- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The power of Paris

Even though she’s out of jail and has jetted off to Maui, Paris Hilton’s recent doin’s have had quite an impact, says TMZ.com.

Fred Fuld of Stockerblog analyzed several companies associated with Miss Hilton in one way or another and found that right up until her big house stay, those stocks outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average. From May 1 until the time before she went to jail, Paris Hilton-related stocks rose more than 10 percent, Mr. Fuld said. Since her incarceration, they’ve been down by about 2.5 percent. The hotel heiress has interests in perfume and jewelry lines, books, TV shows and much more.

Now that’s hot.

It’s over

British author Salman Rushdie is divorcing his fourth wife, Padma Lakshmi, his literary agent said yesterday, adding that she had asked for the split, reports Agence France-Presse.

The announcement came after the Indian-born Mr. Rushdie, 60, was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II last month, triggering widespread Muslim protests, in particular in Pakistan and Iran.

Miss Lakshmi, 36, who was born in India, has been an actress and model and has hosted Italian television shows. The couple left London for New York several years ago, blasting the London literary circuit as “backbiting and incestuous.”

Mr. Rushdie met Miss Lakshmi in 1999 when he was still married to his third wife. The couple married five years later.

Mr. Rushdie was accused by some Muslims of blaspheming Islam in his novel “The Satanic Verses,” which triggered an international furor when it was first published in 1988. Since then, he’s been living under the shadow of a death sentence imposed by Iran’s late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini which has never been revoked.

In recent years, as the threat against him has apparently receded, Mr. Rushdie has been increasingly in the public eye, with appearances in films such as “Bridget Jones’ Diary.”

The splits keep coming

Criss Angel’s wife says the magic has gone from their marriage and she now wants to make him vanish from her life. Known for his “Mindfreak” show on the A&E; network, Angel (whose real name is Christopher Sarantakos) and his wife, Joanne, 37, married five years ago, after a decade of dating, according to her lawyer, Dominic Barbara. But the magician kept his marriage quiet and then deserted his wife as he became famous and hasn’t given her “a cent” of his millions, Mr. Barbara said.

Angel’s lawyer, Elliott Wiener, said Joanne Sarantakos’ accusations of mental cruelty and abandonment were unfounded.

The punky illusionist, 39, dedicated his latest stunt — a seeming escape from a box encased in concrete and suspended 40 feet above the ground near Manhattan’s Time Square on June 5 — to actress Cameron Diaz.

Mac attack

A new Fleetwood Mac kiss-and-tell could be nicknamed “Blow Your Own Way,” considering the massive amounts of cocaine and other drugs that were consumed during the legendary band’s heyday, reports DenverPost.com, citing a story in yesterday’s New York Post.

In her book, “Storms: My Life with Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac,” Mr. Buckingham’s ex-girlfriend, Carol Ann Harris, tells how the rocker had indulged in lots of beer, shots of Jack Daniel’s and “California gold” when he was “unwittingly” slipped a Quaalude during the 1978 American Music Awards, the newspaper reports. In addition, “vials of cocaine were dumped on the backs of wrists whenever the lights darkened.”

When the group won Album of the Year, Miss Harris says, Mr. Buckingham approached the stage “looking like a character from a B-movie who’d been shot … his superhuman effort was leading him to the opposite side of the stage.”

Miss Harris rushed backstage to find the “reeking” guitarist-singer sitting on a couch in host Dick Clark’s office in front of a puddle of his own vomit on the carpet.

Mr. Clark “was staring at Lindsey as though he were something nasty that he just scraped off the bottom of his shoe,” Miss Harris writes. The fiasco was smoothly edited out of the TV broadcast, and the next morning, Mr. Buckingham, wearing a gigantic sombrero and “grinning like an inmate from an insane asylum,” told Miss Harris, “Don’t tell me anything about last night.”

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

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