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Nicholson Blames Geffen for Departed Disappointment

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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OSCAR GROUCH Nicholson, Geffen (inset) Nobody likes to lose—not even when the contest in question is for Oscars, and you already have three. A source close to Jack Nicholson says the Departed star has been complaining about David Geffen's over-the-top campaigning for Dreamgirls.

According to the source, Nicholson believes Geffen strong-armed Academy members into nearly shutting out The Departed's cast in the acting categories. (The exception is Mark Wahlberg, who is up against Dreamgirls' Eddie Murphy in the supporting actor category.) What particularly annoys Nicholson, adds the source, is the cynical way Geffen used the promise of an Oscar nomination to get Murphy to settle for less than his usual rate.

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A rep for Nicholson declined to comment, but a well-placed Hollywood insider predicts Geffen's strategy will not result in an Oscar for Murphy, noting the way the actor has alienated Academy voters by complaining in public about not getting paid enough for Dreamgirls. Says the insider, "You got paid for Norbit, you stupid prick."

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