Names and Faces: Teresa Heinz Kerry; Jose Feliciano; Lady Gaga; Amy Winehouse

Johnny Knoxville is the father of a baby boy.
Johnny Knoxville is the father of a baby boy. (Stuart Ramson - AP)
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Senator's wife has cancer

Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), is being treated for breast cancer. She revealed the diagnosis in an editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday.

"I was . . . treated for stage one cancer [two different types] in both breasts. The cancer was detected at an early stage thanks to a mammogram and the work of a remarkable physician who insisted on investigating beyond what the mammogram could show," Heinz wrote.

She has had two operations. Doctors expect a full recovery.

In the editorial, Heinz rejected guidelines proposed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which stated that women with average risk of breast cancer do not need regular screenings and older women do not need annual exams. She accused the task force of choosing numbers over people.

"What we need are more reasons to keep those appointments, more support of the value of prevention and refinement of diagnostic procedures, and more choices," Heinz wrote.

Song parody upsets Feliciano

Singer Jose Feliciano is unhappy about a spoof of his holiday standard "Feliz Navidad," the Associated Press reports. The parody about illegal immigrants, titled "The Illegal Alien Christmas Song," was posted on, a conservative Web site.

In a statement, Feliciano said of the parody, "It's disgusting and my only wish [is] that my song and I are distanced from the whole affair as soon as possible."

The Web site's administrator said he will remove the parody.

Winehouse charged

British singer Amy Winehouse has been charged by police with assaulting a theater worker at a play for children in Buckinghamshire, England. According to the British tabloid the Sun, Winehouse became boisterous and blasphemous during a holiday performance of "Cinderella" on Dec. 19. A theater manager tried to usher her out, but Winehouse allegedly kicked and punched him.

Lady Gaga's latest critic

A Kansas pastor, the Rev. Fred Phelps, has it in for singer Lady Gaga, a rising icon in the gay community. In a press release posted online Tuesday, he ranted against the singer, accused her of hating God and told her, "You are going to hell." The pastor announced his church will picket a Jan. 7 Lady Gaga concert in St. Louis. Phelps's church organizes pickets at gay parades and other events, including military funerals, because members believe God is punishing the nation for its tolerance of homosexuality.

Cowell's Christmas voyage

Simon Cowell will celebrate Christmas on the $900,000-a-week super yacht Slipstream, reports Britain's Daily Mirror. He will hand presents to celebrity chums while trolling the Caribbean. While the weekly fee is chump change to Cowell, whose wealth is estimated at well over $200 million, the ride will be split with billionaire clothing mogul Philip Green, a buddy. Also on board: "Britain's Got Talent" judge Amanda Holden, and Cowell's mother and brother.

"Simon wanted a change of scenery," a friend told the Daily Mirror. The friend went on to say Cowell hates winter in England.

Guitarist James Gurley dies

James Gurley, 69, a guitarist for the rock band Big Brother & the Holding Company, died Sunday at a Palm Springs, Calif., hospital of a heart attack. The band launched singer Janis Joplin to fame. Gurley was known for his finger-picking style.

End notes

Spotted: Carrie Underwood's engagement ring. The country singer and "American Idol" alum flashed her ring while attending an Ottawa Senators hockey game Monday. The ring, designed by jeweler Johnathon Arndt, features a flawless, five-carat diamond. Its value: perhaps $1 million. Senators center Mark Fisher proposed to her Sunday and it didn't take long for the news to escape; in 20 minutes it was on Twitter. The rumor was confirmed by the Toronto Sun.

It's a boy: People Magazine reports star Johnny Knoxville, of "Jackass" fame, and girlfriend Naomi Nelson had a baby boy Sunday. The baby, named Rocko Akira Clapp, weighed eight pounds and measured 20 inches.

-- Compiled by Timothy R. Smith from Web and wire reports

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