Only in LA: Hallmarks of an odd couple

SOMEONE RECENTLY made the remark that the Internet is the new rock`n'roll, which might explain why Jerry Hall has moved on from her long marriage to Mick Jagger and has now hooked up with Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft.

News of the liaison has raised a few eyebrows here - after all Hall is a former fashion model while Allen is a pudgy 45-year-old with outsize glasses - but Allen's coup is much more than just a triumph of financial charisma over physical beauty.

Since leaving the side of his childhood chum Bill Gates, he has been trying to earn the good graces of the Hollywood establishment, setting up home in Rock Hudson's old house in Beverly Hills, cultivating friendships with celebrities like Peter Gabriel and Monica Seles, and launching numerous media and entertainment ventures including a $660m investment in Steven Spielberg's production studio DreamWorks.

A high-profile relationship with Jerry Hall might be just the ticket to give him the public exposure he needs - after all, the leap from computer nerd to Hollywood mogul is an awkward one. And it might also manage to banish the spectre of some troublesome women from his past.

Bubbling away is a sexual harassment suit brought by Allen's former business partner Abbie Phillips with whom he worked to turn the West Hollywood children's bookstore Storyopolis into a multi-media venture. Phillips, a married mother of two, alleges that Allen lured her to his bedroom at his mansion on Mercer Island, near Seattle, in 1996 and made highly intrusive advances. She believes her resistance was directly responsible for her dismissal from Storyopolis a year later.

Furthermore, she contends Allen has a "disturbing pattern" of harassing and firing female employees. Her predecessor as Storyopolis's manager, Megan Taylor, was Allen's girlfriend for a time and left her job after the relationship ended.

According to court files, Allen not only denies the allegations but says Phillips was fired for spending nearly $30,000 in company funds on personal expenses. A nasty court battle is in the offing but an appearance by Jerry Hall at Allen's side might work wonders on the jury.


THE RESIDENTS of Malibu, Los Angeles' ritziest beach resort, are well known for keeping to themselves, and this weekend they had all the privacy they could dream of.

On Saturday morning the highway patrol obligingly cordoned off 27 miles of the Pacific Coast Highway, blocking access to all non-residents and leaving the main thoroughfare behind the beach so blissfully clear that the chirping of seagulls echoed in the hills. Angelenos heading for Malibu's unspoiled beaches were caught in a monster jam before being forced to head back the way they came.The ostensible reason for this decision was nothing more mysterious than a burst water main that left 50,000 homes high and dry. The authorities hurriedly brought in a fleet of water tankers to supply residents with five-gallon jugs, then decided that they didn't want to waste precious water on outsiders. So they did what only a place like Malibu can get away with doing - they shut the whole place down.

Even when the water supply resumed on Saturday afternoon, the highway remained firmly closed - an event that usually signals a landslide or similar natural disaster. Apparently the fire department was concerned to have enough water in case one of Malibu's brush fires broke out.

But it was hard not to suppose, too, that the town's population of beach bums and film stars was thrilled to be rid of the tourist riff-raff for one weekend. "I only come to surf Malibu on disaster days," one local surfer remarked. The only drawback was the lack of recreation. One cafe valiantly struggled on with paper plates and portable toilets, but otherwise the well-appointed citizens of Malibu had to suffer the indignity of eating at home.


A MOVIE actress at a Los Angeles premiere, a graceful red gown and a big smile. It all seemed so routine to Molly Ringwald, stepping out to the whirring of cameras at the Westwood Village theatre, that the question from an Access Hollywood reporter took her utterly unawares.

"Why are you here, Molly?" he asked.

"I'm in the movie," she replied indignantly.

But she wasn't. She'd turned up to the premiere of a comedy called Love Stinks. The film she was in, Teaching Mrs Tingle, was holding its gala debut around the corner at the Mann Bruin theatre.

Beating a hasty retreat, she fought back her embarrassment, put her best movie-star smile back on and made her entrance all over again.

"People kept asking me if love really stinks," she said afterwards.

"It was creepy."

Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Arts and Entertainment


These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells