- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 25, 2007

Just friends, Paul says

Paul McCartney insists that his friendship with an ex-girlfriend of Britain’s Prince Charles is purely platonic, as he battles through a messy divorce, reports Agence France-Presse.

“There is no relationship beyond friendship,” said Mr. McCartney’s spokesman Stuart Bell, after newspaper reports linked the former Beatle with Sabrina Guinness, a 52-year-old socialite (and an heiress to the Guinness Stout fortune) who went out with Prince Charles before his 1981 marriage to Diana.

“I realize everyone wants to see me with a new bird right now and that’s very flattering,” Mr. McCartney told the Daily Mail.

“I have known this lady for a while. We enjoy each other’s company. When we get together, we talk about stuff like the environment and (green crusader and former vice president) Al Gore, things like that.

“I have had a terrible day at the office and as you probably know, I’m going through a pretty difficult divorce right now too.”

Mr. McCartney, 64, and 39-year-old Heather Mills — an activist and former model — are currently locked in a High Court divorce battle that is being played out across the pages of Britain’s tabloids.

The couple have a 3-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

Kicked to the curb

The Brits have dissed Snoop Dogg.

According to the New York Daily News, authorities have denied the rapper a visa for a series of planned concerts, publicists for his tour said.

Snoop Dogg, who is co-headlining a European tour with Sean “Diddy” Combs, had been expected to play five dates in Britain. “Snoop and his team are mystified at the decision,” spokeswoman Celena Aponte said. “He has asked how he can help rectify the situation and would happily talk to and give assurances to the officials.”

But that may be a tough job. The rapper was busted just last month in Stockholm when cops found a stash of drugs in his car. Plus, it doesn’t help that the name of his concert series is the Pass the Puff European Tour. And then there was that big brawl a year ago that Snoop got into at London’s Heathrow Airport. That may also factor in.

Whatever the outcome of Snoop’s appeal, a planned concert at London’s Wembley Arena tomorrow will go ahead with Diddy and the rest of the show.

Winners all

Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier, a former president of Poland, a network journalist and an author are this year’s Common Wealth Awards winners, Associated Press reports.

The awards, created by a Delaware businessman, recognize those who demonstrate both excellence in their fields and serve as an inspiration to others, said Connie Bond Stuart, a committee member and PNC Bank Delaware president.

Along with Mr. Poitier, 80, the 28th annual Common Wealth Awards will go to: former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski; Cokie Roberts, a veteran journalist on National Public Radio and ABC News; and author Ian McEwan, a winner of the Booker Prize, one of Britain’s highest awards for writers.

Recipients will be honored at an April 28 dinner. Each gets $50,000.

Past winners include 11 Nobel laureates, such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Henry Kissinger and Toni Morrison.

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

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