Mon, Jul 09, 2007 - Page 13 News List

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J.K. Rowling cried when she finished the final Harry Potter book.

PHOTO: AP

Best-selling author J.K. Rowling revealed how she broke down in tears during the completion of her final book in the Harry Potter series.

She also tells interviewer Jonathan Ross how she changed the last word in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the eleventh hour.

"When I finished one chapter near the end I absolutely howled," she told the BBC television presenter.

She finished the book alone in a hotel room.

"I was sobbing my heart out - I downed half a bottle of champagne from the mini bar in one and went home with mascara all over my face. That was really tough."

The Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book about the schoolboy wizard Harry Potter and his Hogwarts friends.

The plots have taken a darker turn and Rowling has in the past revealed that she would kill off at least two of the main characters.

When asked by the chat show host whether the word "scar" was still the last word in the book, as had been reported, she said: "Scar? It was for ages, and now it's not.

"Scar is quite near the end, but it's not the last word."

Harry Potter has a lightning bolt scar on his forehead as a result of a failed curse by the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort.

Rowling also revealed that the character Harry Potter was "totally imaginary" and not based on anyone.

His red-haired pal Ron Weasley was a lot like her oldest friend Sean though, she confessed.

More than 325 million copies of the first six books have been sold worldwide, helping to turn Rowling into the first dollar-billionaire author.

The Deathly Hallows appears on the bookshelves on July 21, but 1.6 million copies have been pre-ordered online.

Pop princess Britney Spears apologized last week for attacking a photographer's car with an umbrella earlier this year, saying the outburst was part of her preparation for a movie role.

Spears claimed the attack on a paparazzo' car in February, which took place after a visit to her estranged husband Kevin Federline's house, occurred as she attempted to get into character for an unsuccessful audition.

"I apologize to the pap for a stunt that was done four months ago regarding an umbrella," Spears, 25, wrote in a message on her web site.

"I was preparing my character for a roll (sic) in a movie where the husband never plays his part so they switch places accidentally.

"I take all my rolls very seriously and got a little carried away. Unfortunately I didn't get the part."

Spears attack came during a period where she was rarely out of the tabloid headlines, shaving her head, getting two new tattoos and partying hard in Los Angeles. She eventually checked into a rehabilitation center.

Elton John has won US$157,700 in damages and costs from a Paris art dealer who sold him sculptures apparently dating from the 18th century that turned out to be fake, according to court papers.

In a judgment issued on June 26, the dealer, Jean Renoncourt, was ordered to pay the singer the purchase price of US$360,000 plus interest from the time the statues were sold in 1996. He was also ordered to take back the statues.

The four statues, representing figures from Greek mythology, were sold as the work of the Italian sculptor Luigi Grossi, who died in 1795.

According to an expert judgment commissioned by the court, the sculptures were determined to date from the late 20th century.

The judgment comes after a long legal battle by the singer, who discovered the forgery when he had the statues assessed for insurance purposes.

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