Charges recommended against Brandy in crash
Los Angeles - The California Highway Patrol recommended Monday that actress-singer Brandy be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in a freeway crash that killed a female motorist last month, a city attorney's spokesman told The Associated Press.
The CHP referred the matter to the city attorney's office for review, said spokesman Nick Velasquez.
"The office is currently reviewing the case and determining whether the evidence warrants the filing of a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter," Velasquez said.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine, Velasquez said.
Prosecutors couldn't say when they would make a decision about whether to bring a case. If charged, Brandy wouldn't necessarily have to appear in court and could have her lawyer enter a plea, Velasquez said.
Brandy, whose full name is Brandy Norwood, has publicly expressed condolences to the victim's family, Barnes said last week. Barnes also has said Brandy wasn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
Brandy, 27, was driving a Land Rover on Interstate 405 on Dec. 30 when traffic slowed and her vehicle struck the back of Honda driven by Awatef Aboudihaj, 38, according to a CHP report.
Aboudihaj's car hit another vehicle, slid sideways into the center divider and was then hit by another car, the report said. Aboudihaj, a Los Angeles waitress, died at a hospital from blunt-force injuries, according to the coroner's office.
Stiller, Johansson to receive Hasty Pudding awards
Cambridge, Mass. - Ben Stiller and Scarlett Johansson are this year's recipients of the annual Hasty Pudding awards, given by a student drama group at Harvard University.
The awards, announced Monday, are given to performers who have made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment" by Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe.
Johansson, 22, will lead a parade through Cambridge on Feb. 15, then attend a roast in her honor and receive the "Pudding Pot."
The ceremony for Stiller, 41, is Feb. 23.
Model Niki Taylor sues E! for slander
Los Angeles - Niki Taylor filed a federal slander lawsuit against E! Entertainment for alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress with its profile of the model in the new series "Blvd. of Broken Dreams."
The U.S. District Court suit, filed Friday, also alleged fraud, breach of contract and invasion of privacy claiming E! Entertainment representatives falsely claimed the show would focus on Taylor's current life.
The cable network allegedly told Taylor and manager Lou Taylor, no relation, the show would feature current professional endeavors, including her signature fragrance, clothing line, upcoming cosmetics line and charitable foundation, the suit said.
Instead, the suit said, defendants E! Entertainment Television Inc., E! Networks Productions Inc. and a producer focused on Taylor's past hardships and characterized her as a celebrity "who risked everything ... and lost."
The E! synopsis of the show on its Web site describes "Blvd. of Broken Dreams" as, "In a place between heaven and Hollywood, dreams turn tragic and fame goes sour fast."
"My life is far from a 'boulevard of broken dreams,"' Taylor said in a statement.
Through the '90s, Taylor, 31, was an elite model appearing frequently in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and drawing numerous endorsement deals. She was critically injured in a near-fatal car accident in 2001, and recovered fully only after numerous surgeries.