bravest and most compassionate people I have ever met”.

Since founding the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, the organisation has raised $385 million (US) for HIV/AIDS awareness.

The Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana praised Sir Elton, saying: “Sir Elton John is a living embodiment of that Harvard College mission statement.

“He has used his gifts and talents to serve the world.”

Sir Elton told the audience of over 1,000 people: “When society embraces the humanity of everyone, everywhere, this world will start to come together and to heal.”

The performer also opened up about his own struggles with drug addiction, admitting: “I’m really a kind person, but the drugs made me a monster.

“Do not waste your life. I wasted my life, but I’m making up for lost time now.”

He went on to say that it was “through humanitarian pursuits that my life took on vastly new meaning”.

In 1975 during “Elton Week” in Los Angeles, Elton suffered from a drug overdose, and in 2013 told the Today show  that he felt as though he had “wasted a big part” of his life on drugs, and didn’t see himself as a drug addict for a long time.

“I came very close to dying. I’d have an epileptic seizure and turn blue and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later I’d be snorting another line.

Sir Elton lost many friends both to drug addiction and to HIV-related illnesses, admitting that he felt lucky to be alive after his former risky behavior.

“When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible,” he said.

“I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world.”


Benedict Cumberbatch strikes a pose on his new cover for Interview magazine!

Here’s what the 41-year-old Sherlock actor had to share with the mag:

On whether or not he trusts easily: “You do [have to], and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes during a conversation with a journalist— where you are answering things you never normally talk about, not even with some of your closest friends—you end up being quite confessional, and you don’t think about the amplification of that. No matter how fancy these journalists are, they have editors or political leanings behind their publications, which means that, basically, they’re going to shape what you’ve said into an article they’ve already written.”

“So you have to be really careful with your words. I still find that difficult, as any person who deals with the press will tell you. That’s why it’s nice, with this one, to talk to a friend. But sometimes with a coffee and a friendly smile, I suddenly start talking without thinking about how it’s going to be read.”

On doing theater again: “There are plans afoot in the not-too-distant future, but not this year.”

On how many slippers he has: “Too many.”


Dustin Hoffman and honouree Adam Sandler  pose for a photo at the 2017 Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Adam was honored with the Hollywood Comedy Award for their film The Meyerowitz Stories, which is now streaming on Netflix.

It was a surprise for many people to see Dustin on stage at the event as he was recently accused of sexual harassment by multiple people.

“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am,” Dustin said in a statement in response to the accusations.


Ben Affleck was asked about the recent sexual misconduct allegations that have surfaced surrounding Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and more in Hollywood.

The 45-year-old actor said during press for Justice League on Sunday that he was “looking at my own behavior and addressing that and making sure I’m part of the solution.”

Ben clarified that “more women need to be pushed to power” and that sexual misconduct also needs to be “a men’s issue.”

Ben was embroiled in controversy when Hilarie Burton reminded everyone that Ben

Once groped her years ago when he appeared on TRL. Ben since apologized for the incident.


If you are looking for a special gift for someone who has everything, let me recommend Today in New Zealand History.

Dates matter, and they are often a starting point for our engagement with history. For most New Zealanders, days like 6 February or 25 April are laden with significance. They are recognised as markers of important moments in our past; they inspire pride, connection, reflection, or perhaps controversy. Some dates hold a sombre or sinister place in the nation’s collective memory: 22 February (the second Canterbury earthquake), 12 October (Passchendaele) or 24 December (Tangiwai). Others highlight more uplifting moments, like Rutherford’s Nobel Prize (10 December 1908), Hillary’s ascent of Everest (29 May 1953) or New Zealand’s golden hour at the Rome Olympics (2 September 1960). This book presents a series of snapshots of New Zealand historical events organised by date, from 1 January to 31 December. They range from dramatic headline moments to the hopefully less familiar and sometimes downright quirky – from Jockey Y-fronts (16 March 1940) and a Nazi sabotage hoax (29 March 1942) to the Greymouth beer boycott (29 September 1947) and a parachuting Santa (20 November 1937). A timeline lists some of the key moments and events that have helped shape the course of New Zealand’s political and constitutional development, while Born on this Day boxes scattered throughout the text provide brief biographical details on almost 100 figures of significance to New Zealand history.

Author Biography

Historian David Green is particularly interested in NZ race relations and sporting history. Neill Atkinson is Chief Historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Gareth Phipps works on the NZHistory, Te Ara and Vietnam War websites. Steve Watters leads numerous educational initiatives in schools.


