Money Matters - Simplified


Activision seeking EA’s addition in ongoing West-Zampella lawsuit

It seems like the publisher of worldwide blockbuster gaming title "Call of Duty: Black Ops,” Activision Inc. is not in mood to let either its ex-Infinity Ward execs Jason West and Vince Zampella (who defected few months back) or their support Electronic Arts walk easily away from the mess they created.

Joanna Garcia, Nick Swisher marry in Fla.

Palm Beach, Fla. -- Celebrities from the sports and the entertainment worlds were in Florida for the wedding of actress Joanna Garcia and Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher.

The couple tied the knot in Palm Beach and then celebrated at the upscale Breakers Hotel with well-wishers that included Cameron Diaz, Reba McEntire, Johnny Damon and Alex Rodriguez.

People said Sunday that Garcia, star of ABC's "Better with You," wore an ivory strapless ball gown created by Monique Lhuillier. Swisher's Burberry tux did not appear to be pinstriped.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

'Red Dead' wins 4 Spike video game awards

Los Angeles -- The Wild West shoot-em-up "Red Dead Redemption" was named Game of the Year at the Spike TV annual "Video Game Awards" in Los Angeles.

The game produced by Rockstar Games picked up four awards Saturday night, including Best Song, and was nominated in nine award categories.
"Mass Effect 2" took three awards, including "Best Xbox 360 Game" and Best Studio for its developer, BioWare."

Spike TV said in a written statement the awards show at the Los Angeles Convention Center also was the venue for the public premier of 13 new games, including "Portal 2," which was named "Most Anticipated Game" of the year.

Arab fiction contest includes 7 women

Doha, Qatar -- Six finalists for the International Prize for the Arabic Fiction 2011 award have been named in Qatar, judges said.

The award's panel of judges announced the candidates during an event at the central library of the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Gulf News reported.

"This is an objective neutral international award," said Jonathan Taylor, chairman of the award's board of trustees. "The real value of each novel is the sole fact adopted by the panel in selecting the contenders. There is no discrimination either against ethic or gender."

Models, agencies, suing each other

New York -- High-profile modeling agencies are suing each other in an effort to get or keep the industry's top models, industry insiders in New York City said.

In addition to suing each other, the agencies are suing models for breach of contract, the New York Post reported.

"I've never heard of this happening with top-tier agencies," one working model, who asked not to be identified, told the Post. "Usually, if a girl no longer wants to be with an agency, the agency doesn't want her there, either."

The economic climate is responsible for the increased legal actions, the newspaper reported.

Oprah ranked most-generous celebrity

Los Angeles -- Oprah Winfrey tops the list of charitable celebrities with more than $40 million given away to various programs last year, an analysis of public records shows.

Novelist Nora Roberts was a distant second on the list compiled by The Giving Back Fund, followed by actress Meryl Streep.

Streep donated $4 million to the Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts and Roberts parceled out $4.45 million to literacy programs through her Nora Roberts Foundation.

15 in the running for visual effects Oscar

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Fifteen films have been selected as semifinalists for the Achievement in Visual Effects Oscar, Hollywood's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said.

The titles were announced Friday.

Listed in alphabetical order, they are: "Alice in Wonderland"; "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"; "Clash of the Titans"; "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"; "Hereafter"; "Inception";

"Iron Man 2"; "The Last Airbender"; "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief"; "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"; "Scott Pilgrim vs the World"; "Shutter Island"; "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"; "Tron: Legacy"; and "Unstoppable."

Stiller in 'Blue Leaves' on Broadway

New York -- Ben Stiller has signed up for a role in the upcoming revival production of John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves," representatives for the show said Friday.

Co-starring Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and directed by David Cromer, the play will officially open at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre April 25. Previews are to begin April 4.

Stiller made his Broadway and professional debut as Ronnie Shaughnessy in the 1986 Tony-winning production of "The House of Blue Leaves." Now, 25 years later, he makes his first return to Broadway, in the same play, this time in the role of Artie Shaughnessy. Stiller's mom, actress Anne Meara, was in the original production of "The House of Blue Leaves" in 1971.

Stern's show to air on mobile devices

New York -- SIRIUS XM Radio says U.S. talk-show host Howard Stern's new contract allows his program to air on mobile devices.

The satellite radio company confirmed Thursday it had struck a five-year agreement with Stern after the shock jock first reported it during his show.

"On my first day in satellite radio SIRIUS had approximately 600,000 subscribers. Today, the two companies have 20 million; and, in my view, we have just scratched the surface of how many people will get on board," Stern said. "I am especially excited that my show will now be heard through SIRIUS XM on mobile devices. Access to my show on mobile devices will open up additional opportunities for my fans to hear me wherever they are."

Oprah says she's still with Stedman

New York -- U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey says she and businessman Stedman Graham are still very much a couple.

Winfrey and Graham have been together since 1986. Although they got engaged in 1992, they have never married.

"The love -- the lover -- the man -- the partner -- the mate," reported Winfrey said when asked by ABC News interviewer Barbara Walters about Graham's role in her life. "I do not know of another man on this planet -- who could have lived this life with such dignity, with such grace and such respect and humility in it. And still hold his own and be his own."