October 30, 2007 in Features

Brit blacks out, Mom sheds light

From Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

Associated Press Lynne Spears
(Full-size photo)

While Britney Spears‘ new album, “Blackout,” lands in stores today, her mother is preparing a project of her own.

“Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World” by Lynne Spears is set for release May 11 – which is Mother’s Day.

Mother and daughter had been estranged for months and only recently reconciled.

Co-author Lorilee Craker, who has been working with the elder Spears since March, says the book isn’t a celebrity tell-all, contrary to tabloid reports.

Instead, it’s more of a mother’s-eye view of a struggling child thrust into the pop-culture eye.

“She is one of the kindest, most decent people, and very down-to-earth,” Craker says of Lynne Spears.

“People would be amazed at how normal she is, but she’s living in this sort of surreal life at the same time.

“One thing I do want to make clear is that she’s not a stage mom,” adds Craker. “People are so accusatory toward her and so judgmental of her, and it just drives me crazy because I know the real her.”

She does have a prayer

In other Britney news, a court ruling is expected today on her bid to regain shared custody of her two young sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

Federline earlier this month was awarded temporary custody of Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, amid concerns over Spears’ parenting skills and substance abuse.

Meanwhile, the congregation of Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Ky., is being asked to send her letters of support.

“As a church, let’s love Britney the way Jesus loves her,” says pastor John Weece.

Getting the brushoff

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a dispute involving Elizabeth Taylor over rights to a Vincent van Gogh painting.

The descendants of a Jewish woman who fled Nazi Germany are claiming ownership of the work, saying it was improperly seized.

Taylor’s lawyers say there’s no evidence of Nazi involvement in the handling of the painting, which she bought at auction in 1963.

False, sour notes?

Luciano Pavarotti‘s widow has broken her silence to denounce Italian media reports claiming that the famed tenor had left her $26 million in debt, that she was fighting with his daughters from his first marriage over his will and that their marriage had been on the rocks.

Nicoletta Mantovani said she felt compelled to set the record straight for the sake of the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, Alice.

Call him mellow yellow

Singer Donovan has announced plans to open an Invincible Donovan University in Scotland to teach transcendental meditation.

“I know it sounds like an airy-fairy hippie dream to go on about ‘60s peace and love,” he says. “But the world is ready for this now, it is clear this is the time.”

The birthday bunch

Singer Grace Slick is 68. Actor Henry Winkler is 62. Actor Harry Hamlin is 56. Actor Kevin Pollak is 50. Actress Nia Long is 37. Actor Tequan Richmond (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 15.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email