Jon & Kate in what may have actually been happier times.
Jon & Kate in what may have actually been happier times. (Karen Alquist/associated Press)
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tiger watch

A third sponsor is backing away from Tiger Woods: Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer said Friday that it will "downscale" its use of Woods's image in advertising campaigns.

Tag Heuer will continue to support the golfer's charitable foundation, but for the foreseeable future it will use other celebrities, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, to promote its brand in the United States. Chief Executive Jean-Christophe Babin told a Swiss newspaper that Tag Heuer recognizes Woods "as a great sportsman, but we have to take account of the sensitivity of some consumers in relation to recent events." After a car accident and admission of infidelity, Woods announced last week that he's taking an indefinite break from golf to try to repair his marriage.

Tag Heuer joins consulting firm Accenture -- which dropped the athlete Sunday, saying he was "no longer the right representative" of the company's values -- and Gillette, which said it won't air ads with Woods or include him in public appearances. AT&T said it's evaluating its relationship with the golfer.

Gosselin divorce finalized

The Gosselins' tension-fraught relationship is over -- legally, at least.

After 10 years of marriage, eight kids and boatloads of tabloid fodder, Jon and Kate Gosselin's divorce was finalized Friday, the Associated Press reports. Kate's attorney, Mark Momjian, said she'll get the family home in eastern Pennsylvania, the same abode where seeds of divorce were sown weekly on TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus Eight." Kate will remain the primary caretaker of the couple's twins and sextuplets.

In a statement, Kate said she's looking forward "to the New Year, focusing on the children. . . . This has been a challenging transition for all of us, but I am confident that we will move ahead with the important task of restructuring our lives."

The Gosselins filed for divorce in June. Jon's lawyer, Mark Jay Heller, was traveling Friday afternoon and was not available for comment.

Salahi watch

And the saga ticks on: Remember how Tareq Salahi's watch, handed over in court to satisfy a debt, turned out to be a cheap knockoff? His lawyer now says it was a gift from Salahi's brother.

"It is what it is," David W. Silek told our colleague James Hohmann. "It was a gift to him, and he thought it was real."

Silek was back at the Warren County Courthouse on Friday, representing the White House gate-crasher in a case against a man who owes money to Salahi. (Salahi didn't need to show up -- and didn't).

Tareq's brother Ismail Salahi, a Florida-based doctor, could not be reached for comment. Shortly after the state dinner incident, he told local reporters that he hadn't spoken to his brother in five years, and "don't . . . put it past him and his wife to do something like this." The Washington Post has left several message for Ismail in recent weeks but he has not responded.

As for the famous watch, Silek said it's sitting on his desk. "It belongs to my clients," Silek said. "They have to come retrieve it."

End quote

"So much for trying to go incognito."

-- Sarah Palin, in a statement released Thursday, on a small controversy she caused after blacking out the "McCain" logo on her sun visor while on vacation with her family in Hawaii. She says she did it "so photographers would be less likely to recognize me and bother my kids or other vacationers." Palin apologized if it came off as a slight to her former running mate: "I adore John McCain, support him 100 percent and will do everything I can to support his reelection." All the same, Palin cut her vacation short after the kerfuffle.

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff, wire and Web reports

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