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Archive for Friday, August 18, 2006

People in the news

August 18, 2006

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Mel Gibson pleads no contest in DUI case, gets probation

Malibu, Calif. - Mel Gibson moved suddenly Thursday to end the legal hangover of his drunken driving arrest, pleading no contest to a single misdemeanor in a deal that calls for alcohol rehabilitation, fines and probation, leaving him to cope with fallout from the anti-Semitic tirade he unleashed on a sheriff's deputy.

The actor's arraignment had been scheduled for next month, but his attorney requested that it be moved up and a judge agreed, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

Court documents showed that Gibson signed the plea agreement and waived his right to a jury trial Monday, but the paperwork was filed just before Thursday's proceeding.

Gibson was stopped about 2:30 a.m. July 28 while driving on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and made anti-Semitic remarks to the arresting deputy, plunging Gibson into a scandal that led him to later apologize for what he called "belligerent behavior" and "despicable" remarks.

Timberlake doesn't envy 'Idol' champion Hicks

New York - Justin Timberlake backtracked from criticism of "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks after telling Fashion Rocks magazine the 29-year-old soul singer "can't carry a tune in a bucket."

"I have a strange relationship with that show," Timberlake tells the magazine in an interview. "I despise it, and yet I'm completely fascinated.

"The guy who won - people think he looks so normal, and he's so sweet, and he's so earnest, but he can't carry a tune in a bucket. Do you realize how much pressure it is to put on somebody all of a sudden?"

Timberlake, a member of boy band 'N Sync who is now pursuing a solo career, also said: "If he has any skeletons whatsoever; if, God forbid, he's gay, and all these people in Mississippi who voted for him are like, 'Oh, my God, I voted for a queer!' It's just too much pressure."

Connick's new song dedicated to Hurricane Katrina victims

New York - Harry Connick Jr. was so moved by the devastation he witnessed in his Katrina-ravaged hometown of New Orleans, he wrote a song about it.

"All These People," Connick's duet with gospel singer Kim Burrell, will be released Aug. 29, the one-year anniversary of Katrina's landfall.

All proceeds will go to the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village, a rebuilding project formed by Connick and Branford Marsalis, Columbia Records announced Wednesday.

Connick was left shaken during a trip to New Orleans in the days immediately after the storm.

"The song is all about the people who were left stranded at the convention center," the 38-year-old singer said in a statement. "I wrote four verses, each describing what I saw as I was taken through by a kind fellow I had met on the street earlier that day named Darryl."

It's official: Aniston says they're NOT engaged

New York - Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn engaged? Don't be ridiculous, Aniston says.

The "Friends" actress told People magazine that reports of her engagement to the "Be Cool" actor, including an article in Us Weekly, are false, calling the stories "insane."

"I'm not engaged, and I don't have a ring, and I haven't been proposed to," Aniston, 37, told People, according to a story appearing Wednesday on the magazine's Web site.

Us reported in an Aug. 9 cover story citing anonymous sources that Vaughn had proposed to Aniston on June 27 on a private jet after a trip to Mexico. Us is sticking by its story, which other media outlets picked up.

"Us Weekly based its story on lengthy interviews with four separate and independent sources close to the couple, including two who learned of the engagement directly from Vince Vaughn," the magazine said in a statement Wednesday. "Jennifer's publicist never denied the engagement in advance of publication."

People magazine said Aniston called to clarify the reports.

Aniston said she normally ignores rumors published about her but wanted to speak this time because the reports had been picked up by mainstream news outlets.

"The only reason I'm saying something is because if we're listening to the news we're supposed to be believing in the news," she said.

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