- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Zsa Zsa fleeced

A lawyer for Zsa Zsa Gabor says the 91-year-old actress may have lost as much as $10 million invested with accused swindler Bernard Madoff.

Chris Fields said Sunday that forensics accountants looking into the missing millions think they were invested with Mr. Madoff through a third-party money manager, Associated Press reports. Mr. Fields says the loss was noticed about a week ago when Miss Gabor’s husband, Frederic von Anhalt, was checking on the couple’s finances.

Mr. Madoff is estimated to have duped investors out of as much as $50 billion in a large-scale Ponzi scheme. Potential victims include several high-profile New Yorkers and Hollywood figures.

The deadline for prosecutors to deliver a formal indictment of Mr. Madoff is Feb. 11, AP says.

Father-son act

George Clooney traded jokes Monday night with his father, veteran journalist Nick Clooney, before a screening at the Newseum of the actor’s 2005 film “Good Night and Good Luck.”

The 47-year-old actor wrote and directed the film about legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow, which his father is using to teach journalism students at American University. Both Clooneys appeared at a screening for students, alumni and others.

Nick Clooney said it’s important to him that college students can learn from his son’s work.

“I don’t care for that,” George snapped back.

“Never cared for this kid! His sister’s great,” the father quipped.

“I always wanted to be adopted, couldn’t find anyone,” the son said, drawing laughs.

Citizen Sayer

British-born 1970s pop star Leo Sayer became an Australian citizen Monday, saying the country had given him a new lease of life, Agence France-Presse reports.

The singer, who topped the charts with hits such as “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and “When I Need You,” first toured Australia in 1974 and moved there in 2005.

“I’m 60, and I feel like a 20-year-old at the moment in my life here because everyone is so much encouraging me to keep working and everything,” Mr. Sayer told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“In the old country, England, it would have been, ‘Sorry - you’re from the ‘70s, and that’s it.’”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd looked on as Mr. Sayer and 59 others took their citizenship oath at a special ceremony to mark Australia Day, a national holiday.

Spector trial

Nearly six years after actress Lana Clarkson was shot to death in the foyer of his storied castle, music legend Phil Spector is awaiting a verdict in his second murder trial.

Prosecutors rested their case last week. The first trial ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict and deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction, AP reports.

The jury must decide the same question that ultimately stumped the first panel: Did Mr. Spector, a man known for threatening people with guns, shoot Miss Clarkson, or did the 40-year-old actress, down on her luck and despondent about her future, turn a gun on herself?

If convicted, the 68-year-old record producer could be sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Compiled by Richard Slusser from wire and Web reports

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