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By United Press International   |   Oct. 27, 2011 at 2:00 AM
The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

MURRAY: Jurors in Los Angeles heard testimony from former patients Wednesday in Dr. Conrad Murray's trial in the drug-fueled death of pop singer Michael Jackson.

Murray, who was Jackson's personal doctor, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges. He is accused of improperly using propofol as a sleep aid for the pop star.

Medical experts testifying for the prosecution allege Murray abandoned Jackson by leaving him unmonitored in his bedroom while sedated, USA Today reported.

The character witnesses, who described Murray as caring and capable, included Ruby Mosley, 80, a patient at Murray's Houston clinic, and Gerry Causey, 68, of Cedar City, Utah, who Murray treated in Las Vegas, CNN reported.

Causey testified Wednesday that Murray was "the best doctor I've ever been to." He said Murray would never abandon a patient and is so uncaring about money that "he doesn't charge me my deductible."

Murray's lawyers contend Jackson self-administered the overdose of drugs that killed him because he was desperate to get some sleep to get through rehearsals for his comeback concerts. The defense alleges Jackson was addicted to Demerol and his withdrawal from the painkiller would explain why he could not get to sleep.

A coroner ruled Jackson died of acute propofol intoxication.


WINEHOUSE: Singer Amy Winehouse died of accidental alcohol poisoning after drinking more than five times Britain's drunk-driving limit, a British coroner said Wednesday.

Coroner Suzanne Greenway said the 27-year-old singer, who had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, had consumed a very large quantity of alcohol before her death in July.

Greenway, speaking at an inquest Wednesday in London, said a post-mortem examination of Winehouse's body found no traces of illegal drugs. She said the huge amounts of alcohol in her system could have caused her to stop breathing and fall into a coma.


CHAZ BONO: Chaz Bono says he's proud of what he accomplished as a contestant on the U.S. television show "Dancing with the Stars."

After his elimination Tuesday night due to low scores, the transgendered activist said he entered the ABC dancing competition to "show America a different kind of man."

"I know that if there was somebody like me on TV when I was growing up, my whole life would have been different," he said.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation praised Bono's courage and determination, The Hollywood Reporter said.

"Chaz bravely put on his dancing shoes and became a fan favorite, showing millions of viewers that he's like any other guy," GLAAD acting President Mike Thompson said. "Though it's sad to see him go, Chaz has helped countless people better understand what it means to be transgender. He should be commended for both his courage and determination. We hope Chaz's time on Dancing with the Stars is just the beginning in a long line of transgender-inclusive programming across the media."

Bono's mother, Cher, fervently supported her son throughout the competition.

"I Have Got 2Hold my TEMPER ! MY Tears R OK ! Congratulations Chaz I'm SO PROUD OF U ! This was YOUR Quest...& u Followed your Star," she tweeted Tuesday night.


JACKSON: Michael Jackson tops Forbes magazine's annual list of top-earning dead celebrities for the second year in a row, the magazine said.

Jackson's estate brought in $170 million during the past 12 months from sales of his music and his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog, Forbes said Tuesday. He was also the second highest-earning pop act -- dead or alive -- over the past year, after U2.

Elvis Presley ranked second on the Forbes list with $55 million and Marilyn Monroe came in third with $27 million.

Forbes said songwriters who own their own music catalogs can keep earning big money long after they're gone.

Cirque Du Soleil has also turned out to be a huge profit generator for dead celebrities. Jackson's estate and Cirque Du Soleil are splitting the costs and profits of the "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" and the estate also collects performance royalties.

Forbes said the Cirque show "Viva Elvis" played a major role in Presley's ranking. John Lennon, who tied with Elizabeth Taylor, for fifth place with $12 million, and George Harrison, tied for 13th with $6 million, have benefited from the Cirque show "Love."

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