- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Jackson four

Michael Jackson is nearing a settlement in a legal dispute with his ex-wife over visitation rights for their two children, the singer’s lawyer told Associated Press.

Deborah Rowe Jackson was married to the singer for three years starting in 1996 and is the mother of 8-year-old Prince Michael and 7-year-old Paris.

She voluntarily gave up her parental rights in 2001, but a judge voided the order at her request in 2004 after her attorneys argued that proper court procedures hadn’t been followed.

Mr. Jackson is appealing the decision that voided the order, but his lawyer Michael Abrams said, “A settlement is in sight.”

“The resolution will be to everybody’s satisfaction,” he said. “I’m hoping everybody will go away very happy.”

Opening salvo

Heavy-metal titan Metallica will open both of the Rolling Stones’ San Francisco shows in November, joining an illustrious company of warm-up acts that through the years has included Stevie Wonder, Ike and Tina Turner, Guns N’ Roses and the White Stripes.

In an e-mail sent to fan-club members, Metallica said the Stones invited the band last week to open the Nov. 13 and 15 shows for a hometown crowd at SBC Park.

“After having the thrill of playing with some of our personal heroes such as AC/DC, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and Ozzy [Osbourne], how could we say ‘no’ to the quintessential rock band, who are in some way responsible for all of this?” the band said.

Disney’s ambassadors

Have theme-park openings become part of movie contracts?

Hollywood heartthrobs Johnny Depp and John Travolta reportedly will join singer-actress Julie Andrews to help introduce Disneyland’s new theme park in Hong Kong next month.

Miss Andrews was official ambassador of the Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration last month. She will be at the ceremony when the House of Mouse opens the gates of the $3.2 billion project Sept. 12, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily paper said.

The actors’ Disney connections are as follows: Miss Andrews famously played “Mary Poppins” in the classic children’s fantasy movie of the same name.

Mr. Depp starred in the Disney films “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Finding Neverland,” and Mr. Travolta featured in 1998’s “A Civil Action.”

Eminem’s demands

Are there male divas?

If so, Eminem fits the bill.

According to London’s Daily Mirror, the rapper has a long list of backstage demands for his forthcoming tour, including large buckets of KFC chicken.

Also on his list is a fully equipped “arcade-style” dressing room complete with a big-screen TV, a PlayStation, a pingpong table and a basketball hoop.

And more: two cases of Heineken lager, two bottles of Hennessy cognac and three bottles of Cristal champagne.

A source told the paper, “The artist wants 10 low-carb protein bars, 12 cans of low-carb Myoplex body-building meal-replacement formula and half-a-dozen cans of low-carb protein shakes.”

Minister of offense

That Bono sure gets around.

The U2 frontman and anti-poverty campaigner is to meet German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to discuss aid for Africa, the German government has announced, according to Agence France-Presse.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed media reports that Mr. Fischer, a member of the Green Party and a die-hard U2 fan, planned to speak late yesterday with the rocker backstage at the band’s concert in Munich.

The meeting initially was scheduled for early July but was called off after the deadly attacks on the London public transportation system.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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