News, Dec. 6: Jackson Submits DNA Sample, Stevie Wonder Speaks Out Against...

News, Dec. 6: Jackson Submits DNA Sample, Stevie Wonder Speaks Out Against Eminem, Elton John and Warren Beatty Honored, More…

Michael Jackson booking photo
Michael Jackson

Jackson gives a DNA sample

Michael Jackson voluntarily submitted a DNA sample to authorities, but it wasn’t immediately clear how officials planned to use it in the molestation case against the singer, The Associated Press reports. The sample was collected Saturday–a day after the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies arrived at Jackson‘s Neverland Ranch with search warrants, where a source told the AP they measured rooms, trying to establish the sight lines from one room to another. This is the first time authorities have asked for a DNA sample. Monday is the deadline for prosecutors and defense lawyers to complete the discovery process in which both sides exchange evidence they have gathered during pretrial investigations.

Wonder criticizes Eminem for Jackson jabs

Not usually known for public outbursts, Stevie Wonder publicly railed against rapper Eminem for ridiculing Michael Jackson in his video “Just Lose It.” In an interview with Billboard magazine, Wonder said he was “really disappointed” in Eminem. “Kicking someone when he’s down is not a good thing,” Wonder said. “I have much respect for [Eminem]’s work, though I don’t think he’s as good as (late rapper) 2Pac. But I was disappointed that he would let himself go to such a level. He has succeeded on the backs of people predominantly in that lower pay bracket, people of color. So for him to come out like that is bull.”

John, Beatty honored in Washington

Sir Elton John and Warren Beatty were among six entertainment legends honored for their lifetime contributions at the 27th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Sunday, Reuters reports. The other recipients were soprano Dame Joan Sutherland, composer and conductor John Williams, and husband and wife actors, writers and producers Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. The Honors Gala, which included guests Faye Dunaway, singer Billy Joel and actor Robert Downey, Jr., will be broadcast later in December on the CBS television network as a two-hour prime time special.

Blake’s lawyer promises to move ahead with trial

Robert Blake‘s defense lawyer has promised to move ahead with the actor’s murder trial despite the theft Wednesday of a computer from his Sherman Oaks, Calif., apartment, AP reports. Opening statements in the case were set to begin today but were postponed Thursday after a PC that contained what a court representative called “the heart and soul of the defense case” was stolen from M. Gerald Schwartzbach’s apartment-office. The former Baretta star is accused in the 2001 shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake, 71, has pleaded not guilty to murder and solicitation of murder and remains free on $1.5 million bail.

Stewart’s America (The Book) named Book of the Year

Jon Stewart‘s America (The Book) has been named Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, AP reports. The industry trade magazine called the book “a serious critique of the two-party system, the corporations that finance it and the ‘spineless cowards in the press’ who ‘aggressively print allegation and rumor independent of accuracy and fairness.'” Stewart‘s book, released in September, quickly became a bestseller even though retail giant Wal-Mart refused to stock it because of a page featuring the faces of the nine Supreme Court justices superimposed over naked bodies.

People’s Choice Awards add new categories

The People’s Choice Awards have added 14 new categories to the upcoming ceremony, including favorite movies, favorite smile, favorite cartoon star, favorite overall movie, and favorite movie drama, comedy and sequel. There is also a favorite hair accolade as well as favorite “look” award. Previous nominees for the 31st annual People’s Choice Awards were announced in October but the list has been revised, compiled by Entertainment Weekly, the People’s Choice production team and pop culture fans. The ceremony will be broadcast from 9-11 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9–live in the East, but tape delayed in the West.

Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.