News, Dec. 17: Wynonna Judd Sentenced on DUI Charge, Robin Williams Takes Stage in Baghdad, Affleck To Start Daytona 500, More…

Top Story: Wynonna Judd Sentenced on DUI Charge

Country singer Wynonna Judd, who was arrested last month for drunk driving near Nashville, Tenn., will lose her driver’s license for one year and must perform 200 hours of community service, The Associated Press reports. Judd, 39, was pulled over Nov. 13 for driving 47 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. After consenting to a Breathalyzer, Judd blew a .175–more than twice the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent. Judd said in a written statement after her arrest that she had been celebrating her impending nuptials and a friend’s birthday “and clearly let my excitement get the best of me.” Judd married D.R. Roach, her longtime bodyguard, in a private ceremony in Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., on Nov. 22, according to her official Web site. On Tuesday, sessions Judge John Brown gave Judd the choice of 48 hours in jail or the community service–an option available to any first-time drunken driving offender in Nashville. Judd received an 11-month, 29-day suspended sentence, during which time she will be on probation, and she must pay almost $1,000 in court costs and fines.

Williams Takes Stage in Baghdad

Comedian Robin Williams took to an outdoor stage at Baghdad International Airport Tuesday in a U.S. military show that also featured actress Shannon Tweed, wrestler Kurt Angle and stock car driver Mike Wallace. According to the AP, Williams kicked off his comedy routine with “Goooood morning Bagh-dad”–a play on his 1987 movie Good Morning, Vietnam. Williams entertained a crowd of about 200 American and Australian soldiers.

Ben Affleck To Start Daytona 500

Ben Affleck, whose sci-fi thriller Paycheck opens Dec. 25, will take on a new role in February. According to the AP, Affleck has accepted Daytona International Speedway’s invitation to be the grand marshal at the upcoming Daytona 500. Affleck, a NASCAR fan, will begin the Feb. 15 race with the traditional command to the 43-car field: “Gentlemen, start your engines.” John Travolta started last year’s Daytona 500.

Man Sues Sony Over Wedding Planner

A Virginia Beach man has filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit, claiming the 2001 romantic comedy The Wedding Planner starring Jennifer Lopez copied his screenplay. Jeffery R. Ballard’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Norfolk this month, accuses the companies that made and distributed the film, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, of illegally basing The Wedding Planner on a screenplay he wrote in the 1990s titled, In the Palm of My Hand, about a wedding planner who falls in love with a client. He is seeking unspecified damages and a share of the profits from the movie, Reuters reports, adding that a Sony spokesperson declined to comment.

J.Lo Rocks the Vote

Jennifer Lopez has taped a public service announcement urging politically disengaged Americans to register to vote, Us Weekly magazine reports in its latest issue, set to hit newsstands Friday. According to Reuters, the TV spot, which was taped Dec. 12 in New York City, will debut during the Super Bowl telecast in January and run on MTV throughout 2004 leading up to the November presidential election. The magazine reports that J.Lo registered to vote via Rock the Vote’s Web site on the day she filmed the PSA.

Model Heidi Klum Expecting

German supermodel Heidi Klum is expecting her first child with Flavio Briatore, the managing director of Renault’s Formula One team, the AP reports. Klum, 30, and Briatore, 53, have been together for about a year. Klum declined to say when the baby was due or whether she already knew the sex of the child. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model separated from her husband of five years, hairstylist to the stars Ric Pipino, last November.

Singer Mary J. Blige Weds Record Producer

Singer Mary J. Blige married record producer Kendu Isaacs at her Bergen County, N.J., home Dec. 7, People magazine reports in its Dec. 22 issue. According to the magazine, a guest played “Here Comes the Bride” on the piano, and Blige‘s mother and sister cooked up a menu of oxtail, barbecued chicken, crab, red rice and salad. “He completes me in the areas that I’m weak in. He’s an analytical brain. I’m a creative brain. We pray together. We read the Bible together,” Blige is quoted as saying on her official Web site.

Prime-Time Nielsen Ratings From Dec. 8-14

Relying heavily on Survivor: Pearl Islands and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS took half of the top 10 spots in last week’s prime-time viewership numbers, compiled by Nielsen Media Research for the week of Dec. 8-14. The top shows were: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; Survivor: Pearl Islands-Finale, CBS; Survivor: Pearl Islands, CBS; Survivor: Pearl Islands-Reunion, CBS; ER, NBC; 60 Minutes, CBS; Average Joe, NBC; Trista and Ryan’s Wedding, ABC; Without a Trace, CBS; NFL Monday Night Football: St. Louis at Cleveland, ABC.

Role Call: Suvari Goes Six Feet Under, Pardue’s Chasing Fate

American Beauty star Mena Suvari is re-teaming with the film’s Oscar-winning writer Alan Ball for a six-episode arc on the HBO series Six Feet Under. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Suvari will play a student attending the same art school as Lauren Ambrose‘s character Claire … Kip Pardue (The Rules of Attraction) will play the lead role in the romantic comedy Chasing Fate, being developed by Madonna‘s Maverick Films. Pardue will pla