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De Niro stomps out

Actor Robert De Niro walked out of an interview with British journalist Emma Brockes set up to promote his new film “The Intern,” opening Friday, in which he co-stars with Anne Hathaway. Brockes, a writer for Britain’s Radio Times, asked some questions the actor didn’t like, including whether the Tribeca neighborhood in New York, where his film festival is located, hadn’t been taken over by bankers. She also queried how De Niro managed not to go into “autopilot” on set. De Niro stood up, saying “I’m not doing it, darling,” to which Brockes retorted, “I think you’re very condescending.”

Seger interviews Henley; Henley compliments Ryder

None other than Bob Seger was the moderator for Monday night’s “Town Hall with Don Henley” that aired live (well actually, tape-delayed) on Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country channel. Seger is a longtime friend of the Eagles singer/drummer, having met him via his hometown Detroit pal, Eagle Glenn Frey.

Seger was a jovial interviewer, letting the audience ask questions, and unspooling his inimitable laugh. One interesting tidbit: Texas-born Henley said he grew up listening to a lot of country (his new album, “Cass County,” is pure country) and he was a dyed-in-the-wool Byrds fan, but he was blown away when he saw Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels in the ’60s. He was particularly impressed with their hard-driving drummer, Johnny ‘Bee’ Badanjek, who he reckoned “was about 18,” Henley said. He went backstage to ask him how he played like that, Badanjak’s response was, “I don’t know, I just do it.” The Don Henley/Bob Seger show will air again at 6 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday on Outlaw Country.

Bieber to record Smokey?

TMZ ran into Motown great Smokey Robinson in Hollywood on Monday at the Ivy having lunch with Jason ‘Poo Bear’ Boyd, who wrote and produced Justin Bieber’s hit song “What Do You Mean?” Smokey said he’d love Bieber to cover not just one or two, but “all” of his songs. Biebs singing songs like “Shop Around,” “More Love” and “You Really Got a Hold On Me?” Well, maybe ... the tabloid quotes a source close to Bieber who said, “Justin would be honored to work with Smokey, and he’s a huge fan of his music.”

Sean Penn: ‘I don’t hit women’

And on the legal beat, TMZ reports that Sean Penn is suing “Empire” creator Lee Daniels for $10 million, claiming he dragged his name through the mud, accusing Penn of hitting women in order to defend actor Terrence Howard. In an interview, Daniels said “(Terrence) ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some demon ...” There have been rumors that in his marriage to Madonna, Sean got a little rough with her, which Daniels appeared to be referencing. Penn claimed in the lawsuit that Daniels’ comments were “reckless and malicious,” and that for years, Penn has been “the subject of scandalous, scurrilous and baseless attacks.”

swhitall@detroitnews.com

Wednesday’s birthdays

Bruce Springsteen, 66

John Harbaugh, 53

Jason Alexander, 56

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