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Wayne Newton files for bankruptcy protection

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RENO, Nev. -- Wayne Newton, one of the biggest drawing and highest paid entertainers in Las Vegas, filed for protection from creditors under the Chapter 11 Federal Bankruptcy Code, his publicist said Monday.

Kathy Gangwisch, who is based in Kansas City, Mo., said Newton is not liquidating his assets, but simply 'reorganizing.'

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Newton filed for the Chapter 11 protection Friday at a Reno, Nev., federal court.

Newton's attorney, Frank Fahrenkopf, said in a written statement the filing 'is not a matter of Wayne Newton being broke.'

'He is merely working through the proper system to resolve current capital and cash flow difficulties,' Fahrenkopf said.

The Washington, D.C. attorney said Newton's financial difficulties stemmed from 'actions of former business managers.' Fahrenkopf was attending the Republican Convention in Houston, Texas and could not be reached for further comment.

Newton's current business manager, Marty Weiss of Los Angeles, said he was hired in February to look into Newton's floundering accounts.

Weiss said he had not found any illegal actions on the part of Newtons' past business managers, and said the entertainer's financial problems were the result of 'a lot of bad decisions.'

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'(Filing for Chapter 11) is a pretty drastic move, but it's the best thing to do to be able to reorganize,' Weiss said.

Weiss would not say how much Newton's holdings are worth or how much Newton is in debt.

'We are confident that this matter will be resolved within a short period of time,' Fahrenkopf said in his statement. 'This action provides a process by which agreeable and appropriate adjustments can be made.'

Newton was a chubby 16-year-old with a high voice when he first appeared on television and then became a regular on the Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan and Jack Benny shows. He also had several hit records, the first being 'Danke Schoen.'

Before he was 20 he had several 'gold' records, LP which brought in at least $500,000 each. Among them were 'Red Roses for a Blue Lady,' 'Summer Wind' and 'Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast.'

Newton began spacing his television appearances so he could have time to tour the United States as a solo in night clubs and other show spots. His biggest success came in Las Vegas when he was offered $8 million a year to sing at the Desert Inn, Sands and Frontier hotels. He also branched out to contract concerts in Reno and Lake Tahoe.

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He soon was being stock in the hotels, adding to his holdings that made him a millionaire ten times over.

Gangwisch said Newton, 50, recently returned from a three-month tour of the United States and is gearing up for a headliner act scheduled to open Aug. 25 at the Las Vegas Hilton.

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