- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New arrival

Actor Russell Crowe and his wife, Danielle Spencer, are expecting their second child, the Internet Movie Database reports.

The Oscar-winning star, 41, and Miss Spencer, 35, already have a 2-year-old son, Charles. The couple have been married for slightly less than three years.

The new bundle of joy is expected in July.

Defending her honor

Actress Sanaa Lathan denies in the February issue of Vibe that she had an affair with Denzel Washington, her co-star in the 2003 thriller “Out of Time.”

The rumor “got started because the movie had a love scene with Denzel, and people took that and translated it to real life,” the 34-year-old actress told the magazine, now on newsstands.

“They said I was pregnant with Denzel’s child, and people were calling my mother, saying I’m having his baby. It’s frustrating. People are going to talk no matter what.”

Mr. Washington, 51, has been married to his wife, Pauletta, for 22 years. A call made yesterday by Associated Press to the actor’s representative was not immediately returned.

Miss Lathan stars with Simon Baker, Blair Underwood and Alfre Woodard in the upcoming romantic comedy “Something New,” which opens Feb. 3.

Mr. Washington, an Oscar winner for his roles in “Glory” and “Training Day,” is starring in Spike Lee’s new film, “Inside Man.”

On the mend

Singer-songwriter and keyboardist Billy Preston is recovering from a recent bout with a serious infection of the sac encasing his heart. “Billy had a very catastrophic incident happen to him, but he is doing considerably better,” his manager, Joyce Moore, said.

Mr. Preston, 59, is best known for his work with the Beatles during the later portion of their career, playing the organ on “Get Back.” He also toured with the Rolling Stones and was a regular member of Eric Clapton’s band. His solo hits include “Nothing From Nothing” and “Will It Go Round in Circles?”

He has suffered from chronic kidney failure brought on by uncontrolled high blood pressure since 2001, Miss Moore said. He had a kidney transplant in 2002, but the kidney failed, and he has been on thrice-weekly dialysis treatments ever since.

Just a working stiff

Michael Jackson seems to be settling into the Persian Gulf area. The pop star has shopped for real estate there, been spotted in glitzy malls — and appears to be interviewing for a job.

Mr. Jackson, who was acquitted on child molestation charges in California last year, is negotiating a position as a consultant with a Bahrain-based company that plans to set up theme parks and music academies in the Middle East, Associated Press reports.

According to a press release, AAJ Holdings Ltd., owned by Ahmed Abu Bakr Janahi, said it wants to hire the 47-year-old entertainer to give advice on setting up entertainment businesses.

Mr. Jackson’s publicist, Raymone K. Bain, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

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

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