Ouch! Photog Takes a Shot

A paparazzo staking out Britney Spears Saturday outside a Malibu, Calif., home, where he believed the singer was attending a bridal shower, was shot in the leg with a BB gun. According to police, it was unclear who fired the shot. "It could've been somebody driving by, walking by. We have no idea where it came from," said sheriff's lieutenant Steve Smith.

The unfortunate photographer, identified as Brad Diaz, was one of about 10 shutterbugs standing in the street about 200 yards from the house. "They put a county Band-Aid on him and transported him away in an ambulance,'' Smith said. "If there's anything below minor, that's what the injury was.'' He added that the photographer seemed to be too far away for the shot to have come from the house.

Spears's publicist did not immediately return calls from the Associated Press for comment.

Abdul Sits Out Fox's 'Dance'

Citing scheduling conflicts, Paula Abdul has backed out of Fox's latest TV talent contest, "So You Think You Can Dance." Abdul had planned to appear as a guest choreographer in the series but will be too busy promoting an "American Idol" DVD, her publicist, Ken Sunshine, said in a statement Friday. "It became apparent that her prior commitments . . . made it impossible to be part of this new show," Sunshine said.

The show's producers, responding with their own statement, said they "respect Paula's decision to step away."

Fox and the producers of "American Idol" recently announced hiring an independent counsel to investigate a claim that Abdul had an affair with former "Idol" contender Corey Clark during the show's second season. Abdul has denied the allegation.

Noted . . .

* Mel Gibson has been asked to re-create the crucifixion of Jesus in the streets of Sydney if the city is selected to host a major Catholic gathering in 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Saturday. The actor-director's staging of the Stations of the Cross, depicting Christ's final hours, would be part of the city's bid to host World Youth Day. George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, said intermediaries had approached the "Passion of the Christ" director about staging the event. The venue for the gathering, which is expected to draw 400,000 Catholics, will be announced Aug. 21 by Pope Benedict XVI.

* Jack Kerouac's breakthrough novel, "On the Road," will be adapted for the big screen by Francis Ford Coppola, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The filmmaker's production company, American Zoetrope, has owned film rights to the novel since 1979. "The book is inherently difficult to adapt to the screen, and we've never quite found the right combination of director and writer to do it justice until now," he said. Coppola has tapped director Walter Salles and screenwriter Jose Rivera for the project. The pair previously collaborated on 2004's "The Motorcycle Diaries." Casting and production are expected to begin next year.

"On the Road," which gave rise to the Beat generation, was published in 1957.

* Hip-hop heavyweight and Death Row Records founder Suge Knight was fined $691 Friday after pleading no contest to making an illegal U-turn and driving without insurance. The music mogul was jailed for more than a week following his February arrest; police said at the time that they found marijuana in the pickup truck Knight was driving. San Bernardino County, Calif., prosecutors agreed to drop the drug-possession charge after finding insufficient evidence to support it.

. . . and Quoted

"Mick has to get up in the morning and have a plan. . . . Me, I wake up, praise the Lord, then make sure all the phones are turned off."

-- Rolling Stone Keith Richards on his working style vs. Mick Jagger's, to Newsweek.

-- Compiled by Michael Cotterman

from wire reports

Out & About will return.

Mel Gibson may have a cross to bear in Australia. Britney Spears was said to be "showering" when a photographer waiting outside was shot with a BB gun.