- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Third party in split?

What caused the sudden breakup of Shania Twain and her husband, music producer Robert “Mutt” Lange, after 14 years of marriage?

His relationship with another woman, several sources told People magazine.

Reached by the publication after the separation was announced, Mr. Lange, in a statement, called the split “an unfortunate thing.” He added, “It’s literally just a growing apart, that’s all.”

Sources close to the situation say a third party was involved: Marie-Anne Thiebaud, a longtime secretary and manager of the couple’s chateau in Switzerland.

Mr. Lange denies the claims. “It’s absolutely not the reason [for the separation],” he told People. He also denied that he was in a romantic relationship with Miss Thiebaud - who could not be reached for comment, People says.

Miss Twain, 42, and Mr. Lange, 59, married in 1993. They have a 6-year-old son, Eja (pronounced “Asia”) D’Angelo.

She’s baaaack

Last year, Jennifer Hudson’s Cinderella tale from “American Idol” castoff to Oscar winner (for 2006’s “Dreamgirls”) kept the 26-year-old front and center in the media.

Then suddenly, nary a peep - until now.

Starting next week, the powerhouse vocalist will be back in a big way, first with her appearance in “Sex and the City: The Movie” (opening May 30) and on the film’s soundtrack (due out Tuesday). She also has a role in the upcoming film “The Secret Life of Bees” and her long-awaited debut single, “Spotlight,” bows June 9. The song will be made available for digital download the following day, Reuters news agency reports.

“I think people will be pleasantly surprised because it shows a side of my work that no one has heard before,” says Miss Hudson, whose self-titled album is expected in September.

Described as a song about insecurities within a relationship, “Spotlight” was composed by R&B; songwriter and vocalist Ne-Yo, who co-produced, along with the Norwegian production duo known as Stargate. Additional contributors on the album include Timbaland, Robin Thicke, the Underdogs, Oscar-winning songwriter Diane Warren (“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”) and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart.

Briefly …

m A New York City college student has sued Lindsay Lohan, claiming the “Mean Girls” star took her mink coat without permission and kept it for more than two weeks. Maria Markova, 22, says in a lawsuit filed Monday that Miss Lohan, 21, took the $12,000 golden sheared-mink coat while partying in the nightclub 1 Oak on Jan. 26, Associated Press reports. Merrill Cohen, Miss Markova’s attorney, said Miss Lohan had been sitting next to her client. He said Miss Markova next saw her coat on Miss Lohan in a photo in OK! magazine. Miss Lohan’s lawyer, Blair Berk, said it would be inappropriate to comment on the case, AP says.

m A photographer convicted of assaulting Heather Mills yesterday won an appeal because Miss Mills didn’t attend a court hearing. Jay Kaycappa had been sentenced to 140 hours of community service for reportedly grabbing Miss Mills - the estranged wife of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney - by her shoulder and taking her photograph in 2006.

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

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