News Roundup: Oct. 18

Top Story

Pop singer Britney Spears has been caught once again with the wrong brand of drink on her hands. Spears, who signed a $97.5 million deal with Pepsi earlier this year, was reportedly seen drinking Coca-Cola during her stay in Sydney, Australia and was seen drinking Sunkist when she was leaving a recording studio on Wednesday. But Pepsi has not lost their faith on their young spokeswoman, as they continue to play her tune on television commercials and on the telephone. “You know, after all that’s happening in the world right now, this is not a big event,” Larry Jabbonsky, director of public relations for Pepsi Cola Co. told on Thursday. “You can move on from there.”


Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Jay Livingston, whose collaboration with Ray Evans led to hits such as “Silver Bells,” “Que Sera, Sera” and “Mona Lisa,” died of pneumonia Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 86.

In Courts

Rapper Snoop Dogg was charged with marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession in Amherst, Ohio, on Wednesday after officers stopped two of his tour buses for speeding. Drug-sniffing dogs found six bags marijuana weighing about 200 grams in the cargo hold of the bus, The Associated Press reported. Charges for possession of marijuana could lead to a maximum $100 penalty. Drug paraphernalia possession could lead to a maximum sentence of $250 and 30 days in jail.

In General

The Rosie O’Donnell Show returns live on Monday, Oct. 22 after taking this week off due to the anthrax scare at NBC, reported. O’Donnell shut down production last Friday after Tom Brokaw‘s assistant tested positive for anthrax.

Actor Robert De Niro has dropped plans to produce and play a phobic therapist in Scared Guys for director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest). Instead, he’ll reprise his role as a mobster being treated by a shrink (Billy Crystal) in Analyze That, the sequel to the hit 1999 comedy Analyze This. According to Reuters, De Niro will reportedly earn near $20 million for the role. Film production begins in February.

Divorce lawyers for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are in Los Angeles this week hashing out money issues. According to New York’s Daily News reports, Kidman‘s team is bracing for a court fight, arguing that she’s within her rights to raise their children as Catholics rather than Scientologists.

Former Beatle George Harrison, 58, has recorded his first single since being treated for cancer earlier this year, Reuters reported. Harrison co-wrote the song, called “A Horse to Water,” in his house with his son Dhani and recorded it with British musician Jools Holland. The song will appear on Holland‘s album Small World, Big Friends, to be released in Britain on Nov. 11. On the record, Holland duets with other artists as well, including Dire Straits’ guitarist Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton.

The Grammy Awards, the top honors in the music industry, will take place on Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, event organizers said on Wednesday. According to Reuters, the organization is also planning to announce, within the next few weeks, the winners of the second annual Latin Grammy Awards, which were canceled following the Sept. 11 attacks.

‘N Sync’s Chris Kirkpatrick will be the first member of the boy band to turn the big 3-0 on Thursday. Being involved in a group at such age would never have been acceptable in former boy bands such as Menudo, but for the Tampa-based group, age is no limit. “We try to convey to everybody that we’re just learning just like everyone else,” Kirkpatrick told “We’re on this planet to be here, y’know, as humans.”