Britney Spears turned off fans in London Monday when she arrived at the British premiere of her starring movie debut, "Crossroads," by making just a brief appearance and failing to sign autographs or get "up close and personal" with the crowd -- estimated at 3,000 -- many of whom waited for hours in Leicester Square to see the pop star. Spears may have compounded her public relations problem by appearing an hour late. By flashing the crowd with a quick appearance before ducking inside the theater, Spears provoked a chorus of boos -- rather than the adulation that fans had evidently been prepared to shower upon her. The 20-year-old pop star also seemed to come close to confirming reports that the has split from longtime boyfriend, 'N Sync singer Justin Timberlake. Responding to a question at a news conference Spears said: "No, I would not say I was in an intense relationship with anyone at the moment."
REMEMBERING GEORGE HARRISON
The International Society of Krishna Consciousness is planning to place a garden in Bengal, eastern India, to memorialize George Harrison. The former Beatle, who died of cancer on Nov. 29 at 58, was a longtime practitioner of Eastern philosophy and religion. His first solo hit, "My Sweet Lord," features backup vocalists singing Hare Krishna chants -- to honor the Hindu god Krishna. The George Harrison Garden will be planted at Mayapur, 60 miles north of Calcutta, where the Gaudiya temple marks the birthplace of Lord Caitanya, an incarnation of Krishna who appeared in Mayapur more than 500 years ago.
After Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith left the Academy Awards presentation early, speculation abounded as to the reason. It turns out that Smith -- nominated for best actor for "Ali" -- and his wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, left in response to an emergency call about their 16-month-old daughter, Willow. The toddler had been hospitalized with a 103-degree fever associated with what a spokesman for Smith said was a deep ear infection. The publicist said the couple spent most of the night at the hospital, but Willow is back home now and doing much better.
LATEST ON TOM AND NICOLE
The New York Daily News, citing sources, reports that Nicole Kidman asked former husband Tom Cruise to stay away from the Oscars. According to the report, best actress nominee Kidman already had enough stress without also having to worry about the eyes of the world focusing on her and Cruise -- to see how one of Hollywood's most celebrated divorced couples would behave in public. Kidman, however, told the paper she did not ask Cruise to make himself scarce on Sunday. "We see each other all the time," she said at the Vanity Fair party. "We have dinner. We have to get along because of the kids." The News cites another source, which said that Cruise's people demanded that TV cameras not cut away to Kidman during his appearance on the show. A publicist for Cruise denied that report and said the actor actually waved to his ex-wife from the stage.
WITH A GOLF CLUB IN HIS HAND
Motley Crue's Vince Neil will host the 6th Annual Skylar Neil Memorial Golf Tournament at Malibu Country Club on May 2. The tournament -- named in honor of Neil's daughter, Skylar, who died of cancer at 4 -- has raised almost $500,000 for the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund, a division of the T.J. Martell Foundation, for children's cancer, leukemia and AIDS research. "I started this tournament because I didn't want any family to go through what Skylar and I went through," said Neil. "I hoped the event would be a hit but never imagined how big it would get. I am honored to have Skylar's name remembered with an event that helps kids." Past celebrity golfers have included No Doubt's Adrian Young, Robby Krieger of The Doors, REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin, Journey's Jonathan Cain, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, Dweezil Zappa, Stephen Stills, country singer Hal Ketchum, "24's" Dennis Haysbert, Alan Thicke and athletes such as former Lakers great James Worthy and legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 297
As we approach question No. 300, here's today's question: "What is your favorite piece of trivia?" Put TRIVIA in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org on the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 292 (COLOR)
Last week we asked your favorite color. Here are the results: More than 40 percent said that BLUE and its variations was the favorite. 18 percent liked GREEN. 12 percent preferred PURPLE, surprisingly. YELLOW got a very small percentage of replies, although it's my favorite color. CO wrote to say that BLACK was his favorite. CO, I don't think you're alone, ask any nun. WHITE got a few votes and RED was in only a few replies. TOMORROW: Your numeric choices. GBA.