Hill signs record deal
NEW YORK - Lauryn Hill says she has signed with Sony to pay her overdue taxes.
Hill pleaded guilty last year to not paying federal taxes on $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. The 37-year-old posted on her Tumblr blog that she "signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes."
The total Hill owes is in dispute, but it is around $1 million. Her next sentencing date in New Jersey is May 6.
Hill also says she's working on new music. She hasn't released much music since her 1998 solo debut, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." It has sold more than 10 million albums and won five Grammy Awards.
Hill writes that she's not only signing with Sony because of her legal woes, but also because she needs to express her creativity.
Frankel to expand Skinnygirl
NEW YORK - Bethenny Frankel plans to expand her Skinnygirl line of wine and spirits and power bars to include more food products.
"You'll definitely see Skinnygirl food," the former reality TV star said in a recent interview. "If it's something that I'm passionate about, if it's something that solves a problem for women in particular because that's who I connect with the most, and (it's) any product that I can improve upon or any problem that I can solve, then Skinnygirl will be attached to that."
She has added what she calls "The New Girls" to her popular line of ready-to-serve drinks, including Moscato, White Cherry Vodka, Mojito and Sweet 'n Tart Grapefruit Margarita.
Frankel, whose entrepreneurial reach also includes diet books and videos, and a novel, had a six-city run of "bethenny" on Fox-owned stations last year. The show will air in cities across the country this fall.
"Initially people were afraid of me doing the talk show," Frankel said. "I kind of had to push through and be tested, but I think as women we're always being tested (and) the reward is so much sweeter. You've got to fight for what you want, but if you really are passionate and you really have drive, then you (can) pretty much accomplish anything."
Frankel was a runner-up on "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." She appeared on "The Real Housewives of New York City," where she became a breakout star, then starred in a pair of her own reality shows.
Glenn Close's sister writing book
NEW YORK - The youngest sister of actress Glenn Close is working on a memoir about her struggles with mental illness.
Grand Central Publishing announced Friday that Jessie Close's "Resilience" is scheduled for release in January 2015. The book will be co-written by Pete Earley, author of the 2006 book "Crazy," about his son's struggles.
Glenn Close will contribute three "vignettes" about her sister and an epilogue. She also will narrate the audio edition. Jessie and Glenn Close are two of four siblings.
Jessie Close has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has made public appearances with her sister to discuss mental illness. Glenn Close is the co-founder of Bring Change 2 Mind, a nonprofit organization with a mission to "eradicate the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness."
McBride to sing at Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Country music singer Martina McBride is scheduled to sing the national anthem at this year's Kentucky Derby.
The Run for the Roses is May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Previous Derby national anthem singers have been Mary J. Blige, Jordan Sparks, Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes.
Famed publicist charged
LONDON - Prominent celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been charged with 11 counts of indecent assault, British officials said Friday. He's the second person to be charged as part of a broad investigation into child sex abuse spurred by the scandal involving the late BBC personality Jimmy Savile.
Prosecutors said the charges against Clifford, 70, relate to assaults allegedly committed between 1966 and 1985. The case involves seven female complainants who were between the ages of 14 and 19 at the times of the alleged assaults, they added in a statement.
Clifford - considered an affable and sage "go to" guy for celebrities embroiled in public relations fiascos - was arrested in December 2012. At the time, he called the allegations against him "damaging and totally untrue."
Lil Danger convicted of murder
SPOKANE, Wash. - A rapper who goes by the name "Lil Danger" faces life in prison without parole after his conviction in a shooting that killed another rapper at an after-concert party at a Spokane hotel.
John Castro was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder in the November 2011 shooting of 21-year-old Jose A. "Junior" Solis, a rapper from Moses Lake.
The 28-year-old Castro has two previous convictions for violent crimes and faces a mandatory life sentence as a three strikes offender.