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People talk 11/1/01

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Snoop Dogg's attorney says status to blame

OBERLIN, Ohio -- A lawyer for rap star Snoop Dogg appeared in court to plead innocent on behalf of his client, who was charged with marijuana possession after a traffic stop.

The 30-year-old rapper-actor, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of $250 and 30 days in jail.

Snoop Dogg was charged after the State Highway Patrol stopped his tour bus in Amherst for speeding on Oct. 17. Drug-sniffing dogs found six bags of marijuana weighing about 200 grams in the cargo hold.

Defense attorney Jay Milano on Tuesday said the rapper's high-profile status makes him an easy target.

"Sometimes Snoop Dogg's buses have been stopped just because it's Snoop Dogg's bus," Milano said. "We're not sure that happened here but if it did, then that's an issue that we'd have to fight out."

Milano also entered innocent pleas for four others charged in the case.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11. Milano said he didn't think Snoop Dogg would be present.

Hanson sues MP3.com, claims infringement

LOS ANGELES --Hanson, the all-brother pop group from Oklahoma, has sued MP3.com, alleging copyright infringement for the digital downloading of their music.

Lawyer Bruce E. Van Dalsem filed a lawsuit in Superior Court Tuesday on behalf of Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson, seeking an injunction against the San Diego-based digital music distributor and damages of $150,000 per infringed song.

A call left for MP3.com representative Cheryl Schwarzman was not immediately returned.

Paris-based Vivendi Universal, the world's largest record company, in May announced it would acquire the online music provider in a $372 million cash-and-stock deal. MP3.com's board has since approved the deal.

Hanson sparked the teen pop craze of recent years when they debuted in 1997. The brothers were just 16, 14 and 11 years old when their first hit, "MMMBop," went to No. 1 in 27 countries.

Former Spice Girl cancels appearancesSYDNEY, Australia -- Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell has canceled appearances at two Australian concerts, and organizers say it's because she became upset when radio interviewers played her a tape of comments from one of her old bandmates.

Halliwell's spokesman in London said she withdrew because of other commitments.

The singer, formerly known as Ginger Spice, was to have been one of the headline acts at the "Rumba" concerts in Melbourne on Nov. 17 and in Sydney one week later. Another former Spice Girl -- Emma Bunton, who went by Baby Spice -- is scheduled to perform, along with Shaggy, Nelly Furtado and others.

"Geri was upset following the interview because (radio interviewers) Kyle and Jackie O played her a Posh Spice prerecorded question and then asked her about their alleged rivalry," organizers of the "Rumba" concerts said Tuesday in a news release posted on their Web site.

"She (Halliwell) has advised Rumba organizers through her management company that this is the reason she is not coming to Australia."

The interviewers from Melbourne radio station FOX FM played Halliwell comments by Victoria Beckham, also known as Posh Spice. Halliwell left the group in 1998.

Her spokesman, Jonathan Hackford, said the radio interview had nothing to do with her decision to back out of the concerts.

Sawyer, Messing take Women of the YearNEW YORK -- At Glamour magazine's Women of the Year awards, Diane Sawyer was hailed for her "whip-smarts" and Debra Messing for her sass and down-to-earth charm.

Praise was also lavished on Salma Hayek for breaking down racial barriers in Hollywood and on Jenifer Estess for her commitment to raising money and finding a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease while battling the illness herself.

But only one of the 14 honorees received a standing ovation at Monday night's ceremony: Tahmeena Faryal, a member of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

Presenter Mavis Leno, wife of TV talk-show host Jay Leno and an outspoken critic of Taliban suppression of women, said Faryal was risking her life by attending. Faryal said it would be a greater risk not to get RAWA's message out.

--From wire reports


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