- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jessica, Nick sell home

Divorcing couple Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are selling their famous “Newlyweds” home, Rob Shuter, Miss Simpson’s publicist, said Monday.

The Mediterranean-style California home was featured on the hit MTV show “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica.” It includes a screening room and music studio and is being listed for $3.75 million, People magazine reports.

Singer-actress Miss Simpson, 25, filed for divorce last month from Mr. Lachey, 32, a former singer with the pop group 98 Degrees.

Crying foul

Lawyers for a woman suing Bill Cosby over a purported sexual assault complained to a judge Monday that the entertainer was getting “star treatment” in the court system, reports Associated Press.

Mr. Cosby has given at least three media interviews about the case and joked about it during a performance, yet has managed to keep damaging court filings sealed, the woman’s lawyers argued.

“We are being prejudiced. Mr. Cosby went out and sought publicity,” argued lawyer Dolores M. Troiani, who wants the files opened. “Mr. Cosby is not entitled to star treatment.”

Mr. Cosby’s lawyer said the accuser wants depositions and other motions unsealed only to release “incriminating” and “salacious” information to the public. “They’re attempting to destroy a man’s reputation before trial,” attorney Patrick J. O’Connor said.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno did not immediately rule. He previously denied Mr. Cosby’s request for a gag order and the plaintiffs’ request to shield the names of 12 other women who say the 68-year-old star assaulted them.

Miss Troiani represents a former Temple University employee who says Mr. Cosby, a friend and mentor, drugged and sexually assaulted her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in early 2004. Attorneys for Mr. Cosby, a Temple alumnus and booster, say the comedian gave her Benadryl after she complained of stress and sleeping problems. The plaintiff, who is in her mid-30s, now lives in her native Ontario, Canada.

The woman went to police about a year later, but Montgomery County, Pa., prosecutors declined to file criminal charges. She has been identified in court documents, but AP does not publish names of reported sexual assault victims without their consent.

No trial date has been set in the civil suit.

Mr. Cosby, best known as a warm, funny TV dad, has sparked debate with blunt remarks on personal responsibility aimed at the black community. In 1997, the year his son, Ennis, was murdered, the long-married Mr. Cosby acknowledged a brief affair with the mother of Autumn Jackson, a young woman convicted of extorting money from him.

Art imitates life

Author J.K. Rowling said that her mother’s death while she was writing the Harry Potter books led her to make her hero suffer the death of his own parents, reports Associated Press.

Miss Rowling told Tatler magazine that part of the pain of losing her mother Anne — who died in 1990 at age 45 after fighting multiple sclerosis for a decade — was that she never knew her daughter was writing the books.

“I know I was writing Harry Potter at the moment my mother died. I had never told her about Harry Potter,” Miss Rowling said in an interview with Tatler magazine that was published yesterday in London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Miss Rowling’s tales of Harry Potter, the orphaned wizard, quickly became a literary success, selling more than 300 million books in 63 countries.

Rocker faces drug rap

Rock musician Pete Doherty has been charged with possession of cocaine and heroin, police said yesterday.

The 26-year-old frontman for the group Babyshambles was arrested Nov. 30 and formally charged Monday.

Mr. Doherty — whose on-off relationship with model Kate Moss has made him a regular in the tabloids — is scheduled to appear today at Ealing Magistrates Court in west London, police said.

Miss Moss, 31, lost valuable contracts with H&M, Burberry and Chanel after the Daily Mirror tabloid in September published pictures of her ssapparently using cocaine in a west London music studio where Mr. Doherty, then her boyfriend, was recording with the Babyshambles.

According to Associated Press, Mr. Doherty was kicked out of his previous band, the Libertines, after failing to curb his publicly acknowledged drug problems.

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

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