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People in the News

Eds: Updates with items on Imelda Marcos, Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell, Bob Dylan, Wayne Shorter and Dave Holland, Kimberly Mathers, Howard Schultz and Sharon Ott. Contains items on Jack White, Prince, Mark Wills and Marty Okland.

AP Photo NYET167, NYET168, NYET169, NYET170, NYET171, NYET172, NYET173, NYET174, NY107, NY108, NY109, NYET166

By The Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Former dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ flamboyant first lady asked a court Wednesday to stop the local showing of a documentary about her life, saying she allowed it as a school project and not as a commercial film.

The award-winning documentary “Imelda,” which has opened in the United States, focuses on the enigmatic rise and fall from power of Imelda Marcos, one of Asia’s most famous women who dazzled the world with her lavish projects and a huge shoe collection amid the country’s appalling poverty.

The documentary was made by U.S.-based Filipino filmmaker Ramona Diaz based on her interviews with Mrs. Marcos and news clips.

“All our lives, President Ferdinand Marcos and I were so deeply committed to God, country, the truth and the Filipino people, but were portrayed by the unauthorized “Imelda’ documentary with malice, inaccuracies and innuendoes,” Mrs. Marcos said in a prepared statement.

In her petition, she claims she let Diaz interview her as part of her thesis but didn’t give her authority to use her statements for a commercial movie, her lawyer Vic Alvaro said.

Joan Cruz, a marketing officer for the Manila distributor Unitel Pictures International, said the film didn’t cast Mrs. Marcos in a bad light and tried to strike a balance with interviews of her critics and close supporters and relatives.

“Depending on who’ll watch it, one would either love or hate Imelda,” Cruz told The Associated Press. There was no immediate comment from Diaz.

“Imelda,” which won an award for cinematography at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, was to open in the Philippines July 7, five days after Mrs. Marcos’ 75th birthday.

SINGAPORE (AP) – Ryan Seacrest, the host of singing competition “American Idol,” said judge Simon Cowell is arrogant and pompous and says things that are “too harsh,” a report said Wednesday.

But Seacrest added that Cowell was a good friend and the “most honest” of the show’s three judges, in an interview with the Straits Times newspaper in Singapore, where a local version of the program is planned.

“I think that he’s pompous. I think that he’s arrogant. So my feelings about him, and the way that I address him on air, are very real,” the 29-year-old Seacrest said in the interview.

Cowell is famous for his searing putdowns of contestants who do not, in his opinion, make the grade with their performances.

“I think he says things that are at times a bit too harsh and could probably convey them in a different light so that they don’t crush a young person’s dream,” Seacrest said.

Last month, a record 65 million U.S. phone votes were cast in the finale of the latest “American Idol” season. Fantasia Barrino, a 19-year-old single mother, emerged as the tearful winner.

Seacrest said the show “will certainly be on air for the next few years.”

“There’s no telling what will happen after that but as long as people are watching it, then we should make the show,” he said.

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St. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Call him Dr. Tambourine Man.

Scotland’s oldest university announced Wednesday it was awarding an honorary doctorate to the laureate of folk-rock, Bob Dylan.

The University of St. Andrews said Dylan would be made an honorary doctor of music at its June 23 summer graduation ceremony.

“Bob Dylan is an iconic figure for the 20th century, particularly for those of us whose formative years were in the 1960s and ‘70s,” said the university’s vice chancellor, Brian Lang. “His songs, and in particular his lyrics, are still part of our consciousness.”

St. Andrews, northeast of Edinburgh, was founded in 1413 and is Britain’s third-oldest university. Its current students include Prince William, second in line to the throne.

The university said Dylan, 63, had accepted only one previous honorary degree, from Princeton University in 1970.

NEW YORK (AP) – Wayne Shorter and Dave Holland were off preparing to launch a summer tour this weekend on the West Coast in a super-quartet with pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Brian Blade, but they were among the big winners at the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards 2004.

