PASSAGES: Hawke Takes Flight to Ireland

03/06/2003 10:14AM

SET: Actor Ethan Hawke, 32, is set to appear onstage in Dublin within the next two weeks when he participates in the "Americana" festival taking place at the Abbey, the National Theater of Ireland. He will appear in a reading of playwright Sam Shepard's "The Late Henry Moss," reports Reuters. Hawke's last movie was last year's "Corso: The Last Beat," a documentary about Beat poet Gregory Corso.

PURCHASED: Grammy-winning rapper Nelly (real name: Cornell Haynes) will buy into NASCAR's Craftsman Truck team starting at South Carolina's Darlington Raceway on March 14, reports the Associated Press. The truck will sport a new paint scheme featuring Nelly's Vokal clothing label. Earlier this week it was announced that Nelly, 29, was pulling out of a European tour to spend time with his ailing sister, Jackie, who is suffering from leukemia, according to published reports. He plans to make up his postponed European dates in the fall.

BOOKED: For the first time in their 40-year history, the Rolling Stones will play concerts in China, reports Reuters. The gig will take place next month as part of their "Forty Licks" world tour, concert organizers said Thursday. The Stones had tried to perform there in the '70s, but it was feared at the time they would pollute the culture that was just emerging from Chairman Mao Zedong's cultural revolution. But now they are slated to hit Beijing on April 4, said Chen Jixing, head of Beijing Time New Century Entertainment Co Ltd. The rockers are expected to follow that with stops in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and India.

DENIED: Las Vegas police said Wednesday they were not pursuing criminal charges against former "Riverdance" star Michael Flatley, 44, who has been named in a $35 million civil lawsuit by a woman who claims that he sexually assaulted her in a hotel there last year, reports AP. A police spokesman said the alleged victim was interviewed Nov. 14 (about one month after the alleged attack) but that she was not willing to disclose details of the incident. Flatley's attorney has labeled the allegations "absolutely false."

UNCOVERED: "Married by America" contestant Denise L. told viewers Monday she once posed for a Playboy spread, but it turns out there was something else she didn't reveal: She's already married. According to "Entertainment Tonight," a woman claiming to be her sister-in-law called a San Diego radio station Tuesday and said, "Denise L. is not single. She's married to my brother -- and, by the way, those are fake boobs." A FOX rep said Denise (long separated but never divorced) had repeatedly insisted she was single and blamed "a mistake in the background-check process." Expect Denise to get the real boot next Monday.

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