Royal engagement rivets Spain

Madrid, Spain -- Crown Prince Felipe formally proposed to his TV-anchorwoman girlfriend Thursday, riveting Spain as a thoroughly modern couple enacted a centuries-old tradition.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia greeted relatives of journalist Letizia Ortiz at the Zarzuela Palace in a ceremony known as the "peticion de mano," in which the groom formally asks his beloved's parents for her hand in marriage.

Ortiz, 31, and the 35-year-old prince surprised Spain over the weekend by announcing their engagement. Few knew that the heir to the Spanish throne had been dating a woman who was one of the country's best-known television personalities, a divorcee without royal or aristocratic links.

Rosie takes witness stand

New York -- Rosie O'Donnell defended herself in court Thursday, saying she agreed to start her now-defunct magazine only after being promised full creative control by the publisher suing her for breach-of-contract.

O'Donnell cited a conversation with Daniel Brewster, chief executive officer of Gruner+Jahr USA, the company that published "Rosie" magazine. O'Donnell quit the magazine in September 2002, after a dispute over editorial control, and it ceased publication shortly afterward.

"Mr. Brewster was quite passionate about the democratic ideals I had espoused on my show," O'Donnell testified. "He said I would add a much-needed voice to the world of women's magazines. He convinced me."

G+J sued O'Donnell for $100 million, alleging breach of contract for walking away. O'Donnell filed a $125 million countersuit, declaring that by cutting her out of key editorial decisions, G+J had violated its contract with her.

Earlier Thursday, Daniel Rubin, a G+J executive vice president, said O'Donnell cost his company tens of millions by walking away from the magazine.

Morgan, Kershaw in disharmony

Nashville, Tenn. -- Surreal goings-on with married country singers Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw, who seem to be living up to their duet, "Maybe Not Tonight." In separate complaints filed with Nashville police, the couple are accusing each other of domestic assault.

Morgan, 44, reported Monday that she was assaulted by her husband during an argument in March and claimed that Kershaw, 45, yelled and poked his finger into the chest of her 16-year-old son.

When the police showed up Monday at their house, Morgan told them she would not pursue criminal charges. But they were told by Kershaw that Morgan had pushed him in the face during a Sunday argument. He filed an order of protection Tuesday against Morgan.

The matter will be in court in 15 days.


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