For the second straight year, tenor saxophonist and composer Shorter, who rose to prominence with Hancock in Miles Davis’ legendary 1960s quintet, was chosen Musician of the Year on Tuesday. Shorter also was a repeat winner for Album of the Year – for “Allegria,” his first studio recording as a leader since 1994 – and his quartet again was named the top small ensemble.

The British-born Holland, who began his U.S. career with Davis’ electric “Bitches Brew” band, also was a repeat multiple-winner, for large ensemble and acoustic bass.

The 83-year-old pianist-composer Dave Brubeck won the award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz in balloting conducted among some 400 members of the Jazz Journalists Association. Another pianist-composer, Vijay Iyer, the son of immigrants from India, was chosen Up & Coming Artist of the Year.

Also receiving multiple awards were Maria Schneider for composer and arranger; and George Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. He was honored as events producer and for best book about jazz, his autobiography “Myself Among Others.”

“Thank you to the jazz community,” Cassandra Wilson said as she accepted the female singer award before several hundred people at B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill. “This music is so important. It’s vital and it’s evolving, it’s alive and it’s doing well.”

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – The ex-wife of rapper Eminem, wanted by authorities after skipping out on a court-ordered drug treatment program, was arrested in a hotel, police said Wednesday.

Police arrested Kimberly Mathers in an Ann Arbor hotel room Tuesday afternoon after a caller reported that she was staying there, Sgt. Brad Hill said. She was turned over to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department.

A Macomb County judge had issued a warrant for Mathers in April. She has dropped out of a court-ordered drug treatment program twice, and served jail time earlier this year after dropping out the first time.

Mathers had been sentenced Jan. 21 to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to charges of possessing 25 grams or less of cocaine and failing to give adequate space to an emergency vehicle. The charges were from a June traffic stop in St. Clair Shores.

Mathers and Eminem, whose legal name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, have a daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A television producer accused of stealing the idea for the hit reality show “Extreme Makeover” says he did nothing wrong.

“While makeovers on television are not new, I can say, without reservation, that I am the sole creator of ‘Extreme Makeover’ and, with the help of members of my staff, developed and produced the original special and subsequent series,” Howard Schultz said Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Diana Locke alleged in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court June 10 that she came up with the idea for the program, only to have Schultz and his agent, Sean Perry, steal it.

Locke claims she pitched the idea for a show about patients going through plastic surgery to a producer in 2001. He informed his agent, Perry, who then took the idea to Schultz, who turned it into a program, the lawsuit contends.

Locke seeks more than $40 million in damages.

“I have never met Diana Locke, nor have I ever had any conversations with her of any kind,” Schultz said. “There is certainly no merit to her accusations, and we will defend ourselves against this frivolous lawsuit.”

Perry declined to comment Monday night. He referred calls to Michael Donkis, a spokesman for Endeavor Agency, who also declined to comment.

“Extreme Makeover” first aired in 2003 and has been renewed for a third season on ABC this fall. It has launched a spinoff, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and is credited with inspiring other plastic-surgery programs such as “The Swan.”

SEATTLE (AP) – After seven years as artistic director of the Seattle Repertory Theater, the city’s largest resident theater company, Sharon Ott has announced unexpectedly that she’ll leave in about a year.

Ott didn’t give her future plans Tuesday in a written statement that said the company’s artistic and administrative demands in the past year had been “entirely draining, both emotionally and physically.” Her contract expires next June.

“There are several opportunities that have been presented to me that I wish to explore,” the statement said.

Like many other arts groups nationwide, the Rep’s staff and spending on productions have been hard hit by a dry-up of government support and foundation grants. The company’s annual budget has declined from $9.45 million in 2001-02 to $6.8 million last year.

A statement from the Rep said the company’s board of trustees is forming a committee to begin a national search for a successor.

Ott led the Berkeley (Calif.) Repertory Theater to a Tony Award for regional theater shortly before taking over at the Rep from Daniel Sullivan, who held the post for 16 years and was instrumental in winning the Seattle company a Tony in 1990.

NEW YORK (AP) – Even after selling millions of records and winning Grammy awards, Jack White says he still isn’t sure what makes The White Stripes work.

