WASHINGTON (AP) -- Media heiress Patricia Hearst defended her pardon by former President Clinton, denouncing critics who said she should have been asked to make an admission of guilt for her role in a bank robbery in the 1970s.
Speaking on CNN's "Larry King Live" program Wednesday night, Hearst said those decrying the pardon, which include former prosecutors, are "obsessed" with the case.
"There is no possible reason to argue that I should have had to make an admission," Hearst said. "I told (Clinton officials) that I didn't want a pardon and I would withdraw my application if I had to make some admission of guilt. There is no requirement that an admission be made."
On Feb. 4, 1974, when she was a 19-year-old college student, Hearst was kidnapped by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army. She eventually joined the group and helped them rob a bank, but was captured, convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison.
She had served 21 months when President Carter commuted her sentence in January 1979. Her conviction remained on record until Clinton's pardon. Hearst has always maintained that she was brainwashed and was not responsible for her actions.
Maureen Reagan's cancer has stopped progressing
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- Maureen Reagan's family and doctors are encouraged that she appears to be making progress in her fight against cancer.
Dr. Steven O'Day, director of medical oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at St. John's Health Center, said that while her progress is still guarded, "her response to the treatment so far is encouraging."
The 60-year-old daughter of former President Reagan and actress Jane Wyman was admitted to the hospital Dec. 11 after the spread of the melanoma she was originally diagnosed with four years ago.
Giuliani signs book deal
NEW YORK (AP) -- Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has signed a book deal for a reported $3 million with two former enemies to write a memoir that will include details of his "personal experiences" and a leadership tome.
Neither Giuliani nor his publisher, Talk Miramax Books, would disclose the amount of the deal announced Wednesday. However, a source close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity said it was worth about $3 million.
Talk Miramax Books is the brainchild of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and magazine publisher Tina Brown, both well-known supporters of the Democratic Party.
Brad Grey, who represented Giuliani in the negotiations, said he was aware of the bad blood between the mayor, Brown and Weinstein. Nevertheless, he thought Giuliani and Weinstein had similar personalities and would hit it off if introduced. They did.
Messina copes with fame
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- How's Grammy nominee Jo Dee Messina coping with her new celebrity?
"There hasn't been anything that's totally blown me away," Messina told AP Radio. "Maybe sometimes when you read the paper and you find out things about yourself not even you knew.
"People make up stories just to make it sound interesting, and I think sometimes people get their feelings hurt by that, including myself, and that's been a hard reality, but for the most part ... it's been all I thought it would be."
The country singer is confident fans, friends and family can separate fact from fiction.
"Your friends know better and your enemies don't care. So you just kinda roll with it and pray that God makes it not hurt so bad."
Messina is nominated for female country vocal performance.
Billy Graham released
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- The Rev. Billy Graham has been released from the hospital.
The 82-year-old evangelist was at Mission St. Joseph's Health System for almost three weeks because of fluid buildup on his brain. He returned Wednesday to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Graham was admitted Jan. 11 when tests showed a shunt inserted last summer to stabilize pressure in his brain was not functioning properly because of a blockage.
Doctors originally thought they would need to remove the shunt, but Graham's condition stabilized and tests showed no signs of infection.
His doctors recommended several weeks of rest and close monitoring.
"I'm very grateful for all the prayers and messages of support that have come to Ruth and me," Graham said in a statement.
Graham's latest illness prevented him from giving the invocation at President Bush's inauguration. Graham's son stepped in for him.
Tiger Woods is pays the price of fame
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Tiger Woods is paying the price of fame with a knee injury.
The world's top golfer said he sprained a knee ligament Wednesday when he stepped on the ankle of a man seeking his autograph.
"People get aggressive," Woods said. "Some of you say, 'Why do you have so much security?' It's for instances like this, so they don't happen."
The fan never got the autograph.
"He yelled at me for not signing," Woods said.
Woods, who is coming off a record-breaking season that included three straight major championships among his nine PGA Tour victories, is often swamped by fans. A security detail was with him Wednesday, but some fans went under the ropes to get close as he left the 18th green.
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