Hugh Bonneville and Hugh Grant keep close as they hit the red carpet together at the premiere of their latest film Paddington 2 held a few days ago at BFI Southbank on in London, England.

The actors were joined at the event by their co-stars Dame Julie Walters, Ben Wishaw and Jessica Hynes.  

The much-anticipated sequel to the worldwide hit family film finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief.

*.…………………. Until next week my lips are sealed! David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2017.


Monday 6th November

  • I’m not one to gossip but……………….. Lord of the Rings may be headed to your television screens! According to Variety magazine, Warner Bros. Television and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkein are in talks with Amazon Studios to develop a television series based on the beloved novels.The series would take on the classic fantasy novels and their world of hobbits, wizards, and warriors.  Things are in the very early stages of negotiations and no deal has been set yet.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is said to be personally involved in the negotiations.* Gary Oldman gets reflective in his new cover shoot for interview magazine.Here’s what the 59-year-old Darkest Hour actor had to share with the mag:On acting as a form of escape: “I think it was my way out, a sort of avenue of escape. The fun of it was getting away from myself and stepping into the characteristics and the behavior of someone else. It stems from that thing of not necessarily being that comfortable in your own skin.”On the challenge of portraying Winston Churchill: “The challenge of playing someone like Winston Churchill is that there’s more footage of him than you might believe, and there’s certainly enough to read about. Next to Washington, I think he has the most biographies about him. And then there’s his own writing, which is something like 50 books.”*Hugh Grant is ramping up for the premiere of Paddington 2! The 57-year-old actor stepped out at a photo call for the film on Friday (November 3) in London, England.  He was joined by his co-star Hugh Bonneville and director Paul King.Hugh recently opened up about being approached to be in the film, where he plays a vain, has-been actor.  “It was a very funny script and I hadn’t seen Paddington 1 so I then watched it and laughed and cried and all those things, then I went to meet Paul. I found him a little weird to be honest but it was a very easy thing to say yes to,” Hugh.


    Ellen DeGeneres seems to have liked one particular property in California’s Hollywood Hills enough to spend millions of dollars to acquire it not once, but twice.

    But the talk show host now has parted ways with the home for a second time.

    According to Variety magazine, which was the first to report the off-market deal, Ms. DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, bought the property in 2005 for around $6.5 million (US) and later rented it to Nick Jonas. Ms. De Rossi and Ms. DeGeneres sold the residence in 2007 for $10 million (US), bought it back in 2014 for $8.75 million (US) and sold it again earlier this month for $9.9 million (US), according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited public records.

    The new owner of the 1950s residence, with five bedrooms and three bathrooms, is reportedly Calvin Klein Inc. co-founder Barry Schwartz.


     Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are not divorcing, despite a new tabloid cover story that claims it’s “officially over” between them. There is nothing official or true about the allegations.

    The new issue of Life & Style features a headline exclaiming, “Weeks Before Baby No. 3, Kim’s Divorcing Kanye.” Tellingly, though, there’s a factual error right in the first paragraph, with the tabloid asserting that Kardashian and West haven’t been “photographed together since Sept. 23.”This is false they were both photographed together on October 26, just last week, when the couple celebrated her birthday at an L.A. restaurant. Pictures showing the pair laughing, and smiling together at the dinner.

    So right off the bat it’s clear this is a false narrative, and it only gets worse from there. The gossip magazine claims that even though the couple is expecting another child via surrogate, West’s “continued erratic behavior and frequent absences” have “forced [Kardashian] to make a heartbreaking decision.” A so-called “insider” is quoted as alleging, “Kim will be filing for divorce from Kanye. It’s officially over. She’s ready to move on with her life.” The outlet depicts West as paranoid and untrusting, with a supposed “source” claiming he’ll “go days without talking” to Kardashian. The questionable “insider” also asserts, “There are days she doesn’t even see him.”

    But what about the recent trip Kardashian and West took to Utah for her birthday? Even that is portrayed in a negative light, with the tabloid’s “insider” maintaining that although it was a “lovely gesture” from West, “Kim was bored out of her mind.” The aforementioned “source” also contends, “She feels like she’s tried everything. She’s tired and done with this marriage.”


    Julia Roberts is on the cover of InStyle magazine’s December 2017 issue.

