News Column

Justin Bieber Sued; Paula Deen Dumped by Target

July 1, 2013

Just Bieber sued

LOS ANGELES - Justin Bieber, above, has been sued by a paparazzo who claims the singer kicked and punched him last year at a southern California shopping center.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges the "Baby" crooner attacked Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran after Bieber and his then-girlfriend went to the movies at The Commons in Calabasas.

Bieber's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Duran claims Bieber started to leave the shopping center in his Mercedes, but got out of his car and sprinted toward him.

Duran says Bieber jumped into the air from 6 to 8 feet away to deliver a martial-arts-type kick to the photographer's gut before punching him in the face.

The suit seeks unspecified damages for "severe and extreme emotional distress" and negligence.

Target dumps Deen

NEW YORK - Paula Deen's merchandise and media empire is fast unraveling.

Retailers Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. and diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk became the latest companies to sever ties or distance themselves from celebrity cook Paula Deen as fallout builds from revelations that the Southern celebrity chef used racial slurs in the past.

Target, based in Minneapolis, said Thursday that it will phase out its Paula Deen-branded cookware and other items, which were sold on its website and in its stores.

Home Depot, which sold Paula Deen-branded cookware and kitchen products only online, said it pulled the products off its website on Wednesday.

Diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk said Thursday it and Deen have "mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now."

Amid the losses, book-buyers are standing by Deen.

As of Thursday morning, "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Recipes, All Lightened Up," ranked No. 1 on Amazon.com. The book is scheduled for October. Another Deen book, "Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible," was at No. 13. Several other Deen books were out of stock.

Raftery to Fox

NEW YORK - Bill Raftery is switching networks to stick with the Big East.

The popular college basketball commentator will call the reshaped conference's games for new cable network Fox Sports 1. Raftery had worked for ESPN since 1982. He will continue to also call games for CBS.

Fox said Thursday that the former Seton Hall coach will team with play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson for Big East games on FS1, which debuts Aug. 17. Raftery and Johnson previously worked together for CBS.

Welk's childhood home

BISMARCK, N.D. - The State Historical Society of North Dakota is considering buying the boyhood home of Lawrence Welk, though some worry the farmstead may not draw many tourists because most of the famed champagne music bandleader's fans have died or will do so soon.

So the organization proposes to use Welk's home in the tiny town of Strasburg to also highlight the importance of agriculture and the region's German-Russian heritage.

"Even with the Welk legacy aside, it's history worth preserving," said Sen. Robert Erbele, R-Lehr, who successfully fought this year to include funding for the bandleader's birthplace in the historical society's budget.

Braff on Broadway

NEW YORK - Zach Braff will make his Broadway debut next year in a musical adaptation of Woody Allen's crime caper "Bullets Over Broadway." The only person who might be more excited than Braff is his dad.

"If my father loved two things most, it was Woody Allen movies and Broadway musicals," Braff said by phone from Los Angeles. "When I called my father, I said, 'Are you sitting down?'"

Written by Allen and Douglas McGrath, the story follows a struggling young playwright who is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama. Braff will play the hero, portrayed by John Cusack in the 1994 film.

"It's thrilling," Braff says. "I keep waking up expecting it to be a dream."

Five-time Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman will direct and choreograph the show, which will start performances in March 2014 at the St. James Theatre. The show will feature a full orchestra playing music of the 1920s.

Banton's conviction tossed

TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida has tossed a 2011 gun conviction against Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton after concluding a juror did independent research into the case during the trial.

Banton is serving a 10-year sentence for convictions on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges stemming from a 2009 arrest. He faced an additional five years for the gun charge.

U.S. District Judge James Moody on Wednesday said jury foreman Terri Wright should face a criminal contempt charge for researching the federal Pinkerton rule, which involves liability among conspirators for the actions of other conspirators.

The verdict on the gun charge depended on the Pinkerton rule. Moody threw out that verdict and said it was up to the U.S. government to decide whether to retry Banton on that charge.

Rick Pitino book

NEW YORK - Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is working on a motivational book.

Pitino, who guided the Cardinals to the national title in the spring, has signed with St. Martin's Press for "The One-Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life."

St. Martin's announced Thursday that the book is scheduled for Oct. 1. His previous books include "Lead to Succeed," ''Success Is a Choice" and "Rebound Rules."

According to St. Martin's, Pitino's new book will cover Louisville's championship season and also reflect on "years of personal and professional experience."





Source: Copyright Press of Atlantic City (NJ) 2013


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