Russian court hears case against Madonna

  • Updated: October 11, 2012 - 7:06 PM

A Russian court on Thursday began hearings on a $10.7 million lawsuit against the U.S. pop star Madonna, who claimants allege broke a Russian law prohibiting "gay propaganda." The court in St. Petersburg was reviewing the case to determine whether a trial would go forward. The Interfax news agency described the claimants as local citizens upset with the singer. Madonna during an August performance called for greater tolerance toward homosexuals. The claimants are alleging that she violated city ordinances passed in March prohibiting active support of homosexuality in a public place, if minors are present. The court had sent a letter regarding the allegations to Madonna's address in New York, but no legal representative of the star has thus far responded, a court official said. The next hearing in the case will be on October 25, the report said.

'Bad News Bears' actress dies in crash

Sammi Kane Kraft, 20, whose real-life baseball skills landed her the role of the pitching ace in the only film she ever made, 2005's "Bad News Bears," died in a car accident this week in Los Angeles. She was a passenger in an Audi that was speeding on the westbound 10 Freeway near Crenshaw Boulevard when it rear-ended a big rig and was then hit by another car, said the California Highway Patrol. Molly Kate Adams, 21, the driver of the Audi, was treated for moderate injuries and arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving, the CHP said. Kraft was discovered on a baseball diamond in Los Angeles, where her family had moved from New York so she and another brother could play ball year-round. She secured the part of Amanda Whurlitzer, played with gusto by Tatum O'Neal in the 1976 original film, after throwing a 75 mph fastball during a casting call, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported in 2005. Only 13 years old when the film was released, Kraft portrayed the sole girl on a misfit baseball team coached by Billy Bob Thornton's character. He gave her acting tips and helped her with the crying scenes, she later said. "I could never fill Tatum O'Neal's shoes, but I tried to make the role my own," Kraft told the New York Daily News in 2005. "I added a bit of the New York in me." After graduating in 2010, she studied at San Francisco State and started a folk-country-rock band called Scary Girls. At the time of her death, Kraft was enrolled at Santa Monica College and often performed as a solo singer-guitarist at small venues.

HOME: ABC's Robin Roberts has come home from the hospital three weeks after undergoing a bone marrow transplant. After thanking her doctors and nurses and singing "Amen," the "Good Morning America" host began the next stage of recovery from MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. Roberts' doctor said it still will take time for her to gather strength and build up her immune system.

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