- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rocker released

Pete Doherty was released yesterday without being charged with breaching his bail conditions after authorities failed to get him to court on time.

Mr. Doherty, who has been undergoing court-ordered rehabilitation treatment, was arrested Monday in London on suspicion of possessing drugs, police said.

The charge of breaching his bail conditions was dismissed because the 28-year-old rocker had not been brought to court within 24 hours, said prosecutor Anjulika Vatish.

“The court has no jurisdiction to deal with this matter anymore,” she said at West London Magistrates’ Court.

Earlier this month, a judge warned Mr. Doherty that he must prove his desire to quit drugs within a month or face a jail sentence for previous offenses.

Mr. Doherty, best known as the off-on boyfriend of Kate Moss, has admitted possessing illegal substances as well as to two driving offenses.

Breaking silence

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee is a woman of few words and generally avoids media interviews and public appearances.

Nevertheless, the 81-year-old author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” broke her silence briefly Monday at a Montgomery, Ala., ceremony inducting four new members into the Alabama Academy of Honor, including former home-run king Hank Aaron. Miss Lee, who lives in Monroeville, is a member of the academy, which honors living Alabamians, and was in the audience for Monday’s ceremony.

At the end of the ceremony, Academy of Honor chairman Tom Carruthers joked with Miss Lee, saying he knew she had something she wanted to say to the crowd.

“Well, it’s better to be silent than to be a fool,” Miss Lee said.

The audience burst into laughter and gave Miss Lee a standing ovation.

Stars lined up

Spanish stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are set to star in a movie version of hit musical “Nine,” entertainment industry press reported yesterday.

A report in Variety said Miss Cruz and Mr. Bardem were among a bevy of stars who had been approached by the Weinstein Co. to appear in the film, an adaptation of the musical inspired by Federico Fellini’s “8½.” Others who have been approached include British actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who scooped up an Oscar in 2003 for her part in “Chicago,” and Italian screen legend Sophia Loren.

The film is to be directed by Rob Marshall, who earned an Oscar nod for “Chicago.”

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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