Friday, March 21, 2003

S.C. lawmakers seek Dixie Chicks performance for U.S. troops

Columbia, S.C. -- South Carolina House members say the Dixie Chicks should apologize for lead singer Natalie Maines' criticism of President Bush by performing a free concert for troops.

Republican state Rep. Catherine Ceips introduced a resolution Wednesday calling for the country music trio to perform for South Carolina troops and their families.

Maines, speaking about President Bush's push for military action against Iraq, told a London audience last week, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

Radio stations nationwide are boycotting the Dixie Chicks even though Maines, a native of Lubbock, Texas, has apologized.

Cindi Berger, the Dixie Chicks' publicist, had no comment on the resolution, which passed the House on a 50-35 vote.

Lewinsky re-enters reality TV

Los Angeles -- Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky has a new job: reality TV host.

Lewinsky has been hired for the Fox series "Mr. Personality," a dating show in which a female contestant is courted by men whose looks are kept hidden.

The men "must rely strictly on their personalities to captivate" the woman, Fox said.

The series is scheduled to begin April 21 on Fox, which has scored ratings hits with reality shows including "American Idol" and "Joe Millionaire."

Actor sued for failing to disclose mental illness

Vancouver, British Columbia -- Anthony Michael Hall, who stars in the television series "The Dead Zone," is being sued for more than $900,000 (U.S. $612,000) by the show's insurer, which says he failed to disclose a mental illness.

In the negligent misrepresentation lawsuit, Chubb Insurance of Canada claims production of the series in Vancouver was disrupted when Hall was admitted to St. Paul's Hospital on May 11, 2001, following an episode of "bipolar affective disorder depression with psychotic features."

He was discharged from the hospital a day later and returned to his home in New York, according to documents filed last week in British Columbia Supreme Court.

Minnelli makes rehab pilgrimage

Wernersville, Pa. -- Liza Minnelli has entered a "self-help" program at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in rural central Pennsylvania, her publicist said.

Minnelli's visit to the Caron Foundation, set in a former resort hotel in bucolic Wernersville, is routine, Warren Cowan & Associates said in a written statement.

"Liza Minnelli is currently doing her annual self-help program at the Caron Foundation which she does eight weeks out of the year as part of her recovery," the firm said. "She is fine and she will continue her concert tour and all of her commitments as promised. She is in great condition."