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By United Press International   |   Nov. 8, 2011 at 4:00 AM

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

CONRAD MURRAY: A Los Angeles jury Monday found Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.

The verdict came after 8 1/2 hours of deliberation, following a six-week trial.

Murray faces as much as four years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 29. Murray, who had been free on bail throughout his trial, was remanded to the custody of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department until sentencing.

The doctor was accused of causing the singer's 2009 death by giving him anesthesia and sedatives to help him sleep, and then failing to come to his aid when he was in distress. The cardiologist also has been criticized for not having emergency equipment on hand or keeping records of his treatment of the recording artist.

Murray denied any wrongdoing and his legal team suggested during the trial Jackson may have administered the fatal doses of drugs to himself when the doctor was briefly out of the room.

Jackson's brothers Jermaine and Randy, sister LaToya, and parents Katherine and Joe were in the courtroom when the verdict was read. Thousands of the late singer's fans cheered outside the courthouse as the decision was announced.


AVRIL LAVIGNE: Reality TV star Brody Jenner and singer Avril Lavigne say they were assaulted by several people outside Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel during the weekend.

UsMagazine.com said the couple suffered cuts and bruises in the Saturday night incident. The celebrity news Web site did not say what led up to the altercation or whether any arrests were made.

"I don't fight. I don't believe in it," Lavigne said via Twitter. "To clear things up I got attacked by 5 people last night out of nowhere. Not cool. My face is [expletive.] As in black eye, bloody nose, hair ripped out, scratches, bruises and cuts. So not ok to be abusive to others. Violence is NEVER the answer."

"Interesting Saturday night ... Just got of the hospital with a new scar on my face ... Charges/chargers!!!" Brody added in a separate Twitter message.


NICKI MINAJ: U.S. pop star Nicki Minaj has been booked to perform at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, CBS said Monday.

The event is to air on the network Nov. 29.

Minaj joins previously announced artists Kanye West and Maroon 5. Cee Lo Green, who was previously scheduled to take the stage, is now unable to appear.

CBS did not specify the reason Green dropped out.

The show will star supermodels Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, Doutzen Kroes, Erin Heatherton, Lily Aldridge, Lindsey Ellingson, Candice Swanepoel and a bevy of other Victoria's Secret Angels modeling the lingerie giant's latest creations.


ROGER EBERT: Chicago film critic and television personality Roger Ebert says "Ebert Presents at the Movies" will end this season if it doesn't get financial help soon.

"Unless we find an angel, our television program will go off the air at the end of its current season," Ebert wrote in a blog Sunday night for the Chicago Sun-Times. "There. I've said it. Usually in television, people use evasive language. Not me. We'll be gone. I want to be honest about why this is. We can't afford to finance it any longer. Before I go into details, let me say that by any fair measure, 'Ebert Presents at the Movies' has been a great success. The program has a coverage of more than 90 percent of the country, and all of the Top 50 markets. Our ratings place us among the top shows on public television, and compare to the ratings of cable news. And we have loyal and vocal followers."

Ebert said he and his wife Chaz have been financially backing the show almost entirely by themselves since it began in January while they worked to find other sponsors. However, they have had no luck securing partners.

"We can't afford to support the show any longer. That's what it comes down to," Ebert wrote on his blog. "Now American Public Television wants to know if they can tell their member stations we'll be back in 2012. We have to give them our answer this month. Unless we find underwriting, I'm afraid our answer will have to be 'no.'"

The syndicated show stars film critics Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and Christy Lemire. It is being produced in Chicago at WTTW, where Ebert and the late Gene Siskel began taping their "Sneak Previews" review show 35 years ago. Co-producer Ebert also serves as host of a special segment each week.

Ebert, a longtime columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and former co-host of "Siskel and Ebert at the Movies," has battled cancer for years and lost his ability to speak. A syndicated version of "At the Movies," featuring lesser-known critics, was recently canceled.

© 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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