Grapevine: Mariah wants $50M from ex James Packer

Flint Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha to be ‘Millionaire’ contestant, AM580 to air ‘War of the Worlds’ and more celebrity news

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Mariah Carey wants $50M from ex James Packer

Singer Mariah Carey is demanding that billionaire businessman and ex-fiance James Packer pay her $50 million, TMZ reported Friday. The reasons: She moved from New York to Los Angeles so he could be close to his kids, and an alleged incident he caused while vacationing on a yacht in Greece led to so much emotional trauma that she had to cancel her South America tour stops. Several outlets reported earlier this week that their engagement is called off. It’s unclear who ended the relationship. The two met in 2014 at the film premiere of “Hercules” and got engaged in January.

Jennifer Lopez to star in ‘Bye Bye Birdie Live!’

Jennifer Lopez will star in and executive produce NBC’s live musical rendition of “Bye Bye Birdie,” the network announced Thursday. “Broadway musicals and films fueled my childhood, and ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ was one of my favorites,” Lopez said in a statement. J Lo will play Rosie, who devises a publicity stunt for singer Conrad Birdie before he’s drafted in the Army. Chita Rivera originally played the role on Broadway; Janet Leigh was Rosie in the movie. “It was her idea to take on this classic singing and dancing role made famous by the legendary Chita Rivera, and we are so happy to oblige,” NBC Entertainment chair Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. Harvey Fierstein, who wrote “Hairspray Live!” premiering Dec. 7 and starring Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande, penned “Bye Bye Birdie Live!” The production will air next year.

Flint doctor competes Thursday on ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha will be in the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” hot seat at 3 p.m. Thursday on WWJ-TV (Channel 62) in Detroit for “Hometown Heroes Week.” Though she’s not allowed to say if she won a million bucks, or nothing at all, the doctor known for discovering elevated levels of lead in Flint children who drank the city’s water told The Detroit News it was an “amazing” opportunity to be on the trivia game show that gives contestants a chance to win $1 million. “It was a really surreal experience to be there with the lights and the cameras and trying to win money for Flint kids,” she says. Hanna-Attisha could keep any earnings, but she chose to donate any winnings to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. She adds that host Chris Harrison has followed the Flint water crisis and supported efforts to help residents. “He was aware of the Flint story and was alarmed, just as the entire nation has been just mind-boggled that this could happen,” she says. “So it was nice to be with folks who were really rooting for Flint.”

Local comedians roast Rev. Faith Fowler

Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services, will be roasted by a host of comedians and local notables Nov. 17 to benefit the nonprofit that provides food, housing and health services for at-risk Detroiters. Author Mitch Albom will be the master of ceremonies for the event called “Roastin’ the Rev? Hell Yes We Are!” It will be held at DeCarlo’s Banquet & Convention Center in Warren starting at 6 p.m. The roasting stage will include actress and Trenton native Mary Lynn Rajskub (“24”), comedian Jeff Dwoskin, Ford Motor Co. Fund president Jim Vella and Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin. Chef Matt Prentice will provide the hors d’oeuvres, and guests will enjoy an open bar and buffet dinner. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at

580 AM to air ‘The War of the Worlds’

If you tune into 580 AM on Halloween night, do not panic. Aliens are not actually invading the United States. Continuing its annual tradition, the radio station will broadcast “The War of the Worlds” — the famous radio play narrated by Orson Welles, based on H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel about an alien invasion. When the program first aired in 1938, the fictional newscasts were so believable that Americans across the country feared martians had landed in New Jersey. Tune in to hear the drama at 8 p.m. Monday.

Compiled by Stephanie Steinberg

Saturday’s birthdays

Richard Dreyfuss , 69

Dan Castellaneta , 59

Winona Ryder , 45

Gabrielle Union , 44