Production in Progress

By Richard Mineards   |   August 22, 2023

Prince Harry and his actress wife Meghan Markle are planning a production of Canadian novelist Carley Fortune’s romance Meet Me at the Lake.

The New York Times bestseller, Fortune’s second novel is a story about two long lost lovers whose paths cross by chance a decade after first meeting.

Netflix or the Sussexes paid around four million dollars for the rights to a film production of the novel, depending on which reports you read.

Watch this space…

Lawyers’ Fees Continue

Singer Katy Perry and her British actor fiancé Orlando Bloom have been embroiled in a three-year legal battle with an 83-year-old veteran over his $15 million Santa Barbara home.

In July 2020, Carl Westcott signed a real estate contract to sell his property to the former Dos Pueblos High student and the Lord of the Rings actor claiming he was under the influence of opioids and painkillers following back surgery.

When the effects of the drugs wore off days later, Westcott, a retired U.S. Army 101st Airborne officer and known for his entrepreneurial venture with 1-800-Flowers, claims he realized what he’d signed away and rescinded the contract.

But the celebrity twosome’s agent disregarded the pleas from Westcott, who also suffers from Huntington’s Disease, and threatened to sue if he did not proceed with the sale of the eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom property.

Three years later, the trial in Los Angeles Superior Court is set for later this month.

Westcott was 80 at the time of the sale and had been suffering from Huntington’s Disease since 2015.

He purchased the 9,285-square-foot home in May 2020, and moved in two months before the sale with Perry and Bloom.

Stay tuned…

New Home Found

Kevin Costner’s estranged wife, Christine Baumgartner, 49, who moved out of his $145 million oceanside Carpinteria estate last month, has found a new home in Santa Barbara for $35,000 a month.

The new pad has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a swimming pool.

After the court-ordered move, Baumgartner stayed at a smaller house near to the former Padaro Lane estate which had been used for staff.

The new property will allow the twosome’s three children – Cayden, 16; Hayes, 14; and Grace, 13 – to continue their current schools.

The Oscar winner, 68, has been spotted with the youngsters in Aspen, Colorado, where he also maintains a massive 6,000-square-foot home, Dunbar Ranch, on 160 acres composed of 12 bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

Costner was also seen at a Taylor Swift concert in L.A. with Grace last week.

On Leaving ‘West Wing’

Rob Lowe, who left his starring role on the NBC hit series West Wing after four years, has opened up about his decision to quit.

The Montecito actor, 59, played the White House deputy communications director, and was considered the show’s lead when it debuted in 1999.

However, the show’s popularity led to the network tinkering with the series, leading to major changes to Lowe’s role.

That ultimately led to Lowe leaving after the fourth season, with the show’s creator Aaron Sorkin and director-executive producer Thomas Schlamme leaving shortly thereafter, with the show running three more seasons until 2007.

In a Stitcher’s Podcrushed podcast Lowe said quitting the show was “the best thing I ever did” and compared his time on the series to a “super unhealthy relationship.”

“I felt I was underrated,” he explained. “It happens in the workplace. You can be in an environment where people sandbag you, wanna see you fail, don’t appreciate you – whatever it is.”

A Night on the Town

As well as a birthday dinner with Prince Harry to celebrate her 42nd birthday, actress Meghan Markle had a girls’ day out with actress Portia de Rossi seeing the new movie Barbie before spending the evening at the San Ysidro Ranch’s Stonehouse restaurant.

Markle, according to the New York Post’s Page Six, also congratulated a bride-to-be who was celebrating her upcoming nuptials with friends and posed for a photo with the bachelorette party.

Remembering Laird Koenig

On a personal note, I remember Laird Koenig, a longtime resident of our Eden by the Beach, who has moved to more heavenly pastures at the age of 95.

A successful novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, he published eight novels, had six plays on the Great White Way and Off Broadway, and 14 movie credits.

Laird was best known for his book The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane, published in 1974. It was adapted for a film of the same name in 1976 starring Jodie Foster.

A world traveler, great raconteur, and gentle soul.


Barbie actor Ryan Gosling and wife Eva Mendes with daughters Esmerelda and Amada walking on Miramar Beach… Former TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi dining at Caruso’s at the Rosewood Miramar… Rocker Travis Barker noshing at Tre Lune.

Pip! Pip!  


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