Courtney’s troubles go on

NEW YORK (AP) – Troubled rock star Courtney Love was taken to a New York hospital on her 40th birthday after missing an arraignment on an assault charge in California, her lawyer said.

“It is not a suicide attempt, not drug-related, not drug-overdose related,” Michael Rosenstein said Friday. “It’s a gynecological medical condition for which she is receiving treatment.”

Photographs showed Love on a stretcher, and published reports said witnesses saw the singer being put into an ambulance outside her Manhattan apartment. The New York City fire and police departments confirmed that emergency personnel took a woman from Love’s address to Bellevue Hospital on Friday, but they would not confirm her identity.

Medical workers responded to the apartment to a report of a miscarriage at about 5:15 p.m., fire department spokeswoman Susan Blake said.

Love, former lead singer of the band Hole, has coast-to-coast legal troubles, prompting her to reschedule a summer tour that was intended to support her new album, “America’s Sweetheart.”

Earlier Friday, a warrant was issued for her arrest when Love failed to appear in a Los Angeles court for arraignment on an assault charge stemming from an April 25 incident at the home of her former manager and ex-boyfriend.

Rosenstein told a Los Angeles court that Love was in New York City and was confused about whether she was required to be at the California hearing.

Court Commissioner Dennis E. Mulcahy said there was no excuse for her failure to appear. He said she forfeited her $55,000 bail and he set a new bail of $150,000.

The warrant was entered in a national law enforcement database, meaning police could arrest Love at any time, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Ethan’s divorce fed role

Ethan Hawke’s shocking split from wife Uma Thurman inspired the bittersweet musings of his character Jesse in the eagerly anticipated sequel “Before Sunset,” reports

According to director Richard Linklater, when he, Hawke and leading lady Julie Delpy got together to collaborate on the screenplay, the “Training Day” star was aiming to “blur the line between performer and character.”

And Linklater admits he found the plot, in which Jesse tells old flame Celine how he is trapped in a loveless marriage because of his children, “scary.”

Linklater explains, “It was a little scary. Current events had caught up with us. To Ethan’s credit, I think it informed the making of the film. It definitely informed some of his feelings.”

‘Wicked’ sees new Wizard

NEW YORK (AP) – George Hearn, a Tony winner for his performances in “La Cage aux Folles” and “Sunset Boulevard,” replaces Joel Grey as the Wizard of Oz July 20 in the hit musical “Wicked” at the Gershwin Theatre, it was announced Friday. Grey is taking a leave of absence from the show.

Hearn will be joining several new cast members on that date, including Jennifer Laura Thompson, who is assuming the role of Glinda the good witch from Kristin Chenoweth, and Joey McIntyre, who will replace Norbert Leo Butz as Fiyero.

Idina Menzel, a 2004 Tony winner for her performance in the show as the misunderstood witch Elphaba, is remaining in the musical, which has a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the cult novel by Gregory Maguire about two witches in Oz before the arrival of a girl named Dorothy and her little dog, Toto.

George Michael stops chat

The impossible has happened: We feel sorry for George Michael. The “80s pop icon, whose exclamation-point happy group, Wham!, turned us off from life-affirming songs forever, has decided to close down a fans’ chatroom on his official Web site after messages accused him of being old, overweight and lazy, reports Agence France-Presse.

The 41-year-old, one of the most successful pop musicians of recent decades, said he had been upset to see the forum “packed full of negative comment” and that the negativity was bad for him, his fans and his music

Some visitors to the chatroom at­ had accused the musician of looking past his best, and of not sufficiently promoting his album, “Patience,” the first new work in eight years.

In a message to fans posted earlier this week, Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in London to Greek Cypriot parents, said he had had enough.

“I’m afraid that, having visited the forums on a regular basis over the past few months, simply to see how you guys thought the album/interviews/promotion were going, I have decided to close them down,” the message read.

Michael said he found it “really sad to see the forums so packed full of negative comment, and that so many genuinely positive fans find themselves defending me (or themselves) constantly against attack.

“There are plenty of places to read people slagging each other off, but I wasn’t trying to create one in opening the forum. He signed off: “Sorry guys, but that’s the way it goes. … Peace and Love … or nothing at all.”

The decision prompted a flurry of postings, mostly from supportive fans asking Michael to reconsider.

However, a few deemed the decision unfair and Michael a “control freak.”

“It’s a fans’ forum, it’s freedom of speech and I don’t think it’s down to George to take his ball home and say, “I’m not playing any more,”‘ one fan wrote.

The British pop star also wrote, “Those of you that want to carry on the media’s work will have to do it somewhere else I suppose.”

Michael is famously wary of the media, having been ridiculed over events such as his 1998 arrest in Los Angeles for lewd behavior in a public bathroom, which prompted the secretive star to finally acknowledge his homosexuality.

As part of the media, we are aggrieved that Michael feels we are negative toward his sexy persona. Frankly, we feel Mr. Michael puts “the boom-boom into my heart.” Not to mention he gives “jitterbug into my brain.” Now, please, wake us up before you go, go.

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