- - Monday, January 23, 2012

Aretha Franklin won’t be getting fitted for a wedding gown after all: She has called off her engagement.

A statement released Monday by her representative said Miss Franklin’s wedding to Willie Wilkerson wasn’t going to happen, the Associated Press reports.

“Will and I have decided we were moving a little too fast, and there were a number of things that had not been thought through thoroughly. There will be no wedding at this time,” Miss Franklin said. “We will not comment on it any further because of the very personal and sensitive nature of it. We appreciate all of the many well wishes from friends.”

Miss Franklin, 69, announced shortly after New Year’s Day that she was getting married.

It’s unclear whether the pair are still romantically involved.

In deposition, Brooks cannot recall hospital deal

Garth Brooks says an Oklahoma hospital pledged to name a women’s center for his late mother in return for $500,000, but a deposition unveiled Monday showed that, after filing a lawsuit, the country singer couldn’t remember what he had been promised.

Mr. Brooks claims the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital failed to honor a promise to place Colleen Brooks’ name on a new women’s center in his hometown of Yukon. The center was never built, and the singer wants his money back, plus punitive damages.

In testimony Friday, as reported by the Associated Press, Mr. Brooks said that through a number of telephone calls, he reached a verbal agreement with the hospital in 2005.

In a brief cross-examination Monday, Integris attorney Terry Thomas showed statements Mr. Brooks made in a deposition given after the singer filed a breach-of-contract claim against the hospital in 2009. In it, Mr. Brooks couldn’t say whether a new women’s center was promised, or whether Colleen Brooks’ name would be attached to an existing center.

“I don’t remember,” Mr. Brooks said in the deposition.

The singer concluded his testimony Monday. Rogers County District Judge Dynda Post has said she wants jurors to receive the case by Tuesday afternoon and be prepared to stay as late as midnight Tuesday to resolve it.

Seal, Heidi Klum announce separation

Seal and Heidi Klum have announced that their storybook marriage is coming to the end of the runway.

In a statement Sunday night, the power couple announced their separation after rumors swirled over the weekend that a divorce was imminent.

“While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul searching we have decided to separate,” the joint statement read. “We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition. We thank our family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support. And for our children’s sake, we appreciate you respecting our privacy.”

The couple married in 2005 and have four children together, including the supermodel’s daughter from a previous relationship.

They were one of Hollywood’s most high-profile couples, and seemed to have the relationship everyone should envy. The two starred together in the music video “Secret,” renewed their wedding vows each anniversary, boasted of their love in the media, and threw Halloween bashes together where they dressed in outrageous outfits, most recently last year in New York City, where the two engaged in their typical public displays of affection for the cameras.

TMZ first reported on Saturday that the two planned to divorce this week.

Smithsonian hosts exhibit by photographer Leibovitz

Far from the portrait photos that made her famous, a new exhibit by photographer Annie Leibovitz at the Smithsonian American Art Museum shows her intimate journey in the footsteps of people or places that inspired her, such as Niagara Falls or the home of Elvis Presley.

Ms. Leibovitz put together the exhibition, called “Pilgrimage,” mostly in the United States and a little in England on a “personal journey into her cultural inheritance,” said museum curator Andy Grundberg.

Through 64 photographs taken between April 2009 and May 2011, the show evokes images of former President Abraham Lincoln, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, British photography pioneer Julia Margaret Cameron and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Agence France-Presse reports.

“She is known for mostly photographing portraits of celebrities and cultural figures for magazines and most of her museum shows have been about those pictures,” Mr. Grundberg said.

“This show is a really new stage of her career where she’s photographing historical figures.”

The photographer, who is scheduled to speak about her work Tuesday at the museum, described in the book associated with the exhibit how the project started during a visit to Niagara Falls with her three preteen daughters.

The exhibition, which is open until May 20, is scheduled to tour cities throughout the United States before returning to the Smithsonian American Art Museum for its permanent collection.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports

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