Originally created 08/11/05

People in the News

LOS ANGELES - Paparazzi who chased Reese Witherspoon from her gym to her home won't face criminal charges, prosecutors say.

Although photographers undoubtedly terrified the actress when they "besieged" her in April, there wasn't evidence of false imprisonment or other crimes, said William C. Hodgman, head of the district attorney office's Target Crimes Unit.

"In this specific instance, we couldn't prove any criminal behavior by the paparazzi," Hodgman said Tuesday.

Local authorities are investigating whether increasingly aggressive celebrity photographers are initiating confrontations to capture lucrative photos. Prosecutors soon will decide whether to charge a photographer with assault with a deadly weapon for ramming his minivan into Lindsay Lohan's Mercedes-Benz sports car on May 31.

Witherspoon, star of the "Legally Blonde" and "Sweet Home Alabama" films, told police that photographers swarmed her car when she left the Brentwood gym, tried to force her off the road and surrounded her when she reached the gated community in West Los Angeles where she lives with her husband, Ryan Phillippe, and two children.

Photographers told police they approached Witherspoon outside the gym only to tell her that one of their colleagues had scraped her vehicle.

Police examined videotape of the incident in the gym parking lot and at the community gates but couldn't determine that photographers detained the 29-year-old actress.

"I have no doubt Ms. Witherspoon was besieged by the paparazzi that day," said Detective Jeff Dunn, head of the Los Angeles Police Department's Threat Management Unit. "But through witnesses and videotapes, we weren't able to corroborate the incident Ms. Witherspoon described."


NEW YORK - G-Unit rappers Lloyd Banks and Young Buck were arrested on felony gun possession charges after a concert at Madison Square Garden, police said.

Banks, whose real name is Chris Lloyde, and Young Buck, whose real name is David Brown, were riding in a van with 10 other men that allegedly ran a red light at about 11:30 p.m. Monday near the corner of West 41st Street and Eighth Avenue, authorities said.

Police said one of the 12 men was carrying a loaded handgun and another weapon was found on the floor of the van. All the occupants were charged with gun possession.

Lloyde, 23, and Brown, 24, had just performed at nearby Madison Square Garden on the "Anger Management 3" tour, which stars Eminem and 50 Cent, another member of G-Unit.

Authorities said Lloyde and Brown were released without bail Tuesday.

Their lawyer, Scott Leemon, refused to comment.


HACKENSACK, N.J. - Kimora Lee Simmons has agreed to serve six months of probation for allegedly driving erratically and ignoring a police car's flashing lights and wailing siren for several miles in July 2004.

Simmons, wife of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, had also faced drug possession charges after officers found a small amount of marijuana in her car. She was arrested outside the couple's Saddle River estate.

Bergen County prosecutors agreed to allow Simmons into the county's pretrial intervention program for nonviolent first offenders. She pleaded guilty Tuesday in Superior Court to careless driving. If she successfully completes the program, all the charges will be dropped.

"This is certainly an aberration, a one-time mistake of judgment," Assistant Prosecutor Wayne Mello said. "It's precisely the circumstance that pretrial intervention was created for."

Simmons' lawyer, Brian Neary, called the case "an unfortunate incident."

Simmons, a former model, is the creative director of the Baby Phat clothing label.


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Ciara has received a leading five nominations for the 10th annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, which she will co-host with Brian McKnight and Toni Braxton.

Ciara is nominated for best new artist, solo album, dance cut and music video for "1, 2 Step," and song of the year for "Goodies."

Amerie, "American Idol" winner Fantasia and Destiny's Child have four nominations each, it was announced Tuesday.

Aretha Franklin will be honored at the Sept. 7 ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. She will join Stevie Wonder for a duet performance and present the Aretha Franklin Award for entertainer of the year to Amerie.

In the song of the year category, Ciara competes against Amerie's "1 Thing," Fantasia's "Truth Is" and Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You."

Nominees and winners are decided by a group of 1,600 voters that includes artists, retailers and representatives in the radio industry.

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Sinead O'Connor, who has recorded her first reggae album, "Throw Down Your Arms," said she has found solace in Jamaican music and the Rastafarian faith.

"To me, I have not made a reggae record, I've made a Rasta record," O'Connor said Monday night at a launch party for the album, set for release later this year.

The album includes covers of classic reggae protest songs such as Burning Spear's "Throw Down Your Arms," Peter Tosh's "Downpressor Man" and Bob Marley's "War."

"It is my way of expressing gratitude to the Rasta people, because I am one of those human beings who would not be alive today if it was not for the teachings of Rastafari," the Irish pop singer said.

O'Connor, 38, said she discovered roots-reggae while living in London during the 1980s.

She recorded the album in Kingston earlier this year with top Jamaican musicians including drummer Sly Dunbar, bassist Robbie Shakespeare, guitarist Mikey Chung and trombonist Nambo Robinson.


NEW YORK - Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson's co-star in "The Dukes of Hazzard," offered to help choose just the right pair of Daisy Duke shorts for Simpson to wear.

"I'm like, 'Ah, I think it'd be really beneficial for the film if I stayed behind just to make sure that they pick the right ones,'" Scott told reporters recently, according to AP Radio.

"So like after awhile, like she kept coming in trying them on, I'm like, too baggy. You gotta hike 'em up a little bit," the 28-year-old actor said. "Then it just got weird, I was like, 'I gotta go. This is just wrong.'"

Scott, who plays cousin Bo Duke, said he'd "love to do a sequel and work with the stunt crew again and do way more driving.... It was a real challenge to try to pull off that stuff."

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NEW YORK - The Rolling Stones are teaming with ABC and the NFL for a season-long marketing tie-in with "Monday Night Football."

Footage from the Stones' concert tour performance in Detroit will be included in "NFL Opening Kickoff 2005," a one-hour pre-game special on Sept. 8 (8 p.m. EST), the network announced Monday. The special will run before the season opener between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.

The Stones' tour opens Aug. 21 at Boston's Fenway Park, and their new album, "A Bigger Bang," is scheduled for release on Sept. 6.

ABC will feature music and video footage of the Stones throughout the 2005 season in "Monday Night Football" promotional campaigns and in-game highlights packages.

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NEW YORK - David Bowie, Destiny's Child, Duran Duran, Gwen Stefani, Joss Stone and Tim McGraw will perform at the Fashion Rocks concert at Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 8, to kick off New York Fashion Week.

Alicia Keys, Nelly, Rob Thomas, Shakira, Billy Idol and The Arcade Fire are also set to appear, the Conde Nast Media Group announced Monday.

CBS will air a two-hour "Fashion Rocks" special on Sept. 9 (9 p.m. EST). The announcement said it will be the last televised appearance of Destiny's Child, who have announced plans to disband after their tour ends.

New York Fashion Week will run Sept. 9-16. Stefani will close the week with her L.A.M.B. designer show.

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