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Archive for Wednesday, June 21, 2006

People in the news

June 21, 2006

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Spreading the love

Sydney, Australia - Nicole Kidman thanked reporters and photographers gathered outside her harborside mansion for bringing flowers and singing "Happy Birthday" to her over the intercom.

Kidman, who celebrated her 39th birthday Tuesday, returned to Sydney this week to celebrate her impending marriage to country star Keith Urban with family and friends.

"Thank you for the flowers and the singing," she told about 20 reporters and photographers. "It's nice to be home."

Later, she sent bottles of water and a case of beer out to the media with an attached note saying: "Enjoy! Nicole and Keith," the Australian Associated Press reported.

New case in court

Santa Monica, Calif. - A year after Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges, a lawsuit by a former associate is headed for a trial that will put Jackson's chaotic financial dealings in the spotlight. The pop star, who now lives in Bahrain, is not expected in court but he will be seen through videotaped depositions.

Jackson is being sued by F. Marc Schaffel for $3.8 million in what Schaffel says are unrepaid loans and expenses, unpaid salary for work on a charity record and his share of proceeds from two TV specials that were produced to bolster Jackson's battered reputation after child molestation allegations surfaced.

Facts involved in Jackson's criminal trial last year are likely to be revisited when Schaffel testifies about his role in attending to the family of a boy who claimed he was molested by Jackson. But most of the witnesses called by Schaffel will be money managers and business advisers. Jury selection is set for June 26.

Rocket man v. tax man

Atlanta - Elton John has filed a lawsuit against the Fulton County tax assessors office, saying the county overvalued his penthouse condominium.

The tax assessors office placed a value of $4.6 million on John's 12,000-square-foot condo on Peachtree Street in Atlanta's trendy Buckhead neighborhood.

But that value is $900,000 too much, the 59-year-old singer's experts say.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob has ordered the two sides to try to resolve the dispute through mediation.

Fulton County residents have long complained that tax values bear little relationship to actual sales values. A critical audit released last year noted inconsistent values.

The audit eventually led to the resignations of three of the five assessors.

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