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News 09/30/2007

Uncle Kracker has pled guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from an incident at a Raleigh nightclub last month in which the singer was accused of putting his hand up a woman's skirt. The woman slapped the crooner, who promptly slapped her back. He was sentenced to 12 months' probation, fined $1,500 and ordered to undergo an alcohol assessment.

Country star Sara Evans has finally settled her divorce with estranged husband Craig Schelske, amicably reinstating their single status. The divorce was granted to Evans on her initial claim of "irreconcilable differences," with the singer agreeing to pony up $600,000 in alimony to Schelske, which she has the option of paying in 10 annual installments of $60,000.

Madonna, the Beastie Boys, John Mellencamp, Leonard Cohen, Donna Summer, the Ventures, the Dave Clark Five, Chic, and Afrika Bambaataa all named nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2008. The list of would-be inductees will be whittled down to just five honorees, which will be announced next March. For eligibility, artists had to release their first single before 1982.

Phil Spector's attorney is pushing for a 60-day delay before discussing a retrial in the murder case of Lana Clarkson, despite the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office's claim that they would seek to immediately retry the music producer. Roger J. Rosen told the Los Angeles Times Thursday that he would not represent Spector in another trial and that the likelihood of Spector facing another jury before next spring, despite the district attorney's eagerness, was low. Both sides are due back in court Oct. 3.

Bono was awarded the Liberty Medal by President Bush in Philadelphia Thursday, honoring his continuing humanitarian work in Africa, particularly his co-founding of the Debt AIDS Trade Africa charity. Bono will donate the $100,000 prize money that came with the prize to his organization.

News 09/27/2007

Michael Jackson has not gone matrimonial. The reclusive singer's spokeswoman issued a statement Thursday denying reports that he had wed his children's nanny. "Wide spreading reports regarding Michael Jackson being married are not true," the rep said. "Documents stating otherwise are a hoax."

A status conference in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Lana Clarkson's family against Phil Spector was postponed until Dec. 6. A mistrial was declared Wednesday in the Wall of Sound creator's murder trial after the jury came back after 12 days of deliberations deadlocked 10-2, with the majority voting for a conviction. Prosecutors have announced that they plan to retry Spector, although it's uncertain whether they'll go for murder again or try to get Spector on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Yoko Ono will unveil the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland on Oct. 9...the day that would have been John Lennon's 67th birthday. The tower is a beam of light that will emanate from a wishing well bearing the words "imagine peace" in 24 languages. It will be lit each year from Oct. 9 to Dec. 8...the anniversary of the day that Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman in 1980.

Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham's husband David Beckham rushed home to England Thursday to be with his father after the latter suffered a heart attack. "David was made aware of it late last night," the soccer star's rep said. "He caught the first available flight, and he'll be arriving in London around lunchtime." Ted Beckham, 59, was said to be in stable condition at the London Chest Hospital, where he was in intensive care after undergoing surgery.

News 09/26/2007

With the jury in the Phil Spector murder trial hopelessly deadlocked 10 to 2 after 12 days of deliberations, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler has declared a mistrial. The judge scheduled a new hearing for Oct. 3 to discuss the next step in the case. L.A. District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons says that prosecutors plan to retry Phil Spector in connection with the death of Lana Clarkson. "We're disappointed that the jury was unable to reach a verdict in this case, and we will immediately begin to prepare for the retrial," Gibbons said. It's unclear whether they'll go for second-degree murder again or try for a lesser offense, such as involuntary manslaughter.

A prison inmate who implicated a former Los Angeles police officer in the 1997 murder of the Notorious B.I.G. now says he lied about the officer's involvement as part of a scam to win a monetary settlement from the city. The inmate's deposition, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, adds just another twist to the unsolved murder case, which is already bogged down by numerous conspiracy theories.

The Sex Pistols recently logged some studio hours to rerecord their classic hit "Anarchy in the U.K." for use on the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock soundtrack. Meanwhile, the iconic punk band is due to reunite Nov. 8 for a reunion concert in London.

Elton John said Wednesday that he is the owner of a photo of two naked girls taken by award-winning photographer Nan Goldin that was seized by police at a British gallery over concerns that it amounted to kiddie porn. The rocker said the photo, titled "Klara and Edda Belly-Dancing," "has been widely published and exhibited throughout the world," and that it was part of Goldin's "Thanksgiving" installation, which he purchased in 1999.

