- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Associated Press

It’s a garage sale with attitude.

Elton John is doing a bit of house clearing by putting paintings, chandeliers and leopardskin-print sofas up for sale later this month, auction house Sotheby’s said Friday.

Sotheby’s said more than 400 items from Mr. John’s west London house were likely to raise more than $1.3 million when they’re sold Sept. 30.

Items up for sale include a double bed with matching wardrobes designed by David Linley, nephew of Queen Elizabeth II; a bronze sculpture of Alexander the Great; a gilt-bronze and marble chandelier; and two busts of Napoleon.

Mr. John also is selling sculptures and paintings from his extensive art collection, including 17th-century artist Edward Bowker’s “Portrait of a Lady With her Son,” valued at $32,000 to $48,000.

The pop star, who also has a country home in Windsor, west of London, said he was selling the items so he could redecorate in a more modern style.

“I wanted to have the opportunity to display more contemporary work in one of my UK homes, but as my house in Windsor has a very traditional style, the obvious choice was to remodel my Holland Park home,” he said.

Geraldo SOS

New York Post

Fox News Channel star Geraldo Rivera can make his way through a war zone, but waterways still give him a little trouble.

The intrepid reporter was cruising the Hudson on his 70-foot sailboat the other day near the Front Street Marina in Newberg, N.Y., when “he had difficulty turning around,” an unnamed source said.

Mr. Rivera’s bow nipped the marina, damaging both pier and boat.

Last summer, he clipped a bridge abutment in Cape Cod.

Bowie’s cheat sheet

New York Post

David Bowie has joked that his chronic cocaine use in the ‘70s turned his brain into “Swiss cheese.”

The elegant rock legend now says he has taken to referring to a book containing his old song lyrics that he keeps onstage to refresh his murky memory.

“If I didn’t have my big book, I’d forget the words,” Mr. Bowie told the BBC.

“If I’ve forgotten to turn the page, I’ll forget the song, and just laugh at the band.”

Mr. Bowie yesterday released his new album, “Reality.”

Britney thwarts stalker

E! Online

Oops, he did it again … and now he’s gonna pay.

Britney Spears went back to court last week to get a restraining order against a Japanese man she claims has been stalking her, her reps confirmed Friday.

Miss Spears was granted a restraining order against Masahiko Shizawa, a businessman who has reportedly been too much of a slave for the popster.

This is the second time Miss Spears has been forced to sic her legal eagles on Mr. Shizawa.

Earlier this year, she retracted her initial request for a restraining order after she reached an out-of-court agreement with the man in which he promised to stop calling and faxing her with remarks such as: “I’m chasing you.”

According to a publicist for Miss Spears, Mr. Shizawa, 43, has not given up his fixation on the 21-year-old Madonna smoocher. In recent months, he has resumed faxing and writing notes to the platinum popster.

In one missive, Mr. Shizawa writes, “There remains serious personal issues to be resolved [between us],” according to the syndicated TV show “Celebrity Justice.”

Such evidence was enough to sway Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alan B. Haber, who barred Mr. Shizawa from contacting Miss Spears and coming within 300 yards of the entertainer. The judge has set a court date to decide whether to make the order permanent on Sept. 29.

When Miss Spears first lashed out at Mr. Shizawa last December, the man’s attorney, Simon Robert Hiller, maintained that his client had been mislabeled a stalker when in fact the intimate letters, photos and unsolicited visits were the actions of an “avid fan” and said the request for a restraining order was the result of a “cultural misunderstanding.”

The so-called misunderstanding included, according to Miss Spears’ peeps, Mr. Shizawa “tracking” Miss Spears beginning in September 2002, shadowing her from her homes in Los Angeles and New York— where he reportedly tried to burst in — to her divorced parents’ domiciles in Louisiana, all the while sending her hundreds of love letters and photos.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from wire reports.

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