• Off the hook: Cuba Gooding Jr., 44, won’t face misdemeanor battery charges after a scuffle last week with a New Orleans bartender. An arraignment hearing was held Friday, but nobody turned up to press the complaint, a city spokesman said, so the charges were dropped. The Oscar-winning actor — in New Orleans to shoot scenes for the film, “The Butler” (based on Wil Haygood’s 2008 Post story) — did not attend the hearing.
• Endorsing: Clint Eastwood has announced his support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney . The Oscar-winning actor-director officially announced his endorsement during a campaign fundraising event Friday in Sun Valley, Idaho. Why is Eastwood so keen on the former Massachusetts governor? Tax stuff. Eastwood, the 82-year-old former mayor of Carmel, Calif., said he hoped Romney would restore “a decent tax system that we need badly . . . so that there’s a fairness and people are not pitted against one another as who’s paying taxes and who isn’t.”
• Settling: Gibson Guitars has agreed to pay a fine to avoid criminal charges over breaking environmental laws by importing exotic wood, reports CNN Money. Under the agreement announced Monday, the Nashville-based instrument maker will pay a $300,000 penalty. The company also agreed to forfeit claims to about $262,000 worth of wood seized by federal agents and to contribute $50,000 to promote conservation of protected tree species. By importing ebony and rosewood from India and Madagascar, Gibson reportedly violated the Lacey Act, which prohibits the acquisition of plant products protected in other countries.
“Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism?”
— Morrissey, the loquacious and feud-prone British singer who — in a letter posted on his fan site, True to You , on Friday — wrote that he had been unable to watch the London Olympics because of the “blustering jingoism that drenches the event.”
— Aaron Leitko, from staff and wire reports.
The Reliable Source is on vacation until Aug. 27. Names and Faces is the column that runs in its place in the Style section.