Meg Ryan announces engagement to John Mellencamp

Actress Meg Ryan, left, talks with performer John Mellencamp in Dec. 2011 during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game. Mellencamp and Ryan are getting married.

Meg Ryan announces engagement to John Mellencamp

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Here’s a little ditty ‘bout John and Meg.

Singer John Mellencamp and actress Meg Ryan are getting married.

The 56-year-old announced her engagement to the 67-year-old musician on Instagram . “ENGAGED!” is what she wrote. The post included a drawing of what appears to be the two holding hands. He’s also holding a guitar.

They’ve been dating on and off since 2010.

Ryan was previously married to actor Dennis Quaid, while Mellencamp has been married three times.

No date was announced.

Rush might ‘never work again,’ lawyer says

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian actor Geoffrey Rush, who is claiming millions of dollars in defamation damages over a newspaper report he behaved inappropriately toward a female co-star, might never work again, his lawyer told a court Friday.

Wrapping up Rush’s case against Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper and journalist Jonathan Moran, lawyer Bruce McClintock said “there is a significant risk that Mr. Rush will not work again.”

In submissions for damages at the end of the 3-week hearing in Sydney’s Federal Court, McClintock said the Oscar-winning actor’s phone may not ring with job offers and he may never be able to regain his confidence and desire to work.

The high-profile non-jury trial ended on Friday, when Judge Michael Wigney said he would “love to start writing his judgment tomorrow” but that his workload would prevent him from delivering the decision this year.

Rush sued the Daily Telegraph’s publisher, Nationwide News, and Moran over two articles and a newspaper poster published in 2017.

They related to a report he behaved inappropriately toward a co-star, later revealed to be Eryn Jean Norvill, during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016.

Rush denied the allegation and said the newspaper portrayed him as a pervert and sexual predator.

The newspaper argued that the articles were substantially true after Norvill — who didn’t participate in them — agreed to give evidence.

She testified Rush made groping gestures and sexual innuendoes toward her in rehearsals, stroked her lower back backstage and deliberately touched her breast as he grieved over her character’s dead body during a performance.

Referring to past and future economic losses, McClintock said, “What they did to my client has disabled him from working.”

“It does not take much of a taint to destroy a career,” he said.

Lawyer Tom Blackburn for the newspaper and Moran said Rush did not give any evidence of being incapable of working, or of not receiving any offers.

Rush won the best actor Oscar in 1996 for his portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in “Shine” and was nominated for roles in “Shakespeare in Love,” ‘’Quills” and “The King’s Speech.” He is also famed for his portrayal of Captain Barbossa in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films.

He received his nation’s highest civilian honor in 2014, the Companion of the Order of Australia, for service to the arts.

Emerging screenwriters honored with Nicholl awards

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Five emerging screenwriters are experiencing a breakthrough of a lifetime earning praise from the film academy for their work.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized each screenwriter at the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting on Thursday night. The three individuals along with a husband-and-wife writing duo received $35,000 and had their work read live by actors Jamie Chung, Lily Collins, Ken Jeong and Blair Underwood.

The event was held at the academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills, California.

Four screenplays selected include: Allison and Nicolas Buckmelter, “American Refugee”; Joey Clarke, Jr., “Miles”; Grace Sherman, “Numbers and Words”; and Wenonah Wilms, “Horsehead Girls.”

All those countless hours writing movie scripts, cranking out rough drafts and reading screenwriting tutorials to perfect their craft have paid off for them.

“You sit at a Starbucks hoping that maybe someday you’ll get the recognition and someone will read your work,” said Allison Buckmelter, who had been writing with her husband for more than a decade. “When we found out, we were excited. This is very validating.”

Her husband, Nicolas Buckmelter, offered a tip to other aspiring screenwriters: “Just keep writing. Put something on paper, even if it’s bad. Nobody is going to read a blank page.”

Winners will receive guidance from academy members as they complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year. The winning screenplays were chosen from nearly 6,900 submissions.

Since 1986, the competition has awarded hundreds of fellowships, aiming to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters.

Past fellows have included writer-director Allison Anders, Pulitzer-winning novelist Jeff Eugenides and Oscar winner Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich”). The films “Finding Forrester” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” were also written by past Nicholl fellows.

Actor Lily Collins is starring in the upcoming Ted Bundy biopic “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.” The film’s original script, written by Michael Werwie, won a Nicholl Fellowship prize in 2012.

“We to get to bring life into these scenes,” she said. “These writers get to see and get a little taste of what it feels like to hear actors read their work. So the idea of one getting off the ground and finally gets made is pretty cool.”