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Whitney Houston faces a drug charge

Plus, the Offspring, Tim Burton, Richard Hatch, Oasis, and more

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Whitney Houston
Houston: Bill Davila/Retna

CRIMES It seems Hawaii prosecutors plan to slap Whitney Houston with a misdemeanor drug charge after all. In April, it was widely reported on the Internet that Houston would not face legal consequences for a January incident in which the pop diva was allegedly found with 15.2 grams of marijuana at the Keahole/ Kona International Airport. But prosecutors later told Entertainment Weekly that they were still determining whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed with the case. According to the Hawaii Tribune Herald, Houston will be charged with promotion of a detrimental drug, which is punishable with up to 30 days’ imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Her arraignment is set for Oct. 26. If she fails to show, a warrant for her arrest may be issued. ”If [the judge] grants it, it would be put in the state warrant system, and then if she comes back in the state, she could be arrested,” a prosecutor explains in the paper. ”For petty misdemeanors we do not extradite.” Houston’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.

NIXED The Offspring have canceled plans to offer their new album, ”Conspiracy of One,” for free download after a heated battle with their label, Sony Music, according to SonicNet. The decision ends a two-day skirmish between the Orange County punks and Sony, in which both parties planned to sue the other. ”We were two seconds away from having a ‘Reservoir Dogs’ ending to this matter,” their manager Jim Guerinot told the online music service via e-mail. ”We both had lawsuits ready to drop in New York Friday morning.” Sony had prepared to seek an injunction and temporary restraining order against the group; the Offspring were planning a breach of contract countersuit. The boys in the band finally backed down, in part because they feared a lawsuit would prevent them from releasing their new album this year. Instead, they are offering the record’s first single, ”Original Prankster,” on their official site as well as other outlets, including MTV.com. ”It sucks,” Guerinot said, ”because now fans will turn to Napster for free copies of ‘Conspiracy.’ We will be the only site on the Web that will not have the Offspring’s new music.” Now, now. Sony’s presumably won’t have it either.

BOOKS ”Survivor”‘s million dollar winner, Richard Hatch, has finally landed a publisher for his autobiography. The Lyons Press has picked up the would be red hot property entitled ”101 Survival Secrets: How to Make a Million Dollars, Lose 100 lbs. and Live Happily Ever After.” The tome, no doubt, is a toned down version of the tell all the strategist tried to sell to St. Martin’s Press — reportedly without CBS‘ approval. Hatch says the book will provide readers with an understanding of how to separate the games in their life from their identity. ”This book is about how to be happy,” he said. ”So many people aren’t clear enough about who they really are to make the distinction between playing the game and their personal lives.” Alas, if only Wittgenstein had been acquainted with this philosopher king.

WEB NEWS Tim Burton has a new flick coming out online. The ”Sleepy Hollow” director will debut the first episode of ”Stainboy,” an animated series, on Netcaster Tuesday, reports Variety. The character is derived from an ineffectual antihero — whose greatest talent is for leaving stains — in Burton’s book, ”The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories.” In keeping with the much touted crossbranding potential of the Web, surfers will also be able to play ”Stainboy” games, collect ”Stainboy” trading cards, and send ”Stainboy” e-mail postcards from the site. This ensures that ”Stainboy” will not be confused with Dustbuster.

SPLIT Oasis’ Liam Gallagher and actress Patsy Kensit have been granted a ”quickie” divorce, according to Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper. London Divorce Court granted Gallaghers’ wife of three years an undefended ”decree nisi,” after the judge ruled that Liam’s behavior was so wretched that Kensit could not be expected to continue living with him. ”It’s over. I’m actually quite relieved. It’s been over for quite a long time really,” she told the paper. Now, if only the band would realize that too.