- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The power of Paris

Even though she’s out of jail and has jetted off to Maui, Paris Hilton’s recent doin’s have had quite an impact, says TMZ.com.

Fred Fuld of Stockerblog analyzed several companies associated with Miss Hilton in one way or another and found that right up until her big house stay, those stocks outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average. From May 1 until the time before she went to jail, Paris Hilton-related stocks rose more than 10 percent, Mr. Fuld said. Since her incarceration, they’ve been down by about 2.5 percent. The hotel heiress has interests in perfume and jewelry lines, books, TV shows and much more.

Now that’s hot.

It’s over

British author Salman Rushdie is divorcing his fourth wife, Padma Lakshmi, his literary agent said yesterday, adding that she had asked for the split, reports Agence France-Presse.

The announcement came after the Indian-born Mr. Rushdie, 60, was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II last month, triggering widespread Muslim protests, in particular in Pakistan and Iran.

Miss Lakshmi, 36, who was born in India, has been an actress and model and has hosted Italian television shows. The couple left London for New York several years ago, blasting the London literary circuit as “backbiting and incestuous.”

Mr. Rushdie met Miss Lakshmi in 1999 when he was still married to his third wife. The couple married five years later.

Mr. Rushdie was accused by some Muslims of blaspheming Islam in his novel “The Satanic Verses,” which triggered an international furor when it was first published in 1988. Since then, he’s been living under the shadow of a death sentence imposed by Iran’s late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini which has never been revoked.

In recent years, as the threat against him has apparently receded, Mr. Rushdie has been increasingly in the public eye, with appearances in films such as “Bridget Jones’ Diary.”

The splits keep coming

Criss Angel’s wife says the magic has gone from their marriage and she now wants to make him vanish from her life. Known for his “Mindfreak” show on the A&E; network, Angel (whose real name is Christopher Sarantakos) and his wife, Joanne, 37, married five years ago, after a decade of dating, according to her lawyer, Dominic Barbara. But the magician kept his marriage quiet and then deserted his wife as he became famous and hasn’t given her “a cent” of his millions, Mr. Barbara said.

Angel’s lawyer, Elliott Wiener, said Joanne Sarantakos’ accusations of mental cruelty and abandonment were unfounded.

The punky illusionist, 39, dedicated his latest stunt — a seeming escape from a box encased in concrete and suspended 40 feet above the ground near Manhattan’s Time Square on June 5 — to actress Cameron Diaz.

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