Looks like Simon Cowell has found his next judge: Britney Spears. After weeks of speculation, the pop star is close to signing on for the second season of Cowell’s “The X Factor” on Fox, according to published reports. Deadline.com says Spears has been offered $10 million for the gig, which would put her just under the $12 million that Jennifer Lopez is making at the rival “American Idol.” Cowell sacked judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul after the first season of “X Factor” produced lower-than-expected ratings last fall. As a recording artist who has sold more than 100 million records — as well as a longtime tabloid fixture — Spears could give the program an instant PR boost. Meanwhile, there are signs that viewers are growing tired of “Idol.” This season, ratings for NBC’s “The Voice” have pulled even with the Fox show, which has aired every year since 2002. … Famed celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is calling for Rush Limbaugh to be prosecuted on a defamation charge, saying an obscure Florida law can be used to punish him for calling college student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” on the air. Allred sent a letter to the Palm Beach County Attorney’s Office on Thursday saying prosecutors should consider a charge under an 1883 law making it a misdemeanor to question a woman’s chastity. Limbaugh had no immediate comment on the letter and didn’t address it in his radio show Friday. Allred focused her efforts on Palm Beach because Limbaugh lives in and broadcasts his show from the county. Allred has a long history of taking on high-profile cases, recently representing a woman who claimed to have been sexually harassed by former presidential candidate Herman Cain, and a woman who received lewd messages from former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Names in the news, March 10
Posted March 09, 2012, at 5:02 p.m.