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Spears makes her getaway

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January 4, 2008

Britney Spears finally appeared yesterday for a deposition in her child-custody battle with Kevin Federline, her ex-husband's lawyer said. Spears was deposed for just 14 minutes, attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told reporters after the 26-year-old singer left. Paparazzi sprinted after Spears, who was wearing a hot pink dress and sunglasses, as she drove away from the Century City office tower in Los Angeles in a white Mercedes-Benz. Spears called in sick for a Dec. 12 court-ordered deposition but was photographed that day driving with a friend. She also didn't show up for a session Wednesday, Kaplan said. Spears and Federline, 29, have been wrangling over custody of their sons, 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James. (AP)

Lohan toasts the end of a difficult year
Actress Lindsay Lohan (right) fell off the sobriety wagon on New Year's Eve, her lawyer said yesterday, ending a year that saw the star check into rehab several times and land in jail for drunken driving and cocaine possession. Lohan, 21, was captured on video, posted on TMZ.com, sipping from a champagne bottle in Italy, where she was honored at the Capri Film Festival. "After being handed a champagne bottle while on a dance floor in Italy on New Year's Eve and drinking from it, the good news is that Lindsay immediately stopped, called her sponsor, and got herself back on track," lawyer Blair Berk said in a statement. (REUTERS)

No more Three Tenors
Call Luciano Pavarotti the Irreplacable Tenor. The Three Tenors will never re-form with a new singer replacing the late Pavarotti, tenor Jose Carreras says. The 61-year-old Spanish singer, who is visiting Australia to give concerts at the Sydney Opera House, said in yesterday's editions of The Australian newspaper that re-forming the immensely popular trio would be disrespectful to Pavarotti, who died of pancreatic cancer in September at age 71. "For Placido [ Domingo] and myself to do something would betray the memory of Luciano; I don't think that would be ethical," Carreras told the newspaper. (AP)

Baby on 'View'
Elisabeth Hasselbeck will return to ABC's "The View" on Monday, and she'll bring along her infant son, Taylor Thomas. Hasselbeck, 30, has been on maternity leave from the daytime talk show since Oct. 23. She gave birth to Taylor Thomas on Nov. 9 at an Arizona hospital. Her husband, Tim Hasselbeck, is a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals. The couple have a 2-year-old daughter, Grace. Both Hasslebecks are graduates of Boston College. (AP)

Surgery for Stills
Singer-guitarist Stephen Stills was successfully operated on yesterday for prostate cancer in Los Angeles. "Stephen's procedure went remarkably well and he couldn't be better. He will be home by noon tomorrow," his wife Kristen said. The Hall of Fame artist is scheduled to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Utah for the Jan. 25 premiere "CSNY/Deja Vu." Stills is also planning a North American solo tour in the spring. (AP)

Holocaust exhibit
"Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe has donated the first pair of glasses he wore as a child to an exhibition marking the horrors of the Holocaust. The British actor joins Yoko Ono, talk show host Jerry Springer, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and other celebrities and members of the public whose spectacles will be linked together in the shape of a railway track - recalling the trains that carried many of the Nazis' victims to concentration camps throughout Europe. The exhibition in Liverpool will open Jan. 21. (AP)

Actor's guilty plea
A Broadway actor who was accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old female fan pleaded guilty yesterday to two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. James Barbour, who played the beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," pleaded guilty in exchange for 60 days in jail and three years probation. Because the counts are misdemeanors, he will not have to register as a sex offender. Barbour, 41, was starring on Broadway in "Jane Eyre" in June 2001 when a drama teacher arranged for the girl, an aspiring actress, and her parents to see the musical. The actor admitted that when the girl came backstage after the show he touched her sexually. The next month, the teen visited Barbour at his apartment where another instance of sexual touching occurred. He told the judge he knew the girl was 15. (AP)

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