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Bieber charged with assault in Canada

by The Associated Press on January 30, 2014 10:40 AM

TORONTO — Justin Bieber was charged with assault for allegedly hitting a Toronto limousine driver several times in the back of the head last month, just hours after his attorney entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drunken-driving and other charges.

The baby-faced singer turned himself in to a Toronto police station Wednesday evening, arriving amid a crush of media and screaming fans. He was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on March 10.

Police allege Bieber, 19, was one of six people who were picked up by a limousine from a nightclub in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, and there was an altercation while en route to a hotel.

Police said during the altercation one of the passengers hit the limo driver in the back of the head several times.

“The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police,” a statement said. “The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived.”

Howard Weitzman, Bieber’s attorney in California, said his client is innocent and declined to comment on the allegations against Bieber or any potential defense, saying it was now a matter for the court to handle.

Weitzman said he expects the case to be treated as a summary offense, which is the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States. “The Toronto Police Service requested that Justin Bieber appear in Toronto today to face an allegation of assault relating to an incident on December 29, 2013. We anticipate that this matter will be treated as a summary offense, the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States,” he said in a statement.

Brian Greenspan, Bieber’s Canadian attorney, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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NEW YORK — Madonna’s not done with her recent string of public appearances — she also has signed on to introduce members of Pussy Riot at Amnesty International’s human rights concert in New York.

The pop singer made the announcement Wednesday morning on social media. She’s been busy of late, appearing on Sunday’s Grammy Awards with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and singing with Miley Cyrus during an “MTV Unplugged” taping Tuesday.

Madonna says in a statement that she admires Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. They were recently released after nearly two years in jail following a conviction for hooliganism when they staged a protest in a Russian church.

The Bringing Human Rights Home concert Wednesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn also will include Imagine Dragons, Lauryn Hill, The Flaming Lips and others.

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LOS ANGELES — A judge in Los Angeles has reinstated a lawsuit by Nicollette Sheridan over her firing from “Desperate Housewives.”

The ruling on Wednesday could lead to a new trial on her claim that she was improperly ousted from the show.

City News Service reports that Superior Court Judge Michael Stern overturned an earlier ruling dismissing the suit.

Sheridan claims she was fired after complaining that series creator Marc Cherry struck her on set. A jury deadlocked 8-4 in her favor in 2012.

Cherry has denied the claim and been dismissed from the legal action. The show’s producer, Touchstone Television Productions LLC, also has denied the allegation.

Sheridan’s lawyer David Crochetiere says he is pleased with the ruling and believes it will allow the actress to have her day in court.

Touchstone attorney Adam Levin declined comment on the development.

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