- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2006

McCartneys to divorce

Heather Mills McCartney yesterday confirmed that she and former Beatle Paul McCartney will divorce, according to a statement released by her lawyers, Associated Press reports.

Once that’s over, the statement said, she intends to sue newspapers that have been digging into her past.

The couple had not mentioned divorce when they announced May 17 that they had “decided to go our separate ways” after four years of marriage. Since that announcement, Mrs. Mills McCartney has been the subject of several unflattering newspaper articles that have included pictures of her in naked or seminaked poses.

The News of the World, a mass-circulation Sunday newspaper, has claimed that she was paid lavishly for spending nights with wealthy men when she was in her 20s.

“Heather is very distressed by this article,” says the statement from the London-based law firm of Coyle White Devine. “She will defer issue of legal proceedings until the arrangements in relation to the divorce are concluded but intends to sue at that stage all parties (including individuals) who are intent on damaging her reputation.”

Mr. McCartney has come to his wife’s defense.

“Seeing that so many inaccurate stories have been written at the moment about Heather and myself, all I can ask people to do is not believe them and understand that most of what is coming out is made up and entirely false. Thanks for your support,” he said in a statement released May 18.

A boy for the Blacks

The Hollywood baby parade continues with Jack Black’s announcement that he and his wife, Tanya Haden, are parents of a baby boy, AP reports.

“I’m going to be the best daddy on the planet, and I’m going to enter the best daddy competition. And I’m going to win it,” Mr. Black, 36, said in a story posted on the Web site of the magazine Us Weekly.

The couple’s first child was born on Saturday, Mr. Black told the syndicated entertainment show “Access Hollywood” on Monday evening at the Mann Grauman’s Chinese Theatre premiere for his new movie, “Nacho Libre.”

Neither Us Weekly nor “Access Hollywood” reported the baby’s name.

Mr. Black has starred in the films “The School of Rock” and “King Kong” and has a band called Tenacious D.

Miss Haden, 35, is a cellist and the daughter of jazz great Charlie Haden.

Wonderful, wonderful

Johnny Mathis will receive the 15th annual Ella Award from the Society of Singers, AP reports.

The award, named after its first recipient, jazz great Ella Fitzgerald, honors entertainers for their professional success and contributions to charitable and humanitarian causes. Mr. Mathis, 70, is celebrating 50 years in show business. He will receive the award Sept. 12 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Mr. Mathis’ hits include “Chances Are,” “The Twelfth of Never” and “Wonderful! Wonderful.”

Besides Miss Fitzgerald, previous recipients include Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Julie Andrews, Placido Domingo, Barry Manilow and Celine Dion.

Last ‘Dance’

The woman whose life inspired the 1983 movie “Flashdance” has lost another court bid to gain a copyright interest in the film, which has grossed more than $150 million domestically.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Monday upheld a lower court’s decision that Maureen Marder gave up her rights to the film when she signed a release with Paramount Pictures Corp. on Dec. 6, 1982, giving up her interest in the project for $2,300.

According to AP, the three-judge panel noted in its ruling that the agreement, in hindsight, “appears to be unfair” but that “there is simply no evidence that her consent was obtained by fraud, deception, misrepresentation, duress or undue influence.” The judges also backed the lower court’s dismissal of Miss Marder’s claims against Sony Corp. and Jennifer Lopez, who mimicked some of the film’s most memorable dance scenes in the music video for her song “I’m Glad.”

Miss Marder was depicted on-screen by Jennifer Beals, starring in “Flashdance” as a construction worker by day and exotic dancer by night who aspires to join a prestigious dance school.

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

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