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Sep 26, 2008

Clay Aiken Came Out

"It was the first decision I made as a father," Clay Aiken told People magazine of his decision to stop dodging questions about his sexuality. The article's headline said it all: "Yes, I'm Gay." "I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things," the singer said. "I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."

Appearing on the cover of this week's magazine cradling the newborn baby, Parker, who was conceived through in vitro fertilization with the singer's best friend, record producer Jaymes Foster, Aiken told the magazine that his son will be raised in an environment that he described as "accepting and allowing him to be happy."

Aiken, 29, said he has "no idea" if his son will be gay or straight, but he knows it's not something he can predict or affect. "It's not something I'll have anything to do with, or that he'll have anything to do with," Aiken told the magazine. "It's already probably up inside the code there. ... No matter what the situation you're in, if you're raised in a loving environment, that's the most important thing."

Nearly stealing Aiken's thunder after more than a year of similarly open speculation, Lindsay Lohan also came out this week and admitted what most of the world already knew — that she is in a relationship with DJ Samantha Ronson.

The news on Aiken, which came after his return to Broadway last week in the role of Sir Robin in "Monty Python's Spamalot," might surprise some of his hard-core fans, the so-called "Claymates," but he said he was prepared for that. "Whether it be having a child out of wedlock, or whether it be simply being a homosexual, it's going to be a lot," he said, adding that fans would have to deal with the news in their own way. He realizes that some may be shocked, but he hopes they stick around and "know that I've never intended to lie to anybody at all. ... But if they leave, I don't want them to leave hating me."

The People story's headline is reminiscent of the 1997 Time magazine cover story in which Ellen DeGeneres ended years of speculation with the phrase "Yep, I'm Gay." The born-again Christian singer says he told his mother, Faye, that he was gay four years ago after dropping off his younger brother Brett, who was being deployed to Iraq, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. "I started crying in the car," Aiken said. "It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it. ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out." Aiken said his mother started crying and was "obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting." She continues to struggle with it, but he said she's "come a long way."

Aiken had dodged questions about his sexuality almost from the moment he emerged on the international stage in 2003 as the runner-up on "Idol." He has often said his personal life was nobody else's business, and in 2005, when ABC's Diane Sawyer asked him about it, he called the question "really rude." OK! magazine asked openly gay former 'NSYNC member and current "Dancing With the Stars" hoofer Lance Bass — who came out in 2006 — what he thought of Aiken's news, and he told the magazine, "It's great! I'm so happy he's finally going to be happy with himself and share that with the world."

The news also elicited support from the Family Equality Council, a national nonprofit that fights for equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families. "Much like Rosie O'Donnell, the announcement that Clay Aiken is gay reinforces a simple reality: The American public can no longer say it does not know a gay or lesbian parent," executive director Jennifer Chrisler wrote in a statement. "Clay Aiken's desire to raise a child in an open and honest manner will make his life, and his son's, all the better. We hope he and his son find all the happiness they deserve, and the Family Equality Council will work toward the day that Clay and Parker Foster Aiken can enjoy the same rights as other American families."

Nick Hogan To Be Released From Jail Next Month

On October 21, Nick Hogan will be a free man again, after serving five months of his eight-month sentence.

While media reports have largely reacted to the news with surprise, according to Morris "Sandy" Weinberg Jr., the lawyer representing the son of former wrestler Hulk Hogan, the release date is not a new development. He said that they've long known that his client (born Nick Bollea) would be released from Pinellas County Jail in Largo, Florida, on that date, despite the 18-year-old being sentenced in May to eight months' hard time — and five years' probation — for his role in an August 2007 car crash that left his best friend, John Graziano, critically injured and in a vegetative state.

"That's not early, that's when he would normally be released, once you figure in good time and all that," Hogan's lawyer explained. "When you calculate good time, which everybody that's there that doesn't get in trouble [is granted], they come up with a date, and we've known that date literally since the day that he went in. October 21 is the day that we expect he will be released, but that's because of good time and all that."

Hogan pleaded no contest to charges of reckless driving involving serious bodily injury after he was arrested in November. Upon his release, Hogan will serve 500 hours of community service and must also surrender his driving privileges for three years. A judge has also ordered Hogan to complete a DUI school within one year of his release from prison and prohibited the teenager from drinking alcohol of any kind.

