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People in the News

Eds: Updates with items on Diana DeGarmo, Helmut Newton, Sean Combs and Molly Shannon. Contains items on Martin Scorsese, Joe Torre, Samuel Wong, Bono and Alex Rodriguez. Versions of Torre and Rodriguez items moved on the sports wire.

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By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Diana DeGarmo came in second place on “American Idol,” but she already has plans to release a single.

DeGarmo’s first song is scheduled to come out June 22 through RCA Records, according to the record company’s Web site.

The bubbly 16-year-old from Snellville, Ga., was the runner-up last week on the Fox TV singing competition. “Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino topped her by just 1.3 million votes out of more than 65 million votes cast.

Barrino, a 19-year-old from High Point, N.C., is working on her first single, which is due out June 15. She and DeGarmo both performed the song, titled “I Believe,” during last week’s finale.

Coming in second isn’t so bad, though – last season’s runner-up, Clay Aiken, went on to sell more than 2 million copies of his debut disc and enjoys just as much fame as the winner, Ruben Studdard.

Both singers and the other 10 “Idol” finalists will go on tour starting July 14 in Salt Lake City.

On the Net:



BERLIN (AP) – Helmut Newton was buried in his native Berlin, with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder among those paying their respects Wednesday to the acclaimed photographer who fled Nazi Germany as a teenager.

Newton, who died in a Los Angeles car crash in January at 83, was laid to rest in the leafy Friedenau cemetery four graves away from actress Marlene Dietrich’s.

The photographer’s widow, June, actor Roger Moore, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and Schroeder were among about 100 people at a memorial service before the urn with Newton’s remains was placed in the grave.

Newton returned to Berlin last October to donate more than 1,000 of his photos to a new gallery, saying he was proud to have his work displayed in his hometown. At the time, Schroeder called his decision a “sign of reconciliation.”

Born Helmut Neustaedter on Oct. 31, 1920, Newton fled Germany in 1938 to escape persecution as a Jew.

A fashion photographer whose work appeared in magazines including Playboy, Elle and Vogue, Newton was best known for his stark, black-and-white nude photos of women.

Newton died Jan. 23 after apparently losing control of his car and crashing into a wall.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Court of Appeals has overturned a civil judgment ordering rapper Sean “P. Diddy” Combs to pay $450,000 to a man who claimed he was beaten by bodyguards the rapper had hired.

The ruling came Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Cedrick Bobby Lemon, who said he was beaten in June 1995 by bodyguards Combs hired to protect soul singer Mary J. Blige at a concert in Winston-Salem. Combs was Blige’s manager.

Because Combs didn’t respond to the complaint within the time required by law, a Forsyth County Superior Court judge ruled in Lemon’s favor and ordered a default judgment against Combs. But the appeals court found that Lemon didn’t meet other requirements when he requested the default judgment and overturned it.

According to Lemon’s lawsuit, he worked as a limousine driver and wore an identification badge that permitted him to stand backstage.

As two bodyguards tried to clear the area to escort Blige from the coliseum after the concert, they punched Lemon in the head, kicked him in the back and broke his right ankle, according to the lawsuit.

Combs was negligent because he failed to train the bodyguards properly for their duties, the lawsuit said.

Lemon’s attorney, Howard C. Jones, told the Winston-Salem Journal that his client hasn’t decided whether to appeal the decision. He had medical bills of $14,400, the lawsuit says and the attack left him unable to work as a limo driver.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – It’s no joke: Former “Saturday Night Live” performer Molly Shannon has gotten married.

The 39-year-old comedian married artist Fritz Chesnut in a private ceremony Saturday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara. The couple has an 8-month-old daughter, Stella Shannon Chesnut.

Shannon was best-known in “SNL” sketches as nerdy Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher, a role she also played in the 1999 movie “Superstar.”

Her other movies include “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Serendipity” and “Osmosis Jones.”

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) – Director Martin Scorsese will speak at the fifth annual Lake Placid Film Festival, which runs Wednesday through Sunday.

He will introduce a restored print of the 1963 Italian film “The Leopard,” considered by some critics to be a lost classic, on Saturday.

