Celebrity

Category: Deborah Vankin

Justin Bieber survives a wild day in New York City

Justin Bieber fans at Macy's Herald Square

Justin Bieber attacked by a strange man? Justin Bieber knocked to the ground? Justin Bieber mobbed by fans gone wild outside Macy's Herald Square? The story people heard all depended on what time they checked in on the drama that unfolded Thursday around the pop star's appearance at Macy's Herald Square in New York.

Long story short: The Biebs is just fine, the strange man was actually a plainclothes cop, and police said the pop star wasn't touched, only his bodyguard. By the way, the NYPD said later, the misunderstanding was the bodyguard's fault -- which is why members of Bieber's security team were cited for disorderly conduct.

Now back to the real stars of the Macy's Herald Square appearance: the girls. The store was overrun with them in a frenzied, tweenage mess of pink and purple, a tangle of braces, braids and bubble gum, drawn by their idol's efforts to launch a new fragrance, Someday. (All proceeds from the perfume, launched Monday by Give Back Brands, will be donated to charity.)

Justin Bieber in New York Screaming in unison with faces flushed and arms thrust in the air, the deafening cacophony of 300-some girls' high-pitched wailing echoed throughout the store. Even the security guards were wincing and covering their ears.

At 2:30 in the afternoon, it had already been an exhausting day for the pop star. There was an early morning appearance live on the "Today" show, then "The View" and a taping of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" -- all after having appeared on "Late Show With David Letterman" on Wednesday.

Bieber worked his way down the VIP purple carpet inside Macy's, greeting fans and a throng of media near a nearly 2-foot high Someday bottle topped with a pink and crimson flower. Perfume counters flanked the stage and walls of TV screens repeatedly played Bieber's sexy perfume commercial.

The chanting swelled: "Justin, Justin, Justin."  And then: "Hey everybody..."  Bieber was onstage -- cue an eruption of paparazzi-like flashbulbs and more shrieking from fans. Then: "OK, love you, peace," he said before sauntering offstage.

Who knew that was the tame part? The event was, understandably, not without a little drama. For the next several hours, Bieber would do a feverish junket of TV interviews upstairs on the 8th floor, where he also personally greeted and took pictures with the first 350 fans to buy his VIP gift set. One girl passed out, another child got lost, and the tears -- of both frustration and ecstasy -- flowed. Some mothers beamed as their offspring posed with arms around the man of the moment; other moms picked fights with Macy's staff, outraged that their kids hadn't gotten $135 worth of face time with the teen idol.

And of course there was the drama outside, when Bieber was greeting voracious fans outside the store. After the barrier-jumping brouhaha went down, he re-entered the store cradling his elbow as security hovered protectively around him.

But none of this dampened his fans' spirits. "It feels like he's a part of us," shrieked 14-year-old Melissa Lamorena. "He, like, made [the perfume]. And if we're wearing it, we're close to him!"

And doesn't Bieber know it: "#ilovemyfans and for those i didnt get to see today....thank u for your love and support. #wegohard #teambieber #someday," he tweeted late Thursday.

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-- Deborah Vankin reporting from New York, and Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/@debvankin

Justin Bieber fans in New York

Photos: Fans, top and bottom, hit Macy's Herald Square in Manhattan to see Justin Bieber, left, at the launch of his fragrance, Someday. Credits: (Top and left) Jennifer Altman / For The Times. (Bottom) Deborah Vankin / Los Angeles Times


Laurie David hosts an intimate dinner party with the 'Think Pink, Live Green' agenda

Laurie David and friends Hollywood heavyweights and environmental power players gathered for an intimate dinner party Saturday night at the home of -- who else -- Laurie David, a woman who’s been firmly planted at the intersection of celebrity activism and the healthy living movement for years.

Typically David, who co-produced "An Inconvenient Truth," mobilizes around issues of global warming. Saturday she spoke out about the warming of something else: dinner.

Specifically: how eating healthfully and organically can help prevent breast cancer.

"Every single issue I care about crosses the dinner plate” said David, who in November published "The Family Dinner," a collection of essays and recipes.

"If we can all get back to the table again and start eating healthy, we'll be a much more healthy society."