There are only two members in the band – he plays guitar and sings and Meg White plays drums – and their music is boiled down to its essentials.

“I don’t know why it works on the radio or on MTV or on a stage in front of 80,000 people,” White said in an interview with AP Radio. “It seems like there should be more going on, there should be these anthems.”

But having only two people in the band has its advantages, White said – there isn’t a third person to take sides and cause discord.

“The whole idea of the band, if it has a concept to it, it’s all about what not to do,” White said. “Why be repetitive? Why have two guitars? Why have a bassist playing the same thing the guitar’s playing? Let’s break this down and still have it be rock and roll. Let’s show what two people can do.”

White’s idea of simplicity has earned him musical credibility, including the respect of country legend Loretta Lynn. The White Stripes dedicated their third album, 2003’s “Elephant,” to her. When she heard about it, she invited them over for a dinner of chicken and dumplings. Then they played a show together in New York City.

When White heard that Lynn was planning to do a new album, he said he would love to produce it. He got the job: “Van Lear Rose” came out in April.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Prince is denying allegations that he instructed his bodyguard to assault a college student who took the musician’s photo at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Prince filed a counterclaim Monday in Hennepin County District Court, alleging the student invaded his privacy and violated trademark and copyright law.

Anthony Fitzgerald of Edina sued Prince and his bodyguard in April for damages of at least $50,000. Fitzgerald claims he was assaulted at the airport Dec. 29 and that his new digital camera was confiscated when he took a photo of Prince as the rock star was getting off a plane.

Prince’s countersuit also seeks at least $50,000 in damages.

“His (Fitzgerald’s) claim has no legal basis and we will be fighting this in court,” Prince’s lawyer, Kristen Naros, told the Star-Tribune.

Fitzgerald’s attorney, Kari Berman, also called Prince’s counterclaim baseless.

“He is a public figure walking through a public airport. There’s no expectation of privacy, and he knows it,” Berman said.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Country singer Mark Wills got a gift from golfer John Daly, and it wasn’t a set of clubs.

Wills was in Little Rock, Ark., Monday to perform at a Daly fund-raiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. One of the items up for auction was a silver-and-black, 100th anniversary model Harley-Davidson.

Wills recalls that Daly, with whom he’s been friends for about 10 years, “leans over and says, ‘Willsy, how often do you go out and ride your Harley?”‘

“I said, ‘I don’t have a Harley.’ And he says, ‘You don’t? Well you do now.”‘

Daly’s $20,000 bid went to the charity, while Wills, a dirt biker in his younger days, went home with the Harley.

The gesture was in appreciation for Wills’ help with fund-raisers over the years. The 30-year-old said the gift “threw me for a loop.”

“What do you say when a friend up and buys you a Harley?” said the singer, whose hits include “19 Something” and “Wish You Were Here.”

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) – The latest bachelor on the NBC reality show “Who Wants to Marry My Dad?” is a divorced delivery man for Frito-Lay who says he “can’t think of a better way to meet someone.”

Marty Okland is this season’s bachelor whose daughters pick his new love from 13 women over a three-week period. Okland said he heard a casting call on the radio.

“I was ready for a new lease on life,” he said Monday. “My girls are 29, 27 and 24. I was married for 27 years to a wonderful lady, and now I’m ready to find someone special. I wanted to give this a try.”

Okland, 47, said he and his ex-wife are still friends and that she’s in favor of the TV show. Of course, he had to run the idea by his daughters.

Daughter Nicole, who lives in Hawaii, told her father he would always wonder if he didn’t try “and so I did it,” Okland said.

He called daughter Brooke, the only daughter who lives in state, and asked her to drive to Denver with him for final auditions.

“She was surprised when I told her what I was doing, but very supportive,” he said.

While the filming was exhausting, Okland said he also found it exhilarating. The show premieres at 10 p.m. EDT Monday.

“It was nice to see things from a different perspective,” Okland said. “I can’t think of a better way to meet someone. You’re not being set up by friends or family or meeting at a bar.”

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