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By United Press International   |   Oct. 12, 2011 at 4:00 AM

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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

MICHAEL JACKSON: The doctor who categorized Michael Jackson's death as a homicide says it is unlikely the U.S. singer self-administered the drugs that killed him.

Jackson died June 25, 2009, at age 50. Lethal levels of sedatives and the anesthesia propofol were found in his system.

The pop star's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly giving Jackson the drugs to help him sleep, and then failing to come to his aid when he was in distress.

Murray's lawyers have suggested Jackson gave himself the fatal doses when Murray was in the bathroom for 2 minutes.

Dr. Christopher Rogers, a deputy medical examiner for the Los Angeles coroner's office, said that was a possible, but unlikely scenario during his testimony Tuesday at Murray's trial in Los Angeles, TMZ reported.

Rogers said he doesn't believe Murray's version of the story because Jackson wouldn't have had the time to wake up under the influence of powerful sedatives, take the drug and have it travel to his brain during that 2-minute window Murray said he was gone.

Rogers said it is more likely Murray administered several doses of propofol in the hours leading up to Jackson's death without properly measuring them, resulting in an overdose and causing Jackson to stop breathing, TMZ reported.


CHYNNA PHILLIPS: Singer Chynna Phillips and her professional dance partner Tony Dovolani were eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles Tuesday.

The couple were voted off the program after Phillips forgot part of her routine and froze during Monday night's live show.

"I'm disappointed. I'm sad, but I have to take responsibility. I messed up. I have an amazing partner. I love you, Tony. You're amazing," Phillips said, upon learning her fate. "Tony's amazing. He has been there for me 100 percent the entire way and I'm very grateful to have been on the show and had the opportunity. Thank you everyone who voted for me."

Still in the running for the coveted mirror ball trophy are gay-rights activist Chaz Bono and professional dancer Lacey Schwimmer; actor David Arquette and Kym Johnson; TV host Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus; reality TV personality Robert Kardashian and Cheryl Burke; TV personality Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya; actress and talk-show host Ricki Lake and Derek Hough; Iraq war veteran and actor J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff; and World Cup champ Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.


MICHAEL DOUGLAS: Michael Douglas has signed on to play flamboyant Las Vegas entertainer Liberace in the bio-picture "Behind the Candelabra," HBO Films said Tuesday.

The Hollywood Reporter said Matt Damon will play Scott Thorson, the late performer's boyfriend, in the TV movie to be directed by Steven Soderbergh and produced by Jerry Weintraub. Liberace died of cardiac arrest at age 67 in 1987.

Damon, Weintraub and Soderbergh previously worked together on the "Ocean's Eleven" film franchise.

"This is a story that's going to surprise a lot of people," HBO Films President Len Amato said Tuesday. "It's funny, heartbreaking and always fascinating, and we are delighted that Jerry and Steven brought the film to HBO. With Steven at the helm, directing such accomplished actors as Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, this is a dream project for us."

Production is to begin next summer in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Palm Springs, The Hollywood Reporter said.


ADELE: British recording star Adele led the field with four nods when nominations for the 2011 American Music Awards were announced in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and The Band Perry followed close behind with three nominations each. Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Jason Aldean, Kanye West, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj and Pitbull collected two nominations apiece.

In the running for 2011 Artist of the Year are Adele, Perry, Gaga, Lil Wayne and Swift.

Adele also earned nods for Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Artist in the Adult Contemporary category. Her album "21" was nominated for Favorite Album.

Perry and Pitbull were announced as performers for the 39th annual AMAs. Additional acts and presenters are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, organizers said.

The show will be broadcast live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE Nov. 20 on ABC.

"The highly talented group that makes up this year's 2011 AMA nominees have dominated the charts, airwaves and pop culture all year long. We are excited to congratulate and celebrate all of the artists on American music's biggest night," the show's producers said in a statement.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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