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NBC will trim crucifixion from Madonna special



Published: Sat, October 21, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



NBC will trim crucifixionfrom Madonna special

Facing threats of boycotts and a possible viewer backlash, Madonna has agreed to trim shots of a controversial mock crucifixion from her upcoming NBC special.

The decision came after weeks of hand-wringing at NBC, which faced growing opposition from watchdog groups that said the scene would stir public outrage.

Madonna's "Confessions" concert is to air Nov. 22, Thanksgiving eve.

In the crucifixion scene, part of her recent worldwide tour, she climbs onto a cross while singing "Live to Tell."

Since the tour started, she's been slammed by Catholic leaders around the world for using the religious symbol as a concert prop.

In Italy, for instance, religious leaders condemned the scene (which includes her wearing a crown of thorns) as an act of hostility against the church.

Late last month, as interest in NBC's decision on the concert special simmered, Madonna defended the scene and urged people to see it before making condemnations.

"This is not a mocking of the church," she said in a statement. "Rather, it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would be doing the same thing."

Anna Nicole Smith says noto paternity test for baby

NASSAU, Bahamas -- An attorney for Anna Nicole Smith said Friday the reality TV star has no intention of submitting her six-week-old daughter for paternity testing as demanded by an ex-boyfriend.

A lawsuit filed by photographer Larry Birkhead seeks a court order for Smith to bring the girl to California for a DNA test. A birth certificate lists her current boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, as the father of Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern.

"Why should she accommodate him at all?" asked attorney Wayne Munroe in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think she's going to run her life according to his wishes."

An attorney for Birkhead, Debra Opri, has said she is traveling to the Bahamas this weekend to take depositions from Smith and Stern on Monday. Opri could not immediately be reached to comment.

Munroe said he has not been notified of a request to meet his client. "It doesn't sound like they've complied with the law," he said.

On Thursday, Smith buried her 20-year-old son Daniel, who died while visiting her in a Nassau hospital three days after the baby was born Sept. 7.

A hearing on Birkhead's lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court has been scheduled for Oct. 26. If he is confirmed to be the father, he could receive visitation or custody rights and possibly a large amount of child support.

'Anatomy' star is gay

NEW YORK -- "Grey's Anatomy" star T.R. Knight says he's gay, but hopes people don't consider that "the most interesting part of me."

The 33-year-old actor addressed rumors of his sexuality in a statement to People magazine Thursday.

"I guess there have been a few questions about my sexuality, and I'd like to quiet any unnecessary rumors that may be out there," Knight's statement read. "While I prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me."

Knight plays Dr. George O'Malley on the popular ABC drama. A former stage actor, his television credits also include "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Law & amp; Order: Criminal Intent."

Knight's "Grey's Anatomy" character, a bumbling, puppy-eyed surgeon, has long been in love with Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo).

Today's birthdays

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Whitey Ford is 78. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 66. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & amp; the MG's) is 65. Singer Elvin Bishop is 64. TV's Judge Judy Sheindlin is 64. Musician Lee Loughnane (Chicago) is 60. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 57. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go's) is 53. Actress-author Carrie Fisher is 50. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 49. Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 33. Actor Will Estes is 28.




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