News, Dec. 11: Houston’s Hubby Charged With Battery, No Charges for Slater’s Wife, Blake Edwards Gets Honorary Oscar, More…

Top Story: Singer Brown Faces Battery Charges

Bobby Brown was charged with battery Wednesday, after allegedly hitting his wife Whitney Houston on Sunday, The Associated Press reports. A police spokesman told AP Brown, 34, turned himself in after the couple and their attorneys met with police. Houston called police Sunday to report that Brown had struck her on the left side of her face with his open right hand at the couple’s home near Alpharetta, Ga., AP reports. Houston, 40, declined comment, but her lawyer, Mark Trigg, said, “She is trying to resolve the matter privately.” Brown was in jail in August for violating his probation on a drunken driving charge, and in 2000 he spent 26 days in a Florida jail for violating probation on different charges. Authorities are now investigating whether Brown broke probation in Sunday’s incident. Brown is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Jan. 7.

Slater’s Wife Not Charged

In related news, Christian Slater‘s wife Ryan Haddon will not face criminal charges for throwing a glass at the actor’s head in a Las Vegas hotel room Nov. 10, AP reports. A Nevada court said there’s no proof Haddon meant to hurt Slater, who received stitches for a cut behind the ear. “We did not feel we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she committed intentional battery,” Clark County District Attorney David Roger told AP. “Both the victim and the defendant maintained that it was an accident.” Police in Nevada investigate domestic violence cases even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges, AP reports.

Seacrest Takes Over Top 40

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will become the new host for the weekly pop radio countdown show American Top 40, replacing veteran broadcaster Casey Kasem, AP reports. Seacrest, 28, will start Jan. 10. Kasem, who has hosted Top 40 since 1970, signed his own long-term agreement with Premiere Radio Networks, where he will continue hosting American Top 20 for adult contemporary stations across the country, AP reports.

Edwards To Get Honorary Oscar

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected acclaimed director/writer/producer Blake Edwards to receive an Honorary Award at this year’s Oscar ceremony. Best known for the Pink Panther movies starring Peter Sellers as well as comedies 10 and Victor/Victoria, Edwards also helmed the Audrey Hepburn classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “For more than 50 years, Edwards has had an extraordinary career writing, directing and producing mainly his own material,” Academy President Frank Pierson said in a press release. “And that puts him in a select and very small group of outstanding film makers.”

Snoop Dogg’s Mom Goes After Rapper Knight

Rapper Snoop Dogg‘s mother Beverly Green and rapper Delmar “Daz” Dillinger Arnaud’s wife Maria Watkins have joined together in filing a slander suit against rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, AP reports. The defendants claim the song “Tha Row” from the soundtrack of the film Dysfunktional Family contains graphic lyrics saying Knight was sleeping with the plaintiffs. “These plaintiffs are totally innocent victims being tormented as a means to force Daz Dillinger and Snoop Dogg to suffer personal anguish and to take retaliatory action,” AP reports the lawsuit reads. “This is the same type of feud that led to the Tupac Shakur and Christopher ‘Biggie Small’ Wallace’s death.”

Pirates Rakes in Hefty Rental Booty

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has broken the one-week record for combined DVD and VHS sales, topping 11 million units sold through to consumers and rental chains, as well as earning $19.5 million during its first five days on rental shelves, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Bruce Almighty came in a close second with an estimated $17.1 million in rentals for the past week.

LAPD Veteran Caught Pirating

MPAA’s Jack Valenti should be feeling a little better. Los Angeles Police Department captain Julie D. Nelson was arrested Tuesday for allegedly selling pirated and counterfeit DVDs, Variety reports. After more than 100 pirated and counterfeit DVDs were found in her home and car, authorities told Variety, Nelson was arrested on two felonies: failure to disclose the origin of a recording or audiovisual work and possession and sale of a counterfeit trademark or registered mark.

Role Call: Congeniality 2 Gets Director

Director John Pasquin (Joe Somebody) is in negotiations to direct Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality 2. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bullock will reprise her role as Special Agent Gracie Hart, but no other talent is attached to the Warner Bros. sequel. The 2000 original also starred Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt and Candice Bergen and cleared $100 million at the domestic box office from a budget in the $45 million range.