By Eileen Murphy
Husband and wife megastars Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson are furious over scurrilous rumors in a London tabloid that their four-year marriage is on the rocks.
The actors, who spent their summer vacations packing ’em in on Broadway – he in “The Judas Kiss,” she in “Cabaret” – are in Florence, Italy, at the moment. They’re attending the Biennale della Moda (translation: you ain’t gonna find these clothes at J.C. Penney) fashion show, where Natasha’s modeling a gown by Alberta Ferretti.
According to the Rush & Molloy column in the Daily News, the couple issued a statement that “there’s not a shred of truth to the story [in the London Telegraph] about a supposed divorce.”
The photogenic pair have said through a spokesman that they “couldn’t be happier together. They’d like to know how all this got started.”
The Telegraph quoted a “friend” of the couple who said that “Natasha feels they have reached the end of the road.”
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Liam, who most recently starred in “Les MisTrables” (the movie, not the musical) and Natasha, late of Disney’s “The Parent Trap,” plan to sic their lawyers on the offending tabloid.
“We are taking vigorous and immediate legal action against the paper,” they said in a statement.
Given the couple’s resources, and the fact that one of them is a strapping 6-foot-4 former boxer (Liam, not Natasha), we kinda hope the lawyers find the reporter, and the “friend,” first. Either way, we get the feeling someone’s going to be trTs misTrable.
Newsweek: No Irish need apply
You’ll be interested to know that the good folks at Newsweek are horrified by the number of Irish American characters “clogging behind the “Riverdance”-“Angela’s Ashes” bandwagon.
The news weekly – or shall we say, weakly – cites NBC’s “Trinity,” CBS’s “To Have and to Hold,” and Fox’s “Costello” as part of a trend toward “way too many Irish people” on the airwaves. They single out the main character in “Costello” as “a Boston barmaid who yells “[bad word]” and “[very bad word]” in so many punch lines you’ll want to wash her mouth out with Irish Spring.”
Now, we’re sure they’re just being glib and irreverent and cutting edge, etc., but you know, we could think of a few magazine writers who might benefit from the Irish Spring thing . . .
Patsy’s home is no ‘oasis’
Well, we could have told her that marrying one of those wild Gallagher boys from Oasis would be like holding a tiger by the tail, but she just wouldn’t have listened. We refer, of course, to poor Patsy Kensit, the blond British actress who married singer Liam Gallagher nearly two years ago.
Both the New York Post and the Sunday World report that Liam, in a drunken rage, tossed Patsy into the street last weekend. Patsy, understandably upset and embarrassed, plans pick up the pieces and move on.
Kensit, who’s no stranger to rock and roll marriage thanks to her brief union with Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, thought that she could change Liam’s wild ways. But from all reports – the canceled American concert tour a few years ago, the disgraceful performance on the MTV Awards show, his bust for drug possession in Oxford Street – the younger of the two Gallagher brothers has developed quite a reputation as a party-hearty, rude and crude lout. Who just happens to be able to carry a tune. Kind of.
Prince Charles: B*Witched?
You’ll be happy to know that whatever Price Charles lacks in sex appeal, he makes up for in impeccable manners. The prince thrilled the Irish girl band B*Witched when he sent them a gracious thank you note after they appeared at his Prince’s Trust charity concert a few weeks ago.
Band member Sinead O’Carroll revealed, “Prince Charles arrived at the concert just as we were about to go onstage, so it was a pretty special performance for us.”
The girls didn’t get close enough to pinch the royal bum the way their British counterparts the Spice Girls did a while back, but they were happy anyway.
“We were chuffed to get the ‘thank you’ letter from Prince Charles, with his personal signature,” gushed Sinead.
U2 spreads Propaganda
Yes, yes, we’ve had U2 on the brain a lot lately, what with this “best-of” collection looming and the president’s televised testimony (but let’s not even GO there). So we’ll just briefly mention that we received our “Double Summer Issue” of the band’s fan magazine, appropriately titled Propaganda.
We hear that the boys are back in the saddle, so to speak, filming the video for their upcoming single, “The Sweetest Thing.” The band took over Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square last weekend, with a mad assortment of Chippendales dancers, an elephant, BoyZone, and Bono’s wife Ali in her first starring role.
Small faux pas last week, which has caused us no end of blushes. We were so excited about the opening of Jim Nolan’s “Moonshine” at the Irish Arts Center that we mistakenly credited production to the Bronx Macalla Theater Company. Silly us. It’s an Irish Arts Center production (and we hear, quite a good one), so run, sprint, leap or just skedaddle to the phone to order your tickets by calling (212) 757-3318. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m., through Oct. 31.