- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 20, 2005

Not so tough for Love

Singer Courtney Love, who has been at a live-in drug treatment facility since September, can enroll in an outpatient program, a judge ruled.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rand Rubin cut short her sentence for violating probation in three criminal cases, including two drug-related charges. He previously ordered Miss Love, 41, to spend 180 days at the residential facility.

“You’re doing really well. I’m really pleased with the reports,” Judge Rubin told her Friday. “I certainly hope you keep up the good progress. You’re definitely going in the right direction.”

The judge ordered Miss Love, the former lead singer of the band Hole and widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, to submit to random checks twice a week for drugs and alcohol. She also must continue therapy and avoid any business that primarily sells alcohol.

The judge also extended her probation to March 2007 and set her curfew at 10 p.m.

Miss Love’s attorney, Howard Weitzman, said his client is putting her difficulties behind her.

“Things are going great,” Mr. Weitzman said. “She’s moving forward and taking the process very seriously. She hopes this is the beginning of the next chapter in her life.”

Not her ‘Material’?

A little-known Belgian songwriter won a court battle against pop star Madonna on Friday, leading a local court to ban the megastar’s song “Frozen” from sale or broadcast in the country.

Songwriter Salvatore Acquaviva’s suit had alleged that Madonna’s 1998 hit off the album “Ray of Light” plagiarized parts of his song, “Ma Vie Fout L’camp (My Life’s Getting Nowhere),” which had been written five years earlier.

“The judge has ruled Madonna must withdraw from sales all remaining disks and orders that TV and radio can no longer play ‘Frozen,’” Mr. Acquaviva’s lawyer, Victor-Vincent Dehin, said.

No damages were set.

Galaxy of gifts

Stars appearing at tomorrow’s American Music Awards will depart with a piece of the moon.

Lindsay Lohan, Will Smith, Missy Elliot and the dozens of other entertainers who are either presenting or performing at the award show in Los Angeles will each be given a gift basket that contains nearly 100 free items — including ownership of an acre of land on the moon.

The gift bags also will include clothes, perfumes, watches, BlackBerries and other various electronics — adding up to a total value of approximately $33,000. They were assembled by Hollywood Connections, a gift bag specialist.

The moon “ownership” is done by a company called Lunar Federation that plans to have the first private mission to the moon, thereby allowing it to create a moon government and secure land rights — or so it claims. Steve Stein of Hollywood Connections, though, acknowledges the gift is more for fun than anything.

The 33rd annual special will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles tomorrow on ABC at 8 p.m. EST. Cedric “The Entertainer” will host.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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