Fergie to help launch abuse initiative for women

Posted: March 21, 2014

 FERGIE   DOESN'T want any more big girls crying because they've been abused.

The Black Eyed Peas singer says the number of women abused by their partners "is totally unacceptable" and should be protected by existing laws that are often not enforced.

The Fergs was at the State Department yesterday to announce a new Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence initiative to launch training programs in India, Nepal, South Africa and Mexico.

The training will bring together law enforcement, service providers and advocacy groups to ensure that abused women can rely on laws that too often are ignored or not understood by local authorities.

Ignored sounds more accurate.

Avon is funding the four training centers for $650,000. Fergie is a global ambassador for the Avon Foundation for Women.

Walker's mom in court

Paul Walker's mother has petitioned to become the legal guardian of the late actor's teenage daughter Meadow, in accordance with his final wishes.

Cheryl Ann Walker filed the guardianship petition in Los Angeles Superior Court this week. It states that Meadow Rain Walker, 15, has been living with her since the death of her son in a fiery crash on Nov. 30 north of LA.

The will of the "Fast & Furious" actor called for his mother to become his daughter's guardian and for his father to manage his estate, which all went to Meadow, and has been valued between $16 million and $25 million.

Cheryl's guardianship filing states that Meadow's mom is also living with her but is not an appropriate caretaker due to issues with alcohol.

Shanghai Dream-ing

DreamWorks Animation and Chinese partners unveiled designs yesterday for a $2.4 billion entertainment complex in Shanghai, expanding Hollywood's growing ties with China.

The "DreamCenter," due to open in 2017, will have a 500-seat IMAX cinema with international film festivals and red carpet events in mind, bars, restaurants and performance venues. It will also showcase a "Dream Avenue" theater district modeled on London's West End and New York City's Broadway.

The project gives Shanghai an opportunity to diversify beyond its status as a financial and manufacturing center by adding media and cultural industries.

Another project highlighting Hollywood's influence in China is Shanghai Disneyland, the first Disney park on the Chinese mainland. It is scheduled to open in the city's Pudong district at the end of next year.

TATTBITS

Norm Lewis has been tapped to be Broadway's next Phantom in the megahit "The Phantom of the Opera," a move that makes him the first African-American to play the mask-wearing Phantom on the Great (not-quite-as) White Way.

Producers said yesterday that the Tony Award nominee, who played Porgy in the recent "Porgy and Bess" revival, will make his "Phantom" debut opposite a returning Sierra Boggess as Christine beginning May 12.

"I'm overwhelmed. The idea of doing something that I've always wanted to do and it coming to fruition is amazing," Lewis said in a phone interview yesterday.

Lewis, who has appeared as a senator in ABC's "Scandal" with Kerry Washington, called the Phantom a dream job for two reasons: "I love the show but also to have hopefully set a precedent to see more diversity in casting," he said.

Diversity? That's simply goading prejudiced Internet trolls to start describing the show as one about a homeless, disfigured black man who stalks and kidnaps a beautiful white woman.

Roy Orbison's three sons are all musicians but never really got to play music with their dad - until now.

Wesley, Roy Jr. and Alex Orbison have helped create a new song by their father that will appear on the 25th anniversary reissue and expansion of Orbison's final album, "Mystery Girl." They found an old vocal track for a song called "The Way is Love" originally recorded on a boom box and were able to reclaim it using technology that had to be created to accomplish the work. They then added new instrumentation with the help of another son of a music legend, co-producer John Carter Cash.

"It really brought us closer together in a lot of ways," said Alex, who contributed drums and backing vocals to the track. "We were able to finish it up and get it out by Father's Day, too, which was obviously special to us."

"Mystery Girl" will be re-released May 20 with "The Way is Love," one of nine previously unheard songs. Alex also directed a documentary.

* "Access Hollywood" reports that Ryan Gosling will star in a biopic about the great Depression-era choreographer Busby Berkeley.

Tattle is intrigued by this.

Aside from his unique, kaleidoscopic take on movie dancing and his incredible use of black & white, Busby was married six times and tried three times for second degree murder.

"Where the underworld can meet the elite/Forty-second street."

* Looks like the only thing the DVD market needed to heat up was "Frozen." The cool musical has sold 3.2 million DVDs and Blu-rays, making it one of the biggest home entertainment debuts of recent years.

On Wednesday, Amazon said "Frozen" has become the strongest selling home entertainment title in its history.

It's a Fro-nomenon.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.


Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5678

On Twitter: @DNTattle

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