Compiled by Tony Hicks

thicks@bayarenewsgroup

Actor and comedian Russell Brand must perform 20 hours of community service and pay a $500 court fee to resolve a misdemeanor charge over a confrontation with a photographer in New Orleans, where he was filming a movie in March.

According to the Associated Press, Brand wasn't in a New Orleans courtroom Thursday when his attorney, Robert Glass, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf to a charge of simple criminal damage to property. The charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

Brand turned himself in to police three days after his encounter with a man trying to take his picture. Police said Brand grabbed the man's phone and threw it at a building, breaking a window.

"He's a good guy," Glass said. "He was harassed."

Or maybe he just hated that guy's phone.

The alleged victim was in a group of photographers following Brand's car on March 12. A "highly irate" Brand pulled over and confronted the unidentified man, reaching into his vehicle, according to a police report.

"The victim believing that (Brand) was going to hit him in the groin grabbed for the offender's hand and a struggle ensued with the victim receiving a small cut on his finger," the report says. "The victim felt the offender pull something off his lap and suddenly realized that the offender had taken his cellphone."

Well, that's better than tearing something else off the guy's lap.


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A deal with the district attorney's office calls for the case to be dismissed if the actor completes the service requirement by Aug. 31, Glass said.

"You'll return with proof that Mr. Brand completed the community service?" Municipal Court Judge Sean Early asked.

"Correct," Glass responded.

Glass said Brand may fulfill the requirement through his charitable work with people suffering from addictions.

I wonder if that includes himself?

"Some of it may be abroad in England. Some of it may be in California," Glass said.

Brand's publicists didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

In a Twitter posting after the incident, Brand wrote, "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory."

That's pretty funny, you know ... for an English guy.

Brand's film credits include "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Get Him to the Greek." He has a late-night show on FX called "Brand X with Russell Brand."

A judge granted him a divorce from singer Katy Perry in February.

JACKSON HOUSEHOLD IS MORE CONFUSING THAN EVER: Katherine Jackson is apparently back home, reuniting with Michael Jackson's children after a judge temporarily took away her guardianship because of her days-long absence from them.

According to the Associated Press, Paris Jackson tweeted early Thursday morning: "grandma's here! (hash)thankyougod." Katherine Jackson's son Marlon also posted a note on Twitter saying his mother had returned, adding she looked and sounded great.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain the part about the UFO.

On Wednesday, a judge temporarily removed Katherine Jackson as guardian and named her grandson Tito Joe "TJ" Jackson as caretaker of the late legend's three young children amid a bitter family dispute over Michael Jackson's estate.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued the ruling because Katherine Jackson was in Arizona and hadn't spoken with the children in several days. TJ Jackson now has the ability to control the hilltop home where the children live and to take on other supervision duties.

It was not clear Thursday whether that temporary guardianship was continuing, now that Katherine Jackson is back home. The Jackson family matriarch told ABC News that the court ruling was "based on a bunch of lies."

"I am devastated that while I've been away, that my children, my grandchildren, have been taken away from me, and I'm coming home to see about that, also," she said reading from a prepared statement.

She denied the suggestion made in court and in court filings to support TJ Jackson's appointment that she was being held against her will.

"I am here today to let everybody know that I am fine and I am here with my children, and my children would never do a thing to me like that, holding me against my will," she said while her children Randy, Janet and Rebbie were seated next to her. "It's very stupid for people to think that."

OK. So where was she and why?

But on Thursday, Michael Jackson's son Prince posted a photo of what he said was a group text message involving Rebbie and Janet in which he demanded contact with his grandmother and Janet allegedly responded: "Please don't let them."

"As long as I can remember my dad repeatedly warned me of certain people and their ways," Prince Michael tweeted. "Although I am happy my grandma was returned, after speaking with her I realize how misguided and how badly she was lied to. I'm really angry and hurt."

Beckloff said there was no evidence that Katherine Jackson had done anything wrong, but instead it appeared she was being prevented from fulfilling her role as guardian through the "intentional acts of third parties." He didn't elaborate but made the decision after reading court filings in which TJ Jackson expressed concern that Katherine Jackson was being prevented from returning.

He cited a Monday incident in which Janet, Randy and Jermaine Jackson arrived at the children's home and told them they could speak with their grandmother but had to leave with them.

"This was odd and disturbing to me and (the children) and heightened our concern that our grandmother was being prohibited from returning home," TJ Jackson wrote in a sworn statement. The incident turned into a confrontation between two male adults at the house and sheriff's officials say it remains an ongoing battery investigation.

