- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Material spill

Madonna’s 47th birthday celebration was marred yesterday when she suffered several broken bones in a horse-riding accident at her country home outside London, her publicist tells Associated Press.

The superstar was hospitalized with three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand, New York-based spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said.

Madonna and an assistant were riding horses when the Material Mom, on a new horse she wasn’t accustomed to riding, took a tumble. Her children, Rocco and Lourdes, were at the home but were not with their mother at the time, Miss Rosenberg said.

“The whole family was out in the country, celebrating her birthday,” she said.

Smoky treat

Jason Mraz understands that smoking isn’t good for the body, but what about the soul?

“My whole belief in life is if it makes you happy, it’s good for you,” the apparently utilitarian 28-year-old singer-songwriter tells AP.

“My Dad is always getting after me about smoking. It’s not good for you. My Dad is like 300 pounds. Well, neither is your diet. Well, who’s at fault? None of us. You love popcorn, I love smoking, you and I are both happy folks,” he said.

“Why can’t we just be happy?”

Green thumb

Quick: What’s Tommy Lee’s favorite subject?

Of all the classes the reality-show rocker took at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for NBC’s “Tommy Lee Goes to College,” it turns out botany was tops.

We heard that; no marijuana jokes, please.

Reincarnation jokes, however, are fine.

“I think I was a tree or something in a past life,” Mr. Lee explains to AP Radio. “I’ve always been attracted to nature. After owning several homes and landscaping them and going to the nurseries and picking stuff out that I love, I just always have liked trees and plants and flowers.

“Call me kooky, but that’s just the way it is.”

Friendly father

Religious groups in Croatia are up in arms over the imminent arrival of shock-rocker Marilyn Manson for a concert.

However, rallying to the banner of free speech and perhaps a little shock value of his own is one unlikely defender of Mr. Manson — a Catholic priest.

“How could Manson turn young people into satanists and drug addicts in the two hours of his act?” the daily newspaper Vjesnik quotes the Rev. Anton Bobas as saying, according to Reuters news agency.

Mr. Bobas, however, is no ordinary priest. He fronts a heavy-metal band of his own called Glasnici Nade (Messengers of Hope). He says most of Mr. Manson’s critics have never heard his songs or seen him perform.

Katie’s ‘hero’

Time for an update from crazy TomKat land.

In an interview with Heat magazine, Katie Holmes reveals that Tom Cruise is more than just her squeeze, he’s her “hero.”

“I’ve been a fan of his for so long … . When you find yourself in love with someone like that for real, it’s almost like being in a dream. A very nice dream,” Miss Holmes says.

There’s more: “I have never met anyone who is so full of life, so secure in who he is and what he does. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to fall in love with a man like him.”

Still more: “He’s very generous and very supportive. He’s the smartest man. Full of life.”

Enough already: “He’s incredibly interesting to be around. His enthusiasm is infectious. I love him. I feel like it’s a privilege to have met him and become part of his world.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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