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Archive for Tuesday, March 10, 2009

People in the news

March 10, 2009

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Smith’s estate seeks high court assistance

Washington — Lawyers for the late Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith asked the Supreme Court for help Monday in a big money dispute involving her dead husband and his dead son.

Smith, who also was a model, stripper and reality TV star, was 26 when she married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994. He died a year later, and a federal judge later awarded Smith $88.5 million of Marshall’s money despite complaints from his son, E. Pierce Marshall, who controlled the fortune.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held up the $88.5 million award while the case was being appealed.

The Supreme Court ruled in May 2006 that Smith could pursue her late husband’s fortune in federal court. Smith’s lawyers said that days later, the younger Marshall “apparently stripped himself of nearly all his assets — valued in the billions of dollars — and transferred them out of his possession.”

Pierce Marshall died in June 2006, but the appeals court has not lifted its hold, or stay, on the award. Smith, who was born Vickie Lynn Hogan, died of an accidental drug overdose in Florida in 2007. She was 39.

Smith’s lawyers on Monday asked the Supreme Court to lift the stay on the award.

Police seize cash and drugs from Phish fans

Hampton, Va. — Some Phish fans are leaving Hampton a little lighter than when they arrived for the band’s weekend reunion.

Police said Monday they confiscated about $1.2 million in illegal drugs and more than $68,000 in cash from concertgoers. Authorities also arrested 194 Phish fans during the three-night celebration of the band’s return to the stage after a nearly five-year absence.

Most of the arrests were for drug possession, use and distribution, police said.

Tourism officials had estimated 75,000 fans would be coming to the coastal Virginia city. Nearly 200 law enforcement officers worked at the weekend event, with the Vermont-based band picking up the tab.

Winfrey to air domestic violence show this week

Chicago — Oprah Winfrey says pop star Rihanna’s alleged beating by singer boyfriend Chris Brown has the talk show queen so sad that she’ll do a show dedicated to dating violence this week.

The hourlong episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will air live from Chicago on Thursday. Winfrey offered Rihanna advice on her Friday show, saying, “Heal yourself first and also, love doesn’t hurt.” She also told the couple they should seek counseling.

Winfrey says the Thursday episode is “dedicated to all the Rihannas of the world” and will include guest Tyra Banks.

Martha Stewart’s puppy dies in Pa. kennel blast

Lehighton, Pa. — Martha Stewart’s chow puppy was one of 17 dogs killed in an accidental propane explosion at an eastern Pennsylvania kennel.

The domestic maven wrote on her blog that she was “deeply saddened” by the death of her dog, Genghis Khan, in Friday’s blast at Pazzazz Pet Boarding, a kennel in the Pocono Mountains that breeds and trains show dogs.

Fifteen dogs were killed in the explosion, and two more died over the weekend.

The kennel was getting a propane delivery when the tank ignited, setting the pens on fire and injuring the driver, Timothy Kleinhagen, of Summit Hill.

Though badly burned, Kleinhagen managed to toss a cairn terrier over the kennel fence to safety. He was listed in critical condition Monday at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

1st edition Harry Potter auctioned for $19,120

Dallas — A softcover copy of the first Harry Potter book has sold for just over $19,000, according to a Dallas auction house.

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was one of only 200 copies from the first printing issued with illustrated wrappers by London publisher Bloomsbury. The 1997 work about the boy wizard was published in the United States as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and includes an illustrated card signed by author J. K. Rowling.

The winning bid of $19,120 was nearly double the previous record for a softcover Harry Potter book, Heritage Auction Galleries says. The bidder was a vintage comic book collector from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates whose wife is a Harry Potter fan.

N.Y. judge to dismiss Michaels stalking case

New York — A self-styled standup comedian who was accused of stalking “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels left court Monday practically a free man after his case was adjourned for six months.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert Mandelbaum said a stalking charge against Evans Pidhajecky, 32, will be dismissed and sealed on Sept. 8 if he does not get rearrested or disobey the court’s orders.

Assistant District Attorney Heather Pearson said Pidhajecky was given an “adjournment in contemplation of dismissal” because this was his first arrest and he had complied with the order to leave Michaels alone.

The complaint says an “upset” Pidhajecky tried to contact Michaels several times at his home and at NBC’s New York studios so they could “chat.”

Defense lawyer Jack Litman said outside court that Pidhajecky is a standup comedian who thought his skits were used on SNL. He said his client wrote Michaels “a letter or two” but never stalked or followed him, or committed any crime.

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