Rapper Foxy Brown to undergo surgery

Rapper Foxy Brownto undergo surgery
NEW YORK -- Foxy Brown, who is facing legal problems in an alleged fight with two Manhattan nail salon workers, says she'll take a break from performing to have surgery for a hearing defect.
Prosecutors allege that Brown, with a cell phone clutched in her closed fist, attacked and kicked one worker in an argument over payment for a manicure. She hit a second worker in the face, authorities said.
The 26-year-old rapper is charged with misdemeanor assault, attempted assault and harassment. She appeared Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court, where Judge Martin Murphy set a Dec. 5 trial date.
She refused to discuss the cause of her hearing problems, but said an operation is planned soon. Brown said she will make her last public appearance Sunday before having the surgery.
The rapper, who talked about her hearing difficulty after her court appearance, obviously strained to hear questions.
Brown has rejected at least two misdemeanor plea deals that would have let her avoid jail time for the alleged Aug. 29, 2004, assault.
"I'm innocent," she said Thursday. "I feel like I'm being railroaded."
Her lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said he's confident that Brown will be acquitted if the case goes to trial.
"I hope and pray that it isn't because of her celebrity that this case isn't being resolved," Tacopina said.
He said actors Christian Slater and Robert Iler "came out of here with breaks. I hope it's not because she's a rapper."
Spanish festival honorsGazzara and Dafoe
MADRID, Spain -- Ben Gazzara and Willem Dafoe are this year's recipients of the Donostia Prize for lifetime achievement at the San Sebastian Film Festival, Spain's leading film festival.
"I love awards, especially if I get them," the 75-year-old Gazzara said Thursday.
Gazzara said working with directors such as John Cassavetes proved to him that the only virtue needed to shoot good movies is courage.
"It's up to the courage of the filmmakers to make art in cinema, not just business. John was rejected by studios, he borrowed money and did movies with his own money. You're either courageous or not. You have to find a way," he said.
Gazzara worked with Cassavetes on "Husbands," "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" and "Opening Night."
Dafoe's screen credits include "Platoon" and "Shadow of the Vampire."
A rare interview
NEW YORK -- Roman Polanski, in a rare magazine interview, discussed his libel lawsuit against Vanity Fair, winning the Oscar for his 2002 Holocaust drama "The Pianist," and what motivated him to make his new film, "Oliver Twist."
Earlier this year, the 72-year-old director was awarded $87,000 in damages plus court costs in a British court for a 2002 article in Vanity Fair that accused him of propositioning a model in a New York restaurant while on his way to the 1969 funeral of his murdered wife, Sharon Tate.
"It was such an obvious and blatant lie," he told Entertainment Weekly in its Sept. 30 issue, on newsstands Monday. "I had to react to this. ... Because I don't want this to be part of the material that comes up and is reproduced again each time they write about me."
Polanski left the United States in 1978 rather than face sentencing on child-sex charges. He lives in Paris with his wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner, and their two children, ages 12 and 7.
Today's birthdays
Actor-singer Herb Jeffries is 94. ABC sportscaster Jim McKay is 84. Actress Sheila MacRae is 81. Singer Barbara Allbut (The Angels) is 65. Singer Phyllis "Jiggs" Allbut (The Angels) is 63. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 63. Actor Gordon Clapp is 57. Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass., is 53. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cedric Dent (Take 6) is 43. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos is 43. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 36. Actress Megan Ward is 36. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 34. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 17.

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