- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 8, 2006

No jail for George

Boy George, in a plea bargain deal that spared him possible jail time, yesterday agreed to enter a drug rehabilitation program and perform community service to resolve his arrest last year on a cocaine charge, Associated Press reports.

The former pop star, whose real name is George O’Dowd, entered his guilty plea to third-degree false reporting of an incident in Manhattan Criminal Court. He only spoke to answer questions from Judge Anthony Ferrara with a simple “yes.”

The singer was arrested Oct. 7 after he called 911 to report a burglary in his Manhattan apartment. Officers found a small pile of cocaine next to a computer. A charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance was dropped as part of the plea bargain.

Under the deal, Boy George will enter a drug program in England and perform five days of community service in Manhattan. He will pay a $1,000 fine and must avoid arrest on any charges over the next six months.

He also must return to court June 9 with written proof of his stay in a rehabilitation program. Boy George, 44, had a previous drug history, including a 1986 arrest for heroin possession after two of his friends overdosed. His drug woes reportedly led to the collapse of his band Culture Club, which scored the hit singles “Karma Chameleon” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” in the 1980s.

Boy George reportedly left New York last night to head back to England and the Clouds House rehabilitation facility, said his manager, Jeremy Pearce.

Rolling Stone

“Basic Instinct” star Sharon Stone is ready to do her part for peace in the Middle East. Yesterday she said she “would kiss just about anybody” to end the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The actress arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a five-day trip sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, founded by Nobel Peace laureate Shimon Peres in 1996 to improve relations with Arabs.

During her trip, Miss Stone plans to play soccer with a mixed group of Israeli and Palestinian children and visit Israeli hospitals that care for Palestinian youngsters. She plans to celebrate her 48th birthday tomorrow with a gala to raise funds for children’s educational and health projects, according to AP.

Miss Stone, an Oscar nominee for her role in 1995’s “Casino,” will star next in “Basic Instinct 2,” which opens March 31.

No college for Katie

Katie Holmes finally has decided college is not for her now that she is expecting Tom Cruise’s baby.

So her dad wants his deposit back from Columbia University.

Miss Holmes was accepted into the prestigious New York school back in 1998, the year her TV hit “Dawson’s Creek” premiered, the Detroit Free Press notes, citing a report on TMZ.com. Her dad, Martin Holmes, plunked down a $500 deposit that was deemed nonrefundable at the time. Because of “Dawson’s,” Miss Holmes kept deferring her admission to Columbia, where starlets such as Anna Paquin, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal were enrolled at the time.

Last month — eight years after Miss Holmes was accepted — her dad wrote to Columbia’s undergrad admissions office withdrawing his daughter’s name and requesting his $500 back. An official at Columbia said to TMZ: “What does he not understand about the word ‘nonrefundable?’”

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

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