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Archive for Friday, August 28, 2009

People in the news

August 28, 2009

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Jackson dermatologist won’t file in guardianship

Los Angeles — Michael Jackson’s longtime dermatologist does not plan to petition for a role in the upbringing of the singer’s three children, his attorney said Thursday.

Mark Vincent Kaplan said Dr. Arnold Klein is satisfied that a judge appointed an attorney to oversee the interests of the singer’s children, who range in ages from 7 to 12.

“It’s just not necessary,” Kaplan said. “It’s already been addressed.”

Kaplan said Klein got involved because he was concerned about the children, Prince Michael, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, having a normal upbringing not related to show business. Jackson told Klein repeatedly that he wanted his children to have a formal education and not be subjected to the rigors of traveling and performing, Kaplan said.

Kaplan surprised many by saying Klein wanted a role in the children’s lives during a court hearing earlier this month. A judge ruled that Klein didn’t have legal standing to intervene, but told the doctor he could file a motion later if he still had concerns.

Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, was granted permanent guardianship of the children during the hearing as spelled out in the singer’s 2002 will.

Klein’s involvement in the case raised questions about whether the doctor could be the father of Jackson’s two oldest children, a rumor fueled by tabloid reports and Klein’s own cryptic answers when questioned on the matter. Kaplan said during the hearing and on Thursday that Klein legally isn’t the father and that questions about whether he is the children’s biological father aren’t important.

Madonna booed for defending Gypsies

Bucharest, Romania — At first, fans politely applauded the Roma performers sharing a stage with Madonna. Then the pop star condemned widespread discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies — and the cheers gave way to jeers.

The sharp mood change that swept the crowd of 60,000, who had packed a park for Wednesday night’s concert, underscores how prejudice against Gypsies remains deeply entrenched across Eastern Europe.

Despite long-standing efforts to stamp out rampant bias, human rights advocates say Roma probably suffer more humiliation and endure more discrimination than any other people group on the continent.

Roma, or Gypsies, are a nomadic ethnic group believed to have their roots in the Indian subcontinent. They live mostly in southern and eastern Europe, but hundreds of thousands have migrated west over the past few decades in search of jobs and better living conditions.

Until the 19th century, Romanian Gypsies were slaves, and they’ve gotten a mixed response ever since: While discrimination is widespread, many East Europeans are enthusiastic about Gypsy music and dance, which they embrace as part of the region’s cultural heritage.

Arbiter rules for Piven in contract dispute

New York — Score one for Jeremy Piven.

A professional arbiter has ruled Piven did not breach his contract with the Broadway producers of “Speed-the-Plow” when the actor abruptly left the revival of the David Mamet play last December. At the time, Piven’s doctor said he was suffering from mercury poisoning after eating too much fish.

Results of the arbitration were released Thursday by Actors’ Equity Association, which represents stage performers.

“I feel like all you can ask for in this life is to have your day in court and I had that,” Piven said in a telephone interview. “The facts were presented and it has been a really long journey for me. I am really happy that we can all move on and that all of the facts, and the medical facts, were heard. That the truth prevailed.”

The “Speed-the-Plow” producers, meanwhile, expressed disappointment, saying that while they respect the decision, “we strongly disagree with it. We remain eternally grateful to everyone who helped make the wonderful production of ‘Speed-the-Plow’ possible, especially the artists who created it, and the many who had to deal with very difficult and trying circumstances.”

Blagojeviches take guest spot on ‘The View’

New York — ABC says Rod Blagojevich, the indicted former governor of Illinois, will be a guest next month on “The View.” He’ll be joined by his wife, Patti.

The joint appearance is set for Sept. 9.

Blagojevich, who first appeared on the daytime talk show last January, will be promoting his new book, “The Governor.”

Earlier this summer, Patti Blagojevich was a contestant on the NBC reality show “I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!”

‘Unstoppable’ movie call takes job fair tone

Canton, Ohio — A casting call for a new Denzel Washington movie was like any other job fair to many of the hundreds who turned out in Ohio.

While some of the men expressed interest in meeting the star, others who auditioned to be extras Wednesday in Canton said the promise of $100-a-day paychecks was a bigger lure.

Jeff Hattery came from Strasburg, 17 miles away in northeast Ohio. He said he was laid off and willing to sweep floors if the crew paid him.

Some of the filming of “Unstoppable” will be done at a rail yard in the region, so many applicants came dressed in overalls or engineer’s caps. The movie is about a runaway train, and filmmakers were looking for 50 men to play extras.

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