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March 16, 2012

Knox ex inks book deal

Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, will be the first to tell about the Italian murder case that made them famous worldwide.

Sollecito, 27, has a deal with Simon & Schuster's Gallery Books for a book scheduled to come out this fall. Knox's memoir is due next year.

The publisher said Thursday that "Presumed Guilty: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox" would cover his relationship with the American exchange student, their arrests and imprisonment in Italy over the 2007 death of Knox's roommate, and their eventual release last fall after the convictions were overturned.

—Associated Press

Law, 'Matilda' get Olivier nods

Jude Law and Kristin Scott Thomas are among the nominees for this year's Olivier Awards, the highest theater honor in Britain. The nominations were announced Thursday in London.

Leading the roster are the new musicals "Matilda" and "Ghost," with 10 and five nominations, respectively. Also scoring high were the new plays "The Ladykillers," based on the 1955 movie, and Richard Bean's "One Man, Two Guvnors," with five nominations each.

Rounding out the nominees for new musical were "Betty Blue Eyes," "London Road" and "Shrek." The nominees for new play included "Collaborators" by John Hodge and "Jumpy" by April De Angelis.

Law received a nomination for his performance in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie" at the Donmar Warehouse, while Scott Thomas was recognized for her leading role in a revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" at the Comedy Theatre.

—David Ng

Suit filed against Fox over 'Dolls'

Twentieth Century Fox doesn't have the rights for a "Valley of the Dolls" television series it is developing, the estate of the late novelist Jacqueline Susann said in a lawsuit.

The suit, filed by Tiger LLC in federal court in L.A. this week, said that Fox is working on the project with Lee Daniels, the director of "Precious." Susann's novel was the basis for a 1967 movie and a 1981 TV movie.

The estate accuses Fox of copyright infringement and breach of contract, among other claims, and seeks unspecified damages.

A studio spokesman had no immediate comment.

—Bloomberg News

Celebrities help pitch arts plates

The California Arts Council has enlisted a bevy of celebrities to participate in a bid to bring more glamour to its primary funding mechanism: selling special arts license plates to motorists whose purchases are in fact charitable contributions to arts grants.

Coming to an electronic billboard near you, under the banner "Create a State," will be Robert Redford, Steve Martin, Quincy Jones, Placido Domingo, Jack Black, Annette Bening, Tim Robbins, Frank Gehry, Harrison Ford, Debbie Allen, Ed Ruscha, Russell Simmons, the Edge and the cast of "Glee," among others.

The goal is to boost arts plate sales to 1 million a year — a huge leap from the current 60,000 to 70,000.

Arts license plates cost $50 for a new, nonpersonalized plate or $40 for a renewal — with the Arts Council reaping $35 for each new plate (the rest covers the initial cost of providing the plate) and the full $40 for renewals.

—Mike Boehm

Man Asian prize goes to 'Mom'

Shin Kyung-sook's novel "Please Look After Mom" has won the Man Asian Literary Prize.

The novel is about a family's search for their mother after she goes missing in Seoul. The judges said it was "an incredibly moving portrait of what it means to be a mother, but also of the tradition and modernity of the family in South Korea."

Shin is one of South Korea's most acclaimed authors, and "Please Look After Mom" has also made a splash in the United States.

She won $30,000 and Kim Chi-young won $5,000 for the English translation.

—Associated Press

Patterson to give books to soldiers

If James Patterson thought it were possible, he'd shake the hand of every U.S. soldier. For now, he'll let a big bundle of his novels do the talking.

The bestselling author is donating 200,000 copies of his work to the U.S. Armed Forces, continuing a tradition he started in 2006.

Patterson said Thursday he doesn't think the soldiers get "the appreciation they deserve." His gift to the military will include copies of "Tick Tock," "The Postcard Killers" and other favorites.

—Associated Press


On the mend: The comedian Gallagher was in stable condition in Lewisville, Texas, Thursday after suffering a heart attack the night before at a bar before going on stage for a show.

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