- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2009

MJ pal: The girl is mine

Former child acting star Mark Lester said in a British newspaper Sunday that he donated sperm to Michael Jackson and believes he could be the biological father of the late singer’s daughter, Paris.

Mr. Lester, 51, who played Oliver Twist in the 1968 film musical “Oliver!” told the News of the World: “I gave Michael my sperm so that he could have kids — and I believe Paris is my daughter.”

He said he was willing to take a paternity test to establish whether or not he is 11-year-old Paris’ father.

Mr. Lester became friends with Mr. Jackson and is godfather to Paris and Mr. Jackson’s two other children, Prince Michael, 12, and Prince Michael II, 7, known as “Blanket.”

“It’s a been a secret for so long,” Mr. Lester told the newspaper.

“In 1996 Michael asked me if I would give him my sperm, and I said yes. It was a gift to him, no money was paid, it was something I was honored to do. He wanted children so badly.”

Mr. Lester added: “I do feel a definite bonding with Paris, and I think there’s a definite possibility that she’s part of me.

“I want to have contact with her, Prince and Blanket regardless of whether any or all of them are mine. I think it’s cruel that I’ve now been excluded from them.”

He said that since Mr. Jackson’s mother, Katherine, had been granted custody of the children after the singer’s death, all his phone calls and e-mails have gone unanswered.

Mr. Lester, who has four children himself, said there was a strong resemblance between his 15-year-old daughter Harriet and Paris.

Gay Sherlock a risk?

Will director Guy Ritchie’s plan to put a gay spin on the relationship of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in his new movie about the detective and his sidekick backfire?

According to the New York Post, Robert Downey Jr., who plays Holmes, has revealed that the crime buster will sleep with and have sweaty grappling scenes with Watson, played by Jude Law, in “Sherlock Holmes,” due out Christmas Day.

“We’re two men who happen to be roommates, wrestle a lot and share a bed,” Mr. Downey told Britain’s News of the World.

Added much-in-the-news new papa-to-be Mr. Law: “Guy wanted to make this about the relationship between Watson and Holmes. They’re both mean and complicated.”

But Michael Medved, a former movie critic for the New York newspaper, says Mr. Downey and Mr. Law must be joking. “There’s not a seething, bubbling hunger to see straight stars impersonating homosexuals,” Mr. Medved was quoted as saying. “I think they’re just trying to generate controversy. They know that making Holmes and Watson homosexual will take away two-thirds of their box office.

“Who is going to want to see Downey Jr. and Law make out? I don’t think it would be appealing to women. Straight men don’t want to see it.”

Dylan’s holiday cheer

Bob Dylan is set to release an album of Christmas songs for the holiday season, according to the Web site BullyPulpit.com.

A source close to the superstar told Reuters news agency that the project is “a possibility” and that more information will be revealed in two or three weeks, Denverpost.com reports.

Mr. Dylan joins a music business tradition of Jewish artists who release Christmas-themed albums, including Neil Diamond, Phil Spector and Irving Berlin. Mr. Dylan, however, did go through a “born again” Christian phase from 1979-1981, releasing three gospel-style albums including the Grammy-winning “Slow Train Coming.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Richard Slusser from wire and staff reports

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