- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 25, 2005

Grooms in bloom

Sir Elton John and David Furnish are honeymooning in Venice after tying the knot in a civil union ceremony in Britain last week, says Associated Press, citing Italian news reports.

The couple took a water taxi to St. Mark’s Square, lunched at Harry’s Bar and shopped in the romantic canal city, the ANSA news agency and the Venice daily the New Venice and Mestre reported Saturday.

ANSA said Mr. John and Mr. Furnish arrived Thursday and were staying at Mr. John’s home on Giudecca, one of the islands of Venice’s lagoon.

The English pop star and the Canadian filmmaker, together for 12 years, exchanged vows and diamond wedding bands Wednesday during the first week of legalized civil unions in the United Kingdom.

No Love lost

We’re guessing Courtney Love is on her former sister-in-law’s naughty list this holiday season.

A home that the grunge rocker purchased for the family of her late husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, back in 1997 is up for public auction, reports E! Online, after Miss Love apparently stopped making good on mortgage payments two years ago.

Mr. Cobain’s sister, Kim, is listed as the resident of the historic home, which is located about 10 miles south of Olympia, Wash., and was constructed in 1903.

Miss Love reportedly owes about $367,000, including the loan balance and legal fees, to Los Angeles-based company WMC Mortgage Corp., which filed for foreclosure in Thurston County Superior Court. She also was named in the suit as a trustee of the Courtney Love Family Trust.

According to an October 2004 lawsuit, Miss Love stopped making payments on the property in December 2003.

Miss Love has until Jan. 6 to come up with the money she owes, or the home will be auctioned to the highest bidder, who then will have to assume the payments owed and pay a property tax bill estimated at $7,800.

So far, no one has expressed interest in bidding on the property, according to local officials.

Crusading Hawke

Ethan Hawke has called on New Jersey’s acting governor to grant clemency to an elderly female inmate who was convicted of murdering her boyfriend, a police officer, in 1986.

According to the New York Post, the Oscar-nominated actor wrote to acting governor Richard J. Codey last week in support of freeing Melvina McClain, 65, a friend of Mr. Hawke’s mother, who has served 16 years of a 30-year sentence for shooting Detective Louis Glenn in a bar.

Mr. Hawke and his mother, Leslie, believe that McClain, a former city parking violations officer, acted in self-defense after being assaulted and threatened repeatedly by Mr. Glenn during their relationship.

In an e-mail to Associated Press, Mr, Hawke — who grew up in West Windsor, N.J. — described McClain as “a woman important to my family” and said of his mother, “she believes in [McClain] entirely.” Mr. Hawke, 35, visited the convict in a Clinton, N.J., facility last week.

Sprucing up

The Peru, Ind., home of composer Cole Porter is getting a winter makeover.

The 1860s-era house, which has about 21 rooms, fell into disrepair over the years. It had been split into several apartments, and police found a methamphetamine lab in one of the apartments two years ago.

The new owner, the Ole Olsen Memorial Theatre group, plans to open the home as a museum and bed-and-breakfast when the work is done. Nearly $52,000 has been donated toward the renovations, which organizers say will cost about $105,000.

Mr. Porter was born in 1891 and lived in the house until he was 10. The town of Peru is about midway between South Bend and Indianapolis. The composer, who died in 1964, wrote more than 1,500 songs for stage, movies and television, including such standards as “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Night and Day” and “Anything Goes.”

His life was portrayed in the 2004 film “De-Lovely,” which starred Kevin Kline as Mr. Porter and Ashley Judd as his wife, Linda.

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

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