News, Oct. 5: Elton John Criticizes Madonna for Lip-Synching, Jackson’s Lawyers Want DA Out, Trump Develops “Towers,” More…

Elton John lambastes Madonna for miming songs

Elton John is rather outspoken these days. A few weeks after blasting the Taiwanese media for surprising him at the airport, John–while collecting a songwriting award from Q magazine in London–took a foul-mouthed swipe at Madonna, saying she cheated her fans by miming on stage, Reuters reports. When he discovered she had been nominated for Best Live Act, he responded, “Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay 75 pounds ($134) to see them should be shot,” referring to the ticket prices for Madonna‘s last concert tour. “Madonna, best f***ing live act? F*** off!” Yowch! He ended his outburst by saying: “That’s me off her f***ing Christmas card list but do I give a toss? No.” John‘s tirade prompted a swift response from Madonna‘s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, Reuters reports, who said in a statement: “Madonna does not lip-synch nor does she spend her time trashing other artists.” The statement added, “Elton John remains on her Christmas card list whether he is nice…or naughty.”

Jackson’s defense want DA off case

Michael Jackson‘s lawyers filed a motion Monday, which was sealed, to remove the Santa Barbara County district attorney Tom Sneddon from the child molestation case against the singer, The Associated Press reports. The motion was one of several filed under seal by Jackson‘s attorney Robert Sanger, who said sealing the motion was necessary because “the content of the motion includes reference to details in under-seal material including discovery materials, grand jury transcripts, investigative reports, exhibits and identities of witnesses.” Jackson‘s lawyers have claimed that District Attorney Tom Sneddon had a personal vendetta against the music star after failing to get charges filed against him in a 1993 allegation of child molestation.

Katey Sagal gets hitched

Katey Sagal, best known as Peg Bundy on Fox’s Married…With Children and now starring in ABC’s 8 Simple Rules, married Kurt Sutter, a writer for F/X’s The Shield, Saturday in Los Angeles, AP reports. It was the third marriage for Sagal, who has a daughter and son from her 1993 marriage to actor Jack White.

George Harrison memorabilia stolen

Pictures of former Beatle George Harrison were stolen from his sister’s car while she was donating memorabilia to the Clinton Presidential Library. Lou Harrison told the AP Monday someone shattered a window of her car and stole a briefcase, which contained photos of her and her brother, as well as lyrics to a number of his songs. Harrison had driven from her home in southern Illinois to donate memorabilia to the Little Rock, Ark., library, which is slated to open Nov. 18. “(The items are) precious to me obviously because I don’t have my brother in person any more,” she told Little Rock station KTHV-TV. Harrison, who had taken most of the items to the library when she discovered the break-in, asked for Beatles fans to help her recover the pictures. “Maybe they could keep an eye on the Internet,” she said.

Zeta-Jones stalking trial can be televised

A judge Monday decided pretrial hearings for a woman accused of stalking Catherine Zeta-Jones could be televised–except when the proceedings involve witness testimony, AP reports. Judge David Mintz, however, did not rule on the motion filed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department asking cameras be barred from the trial itself because some witnesses are undercover detectives. Dawnette Knight, 33, is charged with one count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats for allegedly sending threatening and violent letters to Zeta-Jones‘ husband, actor Michael Douglas. Attorneys for Zeta-Jones had filed a motion asking the court to bar cameras over concerns media coverage would taint the jury pool and encourage copycat crimes. The trial for Knight, who was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills home and is being held on $1 million bail, is scheduled to start Nov. 10. If convicted, she could face up to 19 years in prison.

The Donald takes crack at primetime scripted drama

Real estate magnate turned reality TV star Donald Trump is expected to serve as an executive producer on a scripted series, tentatively titled The Towers. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Trump, who stars in and executive produces the hit NBC reality show The Apprentice, is in talks with the network for the primetime drama series that would be set in part at the Trump Tower, The Donald’s posh skyscraper in Manhattan that also hosts The Apprentice contestants. According to The Reporter, Gay Walch, the writer/producer behind the WB’s Summerland, is being eyed to pen the project.

Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.