Daily dose of celebrity

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LONDON (AP) – The longtime bass player for Bob Marley’s group The Wailers has lost his lawsuit seeking a share of the late reggae legend’s royalties.

Aston “Family Man” Barrett was seeking the equivalent of up to $115 million he claimed he was owed since Marley died in 1981 without making a will.

Justice Kim Lewison agreed with arguments by the Island-Universal Ltd. record label and the Marley family that Barrett surrendered his rights to any further royalties from Wailer recordings in a 1994 settlement in exchange for $500,000.

Lewison made an order barring Barrett, 59, from taking any further action without the court’s permission. Barrett, who sued on behalf of himself and his late brother, Carlton, the band’s drummer, now faces a bill for legal costs estimated at nearly $3.8 million.

“We always felt that this would be the outcome and it was hard to listen to Aston Barrett reduce his friend Bob to someone who was more interested in playing football than making music,” the Marley family said in a statement issued after the judgment was announced.

The Barrett brothers recorded with Marley from 1969 until his death 12 years later. Aston Barrett co-wrote the song “Rebel Music (3 O’Clock Roadblock)” and co-produced 11 albums with Marley.

Lewison said Barrett had the “greatest difficulty” in answering questions about business dealings, and his testimony was not reliable.

“He was plainly close to Bob Marley himself, whom he trusted implicitly,” the judge said.

“At this remove of time, his recollection of events was hazy; and I also consider that, as often happens, he has reconstructed events in his mind according to how he would like them to have been.”

LONDON (AP) – Police arrested DMX after the rap star refused to put on a seat belt and became abusive on a flight from New York to London, authorities said Monday.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, received a caution and was released after his American Airlines flight landed at Heathrow Airport on Saturday, police said on condition of anonymity in line with departmental policy.

A caution means a person has accepted responsibility for the offense, and a record will be made.

The 35-year-old rapper completed a 70-day sentence late last year in New York City after pleading guilty to violating his parole following a 2004 incident in which he crashed his sport utility vehicle through an airport security gate.

He was behind the 1999 hit single “Party Up (Up in Here).” His last album was “Grand Champ” in 2003, but he is working on another album, to be released this summer.

WOODSTOCK, N.Y. (AP) – Art Garfunkel made up for last summer’s arrest for marijuana possession in Woodstock by speaking to students at two local high schools about keeping a healthy lifestyle.

Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams said the singer, who was found with a marijuana cigarette in his ashtray after being pulled over for running a stop sign, spoke at the two Hudson Valley schools in late March.

Garfunkel, 64, would have paid a $100 fine instead.

It was the second time in less than two years that Garfunkel, a Manhattan resident, was arrested for having pot in Ulster County. He paid a fine the first time.

“He was sincere, thoughtful and impressive,” Williams said of the Garfunkel speech he attended.

Garfunkel, who with Paul Simon made up the duo Simon & Garfunkel, produced a string of hits in the 1960s, including “The Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

NEW YORK (AP) – Eva Longoria tops Maxim’s seventh annual “Hot 100” list of the most successful women in film, TV, music, sports and fashion for the second year in a row.

The “Desperate Housewives” actress told The Associated Press that her repeat selection for the No. 1 spot was a shock.

“I was actually really shocked last year when I made the list,” said Longoria, 31, who ranked No. 91 on the 2004 list.

“So 91 to No. 1 was a big jump, and then to get it a second time in a row – I just couldn’t believe it,” she said Friday. “I was like, “Surely there are more beautiful women in the world.’ I can name 10.”

Maxim said it is the first time the magazine has bestowed the No. 1 honor back-to-back. Editors made the selections for the issue, which will be on newsstands Thursday.

The magazine said all of the women on the list have several things in common, including “a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding them, undeniable beauty and a promise of greater things to come.”

Jessica Alba is No. 2, followed by Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Stacy Keibler (“Dancing With the Stars”), Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Diaz, Kate Bosworth, Keira Knightley and singer-actress Christina Milian.

The list also includes “Desperate Housewives” stars Nicollette Sheridan (No. 48) and Teri Hatcher (No. 73).

“I would have voted all of our “Housewives’ on the list,” Longoria told the AP in a phone interview.

What does boyfriend/San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker make of all this?

“Oh, he’s very proud,” Longoria told the AP. “He thinks he’s with a beautiful girl every day, so for him, it’s, you know, someone else solidifying what he already thinks.”

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) – Morgan Freeman accepted his honorary degree from Delta State University with a simple “thank you.”

Delta State conferred the Doctor of Arts and Letters degree on the 68-year-old actor in front of a capacity crowd Saturday at Walter Sillers Coliseum.

“Mr. Freeman’s commitment to the Delta has been steadfast and solid. He has never forgotten his roots and we appreciate him for that,” Delta State President John M. Hilpert said.

Freeman, amid countless camera flashes and an extended standing ovation, accepted his large framed degree, smiled and acknowledged, “I had two pages of remarks written, but for the sake of being shorter, I will simply express my appreciation, my gratitude and say, “Thank you.”‘

Later at a reception, Freeman, who won an Oscar for “Million Dollar Baby,” acknowledged Leola Gregory Williams, an elementary teacher in his native Greenwood.

“She was a magician, a true magician,” he said.

He said Williams inspired him and challenged him “to make something of my life, to do good.”

Williams later became the first black instructor in English at Delta State. The university gives The Leola Gregory Williams Award annually to students who have written outstanding papers in general education classes.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Ellen DeGeneres returned to her hometown for the first time since Hurricane Katrina to open a restaurant given away on her talk show to a New Orleans resident who lost her home and business.

Surrounded by cheering fans and chanting, “rebuild New Orleans, rebuild New Orleans,” into a bullhorn, DeGeneres officially opened the sandwich shop given to Sharon “Shay” Karriem, whose home and grocery store were inundated with floodwater when Katrina hit last summer.

Karriem cried when DeGeneres unveiled a large picture of them.

“Thank you Ellen, thank you Quiznos, thank you God,” said Karriem, hugging DeGeneres.

Since Katrina, DeGeneres, 48, has been outspoken about her frustration with the slow pace of recovery. She collected nearly $10 million from individual and corporate sponsors for the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts. Still, she said too little has been done.

“There is still no power,” DeGeneres said. “If this was Washington or San Francisco … anywhere else, this wouldn’t be happening.”

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