World 4U

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bodyguard Forced To Have Sex

The former bodyguard and chauffeur M'Hammed Soumayah to Oscar-winning actress Liza Minnelli accuses the singer of forcing him to have sex with her to keep his job, and is seeking more than $100 million in damages, according to court papers unsealed on Wednesday.

In the lawsuit, Soumayah, 56, accused Minnelli (58) of assault and battery, breach of contract, withholding payment for services rendered and sexual harassment.

But in a court document, one of Liza lawyers, Dorothy Weber, said Soumayah had "commenced this action in a quick sand of untruths and misstatements" and accused him of a "shakedown" of her client.

Earlier this week, Minnelli countersued and accused him of breach of contract.

Soumayah wants $50 million from Minnelli for her "intentional assault and battery," another $50 million for sexual harassment and $89,000 in back wages.

Minnelli sued Soumayah for $US250,000 yesterday, alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. The two-page filing contained no details.

No Golden Globe For Passion and Fahrenheit

Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Passion cannot win the top prize at the Golden Globes. Michael Moore cannot enter his film since the Golden Globes do not have a category for documentaries. Gibson's Passion cannot compete because only movies that are in English are eligible for the dramatic-picture trophy. Passion is in Aramaic and Latin, with English subtitles.

The Passion will, however, be considered in the category set aside for foreign-language films. "Yes, we know Aramaic is not a spoken language, and yes, we know the film doesn't have a country of origin," said HFPA president Lorenzo Soria. “But our bylaws state that when a film is in a language that is preponderantly non-English, it's a foreign-language film."

Lawrie Masterson, the chairman of the HFPA's board of directors, said the exclusion of Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Passion is a shame, but the organization cannot change its rules at this stage.

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