- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 23, 2006

No one showed

Live 8 hero Bob Geldof has been forced to cancel two concerts in Italy because of lack of public interest after just 45 people turned up to see him perform in Milan, Italy’s La Stampa newspaper reported Saturday.

Mr. Geldof walked out of Milan’s 12,000-capacity Arena Civica on Friday without playing, given the paltry attendance. His manager explained that a concert for fewer than 400 people would not be viable, the newspaper said.

The 54-year-old Irish rocker, who said he had flown in from South Africa for the gig, sought to placate angry fans afterward by promising to give a free concert in September.

A scheduled performance in Rome on Saturday night, for which 300 tickets had been sold, also was canceled, La Stampa said.

Mr. Geldof was the driving force behind 10 Live 8 concerts worldwide a year ago to raise awareness of the plight of millions of Africans living in poverty. The concerts were timed to coincide with a Group of Eight summit hosted by Britain,

A decade earlier, he spearheaded the Live Aid concerts to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia.

Family solidarity

When Elizabeth Edwards shaved her head because of hair loss from breast cancer treatment, her husband — former senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards — offered to do the same.

So did their young son, Jack, Mrs. Edwards writes in “Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength From Friends and Strangers,” scheduled for publication in September by Broadway Books.

“I convinced them it wouldn’t help me to see more bald people in my family,” she wrote.

The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., which obtained an advance copy, described the book in Saturday’s editions.

In the book, Mrs. Edwards describes her battle with advanced breast cancer last year, which included chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.

“The cancer seems to be gone,” she wrote.

Her husband was at her side throughout months of treatment in early 2005, she said. She has stayed mostly out of the public eye since Mr. Edwards and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, the presidential candidate, lost to the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004.

Playmate’s bequest

A month after the death of E. Pierce Marshall, who feuded for years with Anna Nicole Smith over his father’s oil fortune, his family says they are more committed than ever in their legal battle against the former Playboy Playmate.

“Nothing has changed from the family’s standpoint as to how this case should end up, and we will handle it as Pierce did, in his honor,” the family told the Dallas Morning News in a written statement.

Mr. Marshall, son of tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, died June 20 at age 67. His family said his death was caused by a brief and extremely aggressive infection.

Miss Smith, a former stripper, married the family patriarch in 1994, when he was 89 and she was 26. He died a year later, setting off the legal dispute that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

A federal court in California awarded Miss Smith $474 million in a complicated legal twist that began after she declared bankruptcy. That later was overturned.

Last March, Miss Smith won another victory when the U.S. Supreme Court revived the case. The justices ruled that federal courts could have jurisdiction and told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider her case.

Family friend and Houston attorney Rusty Hardin said the federal court soon will be notified that Elaine Marshall, E. Pierce Marshall’s widow, is the estate’s new representative.

Kent L. Richland, one of Miss Smith’s attorneys, said he thought the change might lead to a settlement.

“Certainly, there is a fact that there will be a change in personalities involved,” he said. “That opens up the possibility there will be a different attitude. Assets change hands. That is often a time when people want to access what is in their best interest.”

Compiled from wire reports by Kevin Chaffee

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