News Column


December 2, 2013


"I know I'm not Julie. Nobody is and I would never pretend that I was ... I know my place."

CARRIE UNDERWOOD tells Entertainment Weeklythat she's not trying to take the place of Julie Andrews with her performance in the upcoming live NBC broadcast of "The Sound of Music.",Convicted doc may testify in Jacko lawsuit

The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson could get dragged into a $30 million court battle over whether the King of Pop was a child molester, the New York Daily News' Confidenti@l reports.

Choreographer Wade Robson is suing Jacko's estate, alleging he was sexually abused by the star for almost a decade in the 1990s. Now, his lawyers plan to quiz Conrad Murray -- who's in hiding after two sensational interviews last weekend in which he refused to say if he thinks Jacko was a pedophile.

Speaking to the press for the first time since serving two years for involuntary manslaughter, Murray claimed he still speaks with Jacko beyond the grave and insists the singer's death was an accident. But in an interview with the Aussie edition of "60 Minutes," the doc wouldn't address the accusations made by Wade and others.

In an extraordinary TV moment, journo Liz Hayes asked: "Do you think he was a pedophile?"

Looking stressed, Murray paused for 15 seconds before dodging the topic: "I'm not prepared to answer that question, not now."

But Murray -- who netted an estimated $40,000 for the interview - - did share some details about Jacko.

"Michael has a huge dark shadow. Michael slept with dolls," he said. "Is that normal? No, it's not normal, but if you understood the history of Michael as a child and the things that he has encountered in life and you're willing to listen, you probably wouldn't judge him."

Murray's claims left the Jackson family "shaking with fury," according to a family friend. "The man has no shame or remorse for anything," the source told Confidenti@l. "We hope the world will see now how insane he is."

The doctor's statements come six months after he allegedly claimed to have "nuclear" information on Jacko. A source close to Wade told Confidenti@l that such information could make or break the case.

"Wade wants Murray to speak to his lawyers, because if he has vital information on Michael, then it could be significant," the source said. "It is obvious, the way he answered the question, he has much more to tell, and that could be dynamite for Wade's case."

A rep for Wade declined to comment.

-- New York Daily News,What is Kristen Wiig doing next? I miss her on "Saturday Night Live." -- M.F.

She co-stars with Ben Stiller in the remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," due out Christmas Day; stars in the upcoming comedy-drama "The Skeleton Twins," opposite another former star of "SNL," Bill Hader; appears in the star-studded sequel "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," with yet another "SNL" veteran, Will Ferrell, due out Dec. 20; teams again with Will in the upcoming comedy-drama "Welcome to Me"; voices a role in the animated sequel "How to Train Your Dragon 2," due out next June; and stars in the upcoming drama "Nasty Baby," about a gay couple trying to have a baby with their female friend.

What is Cameron Diaz doing? I think she's so beautiful. -- M.K.

The actress, who is in the recent release "The Counselor," stars in the comedy "The Other Woman," due out in April, co-stars with Jason Segel in the comedy-drama "Sex Tape," due out next August, and is filming a version of the classic tale of an orphaned girl, "Annie." Cameron plays the cruel orphanage headmistress Miss Hannigan.

-- Robin Adams Sloan, King Features Syndicate,Kanye still has issues with Nike

Kanye West continued to vent at former partner Nike, taking to the mic again during a concert this week to complain about his treatment by the sports apparel company.

Kanye spent more than 6 minutes talking and singing about the company during his "The Yeezus Tour" stop Nov. 27 in Nashville. Kanye talked to the crowd about following a dream, creativity and culture, alluding to the media and corporations who he feels have tried to keep him from expressing himself fully.

He also put his displeasure into song, noting with the help of Auto Tune and piano that even though Nike wouldn't take his call, other forward-thinking companies will.

"I talked to the head of Disney today," Kanye sang. "And I talked to the head of Louis Vuitton today. I swear to God on my life, I talked to them both today. I swear to God I talked to them both, and they wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. I said, 'I want to talk about something that isn't turkey day. I want to talk about something different. I want to talk about dreaming.'" -- Associated Press,Singer talks about audio-bombing John Lennon's 'Peace' track

After nearly seven decades in the business, several Grammys and countless hit records in the 1960s such as "Downtown" and "I Know a Place," Petula Clark believes she's "beginning to get the hang" of singing. "I tell you what, I get more enjoyment out of it now," says Petula, who turned 81 earlier this month. "I am singing better now. This is just a bit of luck. I don't do anything for it. I don't warm up. I just go out and sing."

The British singer recently toured her homeland performing her classics, as well as tunes from her new CD, "Lost in You." And she's heading for Australia next year.

Her new disc features some of her own compositions, as well as a cover of "Downtown," which, she says, is "a very different take on it."

She also covers John Lennon's "Imagine," because, she says, she had a great rapport with the late Beatle. Petula met John when he and Yoko Ono were staging a bed-in for peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal in 1969.

Petula was in Montreal at the time performing in concert. Because she had recorded songs in French before she hit the top of the charts in the 1960s in England and the United States, she decided to do a bilingual concert. But the audience wasn't happy. "When I was singing in English, the French weren't pleased. When I sang in French, the English weren't pleased."

Though she didn't know John, Petula thought he might have some advice on how to deal with the Montreal audiences.

"I went over to his hotel, and the concierge recognized me," she says. "I just went in, and they were sitting in bed. John was so sweet and funny and totally got the problem. He put it in perspective."

He also invited her to go into the living room and have a glass of wine.

"There were one or two people I knew and a few I didn't," she says. "There was this music going on. I didn't realize at the time they were recording. We all started singing along with the music -- it was 'Give Peace a Chance.' So, I just happen to be on the record. I think Timothy Leary was on it and one of the Smothers Brothers."

Petula began singing and acting professionally as a child in the 1940s.

Petula also had a great time with comedy legend Charlie Chaplin. She had scored a huge hit with his tune "This Is My Song," from his final film, 1967's "A Countess From Hong Kong."

Charlie was so delighted with her interpretation of the romantic ballad that he asked to meet her.

"He lived not very far from us in Switzerland," Petula recalls. "I was thrilled to meet Charlie. He was sweet, lovely, funny and very English."

The two had a "wonderful" afternoon together. "We had some really good tea, I must say. He was so thrilled with the success of the song. It sort of turned into a party. His children came in. I played the piano, and they were dancing around the living room."

-- Los Angeles Times

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