Originally created 10/11/05

People in the News

NEW YORK - Olivia Newton-John is still hoping her missing boyfriend returns - more than three months after he disappeared.

"I love him very much and this is very hard to go through," Newton-John said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "He has a young son so we still hold out hope that he will come back."

Newton-John's longtime boyfriend, 48-year-old Patrick Kim McDermott, failed to return from a June 30 overnight fishing trip off the California coast.

The Coast Guard has been investigating his disappearance as a missing person case, including the possibility that McDermott had staged his disappearance.

McDermott had filed for bankruptcy in 2000 and was embroiled in a legal dispute in April over late child support payments to his ex-wife, actress Yvette Nipar. The couple have a 13-year-old son.

"It's very much a mystery and speculation has been rife and I choose not to buy into the speculation," Newton-John said. "This is such a personal thing for me and his family and we've chosen not to talk about it because it's an ongoing investigation."

Newton-John, 57, appeared opposite John Travolta in the 1978 movie "Grease." She is best known for songs such as "I Honestly Love You" and "Physical."

The singer, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago, recently released a new album, "Stronger Than Before."

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LONDON - Yoko Ono picked up an award on behalf of John Lennon - and appeared to take a dig at his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney.

Accepting the special trophy at the Q Awards, Ono said Lennon had sometimes felt insecure about his songs, asking why "they always cover Paul's songs and never mine."

"I said, 'You're a good songwriter, it's not June with Spoon that you write. You're a good singer, and most musicians are probably a little bit nervous about covering your songs,'" she said Monday.

McCartney has sometimes clashed with Ono, Lennon's widow.

She objected when McCartney reversed the traditional "Lennon-McCartney" songwriting credit on his 2002 album, "Back in the U.S." Ono's spokesman accused him of attempting to "rewrite history."

McCartney had earlier complained that Ono wouldn't let him take credit for "Yesterday," a song written entirely by McCartney.

Oasis took the best album trophy and the people's choice prize at the awards, sponsored by British music magazine Q. Coldplay was named best act in the world.


PARIS - Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue magazine, was hit with a tofu pie by anti-fur demonstrators as she attended Paris fashion week.

Dan Mathews, vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said the vegetarian tofu tart was retaliation for Vogue's decision to run fur ads while refusing to use PETA's anti-fur messages.

The animal rights group offered to pay the same fee, Mathews said.

Wintour, editor of the U.S. edition of Vogue, was hit with the tart as she waited to see the Chloe fashion show Saturday. It was the second time in a year that PETA has hit her with a pie.

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WINDSOR, Nova Scotia - Bad weather derailed Martha Stewart's plans to ride in a giant pumpkin on a Canadian lake.

But residents who braved a downpour to watch competitors in the annual Pumpkin Regatta already were calling on Stewart to try again next year.

Her flight was grounded Sunday morning at a Maine airport as heavy rains fell across the East Coast.

Stewart had been expected to settle into a giant, hollowed-out pumpkin and paddle her way across Lake Pesaquid, alongside 40 other competitors.

Howard Dill, whose family farm grew what was supposed to be Stewart's pumpkin, said Stewart's field producer competed in her place.

Stewart's film crew arrived in Nova Scotia the day before the race to decorate the 660-pound pumpkin. It was painted in stripes of pastel blue, orange, yellow and green.

Canadian officials initially had refused Stewart, 64, entry into the country because of her conviction for lying about a stock sale. That issue had been cleared up.


MACON, Ga. - Little Richard built some goodwill in his hometown when he donated almost half of his concert fees to settle concerns over who was paying the tab for his show.

Macon Mayor Jack Ellis had asked local business leaders to pick up the estimated $75,000 bill, but they said they weren't given enough time to come up with the money.

Little Richard, whose hits include "Tutti Frutti," "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly," told the almost 5,000 people attending the free concert Saturday that he'll return a $30,000 portion of his fees.

"It's not a whole lot of money, but it's from the heart," he said.

Little Richard's picture appears on billboards promoting Macon, and a recording of his voice greets callers at the convention and visitor's bureau.

There are tentative plans to erect a statue for the music star in front of a local theater. During his concert, the 72-year-old singer gave the crowd a few specifics for the statue.

"I'd like you to have some water coming out of my hand and every time it comes out, I'd say, 'Shut up!'"


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