Guerlain plans to create a Swank scent

Hilary Swank will be both muse and spokeswoman for a new women's fragrance by Guerlain to be launched this year.

In making the announcement Monday, Guerlain described the 31-year-old actress as a "radiant and natural beauty" who does not conform to stereotypes.


Guerlain said it has a three-year contract with Swank, but a spokeswoman declined to comment on the details of the deal or the fragrance.

'Boondocks' on hiatus


Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks newspaper strip, will take a six-month sabbatical from the politically charged comic beginning March 27. The strip is due to return in October.

"Every well needs occasional refreshing," McGruder wrote in a letter to Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip to 300 newspapers, including The Sun. He gave no further explanation and declined interviews.

For more than a year he has been juggling the strip and the animated series it spawned on the Cartoon Network. The series was just renewed for a second season.

McGruder, a one-time resident of Columbia, created the strip in 1997 while attending the University of Maryland.

Early bird catches Rice

Early risers who tune into WRC-TV (Channel 4, Washington's NBC affiliate) today will get to watch Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice work out.

Her exercise routine, including weights and a calorie-burning workout, will be featured in a three-day segment starting today. The clip will air about 5:45 a.m.

Less than McDreamy youth


Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey says his childhood wasn't so McDreamy: He wasn't diagnosed as being dyslexic until he was 12 years old.

"I think it's made me who I am today," Dempsey said during an interview on The Barbara Walters Special that airs at 10 tonight on ABC (Channel 2).

Dempsey, 40, says he struggles while reading scripts and memorizing his lines. On the show, his character is nicknamed "Dr. McDreamy" by the female interns.

Master P dances into court

A day after appearing on the Dancing with the Stars finale, Master P headed to court Monday where a judge ordered the hip-hop mogul and his younger brother to stand trial on weapons charges.

Master P, 38, whose real name is Percy Miller, and his brother Vyshonn Miller, 30, a rapper known as Silkk the Shocker, were arrested last month for carrying unregistered guns.


University of California at Los Angeles police spotted the weapons during a traffic stop. Prosecutors said the officers found a semiautomatic handgun and a revolver.

Each was charged with one felony count of carrying an unregistered, loaded firearm; both are free on bail and are scheduled to be arraigned March 13.

From wire services