- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 10, 2005

Hey, big spender

Indianapolis Star

Elton John and the U.S. government have something in common: They’re both operating under huge deficits.

While Mr. John may not be personally broke, his business is more than $50 million in the hole, reports E! Online.

The 58-year-old singer-songwriter’s parent company for his various business endeavors is borrowing money faster than it can replace it.

But a rep for the iconic performer denied Mr. John is having money issues.

“This does not affect his personal wealth,” the rep said. “He has three films on the go, two theater shows, a big photographic exhibition, and he paid out for his tours so he is waiting to get a lot of the money back.”

The singer still is holding down his exclusive engagement at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum in Las Vegas, in a deal valued at more than $50 million before its start last year.

And Mr. John, along with Bernie Taupin, also has created a large-scale theater production loosely based on two of Anne Rice’s famed vampire novels. The show is likely Broadway-bound, with a first run set for San Francisco later this year

Pay up, Puffy told

Associated Press

Hip-hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs has been ordered to pay more than $21,000 a month in child support to an ex-girlfriend with whom he has an 11-year-old son.

The order, issued Thursday by the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, came after Mr. Combs appealed a Westchester Family Court ruling last year that he should pay $35,000 a month. He currently pays about $5,000.

The ex-girlfriend, Misa Hylton-Brim, had sued for higher monthly payments and about $398,000 in back support for their son, Justin.

The appellate court judge awarded a lower but undisclosed amount in back support and ordered Mr. Combs to pay Miss Hylton-Brim’s legal fees. The judge set monthly support payments at $21,782.

Rob Shuter, a spokesman for Mr. Combs, said the superstar would appeal the decision to the state Court of Appeals.

While separated from girlfriend Kim Porter, Mr. Combs, 35, was also sued for child support for their son, Christian. He pays Miss Porter, a model, about $30,000 a month.

Jobim’s kin cries foul

Contractmusic.com

The family of late Brazilian music legend Antonio Carlos Jobim have filed a lawsuit, alleging the rights of his famous songs have been wrongly assigned to the songwriters who translated them into English.

Mr. Jobim’s widow Ana Lontra and his three children, last week filed a breach of contract and royalties suit against Universal Studios and Universal Music Publishing Group in New York Federal Court.

The Rio De Janeiro-born musician is widely regarded as one of the fathers of the bossa nova musical genre, his most famous song being “The Girl From Ipanema.”

The lawsuit claims the international copyrights to Mr. Jobim’s songs were fraudulently assigned following his 1994 death to the man who translated the original Portuguese lyrics into English.

The Jobims are asking for the return of the copyrights and unspecified damages.

Special gift for NGA

Baltimore Sun

The family of Roy Lichtenstein has given the National Gallery of Art more than a dozen drawings by the late pop artist in memory of Jane Meyerhoff, the Baltimore collector who died last year.

All 13 of the drawings in the Lichtenstein family gift are directly related to 11 of the artist’s paintings in the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection, considered one of the world’s finest collections of postwar art.

The drawings, which were given by Lichtenstein’s widow, Dorothy, and the couple’s two sons, David and Mitchell, will be on view from April 23 through July 24 in the East Building.

Mr. Lichtenstein died in 1997 at age 73.

New role for Zeta-Jones

Miami Herald

Catherine Zeta-Jones has signed on to star in the big-screen version of the classic TV show “Dallas,” reports IMDB.com. Producers are refusing to confirm Brad Pittas her costar.

The Oscar-winning beauty will play wholesome Pamela Ewing in the Texas oil drama, which originally ran on CBS from 1978 to 1991. Mr. Pitt, her “Ocean’s Twelve” co-star, is also expected to join her in the movie, which begins filming later this year.

“The story starts with Bobby and Pam meeting and getting married,” screenwriter Robert Harling says.

“It is reinventing the Ewing family as if they exist in 2006 when the movie comes out. We want to make a big, all-star, flashy, go-for-it version of the TV series.”

Compiled by R. Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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