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Archive for Wednesday, April 6, 2005

People

April 6, 2005

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Jennings to remain anchor as he battles lung cancer

New York -- ABC News anchor Peter Jennings has been diagnosed with lung cancer and will immediately begin a round of outpatient chemotherapy, raising questions about his ability to remain in the anchor chair.

The 66-year-old newsman, a former smoker, had been feeling ill during the last several days and was diagnosed Monday afternoon. He broke the news of his condition to his senior staff at "World News Tonight" in an e-mail Tuesday morning, saying he plans to continue to anchor throughout his treatment.

Jennings did not anchor the newscast Tuesday evening because of hoarseness. ABC News President David Westin said he expected that Jennings would not be able to do the evening news at times.

In a taped statement that aired at the end of "World News Tonight" on Tuesday, Jennings told viewers that, while he quit smoking 20 years ago, he was "weak" and took it up again during the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. He expressed appreciation for viewers' support.

"Certainly, it's been a long time, and I hope it goes without saying that a journalist who doesn't value -- deeply -- the audience's loyalty should be in another line of work," said the 41-year ABC veteran. He tried to strike a light tone, but his voice was raspy and he swallowed frequently.

"Finally," he said, "I wonder if other men and women ask their doctors right away: 'OK, doc, when does the hair go?'"

Jennings' illness will sideline one of the last remaining lions of network news, coming on the heels of the recent departures of NBC's Tom Brokaw and CBS anchor Dan Rather.

Spears, Federline to share their 'personal love story'

Britney Spears and husband Kevin Federline have said "I do" to star in a UPN reality series that documents their courtship, engagement and wedding, reports The Associated Press.

Featuring what UPN bills as "exclusive, never-before-seen private home videos" of their "personal love story," the six-episode series is scheduled to premiere later this year. It picks up shortly after the pair met in Los Angeles and headed to Europe on tour, where Federline performed as a backup dancer for Spears.

UPN also is shooting new footage and commentary with the couple, who wed in September. It was the second marriage in nine months for Spears, who married childhood friend Jason Alexander in a surprise wedding in Las Vegas in January. That marriage was annulled 55 hours later.

Former 98 Degrees member wants to heat up mayoral race

Justin Jeffre, a member of the now-defunct boy band 98 Degrees, wants to be Cincinnati's next mayor, saying his love for his hometown and desire to make it better motivated his decision to run, reports Billboard Online.

"I am serious about this, and I intend to win," the 32-year-old performer said.

Jeffre said he wants to bring people from all over the city together through Cincinnati's arts and entertainment venues and build a strong downtown.

He also wants VH1 to follow his campaign for a reality series, although network officials have said no decision has been made on his proposal.

Eminem, 50 Cent team up for Anger Management Tour

Eminem and 50 Cent are teaming up for a two-month tour that will end with two August shows in Eminem's hometown of Detroit.

The Aug. 12-13 concerts at 44,000-seat Comerica Park come two years after Eminem and 50 Cent played a pair of gigs at neighboring Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions.

The third installment of the Anger Management Tour kicks off July 7 in Indianapolis.

Former maid testifies she saw Jackson in shower with youth

Santa Maria, Calif. -- Michael Jackson's former maid testified Tuesday at his molestation trial that she found the singer showering with a boy who often slept in the pop star's bed.

The woman, who was Jackson's personal maid for about five years, told of seeing Jackson in the shower with a boy about 8 years old who frequently stayed at Neverland and slept in the singer's bed.

One day, she said, she used a key to enter the bedroom and heard "laughing, playing -- like playing around."

"First I thought they were playing in bathtub or Jacuzzi or outside in his garden and I walked in and they were in the shower," she said, adding later, "I peek in and they were in shower."

The woman said she saw their clothes on the floor outside the shower but retreated because she thought Jackson would be mad if he found her there.

Interrogated at length about how she knew who was in the shower when the door was clouded, the witness said she was certain that she saw "Mr. Jackson and little kid" through the steam.

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