Usher and his wife, Tameka Foster, are expecting a baby boy, "Extra" reports. The pair first tied the knot in August and wed again earlier this month. The new arrival is due this fall.

News 09/25/2007

As the jury in Phil Spector's murder trial continues to deliberate, an investigation has been launched into an alleged death threat against the judge presiding over the case. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Superior Court said officials were looking into a message posted on the Team Spector MySpace site, reading, "I love Phil Spector!! The evil judge should DIE!!" The message is signed "Chelle," but Spector's attorneys denied that his wife, Rachelle Spector, was behind the posting.

The Game pled not guilty Tuesday to three felony counts stemming from an alleged altercation with another man on a basketball court in February. The rapper is charged with one count each of making criminal threats, possession of a firearm in a school zone and exhibiting a firearm on the grounds of a facility for minors. He's currently free on $50,000 bail and due in court Oct. 30 for a pretrial hearing.

Special administrators appointed to look into the management of James Brown's estate told a judge Monday that a former trustee may have misappropriated up to $7 million of the late singer's funds. The judge agreed Brown's heirs could pursue those claims and ordered the former trustee to pay $370,000 back to the estate, on top of $350,000 he was already ordered to repay last month. David Cannon, who previously resigned as co-executor of Brown's will, was given 10 days to make good on the payment.

News 09/24/2007

Phil Spector's defense team filed a motion Monday asking the judge in the record producer's murder trial to give the jury more guidance to clarify new instructions he issued last week in an effort to break the deadlock. Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler listened to arguments on the motion and told attorneys he would think about it but gave no indication as to how he would rule. The jury also requested a VCR Monday, though it was unclear what they wanted to view.

Dr. Dre tells the Los Angeles Times that his long-awaited third album, Detox, will be his final solo effort. "I think it's time to move on," the rapper said. In the meantime, Dre is too busy working on others' projects to put the final touches on his own. "I was really hoping to have it out this year, but it's going to have to be pushed back a while because of some other things I've got to work on." Said things include working on Eminem's new album for the next two months.

Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and his partner, Sara MacDonald, have welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named Donovan Rory MacDonald Gallagher, born Saturday in London, the musician's publicist said. It's the first child for MacDonald; Gallagher also has a seven-year-old daughter with ex-wife Meg Mathews.

Britney Spears' former bodyguard Tony Barretto appeared on NBC's "Today Show" Monday (with attorney Gloria Allred in tow) where he told Matt Lauer he had personally witnessed the embattled pop princess using drugs on two occasions, but never in the presence of her children. Barretto claimed both incidents happened at a nightclub in Los Angeles...one taking place behind a curtain at Spears' table and one in a restroom the singer had her bodyguards secure for her...but said he never spoke to his employer about her drug use. "It was almost forbidden to talk to her about her personal life," Barretto said. "And, you know, Britney doesn't listen to nobody." Also, attorneys for Spears and Kevin Federline had an unscheduled court session Monday to "refine certain areas of a judge's previous order," Federline's attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan said, without elaborating on details. The legal eagle did say he did not expect the filing of misdemeanor charges against Spears on Friday to have any impact on his client's request to increase his current 50-50 custody time with his two sons.

Starbucks will give away 50 million free song downloads from Oct. 2 to Nov. 7 as part of a promotion for the new wireless iTunes music service about to debut in select markets. The first free song will be Bob Dylan's "Joker Man." Songs by Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Joss Stone, and Dave Matthews, among others, will also be featured as daily freebies.

LaRhonda Pettit, a 45-year-old retired flight attendant and school teacher who claims she is James Brown's oldest daughter, has said she will be in court Monday to seek her share of the late singer's estate. Six adult children are named in Brown's will, but Pettit and at least two others say that DNA testing proves the singer was their father. At Monday's hearing, a judge is slated to go over pending issues in the ongoing court battle over Brown's will. The soul singer died Christmas Day of heart failure. He was 73.

Two dead dogs found buried at DMX's Phoenix home last month had serious wounds, according to authorities investigating animal neglect allegations. One of the canines had severe bite wounds, while another had trauma to its abdomen, though exact causes of death were not determined. A third dog carcass had been burned so badly that an exam was inconclusive. During the raid on the rapper's home, authorities also seized 12 live pit pulls, numerous weapons, and about a quarter-ounce of pot.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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