- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brit: Life worse than jail

Britney Spears says that since her breakdown, her life has been worse than a jail sentence but she’s slowly healing one day at a time, People.com reports.

“I have really good days, and then I have bad days,” the singer, 26, admits in a new fly-on-the wall, 90-minute documentary, “Britney: For the Record,”set to air in the United States Nov. 30 on MTV and in the United Kingdom Dec. 1 on Sky1.

Struggling to gain control of her life again after her public meltdown earlier this year, she says candidly: “Even when you go to jail, y’know there’s the time when you’re gonna get out. But in this situation, it’s never-ending. It’s just like [the Bill Murray movie] ‘Groundhog Day.’”

Miss Spears was hospitalized for mental evaluation in January, which resulted in her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, being granted sole custody of their sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James.

Her father, Jamie Spears, also gained legal control over her affairs.

A camera crew followed the singer for three months as she moved to pull her life back on track. “I wanted to make this film because I started to feel like I wasn’t being seen in the light that I wanted to be seen in,” Miss Spears says. “This is an opportunity to set the record straight and talk about what I’ve been through and where I’m headed.”

‘Gypsy’ closing

Madame Rose and her daughters are leaving Broadway.

The Patti LuPone revival of “Gypsy” will close March 1 at the end of its star’s scheduled engagement, lead producer Roger Berlind says.

The show, about the ferocious stage mother (played by Miss LuPone) whose daughter grew up to become stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, will have played 388 performances by the time it ends its run at the St. James Theatre.

Miss LuPone won a 2008 Tony for her performance as Rose.

Laura Benanti, who plays Gypsy, and Boyd Gaines, who portrays Herbie, Madame Rose’s long-suffering paramour, also won Tonys.

Too sick for court?

Michael Jackson might be too sick to travel to London to testify in a suit claiming he owes an Arab sheik $7 million, the pop star’s attorney said Tuesday.

Mr. Jackson is seeking to give his testimony by video link from the United States, AP says.

However, Bankim Thanki, the attorney for Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, said the medical evidence presented by Mr. Jackson’s legal team was “very unsatisfactory” and Mr. Jackson’s illness could be treated with a bandage “if the diagnosis is positive.”

Mr. Jackson has often been seen wearing a surgical mask in public. Despite much speculation about his radically changed appearance over the years, he has denied having had any alterations to his face other than two operations on his nose to help him breathe better to hit higher notes.

The sheik, the second son of the king of Bahrain, claims Mr. Jackson reneged on a contract for an album, a candid autobiography and a stage play after accepting millions from the sheik.

Cornelius charged

Prosecutors have slapped “Soul Train” icon Don Cornelius with five misdemeanors and revealed that his arrest last month for reportedly hitting his wife wasn’t his first domestic-violence charge, the New York Daily News reports.

Mr. Cornelius, 72, host and creator of the long-running music show, was arrested Oct. 17 at his Mulholland Drive home after a 911 call of domestic abuse. A spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office said Mr. Cornelius had been charged with a similar crime in July and that case was pending.

He faces a total of three counts of spousal battery, one count of dissuading his wife from making a police report and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

Mr. Cornelius has been free on $50,000 bail since last month.

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

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