Winning At Any Cost

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Winning At Any Cost

Reaching a new low: An essay that won a Garland, Texas, 6-year-old girl four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert began with the powerful line: "My daddy died this year in Iraq." While gripping, it wasn't true — and now the girl may lose her tickets after her mom acknowledged to contest organizers it was all a lie.

The sponsor of the contest was Club Libby Lu, which sells clothes, accessories and games intended for young girls.

The saga began Friday with company officials surprising the girl at a Club Libby Lu store at a mall in the Dallas suburb. The girl won a makeover that included a Hannah Montana wig, as well as the grand prize: airfare for four to Albany, N.Y., and four tickets to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert on Jan. 9. The mother had told company officials that the girl's father died April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq, company spokeswoman Robyn Caulfield said.

MaryEllen Fillo MaryEllen Fillo E-mail | Recent columns

"We did the essay and that's what we did to win," Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, said in an interview with Dallas TV station KDFW. "We did whatever we could do to win."

Producing Lawsuits

Four-time-divorced Hollywood producer Jon Peters is facing two horrifying lawsuits by former employees.

Peters, who has been connected in the past to Barbra Streisand, Kim Basinger, Pamela Anderson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Swedish model Vendela, was sued Monday by Blanca Hernandez, who helped maintain Peters' home and office.

She claims Peters sexually harassed her by fondling her body, once tried to push her onto his bed when he was naked, tried to kiss her breasts and offered her money for sex.

Hernandez alleges that when she spoke to her boss, Ronald Grigg, an executive with Peters' production company, he told her that she should give in to Peters "because he was a powerful person and she would keep her job if she complied," but that if she complained, "her [sic] and her daughter would be murdered," the court papers state.

Another suit, filed by Adriana and Andrew Silveira, live-in servants at Peters' Malibu beach house, claims that when Adriana discovered she was pregnant in June 2006, Andrew was told by Peters that if he wanted to keep his job, his wife had to abort the baby. When the couple refused, Peters gave him the ax.

The lawsuits join another one, filed last year, Shelly Morita, a former personal assistant, claimed Peters fondled her and climbed into bed with her in a hotel in Australia, where "Superman Returns" was shooting. That case is set for trial this April.

Madonna Screening Set

Programmers for spring's Berlin International Film Festival have selected Madonna's fiction film directing debut among its line-up.

"Filth And Wisdom" will get its premiere in the avant-garde Panorama section when the festival's 58th incarnation gets under way in February.

Little is known about the short comedy supposedly based on her own experiences that stars Richard E Grant and Eugene Hutz, the Ukrainian front man of gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello.

Two years ago, Madonna submitted a documentary, "Kabbalah Centre," to the Cannes Film Festival, which did not accept it. (Conflicting reports say it was either unfinished or just plain awful.)

Today's Birthdays

Author J.D. Salinger is 89. Actor Ty Hardin is 78. Actor Frank Langella is 70. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 66. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 65. Actor Rick Hurst is 62. Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) is 58. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 50. Actress Ren Woods is 50. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer is 44. Actress Embeth Davidtz is 42. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 42. Actor Morris Chestnut is 39. Actor Verne Troyer is 39.

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