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Archive for Saturday, September 8, 2007

People in the news

September 8, 2007

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'High School' star's nude shot emerges

New York - Brainy Gabriella of "High School Musical" would no doubt blush at the idea that a nude picture of young actress Vanessa Hudgens was circulating on the Internet.

The problem for the Walt Disney Co. is that Hudgens plays Gabriella.

The 18-year-old star of Disney Channel's wildly successful "High School Musical" franchise apologized on Friday. The photos show a coquettishly smiling Hudgens posing naked in a bedroom with a red curtain behind her.

"I want to apologize to my fans, whose support and trust means the world to me," Hudgens said in a statement. "I am embarrassed over this situation and regret having ever taken these photos. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends."

Hudgens' publicist, Jill Fritzo, wouldn't say anything about who took the pictures and how they slipped out onto the Internet.

The Disney Channel (part of the Walt Disney Co.) denied a published report that Hudgens will be dropped from the upcoming feature film "High School Musical 3." That movie is in development and negotiations with the stars are incomplete.

Disney had no further comment about the pictures.

'A Wrinkle in Time' author L'Engle, 88, dies

Hartford, Conn. - Author Madeleine L'Engle, whose novel "A Wrinkle in Time" has been enjoyed by generations of schoolchildren and adults since the 1960s, has died, her publicist said Friday. She was 88.

L'Engle died Thursday at a nursing home in Litchfield of natural causes, according to Jennifer Doerr, publicity manager for publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The Newbery Medal winner wrote more than 60 books, including fantasies, poetry and memoirs, often highlighting spiritual themes and her Christian faith.

"A Wrinkle in Time" - which L'Engle said was rejected repeatedly before it found a publisher in 1962 - won the American Library Association's 1963 Newbery Medal for best American children's book. Her "A Ring of Endless Light" was a Newbery Honor Book, or medal runner-up, in 1981.

In 2004, President Bush awarded her a National Humanities Medal.

Troopers: Hogan's son got warning, then ticket

Tampa, Fla. - Celebrity wrestler Hulk Hogan's son got a warning and a speeding ticket after Florida Highway Patrol troopers stopped him twice for driving at least 100 mph on an interstate last year, authorities said.

Nick Bollea, 17, who also goes by Nick Hogan, is being investigated for an Aug. 26 high-speed crash in Clearwater that critically injured his friend.

In an interview given before the crash, Bollea told Rides magazine that Florida troopers gave him two warnings and then a ticket as he sped at more than 100 mph along Alligator Alley, a wide-open stretch of Interstate 75 that spans the southern tip of Florida.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Doug Dodson said Bollea was stopped twice Sept. 17, 2006. Dodson said the first trooper gave Bollea a stern warning for driving 100 mph in a 70-mph zone after the teen claimed he had a family emergency in Clearwater. The officer told a second trooper about 20 miles down the road to watch for Bollea in a black Mercedes.

The second trooper stopped Bollea for driving 115 mph in a 70 mph zone and issued him a $305.50 ticket, Dodson said. Adjudication was later withheld on the ticket.

Clearwater police have said speed contributed to Bollea's Clearwater wreck, which remains under investigation. His passenger, 22-year-old John Graziano, remained in critical condition Thursday at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Actress Fischer, director husband Gunn separate

New York - Jenna Fischer of "The Office" and her husband, filmmaker James Gunn, have separated after six years of marriage, Fischer's publicist, Lewis Kay, said Friday.

"We are sorry for any pain this causes family and friends," the pair said in a statement on Gunn's MySpace page. "The enthusiasm we have for each other's lives, spirits and careers is real - we have been each other's cheerleader and friend during the past six years and continue to be so now and in the future."

The 33-year-old actress was nominated for an Emmy this year for her work on NBC's "The Office." She portrays mousy secretary Pam Beesly, who found confidence last season when she confessed her romantic feelings to co-worker Jim Halpert (John Krasinksi).

Gunn, 37, directed last year's "Slither," which co-starred Fischer.

Rapper Foxy Brown sentenced to one year

New York - Foxy Brown was sentenced to one year in jail Friday for violating probation stemming from a fight with two manicurists in a New York City salon.

Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson sentenced the rapper at a probation hearing for Brown, 28.

"I'm not going to give you any more chances," the judge told Brown. "I hope you turn your life around and never again have to stand in a court of law."

Brown was also indicted in Brooklyn on Friday on charges that she smacked a neighbor with a cell phone.

Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand, was on three years probation for assaulting two manicurists at a Manhattan nail salon in August 2004.

Jackson rejected a deal in that Brown would have gone to jail for nine months in exchange for a misdemeanor guilty plea. The judge had said the defendant knew she would face a year in jail if she violated probation.

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