Spears: Grand Theft Photo
Britney Spears is no stranger to publicity, but when photographs of the singer and her month-old baby popped up on the Internet last Friday, she threatened to take legal action.
The pop star's record label, Jive, says the images of Spears embracing infant son Sean Preston and a family portrait with husband Kevin Federline had been stolen and were from a private photo shoot. A statement released late Friday warned that dissemination of the images would be an "invasion of privacy of Ms. Spears, Mr. Federline and their infant son." Publicist Leslie Sloan says that "anyone who publishes, sells or otherwise exploits any of these images in any way will be subject to liability and damages for willful infringement of copyright."
The New York Post says that the photos were reported stolen just after the singer backed out on a deal to sell her tot's photos to People magazine. Sources told the paper that Spears decided not to accept the seven-figure payment for fear "she was selling out her baby and couldn't give up the pictures." If only the couple had been feeling the urge for privacy before they released their reality series "Chaotic."
Village Person of Interest
Victor Edward Willis, the Village People's original policeman, is a wanted man after failing to appear in a California court for sentencing in a drug case. Willis, 54, was arrested in July after a traffic stop in Daly City, where police say they found crack cocaine, a loaded pistol and drug paraphernalia in the singer's Corvette. About Willis's failure to show up Thursday in San Mateo County Superior Court, his lawyer, Kenneth Quigley, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Willis "is scheduled for surgery." Willis was previously convicted of possessing drugs in 1990 and acquitted of rape in 1993.
Aretha, the Soul of Compassion
Aretha Franklin threw a party Friday for dozens of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, sharing soul food and memories of New Orleans with guests at a hotel in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.
Franklin, who lives in nearby Bloomfield Hills, said she wanted to do her part by hosting the event.
"It's the right thing to do," said Franklin, who was planning another dinner at the hotel for Saturday night. "Hopefully some of the other performers in town will follow suit."
Before dinner, the soul legend talked with some of the 40 or so Gulf Coast residents staying at the hotel, posed for photos and sang "Jesus Is Waiting" to help welcome them.
The Queen of Soul, 63, whose first visit to New Orleans was in 1962, fondly remembered watching Mardi Gras celebrations, shopping and eating many good meals there in the years that followed.
The visit from Franklin was a thrill for Antonia Washington, 50, one of the hotel's displaced guests.
"Her appearance here meant so much," Washington said. "I never thought I would be here to see her."
"I'm approaching 40 years old, and I have to tend to that. This frozen embryo that is in New York is my child waiting to be brought to life."
-- Celine Dion to French magazine Tele 7 Jours on her plans to have a second child via in vitro fertilization with manager-husband Rene Angelil.
-- Complied by
from wire reports