Mon, Oct 30, 2006 - Page 13 News List

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Socialite Nicole Richie, whose rail-thin appearance in recent photos has stoked tabloid speculation of an eating disorder, has checked into a treatment facility to address her inability to gain weight, her publicist said.

“She is working with a team of doctors and specialists whose focus is nutrition,” spokeswoman Nicole Perna said in a statement. “It is important to Nicole that she achieves this goal in a healthy way as this is not a treatment for an eating disorder.”

Richie, the 25-year-old daughter of singer Lionel Richie, has publicly acknowledged her obvious loss of weight in recent months, telling Vanity Fair magazine: “I know I'm too thin right now. ... I'm not happy with the way I look.”

And she told People magazine that “stress” over the breakup with her former fiance had briefly affected her eating habits. But she has vehemently denied as “rumor” media reports suggesting she suffered from an eating disorder.

Her admission to the unidentified facility has forced a delay in production of the latest installment of her popular TV reality show, A Simple Life, producers said.

Also making news last week was rapper and actor Snoop Dogg, who was arrested after airport police said they found a gun and marijuana in his car.

The 35-year-old rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was arrested on Thursday at the Burbank airport near Los Angeles by police who had stopped him for leaving his car too long in the passenger loading area, a Burbank police spokesman said.

Broadus, one of the biggest names on the West Coast hip-hop scene, was booked and released on US$35,000 bail and was expected to make his first court appearance today.

Meanwhile prosecutors in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, are considering whether to file charges against the rapper for trying to bring a collapsible police baton on board a plane last month.

Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said security staff at John Wayne airport spotted the baton in a computer bag before Broadus took a flight to New York.

Broadus has said the baton was a prop in a video he was to make in New York and he was unaware it was illegal to take it on a plane.

Snoop Dogg, who has a previous conviction for cocaine possession, made his recording debut in the early 1990s as a protege of Dr Dre. He played a drug dealer turned informant in the 2004 movie Starsky and Hutch.

And now for the latest episode in Madonna's adoption saga.

The father of the 13-month-old Malawian boy the singer is trying to adopt insisted Friday that he supports her, and criticized human rights activists here who want the courts to review the process.

“I am surprised what these guys are up to,” Yohane Banda told journalists outside the courtroom where a hearing on the human rights group's challenge was held Friday. “Me and my family agreed with the adoption. I just want these people to leave my son alone.” The Human Rights Consultative Committee, a coalition of 67 Malawian rights groups, has petitioned the court to make sure no Malawian laws were broken in the adoption process, and to make the committee a party to the adoption so it can help assess Madonna's fitness as a mother.

Judge Andrew Nyirenda held a closed, 90-minute hearing on Friday. He then set another hearing for Nov. 13 to allow lawyers for the committee to submit additional arguments on why the adoption process should be reviewed and why the committee should be a party.

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