Classical Recording Artist Reaches Out to FBI After Suspected Al Qaeda Threats Escalate | Cate Blanchett’s Confession: I Was Worried I Wouldn’t Love My Second Child | Crotch Shot: Kate Moss Goes Spears Style | Scene and Heard
Heather Schmid, a world-renowned classical singer with her own charity-driven reality show "The Ambassador," which attracts 200 million viewers in China, has dedicated her life to performing in poverty-stricken countries.
She’s also become the target of suspected terrorist threats.
Following the devastating earthquakes in Pakistan, which thousand in 2006, Schmid flew from her recording studio in Burbank, Calif. to Lahore, Pakistan to perform in a music festival to raise funds for the country, where she was interviewed by several media outlets.
"After my performance, I introduced myself, and talked about my own brush with tragedy (being present in New York City during 9/11) and how Pakistan stood by my country, and we were shoulder-to-shoulder there for them," Schmid told Tarts. "I really struck a chord with the people, they really responded to what I was saying."
Schmid’s visit garnered so much attention that she was invited to do a private performance at the Governor’s Mansion for Pakistan’s then-President Pervez Musharraf. Soon, photos of the two were gracing the pages of numerous publications, and she was deemed the "ambassador of peace" by the Pakistani press.
"People just started associating me with him," she added. "And soon after that, an Al Qaeda leader announced that anyone associated with Musharraf was a target."
But it has been within the last few months that strange incidents have started occurring in Schmid’s life, prompting her and her management to reach out to the FBI.
"I started to get disturbing phone calls and Facebook requests, my Web site was being hacked in a very slow, clever way. Things like my family photos were being taken and my tour schedule was changed. My webmaster tracked it back to Pakistan, and it was clear from the coding that this was done not by an amateur, but an organized group," she said. "I was then invited to receive a 'Personality of the Year' award in Pakistan, but the details were sketchy, and my friend was shocked to find an extremist video on YouTube where myself, Condoleezza Rice and President Bush are the Americans in the video considered as 'Anti-Islamist'."
The FBI has deemed Schmid’s case as a credible threat, and has filed a report, advised her to track all calls and odd occurrences, to change her Web server, and to hire protection while out in certain public places.
"I feel like it’s my purpose to travel the world and performing in the East is part of my life plan. I’m not going to stop doing what I do," Schmid added. "It’s obviously not a good feeling knowing that people are plotting things against you, but I felt like I had such a positive connection with Pakistan, and I don’t want it to be this way."
Mother-of-three Cate Blanchett never really realized how much she could love until she had her first child just over seven years ago, but the "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" beauty had some concerns while pregnant with her second.
"Parenthood makes you realize the capacity you have for love. In between having number one and two I was worried I wouldn’t love the second one as much as the first," Blanchett admitted. "But then somehow you just find it in you."
And even though the 39-year-old Australian native is considered one of the most esteemed actresses in Tinseltown today, she still feels the fear of failure.
"I do feel failure but I don’t run away from it. You have to risk failure, if you don’t you won’t push yourself further every time," Blanchett added. "Life is all about failure, but as an actor the failure is very public which is difficult."
Nobody will ever forget the beginning of Britney Spears’s infamous breakdown when she partied pantyfree back in 2006 and was snapped stepping out of her car baring all, so the pics of Kate Moss emerging from her limo in London on Monday night look all too-familiar.
Thankfully, the supermodel was donning some cotton coverings - although we can’t quite say she was as well prepared up top as paps got a lot more than they bargained for…
Andy Garcia arriving for a screening at the Miami International Film Festival Tuesday in an Audi Q7 TDI. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were also seen driving around Miami in the new clean diesel vehicle while in town for the festival.
"Blondie" lead singer, Debbie Harry performing at the launch party for CARRERA's 1980's vintage-inspired sunglasses, at New York's Angel Orensanz Foundation on Friday night. VIPs included Taylor Momsen, Richie Rich, Agyness Deyn, Tyson Beckford, singer Peaches, model Jamie Burke, model Daisy Lowe, Josh Madden, designer Patricia Field, rapper Lil' Mama and Danity Kane's Dawn Richard.
"Real Housewives of New York" starlet Bethenny Frankel donning Lisa Freede Jewelry (and showing off her gorgeous biceps in a tank top) at her "Skinny Girl" book signing at Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica on Saturday.
Kristin Cavallari (and over 700 other beach babes) on the shores of Miami on Saturday for Nivea/Cosmopolitan Magazine's second annual Bikini Bash. The scantily-clad ladies spelled out the words C-O-S-M-O and N-I-V-E-A with their bodies on the sand while Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet shot from a helicopter above. The final photo will appear in Cosmo's August 2009 issue.
Paris Hilton (and beau Doug Reinhardt) spotted checking into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Sunday afternoon. The heiress laid low but was seen scouting various locations with a few of her "My BFF" show producers in preparation to film some upcoming episodes.
Kelly Monaco (accompanied by 8 dancers) dining at KOI LAS VEGAS on Sunday night. Twilight's Kellan Lutz sat close by, celebrating his 24th birthday with girlfriend Annalynne McCord.
Hip hop superstar Ice Cube enjoying dinner inside Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Nicky Hilton flying solo while picking up a late lunch at La Scala in Beverly Hills on Monday afternoon.
Eliza Dushku celebrating her cover on Niche Media’s Boston Common magazine on Monday night at Alibi in Boston. The "Doll House" actress introduced herself to every last guest amongst the 150 person crowd including Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s wife Tiffany Ortiz, ex-New England Patriot Christian Fauria, actor and former NBA star Rick Fox.
The Jonas Brothers sneaking thru the backdoor at the "Microsoft Windows Presents Musicology 101 to Benefit VH1 Save The Music Foundation" at Universal Studios on Monday night. The boys flew to LA from NYC just to have a meeting with Common regarding an upcoming collaboration. The "Disney" stars didn't want their photo taken and eventually came out of the green room to have a sneak peak at the rapper's performance. However the brothers were promptly escorted out by their bodyguards once the excited crowd heard word that they were there.
Paris Hilton (disguised in a long black week and gothic attire) dirty-dancing (to her own songs) with Doug Reinhardt on Monday night's Industry Party at Sin City's Jet Nightclub inside The Mirage.
Jaime King throwing an intimate birthday dinner for husband, Kyle Newman at ONE Sunset in West Hollywood on Monday night. The "Fanboys" director celebrated his 33rd birthday with a group of friends including Jessica Alba and Cash Warren. Kyle kept thanking Jaime for putting together such a fabulous soiree, while Cash and Jessica held hands and hugged throughout their meal.
Sarah Silverman jumping over the fence to get inside the theater for the premiere of "I Love You, Man" in Westwood, Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Other guests included Jack Black and Ben Stiller who stepped out to support cast members Jason Segal, Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Jon Favreau and Jaime Pressly. And for the record, the newly-single "My Name is Earl" starlet had no hesitation in telling us she much prefers "metro" men over "macho" men.
Brandon Routh standing in line at West Hollywood's Barney's Beanery to kick off St. Patty's Day celebrations on Tuesday night.