Sunday, November 26, 2006


POISONER NAMED: Sushi assassin outed as Ruski vet

Exclusive by James Weatherup

THE ruthless assassin at the centre of the Litvinenko poison murder is a highly-trained veteran of Russia's deadly Spetsnaz special forces.

The News of the World knows the killer's full identity but for legal reasons we are just using his middle name Igor.

The 46-year-old expert in covert operations was dramatically fingered in a bombshell document passed to former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko at London's Itsu sushi bar before he was slipped lethal radioactive polonium-210.

The three-page dossier was handed to Scotland Yard by the victim and is now being analysed by the anti-terrorist branch. The News of the World has obtained a copy and can reveal it contains a chilling hitlist with Litvinenko, 43, as a prime target.


A security source who leaked the document to us said: "This is dynamite. It's clear there's a violent and ruthless campaign to wipe out anyone who gets under the skin of the new regime in Russia."

And as a massive police manhunt got underway to find Igor, understood to be deep undercover at a secret Italian hideout, health officials in London went on alert.

Following an emergency meeting of the government's COBRA comittee, an appeal was issued for anyone who used the Piccadilly sushi restaurant and the Millennium Hotel — both used by former KGB colonel Litvinenko on November 1, the day he was poisoned — to contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Both places tested positive for radiation.

It also emerged that the Sushi bar is to be decontaminated and that polonium traces have been found at two other separate addresses in the capital, and also at Litvinenko's home.

The extraordinary hitlist, which was originally given to Litvinenko by Italian academic Mario Scaramella, mentions the doomed poison victim FIVE times.

It reveals that Dignity And Honour, part of a group of ex-KGB spies, appear to be waging their own Cold War on dissidents trying to embarrass President Vladimir Putin.

After naming Igor the document describes his killing capabilities and expertise. He walks with a slight limp after an accident to his right leg, but is lean and muscular, six feet tall, with greying black hair.

He is said to be a "master in judo" who speaks perfect English and Portuguese as well as Russian.

The hitlist in the leaked document, which appears to be a whistleblowing report from an insider, details names in the firing line including:

- FEARLESS journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was shot dead in Moscow last month, after exposing Russian atrocities. (top left)

- PROFESSOR Mario Scaramella, who gave the document to Litvinenko and probed KGB infiltration for the Italian parliament. (top right)

- HUMAN rights activist and novelist Vladimir Bukovsky, who campaigned over attempts to dump radioactive material off northern Russia. bottom right)

- ANTI-PUTIN billionaire Boris Berezovsky, 60, who bankrolled a candidate to stand against Putin in the 2004 elections. (bottom left)

- CRUSADING Italian Senator Paolo Guzzanti who is in charge of an influential committee probing KGB links in Italy. (centre)

It has neem revealed that Litvinenko was poisoned with a massive overdose of the deadly polonium-210. A Whitehall source told the News of the World: "A few microbes would be fatal, but we think he had a TEASPOON'S worth—more than a billion times what was needed to kill him."

Experts believe the poison was delivered in a liquid solution in drink. After learning of the "worryingly high" levels of radiation discovered at the sushi bar, the government issued its plea for customers — and those of the Millennium Hotel's Pine Bar, which was yesterday sealed off — to contact NHS Direct.

By Saturday more than 300 diners had called in.

The experts fear that if, say, a waiter's finger came into contact with the poison it could be passed on in "a daisy chain effect", from person to person.

Itsu boss Clive Schlee insisted: "I understand the Health Protection Agency has to take all precautions. But I've not had a single report from our staff or customers of any illness related in any way to November 1."

In yet another twist to the drama, sources close to Litvinenko also claimed there was a connection between his murder and the mystery death of a British lawyer in a helicopter crash two years ago.

Stephen Curtis, 45, who died in 2004, was chairman of security firm ISC Global which worked for a group of Russian tycoons who had fallen out with Putin.

Our insider claimed: "The inquest recorded accidental death but two weeks before the tragedy Stephen said if something happened to him it would NOT not be an accident.

"He had told of threats and felt he was under surveillance. I'm told he also had a ‘hit list' similar to Lit-vinenko's and had passed it onto the authorities."


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7: Journalist Anna Politkovskaya is shot dead. Litvinenko begins to probe.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1: Litvinenko meets Italian academic Prof Mario Scaramella at Itsu sushi bar London and receives hitlist papers. Then he meets two Russian men at the Millennium Hotel. Later falls sick and admitted to Barnet Hospital.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17: Transferred to University College Hospital.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20: Moved to Intensive Care. Kremlin denies any involvement.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23: Litvinenko dies at 9.21pm.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

TWO-TIMING MARIA: Sound of Music star caught cheating

Exclusive by James Desborough

SOUND Of Music heroine Connie Fisher has a secret Edel-vice—sneakily doing all her favourite things with backstage sound man Leigh Davies.

After innocently kissing hero lover Neal Williams ‘So Long, Farewell' at home, she rushes to the arms of her London Palladium squeeze.