    Here’s what the 50-year-old actress had to share:

    On seeing crazy tabloid rumours: “I do believe that I don’t need to know every weird, mean, untrue, odd [tabloid claim]. ‘I only eat popcorn or my husband doesn’t love me unless I wear blue’…There is an odd occasion where I’m waiting, and I’m looking around and I’m like, ‘What?!’ And turn around to the man behind me and go, ‘Not true, sir!’”

    On her keys to joy: “Marry the right person, give birth to a redhead, and have great girlfriends.”

    On turning 50: “There’s nothing different about this birthday than any other one. Really, people? Are we still in that space? Did anyone ever go over this with George Clooney or Brad [Pitt] before their 50th birthdays?”

    For more from Julia, visit


    Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend Alex Rodriguez look picture perfect together on the cover of Vanity Fair’s December 2017 issue.

    Here’s what the couple had to share with the mag:

    Jennifer, on their first date: “He was sitting there in his white shirt, very confident and manly, but then he was just so talkative! I think he thought I was going to be this loud person, but I’m not. I just listen. So he’s talking, talking about his plans, about how he had just retired from baseball, about how he saw himself getting married again, all these things you wouldn’t normally talk about on a first date. I don’t know if he thought it was a date. I thought it was a date.”

    Alex, on the sex on their first date: “She told me around the third or fourth inning that she was single…I had to get up and go re-adjust my thoughts. I went to the bathroom and got enough courage to send her a text. [The text read] ‘You look sexy AF.’”

    Jennifer, on how they’re so similar: “I understand him in a way that I don’t think anyone else could, and he understands me in a way that no one else could ever,” Lopez said. “In his 20s, he came into big success with the biggest baseball contract [at the time]. I had a No. 1 movie and a No. 1 album and made history. We both had ups and downs and challenges in our 30s, and by our 40s we’d both been through so much. And more importantly than anything, we had both done a lot of work on ourselves. The most impressive thing to me was how he did pick himself up and take that opportunity to make himself a better person. The hardest times prove who you are. That’s what I love and admire the most about Alex. He doesn’t let anything beat him. He just comes back stronger.”

    For more from the couple, visit


     Comedian actor Andy Dick was recently fired from the film Raising Buchanan due to his conduct on the set.

    “My middle name is ‘misconduct.’ They know what they signed up for,” the 51-year-old told THR, and then denied that he groped anyone.

    “I don’t grope people anymore. I don’t expose myself anymore. I do understand that the temperature in the world right now is delicate,” he continued. “I didn’t grab anybody’s genitals. Of course I’m going to proposition people. I’m single, depressed, lonely and trying to get a date. They can just say no, and they probably did and then I was done.”

    “I might have kissed somebody on the cheek to say goodbye and then licked them. That’s my thing,” he said.

    He continued to explain, “I overtook my medication and took too many Xanax and I was a bit loopy (on set). That didn’t make me rape people. I really don’t get it. I’m always trying to be funny and trying to get a date. I still don’t have a date. I am on Tinder and I’m looking,”

    Then Andy added that he’s not sure what qualifies as harassment. “I don’t know the difference between sexual harassment and trying to get a date,” he said. “In the ’70s, all the girlfriends I got was by kissing and licking their cheek. I don’t know anymore,” he said. “There were beautiful women and beautiful guys on the set. I flirt with them. I might kiss someone on the set and ask them to go to dinner. They are the ones that took it south.”

    “I won’t do it anymore,” Andy said. “I won’t lick anyone’s face anymore. We have an agreement.”


    Corey Feldman went on the Today show to discuss Hollywood pedophiles and things got contentious when both Matt Lauer and Megyn Kelly asked why he wouldn’t name names of people who are abusive.

    “I need a team of lawyers and I need a team of security to be around me at all time to keep me safe so I can get this message done,” Corey said. “I vow that I will release every single name that I have knowledge of, period. And nobody’s going to stop this.”

    She then asked about his fundraising campaign for an upcoming movie about “most honest and true depiction of child abuse.” The campaign’s goal is to raise $10 million (US).

    “It’s not a documentary, it is a film,” Corey continued. “I want to make a feature film, which is why we need the budget that we need. There’s actors, there’s scripts, there’s special effects, visual effects. It will be a very true story. We will have every name — everybody that affected my life, I’m going to give the perspective that I can give, what I viewed, what I experienced, from a firsthand account. We’re talking about a theatrical release. I’m going to self-distribute, self-market, make the film and hire a team of attorneys who are going to protect me and the film when it comes out.”


    Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year honourees have been revealed and they are on separate covers for the December 2017 issues.

    The honourees include Gigi Hadid, Nicole Kidman, Solange Knowles,  late night host Samantha Bee, astronaut Peggy Whitson, congresswoman Maxine Waters, Syrian refugee and education activist Muzoon Almellehan, fashion revolutionary Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. The women will be honoured at an event on November 13.

    Here’s what the women had to share:

    Gigi, on living in the public life: “I believe that a lot of judgmental comments come from people not really having compassion for those they see as public figures. It’s frustrating to see people question my actions or integrity based off something as trivial as leaving my apartment building. I’m just doing my best as I move through life, sometimes dealing with relative hardships like everyone else.”

    Nicole, on pledging to work with a female director every 18 months: “As an actor, you’re only as good as the things you’re offered. And there just weren’t any women offering me things. So, when you dissect that, you realize there aren’t women offering you things because they don’t have the opportunities. I work to raise money for women’s cancers; I use my voice for violence against women. And so I was like, ‘I need to be a part of the movement that will, hopefully, change the statistics of the field.’”

    Solange, on leaning on Beyonce and Tina Knowles: “When I finally turned in A Seat at the Table, I had a pit in my stomach. It was just 72 hours before my release date. There was a lot of fear and emotion, pain and hurt and rage. My sister was there in New Orleans filming ‘Formation,’ my mom was there, the whole squad, and it was such a blessing. I truly believe that was the universe, because I was such a mess during the mastering process.”

    For more from the women, visit


    The cats of New Zealand star in this book of stunning portraits and stories that  are by turn quirky, funny, sad and heart warming. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who loves cats.

    This is the perfect book for all cat lovers and anyone who likes a good cat story.

    Some are rescue cats, some are pampered cats, some are cheeky and some of them think they are humans. All of them are adorable.

    The New Zealand Cat is a treasure for any cat fan.

    Rachael Hale McKenna is well-known throughout the world for her quirky and delightful images of babies and animals. She has published several books including The French Dog and The French Cat selling millions of copies worldwide. She now lives in New Zealand.






    Auckland | Tauranga | Napier | New Plymouth | Palmerston North |Wellington | Blenheim | Christchurch | Ashburton | Oamaru Dunedin | Invercargill

    Two of Ireland’s best-loved groups DUBLIN’S IRISH TENORS and THE CELTIC LADIES combine to present one beautiful concert tour of New Zealand next month.
    Moving tirelessly from opera to pop, jazz to classical, each member of DUBLIN’S IRISH TENORS and THE CELTIC LADIES showcase their unique talents, from lively fiddling, to marvellous melodies, to perfected piano pieces.

    These two groups bring an excellent mix of traditional Irish tunes, adult contemporary and classical music.
    Hits powerfully and beautifully performed throughout the concert include Danny Boy, Cockles and Mussels, Twist & Shout, Hey Jude, Nessun Dorma, That’s Life, You Raise Me Up, Scarborough Fair, We Are the Champions, Smile, O Sole Mio, Loch Lomond, Rolling in the Deep and Ticket to Ride.
    Each number carefully choreographed to combine different additional elements and actions such as dancing humour, special effects, sets and audience interaction enhance the total audience enjoyment of the show.

    DUBLIN’S IRISH TENORS and THE CELTIC LADIES have become one of the most popular shows Ireland has seen in years. With wonderful harmonies and lilting melodies, listen in amazement as these talented singers take you on a breathtaking musical journey.

    Sunday 12AucklandASB Theatre, Aotea CentreTicketmaster
    Monday 13TaurangaBaycourt TheatreTicketek
    Tuesday 14NapierMunicipal TheatreTicketek
    Thursday 16New PlymouthTSB TheatreTicketek
    Friday 17Palmerston NorthRegent on BroadwayTicket Direct
    Saturday 18WellingtonOpera HouseTicketek
    Sunday 19BlenheimASB TheatreTicketek
    Monday 20ChristchurchAurora CentreTicketek
    Wednesday 22AshburtonTrust CentreTicket Direct
    Thursday 23OamaruOpera HouseTicket Direct
    Friday 24DunedinTown HallTicketmaster
    Saturday 25InvercargillCivic TheatreTicket Direct


    ……………. Until next week my lips are sealed! David H. W. Hartnell MNZM copyright 2017