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ABBA wardrobe a tax writeoff

NOW it can be told: Bjrn Ulvaeus says in ABBA: The Official Photo Book the group wore those silly costumes because they couldn't get a tax break on normal duds. British paper the Guardian had a taste of the book.

Turns out in Sweden, a band can't deduct money spent on clothing unless the costumes are too strange to be streetwear. Somehow it became advantageous for ABBA to wear all that sequined spandex and platform heels.

"In my honest opinion, we looked like nuts in those years," Ulvaeus wrote. "Nobody can have been as badly dressed onstage as we were."

Oops... paper outs straight Stewart

EARLIER this month, Canadian actress Ellen Page came out. The Guardian, in its story, mentioned other celebs leaving the closet, saying in the process actor Patrick Stewart is gay, perhaps mixing him up with his pal, Ian McKellan.

Stewart, three times married (to women) and a father of two, responded to the mistake neatly, via Twitter:

"Well, @guardian it makes for a nice change... at least I didn't wake up to the Internet telling me I was dead again."

The Guardian apologized.

CSI spawns another spinoff

APPARENTLY I'm the only one who thinks it's time for the whole CSI-show phenomenon to just go away. The Las Vegas version, still going, started back in 2000. CSI: Miami was a subject of mockery (of David Caruso's sunglasses, mostly) from its inception in 2002 until it ended in 2012; the New York version ended last year. I think they should all be titled Magic Detectives.

Now CBS has ordered CSI: The Internet, the Hollywood Reporter says. It'll be set in the FBI's cybercrime division and "inspired by (producer Mary Aiken's) work as a CyberPsychologist." (Hacker UpperCasing is, after all, a growing menace.)

The gang -- authority figure, babe, visible minority guy, goofy guy, other babe -- will battle "crimes that start inthe mind, liveonline, and play outinto the real world." It will begin as a single episode of CSI: Las Vegas this spring.

Cards premise not so crazy

WHEN Kevin Spacey gets home after a day's work shooting House of Cards, what does he do? Well, he told ABC, "I'll come home and turn on the news and think: 'You know, our storylines are not that crazy, they're really not.' "

I loved Season 1 of the U.S. version of House of Cards on Netflix, with Spacey as the good guy/bad guy. It's better, I think, than the British original.

Now Season 2 has been released, and Spacey is going around saying things like this. The man obviously has a future in real-life politics.

Marriage pending for Katy Perry?

SO is Katy Perry engaged to John Mayer or what? Since Valentine's Day she has twice been seen wearing a great big ring on her left hand -- but different rings. One is known to have been a gift from Mayer last year. Then, last weekend she and Mayer went shopping and she wore no ring.

What does this all mean? I say we should be told!

Perry certainly does seem to have domesticated the legendary ladies' man in the 18 months they've been dating. But where will this go?

OK! mag has been flogging an engagement story since December. Now One Who Knows tells Us Weekly the two are not engaged. The Daily Mail notes the lady herself is declining to answer questions about this. In January she told GQ "there's no rush."

J.K. Rowling returns as Robert

J.K. Rowling wrote a novel under a pseudonym, remember? It didn't sell until the author's real identify ever so accidentally leaked out; then it became a bestseller. So now "Robert Galbraith" rides again:

The good guy from the first Galbraith book, The Cuckoo's Calling, was called Cormoran Strike for some reason, and he returns in The Silkworm, due in bookstores in June.

Singer settles out of court

RIHANNA'S legal struggle with the accountant she said gave her bad advice? She won, sort of.

I had the story last week: she was suing accountant Peter Gounis and the firm Berdon LLP for recommending investments that lost her $7 million in 2009. She was demanding $35 million in compensation, Now the Daily News says the firm has offered her an out-of-court settlement of $10 million.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 23, 2014 ??65524

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