Archive for Monday, August 8, 2005

People in the news

August 8, 2005


Photographer shot while trying to track down Britney Spears

Malibu, Calif. - A photographer was shot in the leg with a BB gun outside a home where he believed Britney Spears was attending a bridal shower Saturday evening, authorities said.

It was unclear who fired the BB as the photographer was staking out the event at the Malibu home, sheriff's Lt. Steve Smith said. He said firefighters bandaged the man's leg and he went to a hospital.

"It could've been somebody driving by, walking by, we have no idea where it came from," Smith said.

The photographer, identified as Brad Diaz, was about 200 yards from the home outside the home's long driveway when he was hit, Smith said.

Diaz was one of about 10 photographers standing in the street.

Smith originally said the home belonged to Spears, but said deputies later learned that it belonged to someone else and that Spears is a frequent guest. He did not identify the owner.

A message left with Spears' publicist was not returned.

Gibson may recreate scene from 'Passion of the Christ'

Sydney, Australia - Actor-director Mel Gibson has been asked to recreate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the streets of Sydney if the city is selected to host a major Catholic gathering in 2008, a newspaper reported.

Gibson's staging of the Stations of the Cross, a live interpretation of Christ's final hours, would be part of a bid by the city to secure the Catholic Church's World Youth Day in 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Saturday.

The crucifixion re-enactment - similar to scenes from Gibson's hugely successful film "The Passion of the Christ" - would begin with the Last Supper staged at Sydney's landmark Opera House at sunset, and would end with the crucifixion of Christ at St. Mary's Cathedral, according to bid documents the newspaper said it obtained.

The Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, said intermediaries had approached Gibson about staging the event. Gibson's involvement with World Youth Day was on the city's "wish list," Pell said.

Billionaire speaks out about senator's re-election bid

Salt Lake City - Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban said he is against the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, likening the Utah Republican to a "digital Joe McCarthy."

A self-described "technology geek" and the founder of, Cuban said during a radio broadcast last week on Salt Lake City's KCPW that Hatch's positions on technology keep the United States from being competitive.

He specifically pointed to Hatch's remarks that computers storing illegally downloaded music should be destroyed.

"The policies and actions of Senator Hatch are very concerning to me from what I read and from my personal interactions with him," Cuban said, comparing Hatch to McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator who in the 1950s tried to hunt down Communist sympathizers living in the U.S.

Hatch campaign manager Dave Hansen thinks voters will reject Cuban's comments as "inappropriate" and "atrocious."

Cher helps teen cover home health care costs

Northport, Ala. - A donation from Cher helped a 16-year-old boy suffering from muscular dystrophy get vital home health care - at least for a few months.

Joseph Sullivan, who can move his head and fingers but little else, was all but bedridden this summer because his 69-year-old adoptive mother is disabled from two strokes, and home health care was cut off when he lost Medicaid coverage.

The Medicaid money stopped when the boy's survivor benefits from his father's death increased his income $13 over the agency's $599 monthly limit.

Without Medicaid, the family couldn't afford the $190 weekly cost of home health care.

After hearing about Joseph's ordeal from a dentist in nearby Tuscaloosa, Cher sent $550 for two weeks of care, with hopes that it would inspire others to pitch in.

"I've worked with children's charities for a number of years and it just sent up flags for me," said the dentist, Dr. Tony Davis, who said he met Cher while working with the Children's Cranial Facial Assn. The pop star has been the group's honorary spokeswoman since 1985, when her role in the movie "Mask" sparked her interest in helping children with facial deformities.


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