- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Malawi judge has approved Madonna’s adoption of a Malawian boy she met in an orphanage in 2006, Associated Press reports. The 49-year-old pop star wasn’t in court for yesterday’s ruling.

Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, have been caring for the boy, David Banda, in London. David turns 3 in November. The Material Mom met David while establishing charity projects in Malawi.

David’s mother died when he was a month old. His father has said that he believed he could not care for him alone and that adoption was the best way to ensure David’s survival. The father has said he didn’t object to the adoption. Critics have said Madonna used her celebrity status to circumvent Malawian adoption laws - claims she denies.

Madonna and Mr. Ritchie have a son, Rocco, 7, and Madonna has a daughter, Lourdes, 11.

The company you keep

Another member of Amy Winehouse’s posse has been busted for drug abuse.

Alex Haines, an employee of Miss Winehouse’s label who was instructed to keep an eye on the troubled singer, was fired after he was reportedly caught smoking crack on tape, says the New York Daily News, citing a report from Britain’s Mirror tabloid.

Mr. Haines was originally brought into the fold to keep Miss Winehouse, who has a history of problems with drugs and alcohol, on the straight and narrow. Last month, the singer’s mom raved about Mr. Haines, telling Britain’s Daily Mail that he’s “a lovely boy” who was a good influence on her daughter.

Whoops.

Miss Winehouse and Mr. Haines also have been plagued by reports that they’re a couple, which didn’t sit too well with Miss Winehouse’s incarcerated husband, Blake Fielder-Civil.

Celebrity rap sheet

* Country music singer Chris Cagle has been arrested for domestic assault in Nashville, Tenn., after police said he and his girlfriend got into a drunken fight, AP reports. Corrections officials say Mr. Cagle and his girlfriend, Jennifer Tant, have been jailed on misdemeanor domestic assault charges.

A police affidavit says that both were intoxicated and that an argument turned physical early yesterday. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Department says there is a mandatory 12-hour stay in jail before Mr. Cagle and Miss Tant can post $1,500 bonds.

* Police have arrested a man in rapper 50 Cent’s camp for reportedly assaulting a woman, TMZ.com reports. The celebrity news Web site said police received a call yesterday from Fiddy’s home in Farmington, Conn., at 2:59 a.m. from the reported victim. Police say Dwayne McKenzie was popped for reportedly choking and hitting the woman with a belt, which took place on 50 Cent’s property. Mr. McKenzie was charged with strangulation, assault, breach of peace and unlawful restraint. He has been released on $10,000 bail. No comment from Fiddy.

* Actor Gary Dourdan, best known for his role on CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” pleaded guilty to counts of cocaine and Ecstasy possession during his arraignment yesterday in Indio, Calif., People magazine reports. He was charged with three counts of felony drug possession after his April 28 arrest in Palm Springs, Calif. The heroin count was dismissed.

Out with a bang

James Bond, Britain’s most famous secret agent returns to the page in the novel “Devil May Care,” released around the world in 21 languages yesterday amid a blaze of publicity not seen since the last Harry Potter book, AP notes.

Publishers are hoping the thriller, already topping Internet retailer Amazon’s best-seller list in Britain, proves a fitting centenary tribute to James Bond’s late creator, Ian Fleming - and a lucrative new chapter for a franchise that has sold 100 million copies since the suave spy first appeared in “Casino Royale” in 1952.

“This is not usually how I spend my days,” said the book’s author, Sebastian Faulks. “I’m a guy who does the crossword in the morning, writes for eight hours and then goes home and watches football.”

Mr. Faulks, 55, the author of popular, respected literary novels including “Birdsong” and “Charlotte Gray,” was a surprise choice by Mr. Fleming’s family to revive 007 in print.

—Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports
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