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People in the news

‘Idol’ winner Kris Allen to perform at NBA finals

NEW YORK (AP) – “American Idol” winner Kris Allen is taking part in a fiercely contested competition watched by millions, but this time, he’ll have nothing to do with the outcome.

Allen is scheduled to sing the national anthem today before Game 2 of the National Basketball Association finals on ABC. The Los Angeles Lakers have a 1-0 lead over the Orlando Magic.

Having “American Idol” winners sing during the basketball championship series has become something of a tradition. Every winner has done it, with the exception of Fantasia.

Vardalos returns to acting as a mom with mojo

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Nia Vardalos enjoyed big success with the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” but it wasn’t enough. She longed to be a mom.

So Vardalos took a break from acting to “grieve an infertility situation.”

The 46-year-old actress-writer says she wrote six scripts during that time, and then she and her husband, Ian Gomez, adopted a 3-year-old girl.

Vardalos says her daughter, now 4 years old, is “definitely the best thing that ever happened to me.” She adds: “And that’s a big statement because a miracle happened with ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ But career success means nothing without personal happiness.”

Her latest film, “My Life in Ruins,” opened Friday.

50 Cent settles lawsuit over mansion repairs

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Rapper 50 Cent has settled his lawsuit against an engineering firm over repairs and renovations to a Connecticut mansion he bought from boxer Mike Tyson in 2003, a court official said.

Details of the settlement, confirmed by Linda Cohn, deputy chief clerk at Hartford Superior Court, were not released.

The case went to trial Tuesday, and the entertainer testified his lawyers hired the firm to inspect the property before he bought it. He said that BVH Integrated Services of Bloomfield came back with an estimate of about $500,000 for needed repairs, but that he ended up spending $6 million.

Lawyers said that about $3 million of that was spent on maintenance repairs that should have been included in the firm’s estimate, and that the rest was spent on additional improvements.

BVH’s lawyer, Michael Byrne, has disputed 50 Cent’s allegations, saying his client shouldn’t be liable for the difference because 50 Cent wanted “extravagant and costly upgrades.”

The firm was to make a visual inspection to determine how much it would cost to repair the roof, decks, driveway and other aspects of the property.

A contractor hired by BVH to conduct the 2003 inspection, John Wilcox Jr., testified Tuesday that there was no intention to provide an inaccurate estimate, and he wasn’t given enough time to do a comprehensive review. He also said the mansion was built with inexpensive materials.

50 Cent, also known as Curtis Jackson put the mansion up for sale in 2007 for $18.5 million and allowed the MTV show “Cribs” to film an episode to show off the details of the 19-bedroom, 37-bathroom property.

There were no buyers, and 50 Cent said Tuesday that the house is no longer for sale.