- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Paris after Paris

Paris Latsis: What a sport. The 22-year-old Greek shipping heir has only kind words for ex-fiancee Paris Hilton, calling her “the most incredible woman I have ever met in my life” in a statement released through Hilton publicist Elliott Mintz.

“I respect her decision and appreciate the very kind and generous manner in which she is handling her very difficult decision,” Mr. Latsis says. “This was the best experience of my life, and I will always be grateful for it.”

Miss Hilton, 24, announced last weekend that she had ended their four-month engagement because she was “not ready for marriage” and didn’t want it to end in divorce.

Still single

In other non-marriage news, pop diva Beyonce Knowles insisted to Vanity Fair magazine that she and rapper boyfriend Jay-Z aren’t secretly hitched. They’re not even engaged.

The often scantily clad singer also says she sees no conflict between her gospel roots and her sultry R&B; stage persona.

“When I go back to Houston and go to church and see those people, I feel like the same country girl,” Miss Knowles tells Vanity Fair in an upcoming cover story.

Fletch’ files

Filmmaker Kevin Smith reportedly quit working on the forthcoming movie “Fletch Won” after failing to secure the leading role for his friend Jason Lee (now the star of NBC’s “My Name Is Earl”).

Producer David List told the movie gossip Web site MovieHole.net, “Kevin Smith is no longer affiliated with the ‘Fletch’ film as writer or director. His type of comedy just isn’t ‘Fletch.’ The movie is going to be made, and, if all goes as planned, should be in production in early 2006.”

According to an Internet Movie Database report, “Garden State” star Zach Braff is a favorite of producers to play the zany investigative reporter made famous by Chevy Chase in the 1980s.

Stand-up guy

Ray Romano says he doesn’t know whether his future plans include a full-time return to stand-up comedy now that his CBS sitcom, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” is history.

“I don’t know if I will do that,” Mr. Romano told Associated Press. “I love stand-up, and I haven’t given it up.”

Mr. Romano was among the celebrities who took part in a benefit concert for hurricane victims at the University of Mississippi last weekend.

For now, the comedian is committed to doing a sequel to the animated film “Ice Age,” in which he voiced the woolly mammoth character Manfred.

She’s ba-ack

Yoko Ono says she will hold a memorial concert in Japan this weekend to mark the 25th anniversary of husband John Lennon’s murder.

The 72-year-old told Agence France-Presse she will sing Beatles songs solo for the first time at Friday’s concert, about which she said she felt “embarrassed and thrilled.”

Miss Ono, along with local musicians, will play at Nippon Budokan Hall in central Tokyo.

“Since John played with his Beatles band mates there for the first time, I still feel as if his spirit is there,” she said at a news conference.

A portion of proceeds will go to orphans in Africa and Asia, including victims of last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami, organizers said.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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