AN ESSAY that won a 6-year-old Texas girl four tickets to a
concert began with the powerful line: "My daddy died this year in Iraq."
While gripping, it wasn't true - and now the girl may lose her tickets after her mom acknowledged to contest organizers that the essay had been a lie.
"We did the essay and that's what we did to win," Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, told a Dallas TV station. "We did whatever we could do to win."
Send this mom a copy of Lynne Spears' book on Christian parenting. Oops, that's been postponed . . . indefinitely.
The 6-year-old won a makeover (Tattle says little girls have sleepovers and do-overs, not makeovers) that included a blond Hannah Montana wig, plus airfare for four to Albany, N.Y., and tickets to the sold-out Jan. 9 HM concert.
The mother told the contest sponsors, Club Libby Lu, that the girl's father, whom she identified as Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar, died April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq. But the Department of Defense has no record of anyone with that name dying in Iraq. Mom admitted she made it all up.
The company is considering taking away the girl's tickets. We think having this poor excuse for a parent is punishment enough.
The late James Brown - dubbed the hardest-working man in show business - will be keeping some attorneys plenty busy as five of his children challenge his will.
The children say their father's will should be invalidated because his former advisers used undue influence to get him to create two charitable trusts from which the advisers would profit.
Brown, who died of heart failure at age 73 last Christmas, largely left his children out of the financial portion of his will. Most of the money from the soul singer's estate has been put into trust to educate his grandchildren and help needy kids.
Five Brown children are challenging the will in Aiken, S.C., County Probate Court. They claim Brown's longtime advisers, Buddy Dallas, Alford Bradley and David Cannon, convinced Brown to create the trusts so the advisers would profit from managing the two charities after Brown died.
Dallas denied the allegations and called attempts to void the will "an act of desperation."
"No one told James Brown what to do," Dallas said, adding that if he were going to use his influence to benefit himself, "I would have just influenced him into giving me something."
One grandchild whose tuition would be paid for by the trusts has accused his relatives of trying to break the charities to get the money.
Most of Brown's estate, including his Beech Island, S.C., home and rights to his image, name and music, would go to the James Brown "I Feel Good" Trust for the education of needy children in South Carolina and Georgia, as well as to a family trust to educate his grandchildren younger than 35.
It's not clear how much money there is, although Forbes magazine reported that Brown made $5 million in 2005 alone.
* In other probate news, a judge has ordered mediation in a lawsuit over two Oscars presented to Mary Pickford and a third given to Charles "Buddy" Rogers, who was married to the actress.
In this case, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is suing heirs of Rogers' second wife, Beverly, to prevent the public sale of the statuettes. The Academy claims that under its bylaws, it gets first chance to buy the Oscars - for $10 each.
Pickford won the Academy Award for best actress in 1930 for "Coquette." She received an honorary Oscar in 1976. Rogers won a humanitarian award Oscar in 1986.
If mediation fails, this case is going to trial next year.
Longtime "Saturday Night Live" performer Jimmy Fallon and movie producer Nancy Juvonen were married in the Caribbean on Dec. 22, his publicist announced Saturday.
Fallon, 33, and Juvonen, 40, wed on Necker Island "with family and close friends in attendance." It's the first marriage for both. *