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Archive for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

People in the news

February 24, 2009

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Spears’ dad testifies for restraining order

Los Angeles — Britney Spears’ father testified for nearly 90 minutes Monday about why he felt a long-term restraining order should be issued against three people, including the singer’s former manager and an ex-boyfriend.

Jamie Spears was the first witness to testify in the restraining order case, and it did little to establish direct contact between Osama “Sam” Lutfi and his daughter since a conservatorship was established a year ago.

Calling Lutfi a “predator” and repeating an allegation that he ground medication into his daughter’s food, Jamie Spears said he thought his daughter’s one-time friend and manager was a danger to the family.

But he acknowledged under questioning by Lutfi’s lawyer that he was not aware of any conversations between his daughter and Lutfi. And the only evidence of communication between the two was a recent call Britney Spears made to Lutfi.

Lutfi’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said the hearing “couldn’t have gone any better.”

He said Jamie Spears’ testimony did not demonstrate why a restraining order is necessary.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aviva K. Bobb delayed ruling on the restraining orders until at least Wednesday.

She extended a temporary restraining order against Lutfi, Ghalib and attorney Jon Eardley until Wednesday.

Jamie Spears’ attorneys contend the trio attempted to sabotage the conservatorship in recent months and sought to replace Spears’ court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham.

Stevie Wonder to receive Gershwin Prize

Washington — Stevie Wonder is in Washington to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.

He performed a newly composed song for the first time Monday evening during a concert at the library. The library commissioned the tune that will be performed with a full orchestra.

Later this week, President Barack Obama will award Wonder the Gershwin Prize in a White House ceremony.

Wonder is the second person to receive the Gershwin Prize. The first was Paul Simon in 2007.

Judge grants meeting between Falk, daughter

Los Angeles — A judge says Peter Falk’s daughter can meet with her ailing father.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aviva K. Bobb on Monday granted Catherine Falk a 30-minute supervised meeting with her father within 30 days.

Catherine Falk’s attorney says she has not seen the former “Columbo” actor in approximately six months. She has filed to establish a conservatorship for her father, who she stated has Alzheimer’s disease. Her attorney said Monday he does not know to what degree the illness has progressed.

Bobb barred anyone from discussing the meeting publicly afterward. Attorneys for Falk’s wife, Shera, declined to comment.

Catherine Falk gave the thumbs-up sign and said “Thank God” after hearing Bobb’s ruling.

Springsteen to headline Glastonbury festival

London — Organizers say Bruce Springsteen will headline Glastonbury, Britain’s leading summer music festival.

Glastonbury chief Michael Eavis says the 59-year-old rocker will play the prestigious Saturday night main-stage slot on June 27. Springsteen is due to play an outdoor concert in London’s Hyde Park the next day.

Eavis called The Boss “one of the all-time rock legends.”

Glastonbury was founded in 1971 and is held on Eavis’ farm in southwest England. It is famous for its eclectic lineup — and the mud that overwhelms the site in rainy years.

Tickets for this year’s festival have sold out even though much of the lineup has yet to be announced. Neil Young and Blur are widely reported to be playing.

Rapper arrested after fight at burger joint

Miami Beach, Fla. — Rapper N.O.R.E. was arrested following a fight with a customer at a Miami Beach hamburger restaurant, police said.

The 31-year-old performer was formerly known as Noreaga. His real name is Victor Santiago and he is known for songs “Nothin”’ and “SuperThug.”

Santiago, of New York, was arrested early Sunday after police said he caused a disruption at a Fatburger by yelling at another customer, ripping up a bouquet of flowers and throwing a drink at a customer.

Authorities said the rapper punched a man in the face, and yelled “Do you know who I am?” The man received a cut on the left side of his face, a police report said.

Santiago was charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct. He was taken to the Miami-Dade county jail and released.

Oscar TV ratings rise, but viewership still lags

Los Angeles — A roaring comeback it was not. But at least Sunday’s Oscars stemmed the viewer flight of recent years and managed better in the ratings than last year’s all-time low.

An average of 36.3 million total viewers watched ABC’s 81st Academy Awards with first-time host Hugh Jackman, according to early figures from Nielsen Media Research. That was up 13 percent compared with last year’s ill-fated telecast with host Jon Stewart, which came just days after the resolution of the three-month writers strike.

The network estimated that overall, 67.6 million viewers caught at least six minutes of Sunday’s ceremony.

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