Actor Wesley Snipes acquitted of tax fraud
Ocala, Fla. - Action star Wesley Snipes was found not guilty of federal tax fraud and conspiracy charges Friday, but was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return.
Snipes had faced up to 16 years in prison, but can now only get up to three years. The "Blade" star and two co-defendants had been indicted in 2006 after Snipes stopped paying, using tax protest arguments long rejected by the courts.
Snipes sat emotionless as his verdict was read, then nodded in relief. He refused to talk with reporters after the verdict, and is still liable for millions in taxes likely to be pursued in civil court.
Snipes' attorneys argued that he was a victim of crooked advisers, and the jury seemed to believe it. Co-defendants Eddie Ray Kahn, the founder of a tax protest group, and Douglas P. Rosile, an accountant who lost his licenses, were convicted Friday by the same panel of tax fraud and conspiracy. Both face up to 10 years in prison.
The government said Snipes failed to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004, a period in which he signed two contracts for more than $10 million on sequels in the "Blade" trilogy.
Williams breaks silence after Ledger's death
New York - Michelle Williams ended her silence Friday, saying her "heart is broken" over the death of "Brokeback Mountain" actor Heath Ledger.
The 27-year-old actress and Ledger became a couple during filming of 2005's "Brokeback," in which they costarred as husband and wife. They later moved to New York, and had a daughter, Matilda, born October 2005.
"Please respect our need to grieve privately," Williams said in a statement. "My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day."
Ledger, 28, died in his Manhattan apartment Jan. 22. Authorities suspect a possible drug overdose, but the cause of his death is still pending the outcome of toxicology tests.
Eva Mendes enters rehab for 'personal issues'
New York - Eva Mendes has "issues."
"Eva has been working hard for the past year and made a positive decision to take some much-needed time off to proactively attend to some personal issues that, while not critical, she felt deserved some outside professional support," the 31-year-old actress' publicist, Brad Cafarelli, said Friday in a statement.