Michael Jackson not “manhandled” by sheriff’s deputies
Michael Jackson, who told CBS’ 60 Minutes last year he was “manhandled” by sheriff’s deputies who took him into custody on child molestation charges in November, received preferential treatment instead, according to an investigation by the attorney general’s California Bureau of Investigation. At the time, Jackson told the TV news magazine he suffered a dislocated shoulder because of the way sheriff’s deputies handcuffed him when he surrendered to authorities at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport on Nov. 20. He also said he was placed in a feces-smeared restroom for 45 minutes before being released. Shortly after Jackson made the allegations, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson requested an independent investigation into the matter. But the attorney general’s California Bureau of Investigation sent a three-page letter to Anderson, concluding sheriff’s deputies did not manhandle the 45-year-old pop former pop icon. Ryan’s office assigned a dozen people to investigate Jackson‘s complaint, conducting interviews with sheriff’s deputies, jail inmates, airport employees and Jackson‘s own chiropractor and security detail. According to the letter, some inmates said Jackson‘s speedy booking indicated he had actually received preferential treatment. Jackson‘s chiropractor, meanwhile, said his shoulder was not dislocated and the pain he suffered–most likely was caused by being handcuffed–was treated successfully with physical therapy, The Associated Press reports.
Nicky Hilton ties the knot in Vegas
Hotel heiress and socialite Nicky Hilton, Paris’ younger, dark-haired sister, married boyfriend Todd Andrew Meister in a ceremony at the Las Vegas Wedding Chapel early Sunday. According to the AP, the Hilton sisters were in town for a Stuff magazine party being thrown at the Palms Casino Resort and were joined there by Meister and Nicole Richie for dinner late Saturday. Hilton, 20, and Meister, a 33-year-old New York money manager, have known each other for several years, according to her spokesman Elliot Mintz. He said the newlyweds returned to Los Angeles Sunday and planned to spend their first night as newlyweds at a local hotel. Entertainment Tonight reported Lance Bass, Tara Reid and That 70’s Show‘s Danny Masterson were on hand at the impromptu ceremony, as well as sis Paris and Bijou Phillips.
Rowling Hints at Harry Potter’s demise
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling told fans at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Scotland Sunday the young protagonist will survive to the seventh book in her series, but refused to say whether he would reach adulthood. Rowling, who is still working on the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, gave a reading from the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and told the youngsters, “He will survive to book seven, mainly because I don’t want to be strangled by you lot, but I don’t want to say whether he grows any older than that.” She also encouraged fans to try to piece together future plots for themselves, and urged them to focus on why Harry’s nemesis, the evil warlock Voldemort, had not been killed and why Dumbledore hadn’t attempted to kill him.
Stones’ Watts battles throat cancer
Charlie Watts, the 63-year-old drummer for the Rolling Stones, was diagnosed with throat cancer but is on the road to recovery, Reuters reports. Watts, who has a reputation as the quietest member of the legendary British band, was diagnosed in June after a minor operation and is now reaching the end of his radiology treatment at a London hospital, a spokesman said in a statement to British media. “He’s expected to make a full recovery and start work with the rest of the band later in the year,” he added. The spokesman also said Watt’s treatment had not interfered with any of the Stones’ tour or recording plans. The rest of the group was “relaxing between work commitments,” he said.
Lil Kim calls perjury charges a “witch hunt”
Rapper Lil’ Kim called the perjury charges against her a “witch hunt against the hip-hop industry,” the AP reports. Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, allegedly lied to investigators about her involvement in a 2001 shooting outside a Manhattan radio station, in which one man was shot in the back. Kim was first indicted in April and charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction. The 28-year-old MC had been scheduled to go on trial Nov. 15, but U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch delayed the case until Feb. 28 to give the defense lawyers more time to prepare. “I am completely innocent of the charges I have been accused of, and am very confident that my co-defendants and I will win this case in the courtroom,” she said in a statement. “This case is a witch hunt against the hip-hop industry.”
Olympics soars in ratings
The opening ceremonies for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens attracted 56 million viewers Friday, Reuters reports. NBC said it was the third-highest-rated Summer Olympics opener on record, behind the 2000 festivities in Sydney and the 1960 games in Rome. Olympic viewership was still steady on Saturday for NBC, which showed swimming and gymnastics events, averaging 20.2 million viewers for the night, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research.
Rhea could be a Loser
Caroline Rhea is in talks to host The Biggest Loser, an upcoming NBC reality series that challenges contestants to lose weight. According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC described the series as a “life-altering” competition that would employ medically sound weight-loss techniques to help contestants change their lives and lifestyles without resorting to surgery to shed pounds. The network has not settled on a premiere date as yet.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.