- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Madonna gets child

A pair of African judges have granted Madonna Mercy.

The Material Mom’s lawyer says two appeals court judges in Malawi will allow her to adopt 4-year-old Chifundo “Mercy” James after all, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

The judges in the east African nation have been persuaded to reverse their decision barring Madonna from adopting a child, and a third jurist is about to cave in, lawyer Alan Chinula told the London Daily Mail.

The official ruling will be announced Sunday at Malawi’s Supreme Court of Appeal.

The move would clear the way for the 50-year-old pop star to get a sister for her son David, whom she adopted in Malawi in 2006, skirting the country’s 18-month residency requirement.

Lambert: ‘I’m gay’

“American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert has landed the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, where he talks about sex, drugs and his “Idol” experiences, Associated Press reports.

In the interview, the 27-year-old singer from San Diego acknowledges that he’s gay and says it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

“I’m proud of my sexuality,” he says. “I embrace it. It’s just another part of me.”

During the most recent “Idol” season Mr. Lambert emerged as an early front-runner and judge favorite, thanks in part to his soaring vocal range. When he moved into the show’s Bel-Air mansion with the other finalists, he roomed with Kris Allen, who bested him for the “Idol” title last month.

“I was like, ‘Oh … they put me with the cute guy,’ ” Mr. Lambert says. “Distracting! He’s the one guy that I found attractive in the whole group on the show: nice, nonchalant, pretty and totally my type - except that he has a wife. I mean, he’s open-minded and liberal, but he’s definitely 100 percent straight.”

According to Rolling Stone, Mr. Lambert was open about his sexuality backstage at “Idol.” In March, photos surfaced online of the singer kissing his ex-boyfriend. He says he worried that a public announcement would overshadow his singing, so he decided not to respond and largely kept his personal life under wraps on the show.

Mr. Lambert also tells Rolling Stone that he began smoking pot and tried Ecstasy for the first time while performing in a European production of “Hair” in his early 20s, AP says.

Picasso theft

A red notebook containing 33 pencil drawings by Pablo Picasso has been stolen from a specially locked glass case in the Paris museum that bears the painter’s name, authorities said Tuesday.

The book is believed to be worth $11 million, a police official told Associated Press. The theft took place between Monday and Tuesday morning at the Picasso Museum, where its second-floor glass display case “can only be opened with a specific instrument,” the Culture Ministry said. A museum employee discovered the notebook missing Tuesday morning, the police official said. There was no surveillance system in the room where it was displayed, the official added.

The stolen sketchbook, shiny red with the word “Album” inscribed in gold on the front, dated from 1917 to 1924, the Culture Ministry statement said.

The Picasso Museum, in Paris’ old Marais neighborhood, is dedicated to the Spanish-born painter, a founder of the cubist movement and a leading 20th-century artist.

WNO taps Cafritz

The Washington National Opera on Tuesday announced the appointment of Jane Lipton Cafritz as chairwoman of the company’s board of trustees, effective July 1.

Mrs. Cafritz, a member of WNO’s board of trustees since 2002, succeeds John J. Pohanka, who has served as chairman for four years. Mr. Pohanka’s final term expires this month, and he will remain on the board, WNO said.

Phony Toni free

A Toni Braxton impersonator was acquitted Tuesday of trying to fool paying customers into thinking she’s the real thing.

Judge Robby Rodrigues in Paramaribo, Suriname, said it wasn’t clear whether Trina Johnson-Finn knew that concertgoers in the South American nation had been led to believe she was really Miss Braxton. Miss Johnson-Finn spent three months in jail awaiting a verdict, Associated Press said.

A crowd of 3,000 people pelted the entertainer with beer cans and booed her off the stage in February when they realized she was not the six-time Grammy winner, best known for the hit “Un-break My Heart.” Some had paid as much as $53 per ticket, AP reports.

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

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