- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 19, 2008

Psychic loses Elvis case

Celebrity psychic Uri Geller and two partners have lost a federal lawsuit claiming the former owners of Elvis Presley‘s pre-Graceland house breached an eBay contract to sell the Memphis home, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Geller, who gained fame in the 1970s for his claimed power to bend spoons and other objects with his mind, and his partners bid $905,100 for the ranch-style home in a 2006 auction by owners Cindy Hazen and Mike Freeman.

The deal, however, fell apart. Miss Hazen says Mr. Geller’s group altered terms of the real estate deal so that it was unacceptable. Mr. Geller said Miss Hazen and Mr. Freeman reneged on the deal in order to sell it for more to Nashville record producer Mike Curb, who bought the house for $1 million.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla ruled that the eBay auction was more of an advertising vehicle than a binding sale. Even if it were a contract, the judge said, Mr. Geller and his partners breached it when they altered the closing terms after the sale.



“I’m relieved that this is all over,” Miss Hazen told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Mr. Presley bought the four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house in 1956 with his early song royalties. The singer, his parents and grandmother lived there for 13 months before throngs of fans forced them to move to more secluded Graceland in 1957.

Dumped

Former Bond girl Rosamund Pike has been kicked to the curb by her director fiance, Joe Wright, says the Internet Movie Database.

The pair met on the set of the period drama “Pride and Prejudice” in 2005, and Mr. Wright proposed to the actress at Lake Como in Italy in September.

However, the filmmaker, 36, who directed this year’s Oscar-nominated film “Atonement,” reportedly called off the nuptials after Miss Pike, 29, sent out hundreds of wedding invitations - featuring a steamy shot of the couple in a bathtub - without his knowledge, according to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.

“Joe dumped her for sending them without consulting him, and she had to tell all the guests the wedding was off,” an unnamed source told the Daily Mail.

Bumped

“Cry-Baby” is the first casualty of the 2008 Tony Awards. It will close Sunday after a disappointing run of 68 performances, AP reported Wednesday.

Although nominated for four Tonys, including best musical, the show came away empty-handed from Sunday’s event. The musical, which has a score by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger, has been doing meager business since opening at the Marquis Theatre in April to mostly mixed to negative reviews.

“Cry-Baby” is based on Baltimore auteur John Waters’ film spoof of 1950s teen flicks.

Triumph

Javier Bardem has won Spain’s 2008 national film award, an honor given annually by the Culture Ministry, AP reports.

Mr. Bardem was selected for the $46,500 prize for “goals achieved throughout a long career,” the ministry said Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Mr. Bardem, 39 won a best-supporting-actor Oscar for his role as Anton Chigurh, a sociopathic hit man in “No Country for Old Men.” His screen credits also include “Before Night Falls.”

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