Toward that end, the Pacific Palisades dinner party was in honor of Dr. Marisa Weiss, president of breastcancer.org, which just published a booklet of new research on prevention: "Think Pink, Live Green: A Step-By Step Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer."

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SAG Awards: Want Christian Bale's attention? Rip your shirt off

Christian Bale SAG Awards

Christian Bale, who recently outed himself as a shy guy backstage at the Golden Globes, navigated the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet with reserve Sunday. In fact, the most animated gestures "The Fighter" actor put out were the raising of eyebrows or occasional nod of the head -- until one fan in the bleachers got his attention.

A man wearing a gray button-down shirt and black fedora shrieked Bale's name, then ripped open his shirt to reveal a "Fighter" T-shirt underneath.

The man thrust out a headshot -- of Bale, we assume -- at which point the amused actor finally cracked a smile and laughed.

Bale then walked over to the bleachers and humored his fans, signing autographs for a minute or so before composing himself and continuing down the red carpet, toward the trophy he would later win for male actor in a supporting role.

Click the pic above or the links below for more photos from the red carpet.

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-- Deborah Vankin

Photo: Christian Bale from "The Fighter" signs an autograph as he arrives at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters


SAG Awards: Jon Hamm, Judah Friedlander are slick dudes

SAG Awards Harry Shum Jr. and Judah Friedlander

SAG Awards Jon Hamm Hair slicked back with what appeared to be a bucket of glossy product, "Mad Men" star and nominee for male actor in a drama Jon Hamm displayed what looks suspiciously like a ducktail at the back of his head on the SAG Awards red carpet Sunday in L.A.

The very clean-cut Don Draper would certainly not approve, but Hamm's fans certainly did -- he signed more autographs than anyone else on the carpet before them.

Meanwhile, Judah Friedlander of "30 Rock" sauntered down the red carpet, clearly comfortable after years of ensemble-nominated sitcom killing it on TV.

Wearing a black baseball cap with some bling punctuating the word "expecting," well, what exactly was he expecting?

"To have a party" Friedlander said with confidence.

The New York-based comic, who also performs standup around L.A., is the author of a relatively new book, "How to Beat Up Anybody."

It came out a few months ago, and he says he's especially proud of it.

Click the pics or the links below for more photos from the SAG Awards red carpet.

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-- Jessica Gelt and Deborah Vankin

Top photo: Harry Shum Jr. of "Glee" and Judah Friedlander of "30 Rock" on the SAG Awards red carpet. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Left photo: Jon Hamm at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters



Judd Apatow has a funny way of raising money for 826LA

Garry Shandling and Judd Apatow at the Writers Guild of America

When Judd Apatow was a little boy, he played with everyone, all the kids in the sandbox -- he was good that way. How does the Ministry know this? His grandmother told us.

We rubbed elbows with Gram, who was looking spiffy in a sparkly cocktail dress, heading into the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills for Apatow's "I Found This Funny: An Evening of Music and Comedy." Was she proud?  "Meh -- nothing phases me," she said in a heavy Brooklyn-Jewish accent. "I’ve known him since he was born."

Humor runs in the family.

Aziz Ansarit and 826-LA executive director Joel Arquillos The evening was a big-ticket benefit concert for 826LA, a tutoring center for kids founded by author-screenwriter and McSweeney's publisher Dave Eggers ("Where the Wild Things Are"). With his wife, novelist Vendela Vida, by his side, Eggers greeted guests as they streamed into the lobby for a pre-show cocktail party studded with almost as many big-name comics as CAA agents -- Garry Shandling, Aziz Ansari and Maria Bamford among them. All three standups performed rousing, crowd-pleasing sets later during the show, when Shandling gave Ansari advice on women and dating. Penis extensions, Shandling said -- he'd toyed with the idea, except that he was afraid of stretch marks. 

Monty Python's Eric Idle humored the crowd during the cocktail reception and repeatedly posed for pictures with adoring fans, murmuring one "thank you" after another in his British lilt. Nearby, Apatow lingered by the bar with singer Fiona Apple, who was sporting a black fishnet blouse and … a waist-high wooden cane? She wouldn't say why she was hobbling around, but she made the look work. 

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