The accident left Graziano, a former U.S. Marine, permanently brain-damaged; he sustained a broken skull in the crash. According to police, Bollea was driving his Toyota Supra at a high speed in a race against a Dodge Viper when he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a raised median. The car reportedly flipped over, and the rear of the vehicle collided with a palm tree.

Kanye West Won't Face Felony Charges In Airport Scuffle

Kanye West will not face felony charges in connection with his scuffle with paparazzi at Los Angeles airport earlier this month, according to TMZ. The site reported that Don Crowley, West's road manager, will not face felony charges either, and said the case has been sent to the L.A. city attorney, where it hasn't been decided whether anyone will be charged with a misdemeanor.

Earlier this month, MTV News reported that West could avoid felony charges due to a quirk in California law. At the time, Crowley could have been charged with a felony because he wrestled with two paparazzi and smashed the men's expensive cameras. West destroyed one shooter's lighting rig, which was worth just $100.

Meanwhile, Crowley had his hands on the camera, which is worth more than $1,400, as well as a video camera belonging to TMZ that was reportedly valued at $7,000. California law states that someone who criminally damages property worth more than $400 can be prosecuted for felony vandalism. TMZ speculated that the charges for West could be lowered to a misdemeanor, while Crowley might still face felony counts.

After posting $20,000 bail and being released from jail, West blogged about the incident, saying, "We back in the lab!!! I'm cool with the paparazzi. This guy wasn't cool. I gotta work now." West was reportedly in Hawaii the next day working on his upcoming album, 808s and Heartbreak. The rapper has since bumped up its release date to "November something."

BREAKING NEWS: It's On! McCain Agrees to Debate

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has officially announced that he will participate in the first presidential debate, scheduled for tonight in Mississippi. Just 10 hours before the tete-a-tete was to begin, the Arizona senator buckled to growing pressures to stay on track with his campaign.

Earlier this week, McCain proposed to postpone the event so that he could head to Washington and take part in congress' plans to bail out the floundering banking system. But opponent Barack Obama held fast to the notion that the appearance of the two candidates in Washington would inject distracting presidential politics into the matter. Ultimately, Obama's stance was echoed by other leaders, including Senate majority leader Henry Reed.

Obama said Wednesday that he thought it was "important to communicate to the people where we need to go in order to pull out of this thing." The Illinois senator also noted that continuing with the debate would show Americans how each candidate responds to crisis.

Now that they're on board, the McCain camp offered a statement, saying that the candidate "is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations."

The debate will take place at the University of Mississippi and will be broadcast by nine networks live at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Terrence Howard Mourns the Passing of His Mother

(WENN) Actor Terrence Howard is mourning the death of his mother after she lost her battle with cancer. The "Iron Man" star's mom, Anita Williams, passed away earlier this week after a long fight against the disease.

Howard's representative tells, "Terrence Howard's mother, Anita Williams, has sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer.

"Terrence will take some time to privately grieve with his family. He appreciates everyone's support during this difficult time."

Howard, a father of three, is known to be close to his family, telling reporters earlier this year how he gives large amounts of money to his relatives.

Rihanna Set to Launch Clothing Line

Rihanna is set to follow in the footsteps of fellow pop star Beyonce' and launch her own clothing line.

The "Disturbia" singer, who is a frequent front-row guest at runway shows, has confirmed she is working on her own designs, according to New York Magazine's online edition.

The sexy star has already dabbled in the accessories industry - she put her name to a range of umbrellas earlier this year to coincide with her international hit of the same name.

"I can't say when it will be released, but it's definitely going to happen. I'm not one to rush into anything. I want to take my time," she tells fashion publication WWD.

Earlier this year, Rihanna hinted she was pondering a fashion line, saying, "There might be a clothing line on the horizon, maybe underwear."

The star has also previously teamed up with retail chain H&M to design a range of casual wear as part of the "Fashion Against Aids" campaign.

Bar Refaeli: Sexy and Single at LAX

Her modeling career takes her all over the world. And yesterday (September 25), Bar Refaeli was spotted arriving at LAX International Airport getting picked up by her brother.

The Israeli supermodel looked casual-yet-sexy in a white top underneath a cropped black leather jacket with black baggy pants and flip flops.

And it sounds like Bar is back on the market, having once again split up with on/off boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio.

“Bar moved her stuff out of their New York apartment, but they’re still close friends and ended things on good terms. Leo isn’t ready to settle down yet. He wants to leave the door open, so they can get back together in the future.”

