News, Jan. 29: James Brown Arrested For Spousal Abuse, Judge Orders Kelly To Avoid Jackson, No Visit for Jackson Accuser’s Dad, More……

Top Story: James Brown Arrested for Spousal Abuse and Released

Legendary soul singer James Brown, best know for his hit I Feel Good back in the 60’s, has once again run afoul of the law after being arrested Wednesday on charges of pushing his wife, 33-year-old Tomi Rae Brown, to the floor where she fell on luggage, Reuters reports. A police report said the incident happened at the couple’s home in Beech Island, So. Carolina, and that Mrs. Brown had scratches and bruises on one arm and on her hip and was taken to a hospital for treatment. The 70-year-old singer appeared Thursday in an Aiken County, So. Carolina, court for a bond hearing and was released on personal recognizance, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Michael Frank confirmed. Brown, honored last month at the Kennedy Center, has had his troubles with the law in the past, serving three years for a chase with police that led them from South Carolina to Georgia. In 1998 Brown was given a two-year suspended sentence for weapons charges. If convicted on this domestic abuse charge, Brown faces a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

Judge Orders Kelly To Avoid Jackson

A judge has ordered singer and accused child molester R Kelly to avoid Michael Jackson at this year’s Grammy Awards, Associated Press reports. Kelly, who is accused of taping himself having sex with an underage girl, has produced two songs for Jackson, You Are Not Alone in 1995 and One More Chance last fall. He is nominated for two Grammys and will most likely attend the awards ceremony February 8; however, Jackson is not expected to attend as he is not nominated for an award. Kelly was arrested in June 2002 and has been free on bond awaiting trial. Prosecutors and Kelly‘s lawyers said they never raised the issue of a meeting between Jackson and Kelly during a hearing this week about Kelly‘s travel and said Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan made the edict on his own. “What’s the difference if someone makes an order not to see someone he didn’t want to see in the first place?” Kelly‘s lawyer Edward Genson asked.

No Visit for Jackson Accuser’s Dad, Judge Rules

In more Jacko news, the father of the boy at the center of the Michael Jackson child molestation case has been denied his request to see the boy, AP reports, although a hearing to hear any additional evidence showing why the father should be allowed to have contact with the boy has been scheduled for Feb. 24 . The boy’s father, who was not named to protect the identity of the child, is barred from contact with his children after convictions for child cruelty and spousal abuse in 2002 and 2001, respectively. He requested to see the boy because of reports he is in ill health and requires a kidney transplant. The boy reportedly lost one kidney due to cancer surgery. Lawyers for the boy’s mother declined to comment on the father’s request.

Garfunkel Fights Marijuana Possession Charge

Singer Art Garfunkel, one half of the ’60s duo Simon and Garfunkel, appears to be fighting a charge of marijuana possession rather than pay a $100 fine, AP reports. Michael Federoff, Garfunkel‘s attorney, appeared in court in Hurley in upstate New York on Wednesday. The judge in the case then set a Feb. 11 date for a hearing regarding the case. No further details were released. Garfunkel was cited for possession after his limo driver was pulled over for speeding in Hurley. The police officer smelled marijuana and searched Garfunkel, discovering six grams of the drug in his jacket pocket. Unless the offender has been convicted of a crime in the last three years, a $100 fine is all that is required to resolve the marijuana possession charge. Authorities won’t say whether he has a prior record.

Stolen He Was–Yoda Statue Goes Missing

A statue of Yoda, the three-foot-tall Jedi master of the Star Wars films, has been stolen from the back of a truck in Pasadena, Calif., AP reports. The 170-pound statue was commissioned by Lucasfilm Ltd. as part of a series of works based on Star Wars characters. The artist, Lawrence Noble, was transporting the bronze statue from Artworks Foundry in Berkeley to Los Angeles where it was to be sold. The statue, valued at $20,000, was stolen from the truck sometime in the night. Noble is offering a $1,000 reward for its return.

Idol Reigns Supreme for Fox

American Idol pushed Fox to the top of the ratings heap with a stunning 29.6 million viewers watching Tuesday’s episode–more than NBC, ABC, CBS, and UPN combined, Reuters reports. The talent show hit has consistently drawn high ratings for Fox during the past three seasons. More importantly, American Idol swept away the competition for the prized 18-49 demographic, gaining the highest ratings for a non-sports show this season. Due to the success of the first three episodes of Idol, Fox took the top spot in the Nielson ratings for the week.

Denis Leary To Star in FX Drama Series

Comedian Denis Leary has signed on for 13 episodes of a new FX series, Rescue Me, AP reports. The show will center on Leary‘s character, a New York City firefighter, and how he deals with anxiety over his profession in post-Sept. 11 New York. Says Leary about his decision to star in the show, “I am excited to portray a firefighter. I have many close friends and family members that are firefighters and many of the stories and characters will be drawn from them.” The 46-year-old actor founded The Leary Firefighters in honor of his cousin who was killed in a Worchester warehouse fire in 1999 along with five other men.

Office Work in Carell’s Future?

Sources at NBC revealed The Daily Show‘s Steve Carrell may be just the man to fill star Ricky Gervais‘ shoes in the American version of the Golden Globe-winning BBC comedy series The Office, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though there is no official word whether or not Carrell will take on the role that won Gervais two Golden Globes this past Sunday (one for best comedy, the other for best actor in a television comedy), he