Taking Names: Brand, Perry to end marriage

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Russell Brand is divorcing Katy Perry after 14 months of what appeared to be a storybook marriage.

“Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage,” Mr. Brand said in a statement released to the Associated Press on Friday. “I’ll always adore her and I know we’ll remain friends.”

Mr. Brand, 36, offered no other details, but in papers filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the British comedian cited irreconcilable differences.

He and the 27-year-old pop singer were married in October 2010 at a resort inside a tiger reserve in India, and their mutual affection had become a rather sweet feature of the Hollywood celebrity circuit.

The couple announced their engagement in January 2010 after meeting at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where Mr. Brand hosted and she performed.

The comedian, who once struggled with substance abuse, was effusive about his bride while promoting projects earlier in 2011, saying marrying Ms. Perry has “given me much more strength in what I do.”

“For a long while, what I do professionally was all that mattered to me really,” he said last March. “Now I think, well, whatever I do, I’ll just go back to her, and that’s incredibly comforting.”

A representative for Ms. Perry, whose name is listed as Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in the divorce papers, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The Internet had been abuzz recently with rumors about possible trouble for the couple after they were seen during the holidays without their wedding rings.

Helena Bonham Carter honored by Queen Elizabeth

Oscar-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter, famed for playing quirky characters as well as British royalty, joins a former prisoner, a reality TV guru and several Olympics organizers on the list of people being awarded honors by Queen Elizabeth II this New Year’s, the Associated Press reports.

Ms. Bonham Carter missed out on the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth, the supportive wife of King George VI in “The King’s Speech.” Her other major roles have included characters in films such as “Planet of the Apes” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

The queen, who is the daughter of King George VI and Elizabeth, awarded Ms. Bonham Carter a CBE, short for Commanders of the Order of the British Empire. The actress has said she is dedicating the CBE to her late father.

Businessman Gerald Ronson, who was convicted in 1990 for a share-trading scandal and served six months of a one-year jail sentence, was awarded a CBE for his services to charity. Mr. Ronson fought a long legal battle to clear his name, and although the European Court of Human Rights later ruled his trial was unfair Britain’s highest appeal court never overturned his conviction. He now runs property company Heron International and is a leading philanthropist.

Peter Bazalgette, who brought the show “Big Brother” to the U.K. and devised a string of much-copied lifestyle and reality shows, was made a knight. Professor Geoffrey Hill, who has been described as the greatest living poet in the English language, also became a knight.

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