Organizers said about 60 features will be screened, including “Touch of Pink,” about a gay man’s crisis when his mother tries to set him up with a Muslim girl, and “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” a documentary about the veteran heavy metal band.

The festival is hoping to rebound financially after a year in which it suffered from a lack of corporate sponsorships and ran up a deficit.

Festival co-founder Kathleen Carroll said the festival has been successful in attracting sponsors this year and is screening more films.

“This year we had the urge to show as many films as we could, but to create a lot of excitement, too,” Carroll said Monday.

On the Net:


NEW YORK (AP) – New York Yankees manager Joe Torre joined hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and business leaders in an event aimed at stopping domestic violence.

Torre, who has spoken out before about growing up in an abusive household, said his father, a police officer in New York, “was violent with my mom.”

“He never hit me, but the scars that a child takes with him into adulthood, they don’t go away,” Torre said Tuesday.

Torre, who has led the Yankees to four World Series titles, added that coaches and managers need to do more to foster healthy attitudes toward women among athletes.

“You tell them to be aggressive, go out there and beat somebody up, go out there and win a ballgame, and unfortunately when they go out on a date that night they don’t take “No’ for an answer,” he said.

HONOLULU (AP) – Samuel Wong, who helped bring some of classical music’s biggest stars to Hawaii, is stepping down as musical director of the Honolulu Symphony after the 2004-05 classical season.

Wong, who has led the orchestra since the 1996-97 season, plans to make several guest appearances through 2007, the symphony said Monday.

The conductor said he wants to spend more time with his wife and two children in New York and pursue other projects.

“It’s time to shift my musical focus to the mainland and to Europe,” he said. “My priority is to spend more time with my family and do something big in science.”

A licensed ophthalmologist, Wong said he plans to work on an Institute of Music and Healing.

Stephen Bloom, the symphony’s executive director, praised Wong for helping the orchestra grow.

During Wong’s tenure with the symphony, concerts have included appearances by Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Deborah Voigt, Andre Watts, Midori, Peter Serkin and Emanuel Ax. He led the symphony to its first mainland concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 1997.

On the Net:


DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) – Bono urged European Union governments to spend more on forgiving debts and fighting the spread of AIDS in Africa, causes the U2 lead singer has championed for the past decade.

Bono, the lunchtime speaker Tuesday at a conference of EU development ministers at Dublin Castle, said most EU states had reneged on a long-standing promise to commit 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product to overseas aid. He called that “renegotiating your deal with God downwards.”

He also said EU-run aid programs had dragged their heels.

“There’s about $14 billion that people have pledged to the EU, but the EU haven’t found a way of spending it. That’s not the Europe I want to be in,” the 44-year-old singer said.

Responding to a reporter’s question, Bono said he didn’t expect popular singers to band together soon to mount another Live Aid-style concert. The 1985 concerts led by Bob Geldof raised $22 million for famine relief in Ethiopia and the Sudan.

“At this point there are no plans for a Live Aid II,” Bono said. “It’s always there in the background but right now, no. Right now we’re after billions, not millions. A Live Aid II would help, but it wouldn’t fix the problem.”

On the Net:


NEW YORK (AP) – Alex Rodriguez will soon need to make one more adjustment in his life – becoming a dad.

After Tuesday night’s 8-7 win over Baltimore, the New York Yankees third baseman said he and his wife, Cynthia, are expecting their first child this fall.

“We’re very excited. It’ll probably be in November, late in the month,” Rodriguez said.

The AL MVP said the couple would likely find out in a month whether they will have a boy or girl.

The pregnancy was first reported by People magazine on its Web site.

Rodriguez has spent the season learning how to play third after Texas traded the All-Star shortstop to the Yankees last winter.

As of Wednesday, baseball’s highest-paid player had reached base safely in 39 straight games, the longest streak of his career and the longest string in the majors this season. He’s hitting .294 with a team-leading 12 home runs, and has 29 RBIs.

Rodriguez and his wife were married in 2002.

AP-ES-06-02-04 1418EDT

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