- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 12, 2004

Ritter kin sue hospital

The wife and daughter of actor John Ritter, who collapsed and died suddenly of heart problems a year ago, have sued the hospital where he was treated, claiming that doctors misdiagnosed his condition, according to the Reuters News Agency. Mr. Ritter, 54, collapsed on the set of his series “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter” on Sept. 12 last year and died the same day in a Burbank, Calif. hospital across from the studio where he had been working. The cause of death was given as a tearing of a major coronary artery stemming from a condition he never knew he had.

Stalker used card

Police investigating the woman accused of stalking actress Catherine Zeta-Jones found links to a telephone calling card used to make death threats against the Oscar-winning actress. A detective testified on Thursday that the death threats were telephoned to the Amsterdam hotel where Miss Zeta-Jones was staying while filming “Ocean’s 12,” Reuters reports. This prompted her security staff to obtain a bulletproof shield that could be used to protect her in case of attack, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Detective Dana Duncan told the court.

Beckham got richer

Soccer star David Beckham’s five-year contract with Gillette to plug its razors and blades will earn him $61 million.

The European equivalent to Michael Jordan will now make more than the No. 1 American athlete moneymaker, Tiger Woods, whose total earnings are estimated at more than $70 million. Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated reported the Real Madrid soccer player’s income at $30 million a year.

The deal was first announced by the Boston-based firm in late May, but no terms were released on the latest endorsement starring the captain of England’s national team and Real Madrid midfielder. The figure was reported in a Spanish sports daily Friday.

The slogan for the Gillette ad blitz is “Shave it like Beckham,” a takeoff of the British movie “Bend it Like Beckham.”

Mr. Beckham’s other multimillion-dollar endorsement deals include Adidas, Pepsi, Vodafone and Marks & Spencer.

P. Diddy’s all-girl band

For three seasons, P. Diddy — aka Sean Combs — developed the now disbanded hip-hop ensemble Da Band for his MTV show. .

During the first season of “Making the Band 2,” Puffy and his Bad Boy Entertainment team searched the country to put together the music group while the second and third seasons chronicled Da Band on the road and in the studio. But Da Band received da ax at the end of the third season when P. Diddy disbanded the group.

“We watched P. Diddy work magic with his last group Da Band, who despite their issues working together, still managed to take their very first album gold,” MTV Series Entertainment Executive Vice President Lois Curren told Associated Press. “We can’t wait to see what he has in store for us as he forms a girl group in a whole new music genre.”

This won’t be P. Diddy’s first time crafting an all-girl pop group. He was the mastermind behind Dream, a pop quartet who sang the hit “He Loves Me Not.”

Auditions for singers and musicians for the as-yet-unnamed group are scheduled for the first two weeks in October in Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

The third installment of “Making the Band” will premiere next year.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from staff and wire reports.

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