(KRT) - CHICKS SPEAK OUT
Bruce Springsteen and country peer Vince Gill have spoken out in defense of the Dixie Chicks, the country trio who suffered major fallout, boycotts and even death threats after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush for the war in Iraq.
Now it's the embattled Chicks' turn to tell their side, to Diane Sawyer at 10 p.m. EDT Thursday on ABC's Prime Time Thursday.
Here are some excerpts:
_ On the U.S. troops: "We support the troops 100 percent," Maines says. "We have said that from Day One. . . . There is not a correlation between not wanting a war and not supporting the troops who are doing their job."
_ So is Maines really sorry?: "I think it came down to it was . . . in a foreign country and . . . I think the way I said it was disrespectful. I feel regret for, you know, the choice of words. Or the non-choice of words. Am I sorry that I asked questions and that I don't just follow? No."
Emily Robison agrees, adding: "Are we in an atmosphere where that's allowed anymore? You're either with us or you're against us?"
On the fall-out:
"Fine, maybe take us off the air for a week, and give us a spanking," says Martie Maguire. . . . "Does the punishment fit the crime? How far are you going to go? I think it's rational and totally acceptable for people to write a letter . . . and say, `You know, I was really offended by what you said about the president.' My problem is, when does it cross the line? When is trashing Emily's property OK? When is writing a threatening letter OK?"
The hostile reaction has led the group to take precautions for its summer tour.
"We're dealing with bigger issues than record sales and lost things like that," Robison says. "At our concerts this year, we have to have metal detectors, and to me that's just crazy. But we have to take those precautions because this thing has gotten so out of control."
_ Howard Cohen
MORE PHOTO WOES FOR ZETA-JONES
Embarrassing pictures of a pregnant Catherine Zeta-Jones sunbathing on a terrace in Mexico have emerged just as she gave birth to a daughter, Carys (the Welsh word for "love") Sunday, reports The New York Daily News.
The paparazzi-style photos show the mother-to-be enjoying the sun wearing only a bikini bottom on a balcony with husband Michael Douglas. And despite the risks of smoking during pregnancy, she is clearly dragging on a cigarette.
The images were available on at least two Web sites Tuesday - the Dutch www.dse.nl and www.gawker.com - although they had disappeared by early that evening.
A publicist for Zeta-Jones did not return calls asking if the snaps had been yanked because of a legal threat.
Zeta-Jones has battled her smoking habit for years.
MANIPULATING JACKO'S `HOME MOVIES'
Michael Jackson has film editors burning the midnight oil making last-minute changes in his documentary "Private Home Movies" - thanks to Lisa Marie Presley, reports MSNBC.com.
"Michael has been following very closely what ex-wife Lisa Marie has been saying about him while she promotes her album," says a source close to the project. "And every time she says he's a certain way, he has the editors tear up the documentary and re-edit it to prove her wrong."
For example, says the insider, Lisa Marie said he was a control freak, and Jackson "has everybody stick in all this footage that was meant to show what a laid-back, easy-going guy he is."
"Private Home Movies" is set to air from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT Thursday on Fox, so, says the source, "we're really working down to the wire on this one."
The latest edit, according to the insider: "Lisa Marie said something about him being very focused on his kids, so now the editors were told: less kiddies, more vintage Jacko."
O.J.'S REALITY CHECK
O.J. Simpson is putting his relentless search for Nicole's killer on hold to star in his own Osbournes-esque reality show, reports TV Guide Online.
Texas-based Urban American Television Network has inked a deal with a Florida concert promoter to distribute 13 weekly episodes featuring the disgraced NFL Hall of Famer to its 75 station affiliates (all indies) this June.
The series will chronicle Simpson's daily life in South Florida using footage collected over several months of filming in 2001 and 2002.
The show will be edited from 60 hours of candid O.J. footage captured onstage and behind the scenes at several rap concerts during the former football great's stints as a concert emcee in 2001-02.
Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. He moved to Florida from California after a civil court ordered him to pay $33.5 million to the victims' families in a wrongful-death lawsuit.
STILL OUR `IDOL'
Kelly Clarkson didn't have to wait a lifetime to reach the top of the album chart - she made it there in just one week.
The "American Idol" winner's first album, "Thankful," debuted at No. 1, selling more than 297,000 copies during its first week in stores, according to industry figures released Wednesday.
The album includes new mixes of "A Moment Like This" and "Before Your Love," the two songs Clarkson recorded after she won the Fox singing competition last year.
Rapper 50 Cent had two entries in the top five: "The New Breed," a three-song compact disc/DVD that sold 246,000 copies in its first week to reach the No. 2 spot, and "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," which came in fifth and has now sold more than 4.2 million copies.
Fleetwood Mac's first album of new material in 15 years, "Say You Will," debuted at No. 3, selling nearly 218,000 copies.
Last week's top album, Godsmack's "Faceless," dropped to No. 13, with about 110,000 copies sold.
Actress Shirley MacLaine is 69. Actress-singer Barbra Streisand is 61. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 50. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 39.
(Compiled by Michael Hamersly from staff and wire reports.)
© 2003, The Miami Herald.
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