Names in the news

By Beth Gillin Knight Ridder Newspapers (KRT) Will there be fairy princesses wearing cone bras? Cute little animals in S’M outfits? Toys that come alive at night and talk about their body parts? We can only imagine what a children’s book by Madonna might look like _ and the raunchy pop star has signed with Penguin to write five of them. The first, out in September, is “The English Roses.” It’s about the adventures of a little prince and a red fox, whose same-sex cross-species marriage defies convention. OK, we made that last part up. No word on how much Penguin is paying for the deal. Madonna’s only previous publishing effort, “Sex,” a best-seller in the early 1990s, featured the star in X-rated nude poses. There will be no more of that sort of thing now that she’s 44 and the mother of two. ___ A HORSE IS A HORSE Zora Aldrich, winning bachelorette on Fox’s “Joe Millionaire,” wants everyone to know she was “kidding” when she said a horse named Sweetie, whom she met on the show, “has my heart.” The 29-year-old substitute teacher from New Jersey told TV Guide you have to be so careful about what you say to the media, because some people took that quote literally, which Aldrich finds “odd.” The Jersey girl also says her ambition is to host a show on Animal Planet. As they say on that cable news network, we report, you decide. ___ STAY IN YOUR ROOM No phone, TV, pager, computer or unaccompanied trips outside your living quarters. Rules for enemy combatants imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay? Nope. Rules for contestants competing on “Married by America.” In Fox’s latest reality show, which began Monday night, viewers will pair off singles who have never laid eyes on each other. The Smoking Gun, a Web site, got hold of the “hotel sequestering” memo distributed last month by the show’s producer, Shannon Keenan. Keenan would not comment on it. The memo says the lockdown is necessary to ensure “the integrity of this production.” We think this means “no sneaking into each other’s rooms for a prenuptial peek.” ___ SHORT-TIMERS Speaking of marriage, it can now be confirmed that Sergei Fedorov, of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, tied the knot with tennis star Anna Kournikova. That, of course, happened before they split. Asked about a long-standing rumor in the sports world that he and the 21-year-old tennis pinup had wed, Fedorov, 33, told the Hockey News, “We were married, albeit brief, and we are now divorced.” So much for that. Fedorov said he no longer keeps in touch with his erstwhile bride, and doesn’t plan to date anybody for a while. ___ BABY ALERT Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a 6-pound, 7-ounce son, Julian Kal Seinfeld, on Saturday. The couple also have a daughter, Sascha, 2. ___ GIVE THE LADY A HAND She’s not what you’d call glamorous. She’s certainly no diva. But if Rosa Parks shows up for the Oscars, she’ll probably get more applause than all the nominees combined. “Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks,” a documentary about Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, is nominated for an Academy Award. The film, in the category of short subjects, tells how the action by Parks, now 90, led to desegregation of public transportation nationwide. Parks would like to attend the Oscars on March 23, said Elaine Steele, cofounder of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Improvement. “We’ll see if we’ll be able to go.” ___ SO MUCH FOR SALAD Rocker Ted Nugent _ hunter, gun-rights advocate, singer of “Cat Scratch Fever” and co-author of the cookbook “Kill It ‘ Grill It” _ told the Wisconsin Bow Hunters Association: “There is nothing more perfect than hunting.” Nugent, 54, who urges schoolchildren to follow his example and never smoke or drink, told about 560 convention attendees that vegetarianism is not an alternative to killing for food. Even if you live on tofu, he said, someone first has to clear a field of native vegetation that supports wildlife. In other words, Nugent said, “If you are going to eat, something has to die.” ___ SHUT UP. MAKE ME. Anti-war celeb Martin Sheen, who plays a president on NBC’s “The West Wing” during his working hours and a foreign policy adviser on his days off, says his employer doesn’t like his activism. Sheen told the Los Angeles Times that NBC execs have “let it be known they’re very uncomfortable with where I’m at” on the war. The network denies it. There’s “no concern” that Sheen’s politics “could impact the show,” NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks told the Associated Press. But earlier published reports have said network honchos do wish Sheen would put a sock in it. The Peacock network recently agreed to pay $6 million per episode for two more seasons of the fast-talking drama. A one-time ratings giant, “Wing” hasn’t recovered from the nosedive it took in the Nielsens last fall, around the time Sheen began pounding the pavement for peace. ___ (The Associated Press, Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, the Smoking Gun, ESPN, and TV Guide contributed to this report.) ___ ‘copy 2003, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit Philadelphia Online, the Inquirer’s World Wide Web site, at Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.