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Archive for Wednesday, October 28, 2009

People in the news

October 28, 2009

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Ex-Letterman employee describes favoritism

Los Angeles — A former writer for David Letterman said she quit his NBC talk show in part because of alleged sexual favoritism and a hostile work environment.

Nell Scovell, writing for Vanity Fair online Tuesday, said she had no intention of filing a lawsuit and wasn’t seeking revenge.

“I wanted to shine a light on gender inequality in that particular workplace,” Scovell, who went on to a successful Hollywood career, said in a telephone interview.

In the Vanity Fair article, Scovell said Letterman didn’t “hit on her” during her roughly five-month stint with NBC’s “Late Night with David Letterman” in 1990.

“Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes,” Scovell wrote.

Other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers as well, she alleges, and the women gained professional benefits from those relationships.

“Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no,” wrote Scovell, whose credits include writing for the series “Coach” and “Monk” and creating “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” She’s also produced and directed.

Letterman, who moved to CBS in 1993 for “Late Show,” has admitted to workplace affairs that led to an alleged blackmail plot. He did not immediately respond for a request for comment on Scovell’s article.

Madonna revisits Malawi orphanage

Mchinji, Malawi — Madonna and her four children have visited the orphanage that kept one of her sons before his 2008 adoption from the impoverished southern African country.

Home of Hope Child Care Center director Lucy Chipeta says she showed Madonna and her son David his crib during their Tuesday visit to the orphanage near the Zambian border. Siblings Lourdes, Rocco and Mercy — who was adopted from Malawi earlier this year — joined their mother on the tour of the orphanage, where Madonna’s Raising Malawi charity has built several new buildings.

Madonna and her children arrived in Malawi on Sunday. On Monday she broke ground at her charity’s new school for girls.

About 500,000 children in this nation of 12 million have lost a parent to AIDS.

Gallstones force Clapton to nix concert

New York — Eric Clapton has pulled out of this week’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert in New York after undergoing gallstone surgery.

Kristen Foster, a publicist for the guitarist, said Tuesday that Clapton was doing well and recuperating with his family in England.

The hall says Jeff Beck will replace the 64-year-old guitarist for Friday night’s show at Madison Square Garden.

Clapton was to perform as part of a two-night celebration in honor of the hall’s 25th anniversary. Beck now joins U2, Aretha Franklin and Metallica for the final night.

The Thursday lineup includes Crosby, Stills and Nash; Stevie Wonder; and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. HBO will air the concerts Nov. 29.

Clapton’s Web site says he remains committed to his 2010 concert schedule.

Hatch says he’s victim of ‘witch hunt’

Boston — “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch says he’s the victim of a “witch hunt” by federal prosecutors.

Hatch completed a tax evasion sentence earlier this month. He complained to NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday that he was taken from his sister’s apartment while wearing boxer shorts in August and held in solitary confinement for 30 days after granting TV interviews without permission.

He called it “the worst time of my time in prison.”

But Barnstable County, Mass., Sheriff James Cummings says Hatch refused to get dressed when deputies arrived to take him to jail. The sheriff also disputes that Hatch was in solitary confinement.

Cummings calls Hatch “a stranger to the truth.” A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Providence, R.I., would not comment.

Hatch was convicted in 2006 of failing to pay taxes on the

$1 million he won in 2000 on the CBS reality show.

Ferguson finishes taping show by flashlight

Los Angeles — “Late Late Show” host Craig Ferguson had to finish taping his program by flashlight on Tuesday after high winds knocked out power at CBS Television City in central Los Angeles.

Show publicist Katie Barker says lights started dimming and then suddenly went black about 5:45 p.m. as Ferguson was interviewing actress Alicia Silverstone, leaving both in the dark as to what was going on.

Producers decided to keep the blackout as part of the show and handed Ferguson a flashlight.

With wind gusts reaching up to 70 mph, scattered power outages were reported around the greater Los Angeles region.

Corey Feldman’s wife files for divorce

Los Angeles — Court records show Corey Feldman’s wife has filed for divorce after seven years of marriage.

The records show Susannah Feldman filed for divorce last week and cited irreconcilable differences for the breakup. The couple were married in October 2002. They have a 5-year-old son.

Feldman gained widespread popularity starring in 1980s films such “The Goonies” and “The Lost Boys.”

Susannah Feldman is seeking sole custody of their son, with visitation rights for Corey Feldman. She is also seeking an unspecified amount of spousal support.

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