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt: Mr. Chow Dinner Date

Enjoying a romantic evening out on the town, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt were spotted on their way home from dinner at Beverly Hills restaurant Mr. Chow.

Proving that chivalry isn’t dead, Mr. Pratt opened Miss Montag’s car door for her before hopping in and driving off into the night.

And according to a recent report, Heidi still holds out hope that she and ex-bestie Lauren Conrad will one day reconcile their differences and rekindle their friendship.

She told press, “Obviously I miss her, and she was my best friend for a really long time. Hopefully one day we will be able to work through this and move on and patch some things up.”

Miley Cyrus and Justin Gaston: Table 8 Date

Stepping out side-by-side once more, Miley Cyrus and her Nashville Star pal Justin Gaston grabbed up dinner at Table 8 in Los Angeles on Thursday night (September 25).

Although she’s usually accompanied by her parents - on this night Miley and her hunky underwear model mate were able to enjoy a dinner date all to themselves.

Meanwhile, there are those still claiming that Miley and father Billy Ray Cyrus are trying to get fired from “Hannah Montana”.

Of the rumors, Miley says they are simply untrue, telling press, “I am fully committed to Hannah Montana. It’s what gave me this amazing opportunity to reach out to so many people. I couldn’t do it alone. We have an amazing cast that is so supportive, including my dad who has been there for me every step of the way.”

Reese Witherspooon Goes Toy Crazy

Enjoying a day out with her son Deacon, actress Reese Witherspoon was spotted out on a shopping trip in Brentwood on Thursday afternoon (September 25).

And while she’s usually found in the footwear and handbag boutiques, the “Sweet Home Alabama” babe made this particular outing all about her little man, as the two stopped at a local toy shop called Toy Crazy.

Meanwhile, it sounds as if Miss Witherspoon has some painstaking days lying ahead, as she’ll be promoting her new movie “Four Christmases”, despite allegedly saying that co-star Vince Vaughn is “the biggest child I’ve ever met!”

A Witherspoon insider told OK! magazine, “Promoting a movie involves long hours, and she’ll have to spend a lot of time with someone who gets under her skin. Reese is professional — she’ll grit her teeth, fake a smile and pose for pictures — but she’s not looking forward to it.”

DJ AM Released From Georgia Hospital

One week following his horrific plane crash survival, Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein was released from Doctors Hospital in August, Georgia on Friday (September 26).

“While he is deeply saddened by the events, he is thankful for all of the love and support he has been receiving from fans and friends worldwide,” DJ AM’s rep Jenni Weinman told press in a statement.

“We ask that you continue to respect his privacy as he rests and heals and mourns the loss of his friends,” Goldstein’s rep added.

Of DJ AM and Travis Barker’s ability to get out of the plane, Lt. Jason Shumpert of the South Congaree Police Department told the Associated Press, “It was divine intervention that they got out. They should be commended for being able to get out and keep their heads together.”

Paris Hilton’s “My New BFF” Promotions

She has a new MTV reality series called “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF” hitting the airwaves this Tuesday, September 30th, and last night Paris Hilton was on the promotional trail.

The “Simple Life” cutie was spotted on her way to the Ed Sullivan Theatre to tape a segment for “The Late Show with David Letterman,” looking hot in a green spaghetti strap dress and snakeskin heels.

Earlier in the day, Miss Hilton stopped by the View talk show, only to find herself once again fielding questions about her troubled past.

View host Joy asked her, “You’re not going to be able to vote, are you? I have a friend who was in the slammer, he can’t vote. Weren’t you in jail?”

But Paris handled things calmly, telling her, “I can vote,” and explaining that her jail time was for driving with a suspended license. Whoopi chimed in with, “Yeah, you’re still an American, yeah.”

Eva Longoria: BlackBerry Bosom

They’re very popular among Hollywood A-listers, and yesterday Eva Longoria toted her BlackBerry mobile phone around the set of “Desperate Housewives”… in her cleavage!

Sporting a swirly psychedelic pink minidress overtop a pink shirt with matching flip flops, the “Over Her Dead Body” actress had her hands full, so she tucked her Curve in between her curves.

In related news, Longoria has spoken out about voter registration recently, telling the largely-unregistered Hispanic population to make sure they’re using their voice to make a difference.

She announced, “Go out and tell your families, go out and tell your friends, go out and tell your communities to try to get everyone registered to vote.”