Scoop! Madonna goes retro, angers religious leaders

Only Madonna could get Muslim, Jewish and Catholic leaders to agree on something.

Religious leaders are blasting the former Catholic-turned-Kabbalah-worshipper’s plans to stage a mock-crucifixion during her concert Sunday in Rome, not too far from Vatican City.

“It is disrespectful, in bad taste and provocative,” Father Manfredo Leone of Rome’s Santa Maria Liberatrice church told Reuters. “Being raised on a cross with a crown of thorns like a modern Christ is absurd. Doing it in the cradle of Christianity comes close to blasphemy.”

Mario Scialoja, head of Italy’s Muslim League, agrees, saying “I think her idea is in the worst taste and she’d do better to go home.”

As usual, the Material Girl has no intention of bowing down to anyone, defending the imagery of her getting on the cross while singing “Live to Tell” as part of an appeal to get concert-goers to donate to AIDS charities.

Madonna angers religious leaders? The ’80s really are back in style again, huh?

Just for the Halle of it

Jamie Foxx is obsessed with Halle Berry and he doesn’t care if she knows it.

The “Miami Vice” star said in a recent photo shoot that included Denzel Washington and Berry he couldn’t stop drooling all over her.

“Halle Berry’s so beautiful. Halle’s the only actress I’ve ever met who looks even better in the flesh than on screen,” the Oscar winner told ContactMusic.com. “She’s stunning. She’s so close to amazing. I don’t care [if she knows of my crush]. She can take it any way she wants. My approach is always to be direct. In your private life, in your professional life, just do it. People can always say no.”

We bet Foxx’s girlfriend, British jazz singer Alexia Collen, is feeling really confident in her relationship right now. Oh, and Foxx, Berry already has a man, model Gabriel Aubry.

The ol’ infamous medication mix-up excuse

Marie Osmond’s rep is denying that Osmond was recently hospitalized after a failed suicide attempt, which was reported in the National Enquirer.

“She basically had an adverse reaction to some medication she was taking and she blacked out,” spokeswoman Amy Hawkes told The Associated Press. “She’s doing fine. She’s vacationing with her family right now.”

Of course, no one is spilling the beans as to what medication Osmond was taking. Things that make you go hmmm … .

Sheen: ‘I’ve got alimony. How about a raise?’

Charlie Sheen has asked “Two and a Half Men” producers for a raise to $1 million per episode or $24 million a year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That would put Sheen, who just scored his first Emmy nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, in a “Friends”-like pay scale.

Sheen’s estranged wife, Denise Richards, is right. He is crazy!

More ‘Idol’ mishaps for McPhee

Katharine McPhee can’t catch a break, just a hairline fracture, when it comes to the “American Idols Live” tour.

First, the stunning runner-up missed several concerts due to bronchitis and laryngitis. When she was finally ready to come back on July 27, McPhee’s flight was canceled due to bad weather. Now, the 22-year-old singer fractured her left foot, when she tripped backstage at a show in Charlotte, N.C.

Of course, the show must go on. After her injury, McPhee performed in slippers before heading to the hospital after the concert. And, even with her bum foot, McPhee has no plans to ditch the popular tour.

“She’s in discomfort, but she’s fine,” Roger Widynowski, a rep for McPhee’s record label, RCA, told the New York Post. “She will continue on the tour and is not defaulting.”

smansfield@examiner.com

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