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La Toya Jackson scene removed from 'Bruno'

June 26, 2009 | 11:23 am

When Sacha Baron Cohen's latest movie, "Bruno," opens July 10, it will do so with a last-minute cut. The Times' John Horn writes on Company Town that a scene with Michael Jackson's older sister was hastily removed from the film yesterday between the time of Jackson's death and the screening of the Hollywood premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

When the film was shown to audiences several weeks ago, "Bruno" included a scene where Cohen's title character -- a flamboyant Austrian fashion journalist -- conducts staged interviews with C-list celebrities, including Paula Abdul and La Toya Jackson. When Cohen's Bruno character is interviewing La Toya, he asks about Michael Jackson and then takes La Toya's personal digital assistant and begins looking for Michael's telephone number.

Cohen then begins dictating some numbers in German to an assistant (the suggestion is that they are Michael's phone number) as La Toya becomes increasingly alarmed by Cohen's conduct, which includes using kneeling Mexican laborers as chairs). Soon thereafter, La Toya leaves in the middle of the interview.

But when "Bruno" was shown to Hollywood insiders at the film's Thursday night premiere, the scene was nowhere to be found. 

As reported yesterday, the premiere of "Bruno" prevented fans from accessing Michael's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Flowers were placed on it early this morning. An instant crowd was attracted, with at least 200 people waiting to get a glimpse. 

--Todd Martens

Photo: Michael Jackson's Hollywood Boulevard star on the Walk of Fame. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times