People in the news

By United Press International   |   Jan. 14, 2012 at 4:04 AM

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

FERGIE: The Duchess of York, the former wife of Prince Andrew of Britain, faces criminal charges in Turkey, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The charges stem from the duchess' work three years ago with a crew from the British network ITV that secretly filmed conditions inside a Turkish orphanage, The Daily Telegraph reported. The office of the chief prosecutor charges she violated the privacy of disabled children at the orphanage in Saray near Ankara.

Turkey has requested "mutual legal assistance" on the case, the British Home Office confirmed Thursday. British officials have not said whether the government will cooperate.

The duchess, the former Sarah Ferguson, has been the subject of scandal in Britain. A newspaper recently caught her in a sting operation agreeing to sell access to her ex-husband.

In theory, she could receive a sentence of as much as 22 years in Turkey. But extradition appears unlikely, sources told the Telegraph.

A spokesman, James Henderson, said Turkish authorities have not attempted to get in touch with the duchess.

"It's important to stress that the duchess was on a humanitarian trip at the time, and that it was ITV who made the program, not her," he said. "I am not aware of what jurisdiction the Turkish authorities have over the duchess. At the time, the British government was asked if it would get involved and they refused."


GENE HACKMAN: Gene Hackman's publicist says the 81-year-old actor was treated for "bumps and bruises" after he was hit by a car while riding a bicycle in Florida.

TMZ reported "The French Connection" and "Superman" star was airlifted to a trauma hospital after the incident Friday afternoon.

His representative insisted the two-time Oscar-winning actor is "fine" and only "suffered bumps and bruises after a woman bumped him from behind in her vehicle." He has since been released from the hospital.

The Florida Highway Patrol told the celebrity news Web site the collision in the Florida Keys was under investigation.

Hackman won the best actor Oscar in 1971 for "The French Connection" and the supporting actor Oscar in 1992 for "Unforgiven."


MENA SUVARI: Mena Suvari's publicist says the actress has filed for divorce from concert promoter Simone Sestito in a Los Angeles court.

The couple married in Vatican City in June 2010, UsMagazine.com said.

TMZ reported Suvari cited "irreconcilable differences" in court documents as the reason she and Sestito split up in November.

Suvari, 32, was previously divorced from cinematographer Robert Brinkman in 2005 after five years of marriage.


KRISTEN STEWART: Hollywood actress Kristen Stewart is to be the face of the newest Balenciaga fragrance for women, it was announced Friday.

The perfume is to be introduced this fall.

The "Twilight" star follows Charlotte Gainsbourg, who has represented Balenciaga Paris, the company's first fragrance, since 2010.

"I love Balenciaga fashion because it is incredibly bold and forceful, yet feminine and sexy. I found there was a real creative freedom about this project. I feel blessed and really proud of being the face of this new fragrance," Stewart said in a statement.

"Kristen Stewart embodies the modernity of the new Balenciaga fragrance with her unique sensibility and intelligence. From her early appearance in 'Panic Room' to her independent choice of 'Welcome to the Rileys,' I've always sensed her progressive character. In 2006, I invited her to appear in a project shot by Bruce Weber," said Nicolas Ghesquiere, creative director of Balenciaga. "Since then, I've always wished to collaborate with her further, knowing that she shares the radical spirit of Balenciaga."

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