Final Apprentice Showdown Tonight
COLLIDED: Whitney Houston rear-ended a city bus with her sports car, but no one was hurt, according to police in Georgia, where the singer lives. The accident happened Wednesday afternoon as Houston was making a left turn, the Associated Press reports. The bus sustained minor damage. The bumper of Houston's Porsche was mangled but the singer was not injured. She was given a citation for failure to yield, a misdemeanor.
PERMITTED: Days before Monday's start of the Robert Blake trial, prosecutors on Wednesday won the right to use the Baretta actor's February 2003 TV interview with Barbara Walters, in which they say he lied about his relationship with his wife so people would think he had no reason to kill her. Blake, 71, is charged with murder in the May 2001 shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, who was found slain in Blake's car after the couple had dined at a nearby restaurant. He has pleaded not guilty.
BARED: A naked Pamela Anderson, 37, will beckon from Chinese billboards in a new anti-fur campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – if the former Baywatch star can get past the censors, reports AP. The posters, featuring the slogan "Give fur the cold shoulder" in English, show Anderson topless with her back to the camera and an arm partly hiding her right breast. China was the origin of 40 percent of all American fur imports in 2000, according to PETA.
PERFORMED: Godfather of Soul James Brown, 71, underwent successful prostate cancer surgery and was released from Midtown Urology Surgical Center in Atlanta on Wednesday, according to his publicist. "He's expected to have a full recovery," said Simone Smalls, adding that the singer plans to promote his memoir, I Feel Good: A Memoir of a Life of Soul.
DISCOVERED: A snowboarder found dead at Colorado's Vail Ski Resort was the boyfriend of Clint Eastwood's daughter, Alison Eastwood, authorities tell AP. Michael Combs, 42, was found late Tuesday morning in trees near the bottom of Vail Mountain, Eagle County sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Andree said. He was reported missing Monday night. The cause of death had not been determined. Alison Eastwood told a sheriff's deputy that Combs had complained earlier Monday that he wasn't feeling well and had a headache.
DETERMINED: Rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, who died in a recording studio last month at the age of 35, had taken cocaine and a prescription pain relief drug before his collapse, the New York Medical Examiner's office said on Wednesday. "His death has been ruled an accident," Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, told Reuters the toxicology tests showed the presence of cocaine and Tramadol, a non-narcotic pain reliever.
DIED: Pauline Gore, 92, the mother of former Vice President Al Gore and whose husband Al Sr. was a longtime respected Congressman, died Wednesday at her home in Tennessee, reports AP. Trained as a lawyer, Mrs. Gore was often a familiar figure in the campaigns of both her husband and son. Her son, a brother and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren survive her.
HONORED: Veteran director Sidney Lumet, 80, who's received five Oscar nominations but has never won, will receive an honorary statuette at the 77th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 27, organizers said Wednesday. The award will commemorate his "brilliant services to screenwriters, performers and the art of the motion picture," said Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Among Lumet's movies: 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Serpico and The Verdict.
CLAIMED: Abraham Lincoln was gay, according to a biographer who says he has conclusive proof of the long-rumored claim, The New York Times reports. Psychologist C.A. Tripp, himself a former sex researcher with Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, died last year, but his "The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln" is to be published next month. In it, Tripp cites the 16th President's troubled marriage with Mary Todd Lincoln and says Abe shared his bed with the captain of his bodyguards, David V. Derickson, whenever Mary was gone. Yet, The Times reports, the debate over Honest Abe's sexuality is still expected to continue.