- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Split decision?

Several published reports citing a source close to Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston say the celebrities are heading to divorce court.

The New York Daily News reports that Mr. Brown, 36, an R&B; singer, told friends he plans to file for divorce from Miss Houston, 42, after years of an infamously tumultuous marriage. They wed in 1992 and have a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 12.

The article also says Mr. Brown was seen earlier this month flirting with a group of women backstage at a concert featuring R&B; groups at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, the Boston Globe reported in yesterday’s editions.

Both Mr. Brown and Miss Houston have been the focus of numerous tabloid stories, usually about their admitted drug and alcohol battles. Two years ago, according to published reports, police charged Mr. Brown with misdemeanor battery after he was said to have assaulted Miss Houston in their Georgia home.

Last summer, the couple showcased their dysfunctional lives on the Bravo reality hit “Being Bobby Brown.”

Hayes hospitalized

Isaac Hayes was being treated at a Memphis, Tenn., hospital for exhaustion, according to his longtime songwriting partner.

“He’s just overworked and had been in Atlantic City performing, the D.C. area performing, and in Tunica [Miss.] a couple of nights ago. He was just overworked. He’s doing much better,” David Porter told the Commercial Appeal newspaper on Tuesday.

It wasn’t immediately known where Mr. Hayes was hospitalized. Calls to his agents were not returned, Associated Press reported.

On Jan. 12, Mr. Hayes performed before a sold-out house at the Birchmere in Alexandria.

The 63-year-old singer-songwriter is best known for his Oscar-winning 1971 No. 1 song, “Theme From Shaft,” from the Richard Roundtree film. More recently, he voiced the character of Chef on television’s “South Park.”

During his time as a backup artist at Stax Records in Memphis, Mr. Hayes established a songwriting partnership with Mr. Porter, and in the 1960s, they wrote several hits for the duo Sam & Dave, including “Hold on, I’m Coming” and “Soul Man.”

Garrett jailed

The 1970s teen idol Leif Garrettwas being held without bail after authorities said he was suspected of carrying narcotics and not having a subway ticket, AP reported.

Mr. Garrett, 44, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies Saturday on the platform of Los Angeles’ Pershing Square Red Line station when he didn’t have a ticket, authorities said. Deputies found suspected narcotics during a search, they said.

He has not been charged and was scheduled to appear in court yesterday, according to the sheriff’s Web site.

Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said the singer-actor was being held without bail because he had violated the terms of his probation for a previous offense. He pleaded guilty in March to attempted possession of cocaine-based narcotics and was placed on probation, Miss Gibbons said.

Mr. Garrett has appeared in three dozen films, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, and has released 10 music albums. In 1979, he rear-ended another car while driving a Porsche, leaving his passenger disabled.

Banking on Julia

Oscar winner Julia Roberts has proved that her box-office bankability extends from screen to stage by pulling in more than $7 million in advance ticket sales for her coming Broadway debut, according to Agence France-Presse.

Tickets for the revival of Richard Greenberg’s generational drama “Three Days of Rain” went on sale for the first time Friday, and by Monday, the production had taken in $4 million in single-ticket sales, the New York Post reported.

Demand was so high on Friday that the show’s Internet ticketing Web site crashed for an hour. Group ticket sales, meanwhile, have generated $3 million over the past month.

Experts predict advance sales could climb as high as $10 million by the time the production plays its first preview on March 28.

LaBute to visit

Acclaimed filmmaker and playwright Neil LaBute will speak to audiences at the Studio Theatre in Northwest following the 2 p.m. performances of his play “Fat Pig” on Saturday and Sunday.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.

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