Was Sean Penn Banned from the Oscars' Governors Ball?
Stop us if you've heard this one before: A beautiful, talented woman acclaimed by Hollywood finds romance with a younger man associated with The Hurt Locker, who just so happens to be attending the same Oscar ceremony as that woman's famous ex-husband. No, we're not talking about the Kathryn Bigelow-Mark Boal-James Cameron triangle that grabbed so many headlines this awards season -- at least, not this time. This one involves Sean Penn, Robin Wright and Hurt Locker producer Greg Shapiro, and it may have gotten Penn booted from the Governors Ball.
According to E!'s Marc Malkin, Best Actress presenter Penn (who Wright filed to divorce last August) had a backstage confrontation with Shapiro, who won an Oscar for producing Hurt Locker. Then things got a little fuzzy:
Minutes after Penn and Shapiro came face-to-face, "Academy officials...said he was banned from the Ball," one of my sources said.
Penn's rep insists there was no confrontation and that the actor chose not to stop by the Ball. A rep for the Academy would only say, "Sean Penn chose not to attend the Governors Ball." (Update: Late this morning, another rep for the Academy emailed me, insisting that Penn was never unwelcome at the Ball.)
The scuffle casts Penn's inscrutable Oscar presentation in a new light since as you may have deciphered, the actress Penn said was snubbed by both he and the Academy two years running was Wright, who Penn failed to thank during his Milk win and who the Academy neglected to nominate this year for her work in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. No word on if he was staring right at Shapiro as he said it, or how Jason Reitman found himself snubbed from an Oscar moment yet again.