Mon, Sep 19, 2005 - Page 16 News List

Planet Pop

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Paris Hilton's phone hacker has got prison time. Hilton is still free.

PHOTO: AFP

A subdued Courtney Love, clutching a copy of Bob Dylan's autobiography, has been sentenced to 180 days in jail for violating her probation, but will serve her time in a live-in drug treatment center. The troubled rocker has been living at a lock-down substance abuse facility since admitting in August she had used drugs, a violation of her probation. A Los Angeles judge said she would be spared jail time because of the headway she made in rehabilitation.

Drug abuse troubles are also dogging actor Tom Sizemore who has been ordered to spend another 30 days in a drug treatment center, where he was sent by a judge after violating his probation for possessing methamphetamine. Superior Court Judge Paula Mabrey said she would allow the Saving Private Ryan actor to leave for occasional work assignments.

Running foul of the of the law is not just an activity confined to the stars themselves. A Los Angeles photographer who was convicted of trying to sell topless pictures of actress Cameron Diaz after forging her signature on a contract was sentenced to nearly four years in prison. John Rutter, who prosecutors accused of trying to blackmail Diaz for US$3 million over the steamy, bondage-themed photos taken before she was famous, was found guilty in July of attempted grand theft, forgery and perjury.

And a former painter on David Letterman's Montana ranch who faced charges of scheming to kidnap the talk-show host's son and nanny has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars on lesser charges, the prosecutor said. After learning of Kelly Frank's alleged kidnapping plot, local authorities took the painter, who had worked on Letterman's ranch near Choteau, Montana, into custody in March.

Meanwhile, a teenager who famously hacked into the cell phone of socialite Paris Hilton and exposed her celebrity address book has been sentenced to 11 months in jail, according to press reports.

The juvenile's identity was not released. He had been charged with a variety of crimes allegedly committed in a 15 month hacking spree that began in March last year.

Besides hacking Hilton's phone, the youth also hacked into unnamed Internet and telephone service providers and made bomb threats to schools in Massachusetts and Florida. Damages from these crimes amounted to about US$1 million.

The clearing up of crimes has also led to the recovery of two art masterpieces -- a self-portrait of 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt and a painting by French impressionist Pierre-August Renoir -- stolen from Sweden's National Museum five years ago, Danish and US officials said. The recovery of the multimillion-dollar artworks in an international undercover operation means all three paintings stolen in the daring December 2000 heist have now been found.

A work from a dead master of a somewhat lesser pedigree has hit bookshelves this week with the release of Fan-Tan, authored by actor Marlon Brando who has been immortalized in film for playing a Mafia boss, a luckless boxer and a rebellious biker. Fourteen months after his death he is now also to be known as the writer of the swashbuckling pirate novel. The unfinished manuscript was polished by film historian David Thomson and published by Random House imprint Alfred Knopf.

Immortalizing himself in a different style Johnny Depp last week put his hand and footprint onto the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard, joining the Who's Who of movie legends who are commemorated outside Grauman's Chinese Theater.

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