Archive for Saturday, September 29, 2007

People in the news

September 29, 2007

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Sutherland charged with misdemeanor DUI

Los Angeles - Kiefer Sutherland, already on probation for a 2004 drunken driving arrest, was charged Friday with misdemeanor driving under the influence in a case the city attorney's office said could put him in jail for more than a year.

The star of the Fox TV drama "24" was charged with single counts of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or above, said city attorney spokesman Nick Velasquez. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a minimum of four days, Velas-quez said.

"We also charged him with a second DUI offense within 10 years, which we believe also violates the terms of his probation," Velasquez added.

If found guilty of violating probation, Sutherland could be sentenced to an additional six months.

Sutherland publicist Evelyn Karamanos didn't immediately return a call for comment.

The 40-year-old actor, who was arrested Tuesday, remains free on $25,000 bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 16.

Uncle Kracker pleads guilty to assault charge

Raleigh, N.C. - Uncle Kracker pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor assault charge in an incident last month at a Raleigh nightclub.

A Wake County judge sentenced the singer, whose real name is Matthew Shafer, to 12 months' probation, fined him $1,500 and ordered him to undergo an alcohol assessment.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Moyers said Shafer put his hand up a woman's skirt at the nightclub. The 26-year-old woman slapped Shafer, and he slapped her back, Moyers said.

The woman later reported the incident to an off-duty police officer.

Shafer, a 33-year-old Michigan native, is a former disc jockey for Kid Rock. His hits include a duet with Kenny Chesney, "When the Sun Goes Down."

Loveless to play Santa

Kingsport, Tenn. - As a child, Patty Loveless received gifts from the Santa Train that rolled through her native Eastern Kentucky mountains every holiday season.

On Nov. 17, the 50-year-old country singer will return as a guest on the train as it distributes 15 tons of toys and gifts in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

This will be the 65th journey for the Santa Train, a holiday project co-sponsored by CSX Transportation, the Kingsport Tennessee Area Chamber of Commerce and the Abingdon, Va.-based Food City Grocers.

Loveless grew up in Pikeville, Ky., where the 110-mile trek begins. She rode the train in 1999 and 2002 and chronicled the trips in a song she wrote and recorded titled, "Santa Train."

Knight 'evolved' since announcing he's gay

New York - T.R. Knight says he's evolved as a person since announcing in October that he's gay.

"I feel I've learned so much this past year, so I'm grateful for that - so, yeah, that changes you," the 34-year-old actor said Thursday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Knight, who plays Dr. George O'Malley on ABC's hit medical drama, "Grey's Anatomy," announced that he's gay after it surfaced that Isaiah Washington had used an anti-gay slur against him during an on-set clash with a co-star.

Washington, 44, was booted from his role as a surgeon on the show after he used an anti-gay epithet backstage at the Golden Globe Awards in January while denying he'd used it previously on the set against Knight.

He publicly apologized and tried to make amends by meeting with gay-rights organizations and filming a public-service announcement calling for tolerance.

Elizabeth Taylor gets Humanitarian Award

Santa Monica, Calif. - Elizabeth Taylor, wearing a coffee-colored, gold-sequined Naeem Khan gown accented with diamond jewelry, put some superstar sparkle into an HIV/AIDS fundraiser.

Taylor, 75 and in a wheelchair, is a founding chairwoman of the annual Macy's Passport event, a charity auction and showcase for food and fashion.

Since 1988, Passport has raised $25 million for HIV/AIDS services, prevention and research. The actress was honored Thursday night with its first Humanitarian Award for AIDS Activism.

"I have done this every year for years," Taylor told The Associated Press in an interview. "It's tradition and it's part of my existence."

As her longtime friend Rock Hudson battled AIDS, which killed him in 1985, Taylor began work to raise funds and increase awareness of the disease.

"I used to have doors slammed in my face, telephones hung up on me," she said when asked about the differences between her early fundraising efforts and today. "This (is) 100 percent turnaround."

Ryan Adams melts down at concert again

Minneapolis - Ryan Adams pitched another fit for a Minneapolis audience, a few years after his last local meltdown.

Throughout a show Thursday night, the 32-year-old singer-guitarist complained about the sound monitors on stage at the State Theatre. At one point, he moved two monitors, his microphone and his guitar pedals.

After 70 minutes he'd had enough. Adams announced "the last song," played it and didn't return for an encore. Many fans stood and booed.

"I don't know what the story was," guitarist Neal Casal told the Star Tribune afterward. "I just play guitar."

In 2003, Adams gave a famously bad performance at First Avenue, a rambling two-hour show where he griped about the sound system, played several songs twice and lambasted local rock legend Paul Westerberg.

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