- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Backing Beyonce

Diva-licious Beyonce Knowles apparently is getting an ally in her battle with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The Center for Consumer Freedom yesterday rallied to the defense of the pop and movie star, the latest celebrity to be attacked by the radical animal rights group. The fur began flying last week when — unknown to Miss Knowles — PETA members won an online charity auction to dine with her at the chic Nobu 57 restaurant in New York, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Prepared to make nice with the winner of the dinner date, Miss Knowles appeared stunned when asked by the dinner guests why she wears fur and uses it in her new clothing line. PETA members, persistent but not shouting, eventually were kicked out of the restaurant, the newspaper said. (A video of the encounter was posted on www.tmz.com.)

Miss Knowles had nothing to say about fur and has not responded to PETA’s faxes, letters and rallies outside her concerts.

Others certainly do.

“PETA’s underhanded exploitation of celebrities like Beyonce is deeply hypocritical,” said David Martosko, director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom. “To fight back, Beyonce need only know three words: PETA kills animals.

“Two of PETA’s own employees each currently face 22 felony animal-cruelty charges for euthanizing 18 dogs and puppies in a van and throwing their bodies in a Dumpster,” Mr. Martosko said yesterday. “Beyonce should direct her so-called ‘animal rights’ detractors to PETAKillsAnimals.com.”

According to Mr. Martosko, visitors to www.PETAKillsAnimals.com can see statistics derived from documents obtained by the center from the state of Virginia. He says the documents show that between 1998 and 2005, PETA killed more than 14,400 dogs, cats and other animals — and also killed nearly 80 percent of the pets it took in for adoption during this seven-year period.

Battle over bubbly

As Beyonce’s fight with PETA rages, her main squeeze — rapper and record company exec Jay-Z — is planning to exact revenge on his once-beloved Cristal Champagne at an upcoming concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of his classic album “Reasonable Doubt.”

The New York Post reports that the rap icon will change the lyrics of some Cristal-plugging songs from “Reasonable Doubt” (among them “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” “Dead Presidents,” “Feelin’ It” and “Brooklyn’s Finest”) when he performs them Sunday at Radio City Music Hall.

Jay-Z popped his cork last week after Cristal honcho Federic Rouzard, the managing director of Louis Roederer Cristal, told the Economist that his company views its unsought association with the hip-hop world with “curiosity and serenity.” Mr. Rouzard added, “We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”

With that, Jay-Z instantly banished the pricey bubbly from his popular 40/40 Clubs in Manhattan and Atlantic City, N.J. He branded Mr. Rouzard’s comments “racist” and vowed to “no longer support any of his products through any of his various brands, including the 40/40 Club nor in my personal life.”

Cristal later issued a statement to placate Jay-Z and others offended by Mr. Rouzard’s comments: “A house like Louis Roederer would not have existed since 1776 without being totally open and tolerant to all forms of culture and art, including the most recent musical and fashion styles which — like hip-hop — keep us in touch with modernity,” a company spokesman told allhiphop.com.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kanye West and Trina are among other hip-hop stars who have plugged Cristal in their songs. No word on whether they plan to join Jay-Z’s boycott.

No. 2 for Seal, Klum

Heidi Klum and Seal are expecting their second child together, Associated Press reports.

The couple, who were married last May, have a 9-month-old son, Henry Guenther Ademola Dashtu Samuel. Miss Klum also has a 2-year-old daughter, Leni, from a previous relationship with Formula One manager Flavio Briatore.

The 33-year-old German supermodel, host of Bravo’s “Project Runway,” and the Grammy-winning singer, 43, began dating in February 2004.

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

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