- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Naked protest

A naked Pamela Anderson will beckon from Chinese billboards in a new anti-fur campaign — if the former “Baywatch” star can get past the censors.

The posters, featuring the slogan “Give fur the cold shoulder” in English, show the 37-year-old actress topless with her back to the camera and an arm partly hiding her right breast.

An image of falling snow appears above Chinese characters reading “Cold shoulders are nothing compared to the pain they feel” and “Please don’t wear fur.”

China’s communist media regulators have yet to give the posters a green light, said Jason Baker, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is promoting the anti-fur campaign, according to Associated Press.

“Depending on the censors, they may be concerned about it, but it’s very tastefully done,” Mr. Baker said. “We may end up having to crop it a bit.”

They will rock you

The dormant but still beloved rock band Queen is planning to prove they’re still champions. A tour is in the works for next year with Paul Rodgers filling the shoes of late singer Freddie Mercury.

Mr. Rodgers, from ‘70s blues-rock bands Free and Bad Company, impressed the remaining members of Queen when he joined them for several performances this year, according to AP.

Mr. Rodgers and Queen guitarist Brian May performed Free’s hit “All Right Now” at a concert in London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar earlier this year.

Mr. May and drummer Roger Taylor then asked Mr. Rodgers to stand in for Mr. Mercury when the band was featured on a British TV channel’s music hall of fame program.

The lineup had “amazing chemistry,” Mr. May said on his Web site. “It seems blindingly obvious that there was something happening here.”

Face off

Sharon Stone will have you know her face is real.

The “Basic Instinct” actress sued Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Renato Calabria for defamation and libel for falsely claiming that he gave her a face-lift, Reuters News Agency reports.

“Stone has never undergone a facelift in order to improve her physical appearance,” the lawsuit says. “Stone prides herself not only on her acting ability and other talents, but also on her natural physical appearance.”

Dr. Calabria’s legal rep said Miss Stone is all wet: “All he has ever done is discuss vertical face surgery, a technique he innovated, and magazine articles have speculated that Stone had the procedure.”

Impossible ‘Materials’

Aspiring directors, time to update your resumes. Film studio New Line Cinema has a job opening.

Director Chris Weitz bowed out of the studio’s film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy “His Dark Materials,” a “Harry Potter”-like series targeted at older teens.

“The technical challenges of making such an epic are more than I can undertake at this point,” said “About a Boy’s” Mr. Weitz in a statement.

He’ll stay on as the trilogy’s screenwriter.

D.O.A.

New York medical examiners got to the bottom of rapper O.D.B.’s untimely demise. The culprit: a deadly cocktail of cocaine and a prescription painkiller.

O.D.B., whose legal name was Russell Jones, died at a Manhattan recording studio Nov. 13, AP notes.

He died “as a result of intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and Tramadol, a prescription painkiller but not a narcotic,” said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner’s office.

“The manner of death is an accident,” she added.

On the mend

In better medical news, James Brown underwent successful surgery yesterday to treat his recently diagnosed prostate cancer.

“Mr. Brown has successfully undergone a localized prostate cancer procedure and is resting comfortably,” Dr. James Bennett, his urologist, said in a statement.

“We expect a full recovery. With proper follow-up and care, we can also expect a full cure.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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