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Poundstone speaks on abuse charges



Published: Thu, January 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Poundstone speakson abuse charges

LOS ANGELES -- Paula Poundstone told Maria Shriver on Tuesday night's "Dateline NBC" that she's not a child molester.

"I didn't do anything sexual, and I didn't hit anybody," she said.

It was the comedian's first interview since she was arrested on child endangerment and sexual-abuse charges in June. The abuse charges were dropped.

Poundstone says she was shocked, and adds, "There are kids in orphanages in the Balkans that the state of California believes are better off there than with me. It's not a very good feeling."

Poundstone admitted driving four children to get ice cream while she was intoxicated. The district attorney "didn't convict me of child molesting," Poundstone told Shriver, "because they couldn't, because it's not true. What happened is so stupid that it's more embarrassing than anything else."

At the time of her arrest, Poundstone had three adopted children and two foster kids living with her. They were all removed from her care as soon as the allegations were made. She is no longer allowed to be a foster parent; those children were taken away from her permanently.

Her adopted kids are under the temporary jurisdiction of the courts, and Poundstone is allowed only supervised visits.

"My kids are so confused right now. ... I have told them that I've made mistakes that have led to this. They know that."

Hill, McGraw settle inwith third daughter

LOS ANGELES -- And baby makes three -- daughters, that is.

Audrey Caroline McGraw was born in early December to Tim McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill. Waiting at home for her arrival were 4-year-old Gracie and 3-year-old Maggie.

"The baby's great. She's doin' wonderful," McGraw told reporters. "She's healthy and happy and we're happy and that's all that matters."

How do the couple's older daughters feel about having a new little sister? "Oh, they love it. They're incredible," he said.

Hill and McGraw, both 34, live in Brentwood, south of Nashville, Tenn.

It's going to be a busy year, he said.

"I'm looking forward to getting a new album out. Faith will have an album out. We've got some shows we're going to do. We're going to be out there. I don't know if we're going to do a great big huge tour. I think we might pop up at a few clubs or do somethin' fun this year."

Contractor who bilkedMellencamp sentenced

INDIANAPOLIS -- A home builder who pleaded guilty to overbilling John Mellencamp received a four-year suspended sentence Tuesday and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

Timothy O. Eldredge pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft of $134,471 by falsified billing invoices in an effort to bilk the singer and his wife, model Elaine Mellencamp, said Roger Rayl, a spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor's office.

The couple had hired The Eldredge Group of Indianapolis to build a $2.5 million home near Lake Monroe south of Bloomington.

Eldredge gave the Mellencamps a $98,000 check Tuesday to complete paying restitution, Rayl said.

Marion Superior Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt also sentenced the 53-year-old to four years' probation and 400 hours of community service.

Prosecutors said Eldredge had subcontractors make two invoices, one showing an actual cost and another a higher cost. The Mellencamps paid the higher amount to Eldredge, who paid the lesser amount to the subcontractor.

Mellencamp said he was satisfied with the sentence.

"I thought the judge was as severe as she could have been under the circumstances," he told Indianapolis radio station WIBC.

Today's birthdays

Actor Ernest Borgnine is 85. Evangelist Oral Roberts is 84. Actor Marvin Kaplan ("Top Cat") is 75. Cajun musician Doug Kershaw is 66. Singer-songwriter Ray Stevens is 63. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 61. Singer Aaron Neville is 61. Actor Michael Ontkean is 56. Singer Warren Zevon is 55. Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs is 52. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 51. Actress Nastassja Kinski is 42. Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) is 39. Comedian Phil LaMarr is 35. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pat "Sleepy" Brown (Society of Soul) is 32. Actor Matthew Lillard is 32. Actress Merrilee McCommas is 31. Actress Tatyana Ali is 23.




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