Archive for Friday, March 10, 2006

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March 10, 2006

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Beckhams settle libel case over newspaper claims

London - David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, have settled their libel case against a British tabloid that claimed the couple's marriage was a sham.

The England soccer captain had been seeking libel damages against the News of the World newspaper over an article that carried the headline: "Posh and Becks on the Rocks."

It had been expected that the case would be heard before a judge and jury at London's High Court after the soccer World Cup in Germany in June.

"The defamation proceedings brought by David and Victoria Beckham against the News of the World have been resolved on a confidential basis," the couple's spokeswoman, Jo Milloy, said in a statement Thursday.

Lawyers for Beckham, 30, and his wife, 31, - formerly known as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls - told a pretrial hearing in October that the couple would contest claims that they were maintaining a false image of a happy marriage to protect their financial interests.

Ousted 'Apprentice' star announces run for Congress

Allentown, Pa. - Raj Bhakta, the aspiring "Apprentice" turned aspiring politician, is running for Congress.

Bhakta, who was fired by Donald Trump during the second season of the NBC reality show "The Apprentice," is challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz for the state's 13th District seat representing suburban Philadelphia.

He received the county GOP's endorsement days before making his announcement Monday.

"We offer voters legitimate change," Bhakta said. "I am not a politician. I am someone from a business background who wants to make a change."

If elected in November, Bhakta said he would serve a maximum of three terms and called on Schwartz to agree to the same term limits.

Schwartz's press secretary, Rachel Magnuson, sidestepped the term-limit challenge, calling the freshman congresswoman someone who has worked hard for the people of her district.

Bhakta, 30, is best remembered for his flashy bow ties, being turned away by tennis star Anna Kournikova for a coffee date and flirting with Trump's secretary after being booted from the show.

He manages a real estate development firm in Fort Washington.

Lance Armstrong comforts Dana Reeve's 13-year-old son

New York - Lance Armstrong spent Wednesday morning comforting 13-year-old Will Reeve, less than two days after his mother, Dana Reeve, died of lung cancer.

"I would say that his spirits were pretty good considering that, in the last 18 months, he's lost his father, his mother and his grandmother," Armstrong told syndicated entertainment show "Inside Edition."

"In situations like this," Armstrong said, "all you can do is say, 'Hey buddy, I'm here if you want to go hang out, if you want to play games, whatever you want to do, I'm here."'

Will's father, Christopher Reeve, died in October 2004 from complications from an infection.

The former "Superman" actor was nearly totally paralyzed in a horse-riding accident in 1995.

Armstrong said he became close to Will during his mother's illness and the two spent time together during the past few months.

"I love hanging with him," the cyclist said. "I never thought I'd say that about a 13-year-old, but he's a great kid. He's a big sports fan. He's an athlete himself. Will is not your normal 13-year-old. He's a smart, well-adjusted, mature, humble kid."

The Christopher Reeve Foundation is yet to announce plans for a funeral.

Conductor returns home for more medical tests

New York - Conductor James Levine has returned to New York and is having additional tests on his injured shoulder.

Levine, music director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, was hurt March 1 when he tripped on the stage at Boston's Symphony Hall during ovations after a performance.

Although he did not break any bones, Levine may have rotator cuff damage. He canceled his next three performances with the BSO and a U.S. tour that began Monday.

BSO spokesman Bernadette Horgan said Thursday that Levine was back in New York, where he lives, and that a diagnosis was not yet available.

Levine's next scheduled performance is Beethoven's "Fidelio" on March 20 in New York. Met spokesman Peter Clark said there has been no change to Levine's schedule.

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