Leave them alone!

London -- Most Britons would support stronger laws to protect the privacy of celebrities, a new poll suggests, as newspapers continued to publish stories of soccer star David Beckham's alleged affairs.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents to the survey, released Wednesday by pollster ICM, said Britain should introduce a privacy law to protect public figures such as celebrities and the royal family. Just 11 percent felt there was a "legitimate public interest" in newspapers publishing claims about Beckham's private life.

For more than two weeks, newspapers have been devoting space to Beckham's alleged affairs with two women, including his former personal assistant Rebecca Loos. The 28-year-old Real Madrid and England soccer star, who is married to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, has labeled the allegations "ludicrous."

The ICM poll, published in The Guardian newspaper, found that 27 percent of respondents said they believed Beckham's denials, while 31 percent believed Loos; 43 percent either didn't know who to believe or didn't care.

Earth Day present

Keene, N.H. -- Chevy Chase and his wife, Jayni, are auctioning off items donated by their famous friends to raise funds for the Center for Environmental Education's Web site.

The online auction at begins today and continues through May 6. Backstage passes and tickets to a David Bowie concert, a two-week internship at Rolling Stone magazine, and lunch with former President Clinton and former "Saturday Night Live" star Chase are among the top items up for bid. They hope to raise at least $250,000.

Chase and his wife founded the nonprofit education center in 1989 in California; it has since moved to the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, N.H.

'Pirates' top MTV movie nominee

Los Angeles -- There's no aarrgg-uing: "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" collected a leading six nominations for the MTV Movie Awards on Wednesday, including best movie and best on-screen team for co-stars Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.

Depp also was chosen for best male performance and comedic performance, while Geoffrey Rush's performance as a skeletal buccaneer earned him a mention for best villain. Keira Knightley, the seafaring movie's damsel in distress, was recognized among the breakthrough female nominees.

One surprise in the male performance category: Jim Caviezel collected a nomination for his role as Jesus in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." Other nominees: Bill Murray for "Lost in Translation," Tom Cruise for "The Last Samurai" and Adam Sandler for "50 First Dates."

Four nominations each went to the Sandler and Drew Barrymore comedy "50 First Dates" and the superhero sequel "X2: X-Men United." Along with "Pirates," both will compete with "Finding Nemo" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" for best movie.

The "best digital character" award, which Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings" collected last year, was dropped this year. But producers added a new category, best dance sequence.

The 13th annual MTV Movie Awards will be taped June 5 and broadcast June 10.


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