LINDSAY LOHAN STILL BREATHS AIR, GETS IN CAR ACCIDENTS: Lindsay Lohan got into another car accident Wednesday, according to TMZ.

No, we don't know how many that is. It's quite possible humans can't count that high.

Lohan was driving her black Porsche Panamera after a shopping trip in Beverly Hills on Wednesday afternoon. While cruising down Sunset Boulevard, Lindsay tapped the back of a silver Mustang that wasn't moving.

A woman in the Mustang said "We were sitting at a light and somebody hit us."

The woman said a male passenger in Lohan's car apologized and left his phone number, before telling her they had to keep going because paparazzi were following them.

The Mustang's damage appeared to be extremely minor and cosmetic. If Lohan's car suffered any damage, it was also likely minor.

ROBERT PATTINSON TAKES A HIKE: Robert Pattinson has apparently has packed his bags and left the home he shares with Kristin Stewart.

Hopefully he stomped out. That's what actors do to show people they mean business.

Following Stewart's public apology for having a fling with her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders, the 26-year-old actor has left the couple's Los Angeles home, according to People.com.

"I'm not sure they'll be able to recover from this," a source says of the couple of three years, who met making the Twilight trilogy.

In seclusion and not in contact with Stewart, 22, the British star "is heartbroken and angry," says the source.

A "devastated" Stewart, meanwhile, described Pattinson as "the person I love and respect the most" in her apology following revelations of her indiscretion with Sanders, 41, a married father of two.

"Kristen really loves Rob more than anything," says an insider. "He's all that matters to her right now."

Of course he is. Why else would she cheat on him?

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroups .com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks.

JULY 27 IN HISTORY

Friday is July 27, the 209th day of 2012. There are 157 days left in the year.

1789: President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.

1861: Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

1866: Cyrus W. Field finished laying out the first successful underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe (a previous cable in 1858 burned out after only a few weeks' use).

1909: During the first official test of the U.S. Army's first airplane, Orville Wright flew himself and a passenger, Lt. Frank Lahm, above Fort Myer, Va., for one hour and 12 minutes.

1921: Canadian researcher Frederick Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, succeeded in isolating the hormone insulin at the University of Toronto.

1942: During World War II, the First Battle of El Alamein in Egypt ended in a draw as Allied forces stalled the progress of Axis invaders. (The Allies went on to win a clear victory over the Axis in the Second Battle of El Alamein later that year.)

1953: The Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.

1960: Vice President Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president on the first ballot at the Republican national convention in Chicago.

1967: President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of urban rioting, the same day black militant H. Rap Brown said in Washington that violence was "as American as cherry pie."

1974: The House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, charging he had personally engaged in a course of conduct designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.

1981: Six-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted from a department store in Hollywood, Fla., and was later murdered. (His father, John Walsh, became a well-known crime victims' advocate.)

1996: Terror struck the Atlanta Olympics as a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, directly killing one person and injuring 111. (Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing.)

2002: A Ukrainian fighter jet crashed during an air show in Lviv, killing 77 people. John Ruiz retained the WBA heavyweight title in Las Vegas after his opponent, Kirk Johnson, was disqualified for hitting low blows.

2007: The House sent President George W. Bush legislation to intensify anti-terror efforts in the U.S., carrying out major recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission. Former Qwest Communications chief Joe Nacchio was sentenced to six years in prison for illegally selling $52 million in stock while not telling investors that his telecommunications company faced serious financial risks. Two Phoenix news helicopters collided and crashed while covering a police chase on live television, killing four people on board.

2011: A Russian space official (Vitaly Davydov) said that once the mammoth International Space Station was no longer needed, it would be sent into the Pacific Ocean, probably in 2015. Julio Lugo scored from third base on a blown umpire's call at the plate, giving the Atlanta Braves a post-midnight 4-3 win in 19 innings over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ervin Santana pitched the first solo no-hitter for the Angels in nearly 27 years, striking out 10 and leading Los Angeles over Cleveland 3-1. Former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu, 42, was found dead of an apparent suicide in the affluent Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes.

BIRTHDAYS

TV producer Norman Lear (90), actor Jerry Van Dyke (81), sportscaster Irv Cross (73), actress-director Betty Thomas (64), Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming (64), singer Maureen McGovern (63), comedian-actress-writer Carol Leifer (56), rock singer Juliana Hatfield (45), comedian Maya Rudolph (40), singer-songwriter Pete Yorn (38), MLB player Alex Rodriguez (37), actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (35), actor Blair Redford (29), singer Cheyenne Kimball (22).

Associated Press