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Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2008

People in the news

March 13, 2008

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Judge tosses suit against De Niro

Los Angeles - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Robert De Niro by an insurance company that claimed he misrepresented his health for a movie role.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. insured the film "Hide and Seek." The company claimed the actor misrepresented his health when he wrote that he had never been diagnosed with or treated for prostate cancer.

According to court documents, De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer on Oct. 15, 2003, two days after he signed the medical certificate. De Niro underwent a prostate-gland biopsy on Oct. 10, 2003.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu granted De Niro's motion for summary judgment on Monday.

"This ruling vindicates what we've said all along," De Niro's attorney Robyn Crowther said. "We are pleased that the court has found that Fireman's Fund can't sue Mr. De Niro for getting cancer."

De Niro's diagnosis and resulting treatment delayed the movie production. Fireman's Fund paid Fox more than $1.8 million to cover the cost of the delay. The film was released in January 2005.

Redford narrates new IMAX film

New York - No one had to twist Robert Redford's arm to get him to narrate an IMAX film about a Grand Canyon river trip.

Redford, a lifelong environmentalist, previously navigated the Colorado River and has a boat on Lake Powell, a manmade reservoir on the Arizona-Utah border created by a dam. He worries about water conservation as a drought threatens the region - and, visibly, the Colorado.

"(The river is) endangered now on a number of fronts," Redford said by phone Monday from his office in Park City, Utah, where he holds his Sundance Film Festival every year.

"Its volume is shrinking because of a megadrought cycle that's now facing the Southwest, and some scientists predict that it could last into the next century," said Redford, who referred to a recent study forecasting that lakes Powell and Mead - another vital storage reservoir on the Colorado - could dry up in the next 13 years amid climate change and increasing demand for water.

The issues affecting the river, a source of water for some 27 million people in seven states, are addressed in a viewer-friendly way in "Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D," which opens nationwide Friday.

George Strait gets XM Radio station

Nashville, Tenn. - George Strait says he still gets a thrill hearing his songs on the radio, and now he'll have a whole channel of his music to get excited about.

"Strait Country" will launch April 1 on XM Radio channel 17 to coincide with the release of the country star's 37th album, "Troubadour," the satellite radio company announced Wednesday.

The station will run through May 31 and feature songs from Strait's catalog as well as exclusive interviews and programming about the star.

He joins Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson as the only recording artists to have their own XM Radio channels.

Nicky Hilton gets fashionable support

Culver City, Calif. - It was a Hilton family affair.

Kathy, Rick and Paris Hilton - along with Paris' current squeeze Benji Madden - were front and center Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz L.A. Fashion Week show for Nicky Hilton's high-end Nicholai line.

Before the models took the runway, mom Kathy mingled with the crowd, dad Rick snapped iPhone photos and big sis Paris exchanged whispers with Madden, the Good Charlotte guitarist.

The younger Hilton sister debuted the more-expensive Nicholai line at New York Fashion Week last year. She launched her first line - the casual Chick by Nicky Hilton - in 2004.

At the end of the Nicholai show, Nicky's boyfriend, David Katzenberg, presented her with a bouquet of white roses.

Mariah Carey replaces Janet Jackson on 'SNL'

New York - "Saturday Night Live" has replaced a flu-ridden Janet Jackson with another diva: Mariah Carey.

Carey, 37, will fill in for Jackson on Saturday's "SNL" telecast, NBC announced Wednesday.

Jackson, 41, was scheduled to perform live Saturday night in support of her latest album, "Discipline," which was released last month. The singer's publicist, Patti Webster, said Tuesday she dropped out because she has the flu and "needs some time to get better."

MTV villain Pratt to offer advice

New York - If you've got a problem, yo - Spencer Pratt will solve it.

Pratt, who torments Lauren Conrad on "The Hills," is getting his own advice column in Radar magazine. Pratt and his squeeze, aspiring pop star Heidi Montag, are Conrad's archnemeses on the popular MTV reality show, which returns with all-new episodes March 24.

Pratt's new column - titled "YO SPENCER!" - will debut in Radar's April issue, on newsstands March 25.

"Spencer is never afraid to speak his mind," Radar editor Maer Roshan said Wednesday. "When asking for advice, it's good to have someone who will be brutally honest with you, and tell it like it is."

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