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ZACH BRAFF WANTS YOUR MONEY

Inspired by Veronica Mars' recent Kickstarter success, erstwhile Scrubs star Zach Braff launched his own Kickstarter project on Wednesday to fund a new screenplay he's written. The movie, Wish I Was Here, is his followup to Garden State, the 2004 film he wrote and directed. Whether it's a sequel isn't really specified, but it sorta sounds like it could be. According to his Kickstarter site, it's "the story of Aidan Bloom (played by me), a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity; a purpose for his life." The dramatic comedy was co-written by Zach and his brother, Adam Braff. Braff posted a pitch video on his Kickstarter page to encourage people to donate money - even recruiting fellow Garden State cast member Jim Parsons and Scrubs pal Donald Faison (Turk) to help sell the idea. In it, he explains that he wants to avoid using financers who would want to protect their investment by demanding final cut and controlling who he casts. His goal is to raise $2 million by May 24. Incentives to donate include T-shirts, early access to the soundtrack (which he teases on the site), advance screenings, opportunities to appear in the film and merchandise. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the campaign had raised just over $970,000.

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Hill signs for $1M to avoid jail

It took the threat of prison to get Lauryn Hill to sign a record deal. The ex-Fugee has signed a new five-song, $1-million deal with Sony Music in order to get out of going to prison on tax evasion charges, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hill owes about $504,000 after failing to pay federal taxes on the $1.8 million of income she made between 2005 and 2007. After receiving a new postponement of sentencing, she now has until May 6 to pay off the total and avoid three years in prison - hence Sony attempting to save her with this new deal. As the irritated judge put it last week in scolding Hill, "This is not someone who stands before the court penniless."

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The Rock is recovering

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is recovering from emergency hernia surgery Monday that caused him to miss the Los Angeles premiere of his new film, Pain & Gain. "Surgery a success," he tweeted with a picture of himself flexing his biceps in a Superman T-shirt. "Superman is on the mend." Johnson suffered a torn abdomen and abductor muscles during a wrestling match earlier this month against John Cena. At the premiere, his Pain & Gain director Michael Bay joked to E! that "(He) needs to grow up and stop wrestling 300-pound men."

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Paltrow more beautiful than you

If Gwyneth Paltrow drives you crazy because she seems totally unaware that her Goop-y lifestyle is completely inaccessible to the average woman, you might want to skip this item. People magazine has named Paltrow the World's Most Beautiful Woman. (Hey, it could be worse - they could have picked Anne Hathaway.) "Around the house, I'm in jeans and a T-shirt," Paltrow aw-shucked in an accompanying interview. Her husband, Coldplay's Chris Martin, "will make a joke about it. If I've gotten fully dressed up, he'll be like, 'Oh, wow! You're Gwyneth Paltrow!' Because he's used to seeing me in like baggy shorts and frizzy hair." She added that her daughter, Apple - who's only 8 - is starting to get interested in makeup. "When we're home sometimes, she'll put on mascara," Paltrow said. "And sometimes I'll let her wear something out to dinner - but just a little dab." That might not sit well with Kidscape, a British charity aimed at preventing child abuse, which is criticizing Paltrow's Goop.com lifestyle site for endorsing a line of bikinis for girls as young as 4. The bikinis are designed by Melissa Odabash, who has also fitted stars like Rihanna and Kelly Brook. "We remain very opposed to the sexualisation of children and of childhood," a Kidscape spokesman told Britain's Daily Mail. "The dangers have been discussed at length, so it is a great pity that such trends continue and that they carry celebrity endorsement." A Paltrow spokesman called the complaint "absurd," adding: "Two-piece bathing suits have been worn by young girls for decades."

- Find more at tampabay.com/blogs/juice

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