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Archive for Sunday, September 18, 2005

People in the news

September 18, 2005

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Michael Jackson says it's 'full speed ahead' on benefit

In his first talk with a reporter since the end of his criminal trial, pop superstar Michael Jackson said Saturday he is "moving full speed ahead" on plans to record a song for the benefit of Hurricane Katrina victims and feels that his creative juices are flowing again.

In a telephone call to The Associated Press, Jackson said the trial was "the hardest thing I've ever done in my life" and that he and his children were still in Bahrain "resting and recovering" from the ordeal.

Jackson said he has been at work on the charity song, tentatively titled, "From the Bottom of My Heart."

"I'm constantly working on it," he said.

Also on the line was Raymone K. Bain, Jackson's spokeswoman. She said the call would not be a full-fledged interview, and that Jackson just wanted to make contact to express his thanks for what he said was the AP's fair coverage of his trial.

Jackson has been staying in Bahrain as the guest of Prince Abdulla, the son of the king of Bahrain. Of his friend Prince Abdulla, he said, "He's the very best, amazing, so kind."

When asked about his health, Jackson said, "I'm feeling good." The singer had said during his trial that he was plagued by back problems.

Jackson was acquitted of child molestation in June after a five-month trial in Santa Maria, Calif. He has not appeared in public since and has spent much of his time in Bahrain.

Jackson wants the charity anthem to follow the success of the 1984 worldwide hit "We Are the World," which he co-wrote to benefit African starvation victims. Bain has said many artists have agreed to join the project, but the lineup hasn't been finalized.

Johnny Depp immortalizes famous hands in concrete

Los Angeles - The hands that were replaced with cutlery in "Edward Scissorhands" and wore gloves in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" are now immortalized in concrete.

Johnny Depp signed his name and placed his handprints and footprints in wet concrete in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

"So this is weird," Deep said as hundreds of fans watched the ceremony Friday. "I mean, to say that this is overwhelming is probably the understatement of the millennium."

The sidewalk honor coincided with the release of Depp's latest film, the animated "Corpse Bride," which opened in limited release Friday.

Zellweger: Fraud is legal term, not a reflection on Chesney

New York - Renee Zellweger, who has filed for an annulment from Kenny Chesney after four months of marriage, says the couple "hope to experience this transition as privately as possible."

In court papers filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Oscar-winning actress listed "fraud" as the reason for the breakup with the country music star.

The term was "simply legal language and not a refection of Kenny's character," Zellweger said in a statement Friday.

"I would personally be very grateful for your support in refraining from drawing derogatory, hurtful, sensationalized or untrue conclusions," she said.

Later Friday, "Entertainment Tonight" said a joint statement from the couple said "the miscommunication of the objective of their marriage at the start is the only reason for this annulment.

"They are disappointed that the legal term 'annulment-fraud' has been publicly misunderstood and exaggerated."

Zellweger, 36, and Chesney, 37, wed in a small ceremony on the Caribbean island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands in May.

Holocaust testimonials to join USC collection

Los Angeles - Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, a repository of Holocaust testimonials, is becoming part of the University of Southern California's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Spielberg, the foundation's chairman and a USC trustee, said moving the collection to USC will ensure its preservation and access to the public.

The repository's 52,000 testimonials from survivors and witnesses will be transferred Jan. 1 to USC indefinitely under an agreement announced Friday between the university and the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

What's in a name?

Florence, S.C. - Martha Stewart, of Effingham, is heading to New York City to be part of an audience full of people bearing that same name for domestic diva Martha Stewart's show, "Martha."

To be part of the crowd, the South Carolina Stewart had to describe how sharing the name has affected her life.

"Well, this one's a little embarrassing, but I had gotten a traffic citation while Martha was in jail," she said. "When I went to my court date, I prayed that they wouldn't call my name out too loud.

"When the judge called my name, everyone started cheering and hollering. The judge said 'Come on up here, Cupcake.' Apparently, that's what the inmates called Martha while she was in prison."

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