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Archive for Saturday, March 4, 2006

People in the news

March 4, 2006

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Seeger honored by new Springsteen album

Los Angeles - Pete Seeger never has been one to spend much time listening to records, explaining, "I'd rather go hiking in the woods or sailing down the river."

But the dean of American folk music says he'll spin Bruce Springsteen's new cover album, "We Shall Overcome/The Seeger Sessions," as soon as he gets a copy. The collection of songs popularized by Seeger is scheduled for release April 25, a week before his 87th birthday.

"Bruce called me last week and told me it's coming out," the genial master of the five-string banjo said Friday from his home in upstate New York. "Bruce is a great guy and it's a great honor for him to have recorded some songs that he learned from me.

"I get more credit for many of these songs than I should. All I did was be one of the first people to record them," Seeger said of tunes like "Erie Canal," "John Henry."

The civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" took off after Seeger sang it in 1960 with others at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Raleigh, N.C. But he noted that versions of it can be traced to integrated meetings of coal miners in the early 1900s and to black churches in the 1800s.

Alba objects to Playboy's use of photo on cover

Los Angeles - Jessica Alba is demanding that Playboy pull its March issue, saying she didn't agree to be on the cover and that the image may mislead readers into thinking she appears nude or partially nude in the magazine.

The cover shows the 24-year-old actress in a bikini, next to the headline "25 Sexiest Celebrities." Besides demanding that Playboy stop distributing the March issue, Alba is asking for "monetary settlement" for damages to her reputation and career.

In a Feb. 23 letter obtained by The Smoking Gun Web site, Alba's lawyers told Playboy the magazine used a photo of Alba meant to promote the movie "Into the Blue" without her consent. Sony Pictures, which owns the image, sent a separate letter alleging that Playboy resorted to using "false pretenses" to obtain the promotional shot, according to the letter.

Mizrahi's red carpet antics catch Johansson off guard

Los Angeles - Scarlett Johansson wasn't amused when fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi groped her on the red carpet at January's Golden Globe Awards, but she's willing to forgive him.

"It was definitely in poor taste," Johansson said in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. "I'd been prepping for two hours with hair and makeup and getting dressed. And the first interview I do, someone who I have never met before fondles me for his own satisfaction."

Mizrahi, who was doing preshow interviews for the E! cable channel, created a flap when he groped Johansson's breast and peeked down Teri Hatcher's dress.

"Mostly, I was thinking, 'Oh, my God. This is happening on live TV,'" Johansson recalled, adding she didn't buy the openly gay designer's explanation that he was trying to determine how her dress was put together.

"Like he doesn't know how a dress works," the 21-year-old actress said.

But the star of such films as "Match Point" and "Lost in Translation" said she isn't holding a grudge.

"I'm not mad at him," Johansson said. "I think he's a guy that's starting his TV career and he's making a bit of an exciting moment for himself. I can't be angry at him."

Glitter gets 3-year sentence for molestation conviction

Vung Tau, Vietnam - A Vietnamese court Friday sentenced former British rocker Gary Glitter to three years in prison for obscene acts with two young Vietnamese girls, and a melee erupted in the courtroom when Glitter shouted "I'm innocent" after the verdict.

"I haven't done anything. I'm innocent. It's a conspiracy by you know who," Glitter shouted, apparently referring to British tabloid newspapers that had tracked down his presence in Vietnam.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was convicted of committing obscene acts with two girls, ages 10 and 11, last year at his rented seaside villa in southern Vung Tau. He was then sentenced to three years in prison, followed by deportation from Vietnam.

He has been in police custody since Nov. 19, when he was caught at the Ho Chi Minh City airport trying to board a flight for Bangkok. Police confiscated his laptop, which police say had hundreds of pornographic pictures on it.

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