Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to the leader of Turkmenistan during a show, but her representative said she wouldn’t have performed there at all if she had known there were human rights issues in the country.
The singer and actress performed in the former Soviet bloc country on Saturday night. A statement released Sunday by her publicist said the event was hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp. and wasn’t a political event.
However, the country’s leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, did attend. Berdimuhamedow has been criticized for oppressive rule by human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch describes Turkmenistan as “among the most repressive in the world.”
Lopez’s publicist says the event was vetted by Lopez’s staff: “Had there been knowledge of human rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.”
The birthday serenade was a last-minute request made by the corporation to Lopez before she took the stage, and she “graciously obliged,” the statement said.
Lopez has no other performances scheduled in the country, her publicist said. Her performance fee wasn’t disclosed.
Hunt takes Dog to Billings
Reality TV star and bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman has been in Billings with his wife and crew filming an episode for his Country Music Television show “Dog and Beth: On The Hunt.”
The Billings Gazette reports that the person they’re trying to capture gave them the slip on Saturday.
Chapman said that’s how a reality TV show goes sometimes, and “If you miss ’em, you miss ’em, and if you get ’em, you get ’em.”
But he said he’s confident he and his group will eventually track the man down. The episode is expected to air in September.
Simpson gives birth to son
Jessica Simpson’s daughter has a new playmate – a baby brother named Ace.
Simpson’s rep confirmed that the entertainer gave birth to Ace Knute in Los Angeles on Sunday via planned C-section. The details were first reported by Us Weekly.
This is the second child for Simpson and her fiance, Eric Johnson. Simpson gave birth to daughter Maxwell last year.
Simpson, who got her start as a singer and has a successful apparel and accessories line, most recently appeared on NBC’s “Fashion Star.”
The birthday bunch
Actress Olivia de Havilland is 97. Actor Jamie Farr is 79. Singer Deborah Harry is 68. Actor Dan Aykroyd is 61. Singer Evelyn “Champagne” King is 53. Actor Andre Braugher is 51. Actress Pamela Anderson is 46. Actress Julianne Nicholson is 42. Actress Liv Tyler is 36. Actors Steven and Andrew Cavarno (“Party of Five”) are 21.