Hair Days Back for Etheridge

From the Finally-Some-Good-News Dept.:

Melissa Etheridge says she has recovered from breast cancer.

In an interview with the syndicated TV show "Extra," the "Lucky" crooner announced that she has made a full recovery since undergoing a successful lumpectomy last October.

"I stand before you a totally healthy person," said Etheridge, 44, who was forced to scrap a concert tour after her disease was diagnosed. Etheridge took to the stage with a shaved head but strong voice at the Grammy Awards in February for a Janis Joplin tribute -- and received a standing ovation.

The singer told "Extra" that she plans on getting back into the recording studio in the near future. She also revealed that she and partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, 30, were hoping to have a baby.

Etheridge ultimately credited Michaels as the person most responsible for helping her through her ordeal.

"At the end of the whole thing when it was over, I came home to a bouquet that said 'in sickness and in health,' and she means it," she said. "And the love and support of someone like that is worth all the money in the world."

Da Vinci Coded Okay, Judge Says

The best-selling thriller "The Da Vinci Code" does not infringe on the copyright of a book published in 2000 by another author, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels said Dan Brown's book exploring codes hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci's artwork is not substantially similar to "Daughter of God," by Lewis Perdue. Perdue had alleged that Brown copied the basic premise of "Daughter of God," including notions of a "divine feminine" and the transition from a female to a male-dominated church under Roman Emperor Constantine.

Brown's book "is simply a different story," Daniels said in a ruling Thursday. "Although both novels at issue are mystery thrillers, 'Daughter of God' is more action-packed, with several gunfights and violent deaths. . . . 'The Da Vinci Code,' on the other hand, is an intellectual, complex treasure hunt, focusing more on the codes, number sequences, cryptexes and hidden messages left behind as clues than on any physical adventure."

He also ruled out any copyright violations of Perdue's 1983 novel "The Da Vinci Legacy."

Noted . . .

Rapper Foxy Brown turned down a plea deal Friday that would have reduced assault charges filed against her by two nail salon stylists who accused her of punching and kicking them in a dispute over payment for a $20 manicure.

Brown, who faces up to a year in prison if convicted on misdemeanor assault charges, would have been required to perform 10 days of community service instead of jail time under the plea deal. Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand, had turned down a similar offer in May, according to prosecutors. "She didn't commit any misdemeanor," said her lawyer, Joseph Tacopina. "That's the bottom line" . . .

Oscar-winning actress Holly Hunter is pregnant for the first time at age 47, and is expecting to deliver twins this winter, her spokeswoman said Friday. The father is actor and longtime boyfriend Gordon MacDonald, the publicist said.

Hunter is divorced from cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. A native of Georgia, she starred as a driven TV news producer in "Broadcast News" and won an Academy Award for playing a mute bride in the 1993 film "The Piano" . . .

It's splitsville for actor Eddie Murphy and his wife of 12 years. Nicole Murphy filed for divorce on Friday, citing "irreconcilable differences," and is seeking joint custody of their five children, court papers showed.

. . . and Quoted

"I don't think he's an [expletive], but if he's going to persist in making bad movies, he's going to have to grow accustomed to reading bad reviews."

-- Roger Ebert, in response to actor Rob Schneider's two-thumbs-down tirade regarding the film critic and his negative appraisal of Schneider's films.

-- Compiled by Brett Lyman

from wire reports

Melissa Etheridge, shown at the Grammy Awards in February, rocks on with a clean bill of health after being treated for breast cancer. ROGER EBERT