Saturday, August 4, 2007

No Dates for Plame

Valerie Plame's day in court didn't turn out in her favor.

A federal judge ruled this week that the CIA is within its bounds to force its former operative to keep silent about the dates she worked at the agency.

Plame -- whose identity was revealed in a syndicated newspaper column in 2003, shortly after her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, began criticizing the Bush administration's involvement in Iraq -- filed a lawsuit along with her publisher this year, countering CIA claims that she could not publish details of her employment there in her upcoming memoir.

U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones said Wednesday the CIA had convinced her in statements by its deputy director, Stephen Kappes, that national security could be harmed if the agency acknowledged whether the information at issue in the case was true, the Associated Press reports.

According to published reports, including in the Congressional Record, Plame worked at the agency from 1985 to 2006, AP reported. The government has publicly acknowledged that she worked for the CIA from 2002 to January 2006.

Plame's publisher, Simon & Schuster, said in a statement that it was displeased with the decision, is considering its legal options and is still planning to publish the memoir, titled "Fair Game."

Rhames's Dogs Kill Keeper

A 40-year-old man responsible for looking after dogs at actor Ving Rhames's Los Angeles home was mauled to death by as many as four mastiffs yesterday, according to news reports.

Police responded to an anonymous call early yesterday morning and found the unidentified man's body on the front lawn.

Rhames, 46, was not home when the incident occurred, police told AP. Los Angeles Police Department officer Sandra Gonzalez said the victim had been in charge of caring for dogs at the actor's home for about two years.

Animal services seized four mastiffs at the scene. Calls to Rhames's agent yesterday were not immediately returned.

Scarlett Gets the Blues

When Scarlett Johansson isn't taking direction from Woody Allen, she develops other talents -- including musical ones.

The "Lost in Translation" and "Match Point" star, 22, recently finished recording an album of Tom Waits covers in Maurice, La., with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and producer Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio.

Dockside Studio co-owner Steve Nails told the Lafayette, La., Daily Advertiser that in July Johansson spent 33 12-hour days recording "cinematic rock" in town, emerging mainly for trips to Wal-Mart as she tried to remain incognito.

Any other juicy details? Nails told the Advertiser that Johansson got a two-week visit from boyfriend Ryan Reynolds,30, and "sounds like Marilyn Monroe."

No word yet on the album's release date.

Clean Sweep for Simic

It's been a good week for Yugoslavian-born poet Charles Simic: On Thursday the Pulitzer Prize winner was designated the next U.S. poet laureate, and that same day the Academy of American Poets announced Simic as its choice for a $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award for mastery in the art of poetry.

Simic is no stranger to praise for his work, having earned fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches English at the University of New Hampshire.

End Notes

· Onstage: This fall, Claire Danes will make her Broadway debut in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," the Roundabout Theatre Company announced Wednesday.

· On paper: Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards signed a book deal worth more than $7 million with Little, Brown and Co. that will see Richards, 63, collaborate on a memoir with James Fox, author of the 1982 murder mystery "White Mischief." The Richards book is slated for a 2010 release.

· On foot: Paris Hilton finalized a deal to release her own line of shoes -- including flats, stiletto and wedge styles -- with Antebi Footwear Group. The kicks will hit stores early next year.

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff and wire reports

© 2007 The Washington Post Company