- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2008

Breaking silence

Michelle Williams ended her silence Friday, saying her “heart is broken” over the death of “Brokeback Mountain” actor Heath Ledger.

The 27-year-old actress and Mr. Ledger became a couple during filming of 2005’s “Brokeback,” in which they co-starred as husband and wife. They later moved to New York, and had a daughter, Matilda, born in October 2005.

“Please respect our need to grieve privately,” Miss Williams said. “My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day.”

Before they split last year, Mr. Ledger and Miss Williams lived together in Brooklyn’s quiet, tree-lined Boerum Hill neighborhood. Last week, well-wishers left bouquets of flowers outside the four-story, sage-green brownstone with black wrought-iron fence.

Mr. Ledger, 28, died in his Manhattan apartment Jan. 22. Authorities suspect a drug overdose, but the cause of his death is still pending the outcome of toxicology tests. Police said several prescription drugs were found in the apartment where the actor’s body was found.

Reporter robbed

A burglar posing as a construction worker made away with about $100,000 worth of jewelry and electronics in a daylight heist at Lesley Stahl’s apartment, police said Friday.

Police wouldn’t provide specifics, but the New York Post reported the burglar posed as a construction worker and stole several diamond watches, a pearl necklace, earrings, gold and silver necklaces and a laptop. The break-in occurred during the morning of Jan. 25 at the “60 Minutes” correspondent’s apartment overlooking Central Park.

Miss Stahl, a former White House correspondent who has been with the CBS news magazine since 1991, wasn’t home at the time. She had no comment on the burglary, a CBS-TV spokesman said.

The burglar reportedly went onto the roof, gained access by breaking a patio door and then ransacked the apartment Miss Stahl shares with her husband, writer Aaron Latham, and daughter.

Spicy ending

The Spice Girls announced Friday they had canceled their planned reunion tour concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town and Buenos Aires.

Although reports have suggested lack of interest in some of the cities, the British girl group pulled out for “family and personal commitments,” a spokesman said. The tour will now finish in Toronto on Feb. 26.

“Due to the phenomenal demand for tickets in the U.K. and the U.S. along with the touring logistics for such a massive production, it was not possible to fit everything in,” the spokesman said.

Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice”), Victoria Beckham (“Posh Spice”), Melanie Brown (“Scary Spice”), Melanie Chisholm (“Sporty Spice”) and Geri Halliwell (“Ginger Spice”) started their world tour in Vancouver, Canada, on Dec. 2.

The Spice Girls said: “Really sorry if we didn’t get to see you this time round. We all have other commitments in our lives now, but who knows what will happen next?”

The band is playing dates in Montreal, Toronto and the northeastern United States throughout February.

The Spice Girls formed in 1994 after their management company placed a newspaper advertisement.

It was during the group’s last tour nearly 10 years ago that, on May 31, 1998, Miss Halliwell announced she was quitting. The four remaining girls put out a third album in 2000 before officially splitting in February 2001.

They sold more than 50 million records worldwide and scored nine British No. 1 singles in the 1990s.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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