Ashanti stalking trial begins

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When a delusional Ashanti fan was sentenced to jail for spinning lewd fantasies about her in text messages to her mother, he said he would “always wish the best” for the Grammy-winning R&B singer. Five years later, Devar Hurd is on trial again on charges of stalking Ashanti by sending the singer X-rated tweets and posing for a photo with her sister at a charity event, despite a court order not to contact them at all.

And this time, the multiplatinum-selling singer is facing the prospect of an unusual encounter in a NYC courtroom with a man the family says has harassed and frightened it for years — he’s representing himself. “You’re here why exactly?” Hurd asked the singer’s mother-manager, Tina Douglas, on Tuesday. “Because you’re stalking my daughter...and I’m frightened for my family,” Douglas said.

Hurd — a would-be rapper, sometime model, fitness trainer and car salesman — was convicted in 2009 of stalking and aggravated harassment. He spent about two years in jail.


Not to worry: Filming is still underway on James Bond thriller SPECTRE, despite the leak of a draft script in a huge hack of material from Sony Pictures. Daniel Craig and co-star Rory Kinnear took to a London canal in a speedboat on Tuesday for a waterborne sequence. The Sam Mendes-directed moviAse is filming at several London locations this week, and will later travel to Italy, Morocco, Mexico and Austria. Details of the plot had been a well-guarded secret until Bond producer EON Productions acknowledged that an early version of the script was among material stolen in the Sony cyberattack.


Beyonce and Jay Z are getting a lawsuit for the holidays. The married performers are named in new legal documents from Hungarian singer Monika Juhasz Miczura, aka Mitsou, who alleges her vocals were sampled without her permission in Drunk in Love, reports Page Six. The lawsuit alleges that B&Z took from a 1995 recording that Mitsou did of a song called Bajba, Bajba Pelem.


Britney Spears doesn’t need to make any resolutions. The pop singer is already in terrific shape and eating well, she tells the January issue of Women’s Health. “Daily exercise is important for me both mentally and physically,” she tells the magazine. “I don’t mind working out.” Biggest reveal? Spears, who keeps active performing her Piece of Me show in Las Vegas, doesn’t use a trainer. But not all is perfect in Brit-land. She does admit her hips are “wider” after having two kids.