Police: Supermodel punched driver, fled

NEW YORK – Naomi Campbell slapped and punched the driver of her Cadillac Escalade in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, then hopped out of the car and ran away, a law enforcement official said. Police were looking for the supermodel, who is known for her feisty temper.

The driver, whose name wasn’t immediately released, pulled over near 58th Street and Second Avenue and called 911 after Campbell became enraged, according to the official.

The driver, who suffered a bruised cheek, and Campbell’s assistant were speaking with police at a precinct. He was apparently hired just for the day. Police were considering whether to charge Campbell with a crime.

Campbell has faced a series of lawsuits and criminal cases accusing her of attacking her household employees — and two police officers at London’s Heathrow Airport.

She pleaded guilty in the Heathrow case in June 2008 after prosecutors said she cursed, kicked and spat at police in a rage over a missing piece of luggage; she was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

She also did a week of community service sweeping floors and scrubbing toilets in a Manhattan garbage-truck garage in 2007 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault for hurling a cell phone at her maid because of a vanished pair of jeans.

In 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating an assistant who said the model whacked her on the head with a phone.

 

Fire delays Lil’s sentencing

 

NEW YORK – Lil Wayne was ready Tuesday to go to jail, but his court date went up in smoke.

While the rap star was heading to his sentencing after pleading guilty in a 2007 gun case, a fire shut down the courthouse and postponed the already-delayed proceeding.

Having braced to start up to a year behind bars, he was unhappy about the postponement, said his lawyer, Stacey Richman.

“Once you make up your mind to do something, you want to do it,” she said.

The sentencing may be rescheduled for today, though court officials were still scrambling to determine Tuesday afternoon when Manhattan’s main criminal courthouse could reopen after the smoky basement blaze.

 

Singer: End radio’s free ride

 

WASHINGTON – Singer Dionne Warwick said Tuesday it’s only fair to make radio stations pay royalties to performers — herself included — when they broadcast music.

Warwick, 69, appeared at a Capitol Hill event to urge Congress to pass legislation to make radio stations pay fees to musicians, similar to those paid to songwriters.

She said radio stations have gotten a free ride and should compensate singers, backup singers and other performers for their work.

Satellite radio, Internet radio and cable TV music channels already pay fees to performers and musicians. AM and FM radio stations do not pay royalties to performers, only to songwriters.

“I’m sure you all thought that I walked on by with my little check in hand,” Warwick said in a reference to her popular tune “Walk on By.” “I wish I had, but all I did was walk on by.”

The National Association of Broadcasters, which opposes the measure, says a fee would put thousands of radio jobs at risk. The association also argues that stations drive listeners to buy music and concert tickets.

 

Smithsonian says it doesn’t want O.J.’s acquittal suit