JACKSON, Miss. — The lesbian who successfully challenged a rural Mississippi school district’s ban on same-sex prom dates says she wept when she read about the recent spate of gay teen suicides linked to harassment.

Constance McMillen, who was recently named one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year 2010,” told The Associated Press that she became a bullying victim after she challenged the Itawamba School District over a policy that prohibited her from bringing her girlfriend to the prom and wearing a tuxedo.

McMillen, 18, said she became emotional after reading about the suicides of Seth Walsh, 13, of Tehachapi, Calif., who hanged himself outside his home after enduring taunts from classmates, and of Tyler Clementi, 18, a Rutgers University freshman who killed himself after his sexual encounter was secretly streamed online.

“I read it on Facebook. I was so upset about this that I could not sleep,” McMillen said. “I knew it had to be terrible for them to choose death as a way to escape what they were living in.”

Growing up in the small town of Fulton, Miss., McMillen said she wasn’t bullied until school officials canceled the prom rather than allow her and her girlfriend to attend as a couple.

“I went through a lot of harassment and bullying after the lawsuit, and I realized how bad it felt being in that position,” she said.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the district, which paid $35,000 to settle the lawsuit and also agreed to follow a nondiscrimination policy.

School names Beatz producer-in-residence

NEW YORK – Music producer and rapper Swizz Beatz has been named the first producer-in-residence at NYU’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at the Tisch School of the Arts.

New York University said the appointment for the current academic year is immediate. Beatz will offer students one-on-one sessions, group lectures, songwriting critiques and mentoring.

His real name is Kasseem Dean. He is married to Alicia Keys and is a native of the South Bronx.

He has produced hit songs for such artists as Beyonce, Lil Wayne, Metallica and Jay-Z.

Lil Wayne watches the Heat

NEW ORLEANS – Lil Wayne turned up courtside in baseball cap and dreadlocks to watch the unbeaten New Orleans Hornets edge the Miami Heat 96-93 Friday night, a day after his release from a New York City jail.

Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Carter Jr., was freed Thursday after serving eight months in a gun case. Asked how it felt to be back, Wayne told The Times-Picayune: “Like I never left.”

Before his incarceration, the rapper recorded the recently released “I Am Not a Human Being,” a top debut on Billboard album charts.

The newspaper said the rapper flew earlier Friday to Yuma County, Ariz., to check in for a three-year stint of unsupervised probation for a drug conviction. Authorities said that case will be transferred to his home state of Florida.

Bush to push memoir on air

NEW YORK – The world will soon be hearing a lot from former President George W. Bush.

After relative silence since leaving office in 2009, Bush will be on the air throughout this week and beyond in promotion of his memoir, “Decision Points,” which comes out Tuesday.

Along with previously announced TV appearances with Matt Lauer and with Oprah Winfrey, Bush will speak with Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show, have radio interviews on the programs of conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and make several TV appearances on the Fox News Channel, the hosts including Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren.