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News, June 2: China Wants Britney To Cover Up; Lions Gate, IFC To Distribute "Fahrenheit 9/11"; Howard Stern Says Radio Days Numbered, More...

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Jun 02, 2004 | 11:26am EDT

Top Story: China Wants Britney To Cover Up

Pop princess Britney Spears, who is set to perform five concerts in Shanghai and Beijing sometime next year on a world tour to promote her album In the Zone, may have to make a few wardrobe adjustments for her first tour in China. The Associated Press reported Tuesday officials from the country's Culture Ministry want to know what Spears will be wearing before she hits the stage on her Onyx Hotel Tour because of concerns the singer may be revealing too much skin. The official China News Service quoted a spokesman for the concert's Chinese organizers as saying the ministry's wishes would be respected, but added that Spears' outfits and stage show are the same at each tour stop and it would be "impossible to make up clothes specially for the China performances." It was not clear, however, what standards inspectors will use or how they would be enforced. The Onyx Hotel Tour, which promises sexually charged choreography, flashy stage sets and plenty of cleavage and midriff-baring costumes, kicks off in Dublin on June 3.

Lions Gate, IFC To Distribute Fahrenheit 9/11

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and IFC Films have stepped in to distribute director Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which examines the link between President George W. Bush and the family of Osama bin Laden. The Fahrenheit 9/11 controversy started last month when Moore announced the Walt Disney Co. blocked its Miramax Films unit from distributing the pic, arguing that the studio claimed it was too politically charged. But Miramax's co-chiefs Bob and Harvey Weinstein cut a deal with Disney last week to buy back the film rights, giving them the freedom to look for another distributor. In a statement announcing the distribution deal, Moore took a swipe at Disney, thanking Lions Gate and IFC for "bringing good family entertainment" to audiences. Fahrenheit 9/11 opens in U.S. theaters June 25.

Howard Stern Says His Radio Days Are Numbered

Shock jock Howard Stern warned listeners that the abrupt resignation of Mel Karmazin as president of Viacom, Inc., means his radio days are numbered. Karmazin, who hired Stern in the mid-1980s after the radio host was fired by WNBC in New York, helped transform his show into a national broadcast sensation. Stern also credits Karmazin with persistently defending his show against attacks from federal regulators. "This is definitely the nail in my coffin," Stern said Tuesday as he opened his nationally syndicated morning show. "If NBC was a concentration camp, then Mel was my Schindler." But a key executive at Viacom, newly named co-president Leslie Moonves, told the AP he intends to keep Stern and his radio show, which is currently carried on about 30 radio stations around the country.

P. Diddy Won't Have to Pay

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned a civil judgment ordering rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs to pay $450,000 to a man who claimed he was beaten by the rapper's bodyguards, the AP reports. Limousine driver Cedrick Bobby Lemon filed a lawsuit in June 1995 claiming bodyguards Combs had hired punched him in the head and back while he stood backstage at a Mary J. Blige concert in Winston-Salem. Combs was Blige's manager at the time. The suit cited Combs as negligent because he failed to properly train the bodyguards for their duties. At the time, Lemon was awarded a default judgment because Combs had failed to respond to the complaint within the time limit required by law. But the court overturned the ruling yesterday after it determined Lemon did not meet certain other requirements.

Another Osbourne Out of Rehab

Youngest Osbourne daughter Kelly is out of rehab and back in the studio recording her next album, her mother, Sharon Osbourne, told MTV.com. "She's doing great," the Osbourne matriarch said. "She's finishing up her album with [songwriter/producer] Linda Perry. They're still in the studio; she finishes in about a week. And she's in a new show on ABC [the drama Life As We Know It], so she's very busy right now." Kelly voluntarily checked herself into a rehab clinic April 2 to help combat an addiction to painkillers.

Producer Kelley Jumps on Reality Bandwagon

Once an outspoken opponent of "reality" television, TV producer David E. Kelley, best known for the NBC drama The Practice, has succumbed to the genre's popularity and developed a drama featuring real lawyers. According to Variety, the show will revolve around a law firm whose members will try real civil cases through binding arbitration overseen by current or former judges. Lawyers will be fired along the way, leaving an eventual winner.

Australian Crowned Miss Universe

Australian Jennifer Hawkins was named Miss Universe 2004 in a two-hour pageant Tuesday night in Quito, Ecuador, the AP reports. According to pageant organizers, 1.5 billion television viewers in 180 countries watched the finals. Hawkins, 20, arrived at a post-pageant news conference with Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe parent organization. "I want to present to you the new Miss Universe. She's spectacular," Trump said. "Jennifer is the most beautiful Miss Universe I have seen in many, many years." Of the 80 beauty queens who participated in the competition, 15 semifinalists were chosen after a preliminary bathing suit and evening gown showdown Thursday. The group was later reduced to 10 before the five finalists were named. The panel of judges included Emilio Estefan, Bo Derek and supermodel Petra Nemcova.

Joe Torre Wants Athletes To Change Attitudes Toward Women

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre joined hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and business leaders Tuesday at a Manhattan theater where the Family Violence Prevention Fund asked men to sign a declaration opposing violence against women and children, the AP reports. Torre, who has spoken out in the past about growing up in an abusive household, said coaches and managers need to do more to foster healthy attitudes toward women among athletes. "You tell them to be aggressive, go out there and beat somebody up, go out there and win a ballgame, and unfortunately when they go out on a date that night they don't take 'no' for an answer," he said. The Founding Fathers campaign is running a PSA and will take out a full-page ad in The New York Times on Father's Day, June 20.

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