Lawyer: Jackson may be too sick to travel
London — Michael Jackson might be too sick to travel to London to testify in a suit claiming he owes an Arab sheik $7 million, the pop star’s attorney said Tuesday.
Jackson is seeking to give his testimony by video link from the United States.
“It would be unwise for him to travel, given what’s he’s got now,” lawyer Robert Englehart said, declining to elaborate “for the obvious reasons.”
A lawyer for Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa said the medical evidence presented by Jackson’s legal team was unsatisfactory.
“It’s not the first time a sick note has been presented by Mr. Jackson,” the lawyer, Bankim Thanki, said. He gave no precise indication of what the illness might be, but told the court that Jackson’s condition could be treated with a bandage “if the diagnosis is positive.”
The judge in the current case, Nigel Sweeney, said he would decide the question of Jackson’s travel on Thursday to allow time for medical experts on both legal teams to talk.
Al Khalifa, the second son of the king of Bahrain, claims that Jackson reneged on a contract for an album, a candid autobiography and a stage play, after accepting millions from the sheik.
Spitzer prostitute sits down for TV interview
New York — The prostitute at the center of the salacious scandal that brought down former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and generated national headlines is going to dish on her life as a pricey escort.
ABC says Ashley Alexandra Dupre sat down with Diane Sawyer on the program “20/20.”
Dupre reveals how an “upper middle-class, girl next door got into the profession and the psychological journey she continues to experience.”
Spitzer resigned March 12 after it was disclosed he had used Emperors Club VIP. Dupre worked for the escort service.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors said they wouldn’t bring criminal charges against Spitzer, marking the end of the saga.
Four people pleaded guilty to running the prostitution operation.
The show will air Friday at 9 p.m.
Diddy to appear on ‘CSI: Miami’
New York — Sean “Diddy” Combs is becoming a prosecutor — at least on television.
CBS says the rapper has agreed to a two-episode appearance on “CSI: Miami.”
The network says Combs will portray a prosecutor who doesn’t get along with police Lt. Horatio Caine, played by David Caruso.
CBS said Tuesday that Combs’ episodes will probably air in mid- to late winter.
Combs drew praise for his role in the ABC movie “A Raisin in the Sun.”
Another rap artist, Nelly, has had a recurring role this season in “CSI: New York.”
‘Australia’ fulfills Kidman’s dream
Sydney, Australia — It was hot and dusty during filming in one of the world’s most remote locations. But Nicole Kidman says the prospect of a smooch with Hugh Jackman eased the troubles of working on the Outback romance, “Australia.”
“Obviously we’re in character when we kiss, but it was good to go to work,” a laughing Kidman told a news conference Tuesday ahead of the worldwide premiere of the film, in which Kidman’s prim British aristocrat character falls in love with Jackman’s rugged cattleman in World War II-era Australia.
“It was hot. Literally hot,” quipped Jackman, who first came to prominence in stage musicals and whose Hollywood star is rising thanks to films such as the “X-Men” franchise.
With a budget reportedly of $120 million or more — which would make it the most expensive ever made in Australia — the new film carries high stakes for its largely homegrown team, including director Baz Luhrmann, Kidman and Jackman.
“Rarely do you get to make a film that you’ve dreamed of doing since you were little, which is to be part of the Australian cinema. I haven’t really had a film that’s done that in a big way,” Kidman said.
Luhrmann, director of the colorful, eccentric “Moulin Rouge,” said he wanted to create a period drama about “the far away,” and on a more personal level, discover his home.
“We have amazing landscapes and historical events,” Luhrmann said of Australia. “Epics are made of these things.”
Marissa Jaret Winokur returning to ’Hairspray’
New York — First Harvey Fierstein. Now Marissa Jaret Winokur.
Winokur will return to “Hairspray” Dec. 9-Jan. 4 for the final four weeks of its Broadway run at the Neil Simon Theatre. She will join Fierstein, her original co-star, in the long-running musical that opened in August 2002. He came back to the show earlier this month.
Winokur won a Tony Award for her performance as Tracy Turnblad, the full-figure teen who yearns to dance on a TV show in 1960s Baltimore. She also recently appeared on the top-rated television reality series “Dancing With the Stars.”
“Hairspray” is based on the cult movie by John Waters.