In a cheat-packed week, Connie— whose pure voice and goody-goody image clinched the lead role as the songbird nun in TV reality show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?—was clocked:

- SNOGGING Davies passionately in dark alleys and doorways.

- MOUTHING sweet nothings on an intimate dinner date.

- ENJOYING romantic hand-in-hand strolls around London's West End.

- CUDDLING up with him on the backseat of a cab.

One fan who spotted them told us: "They behaved like a couple really smitten. Their hands were all over each other and those clinches were so passionate. They only had eyes and lips for each other."

The week was all go. While keeping those trysts from trusting soldier Neal, crafty Connie, 23, managed to win rave reviews for the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit's official opening, wow crowds at the glitzy first-night party and put on a storming performance of Do-Re-Mi for Friday's BBC Children In Need marathon.

Connie, 23, and Davies, 29—who also has a long-term partner, actress and singer Vivienne Carlyle—went to great lengths to hide their relationship from the rest of the cast and crew. But on FRIDAY November 10 Connie and Davies were spotted slipping away from the theatre for a cosy dinner date.


The technician waited nearby while Connie signed autographs for waiting fans. Then he jumped in a VW people carrier with her and they were whisked to Soho. After being dropped off they held hands as they walked to swish Italian restaurant Carpe Diem on Wardour Street.

They sat at a small table and talked passionately, caressing each other's hands.

Eventually they emerged, but gazed longingly into each other's eyes then ducked into a dark alleyway for an intimate two-minute snog. A bit later they were seen kissing in a doorway.

Hand-in-hand, they strolled to Soho Square and enjoyed yet another kiss and cuddle on the corner.

As Connie's driver pulled up, Leigh tenderly kissed Connie on the lips, saying goodnight. He then waited for his car to take him home to Gidea Park, Essex.

A theatre insider told us: "You'd have believed that Connie and Leigh were the real thing—they were all over each other."

Next day—SATURDAY, November 11—they were at it again.

Pembrokeshire-born Connie kissed he-man Neal–who has served under fire in Iraq with the 31st Signal Regiment—on the driveway of her home in Sydenham, south London, before heading in to perform her matinee at around 12.30pm.

The couple, who have dated for more than three years, met up for a Chinese meal close to the theatre around 5.15pm. Unsuspecting Neal then returned to his Wimbledon home.

After the evening show, when stage door crowds had vanished, Connie and Davies came out and walked arm in arm towards Carnaby Street.

The pair held hands, chatted affectionately and stared long into each other's eyes before ducking into a dark corner and kissing intensely for about two minutes.

A fan who spotted the action said: "Even though they tried to duck out of sight they could be seen getting very intimate. They really went for it." All smiles, the couple turned back but couldn't resist a second doorway session with Connie's hands running all over her man's back.

They then walked separately to the nearby Shaston Arms pub, arriving around 12.30am for drinks with friends. Forty minutes later Neal, 27, met smiling Connie at the pub front door. They left holding hands soon after, and headed back to her home.

The fan who saw it all told us: "Connie just switched back into faithful girlfriend mode. She acted like everything was normal, and they walked off hand in hand.

"Her boyfriend didn't seem to have a clue about what happened just minutes earlier." On MONDAY Connie was with Neal at the Palladium until early evening. Minutes after he left, Davies arrived for work around 6pm.

After the show he watched from a doorway across the road and made a phone call as Connie signed pictures for fans. Then he strolled off down Regent Street—until Connie picked him up there in her chauffeured people carrier 10 minutes later.

In the back of the car they hugged passionately and went into a deep snog. As they drove across town Connie was clearly seen nuzzling and kissing Davies. At around 11.30pm Leigh got out at Liverpool Street Station, enjoying a lingering smooch before jumping onto a train home.

Another driver told us: "They were like teenage lovers. The second the bloke set foot in that car, Connie just flung herself onto him."

On TUESDAY Davies and Connie again took time out to enjoy each other's company, strolling down Carnaby Street deep in conversation for 35 minutes.

WEDNESDAY was the show's press night followed by a big star-studded launch party. Connie and Davies both arrived with their partners. Smiling Connie and Neal headed home around 1.30am. But Davies and Vivienne, right, appeared to have a blazing row on their way out around 20 later. Furious Vivienne, 34, who has starred in West End musicals herself, pulled away from her man as he tried to walk arm in arm to their car.

On THURSDAY night after the show Connie repeated her Monday routine of picking Davies up in Regent Street, away from the theatre, before enjoying a 20-minute kiss and cuddle in the back of the car on its way to Liverpool Street.

Minutes earlier Davies had even pretended to say goodbye to the singer, helping load her bags into the car outside the stage door and strolling away. At one stage on the ride across town Connie disappeared low in the vehicle for over three minutes as Davies remained motionless.

After a long goodnight snog at the station Davies walked away and blew the star one last kiss.

Despite a whirlwind rise to fame from telesales to West End megastar, Connie vowed to stay grounded and stick with signalman Neal. She has said: "Neal is my own rock...we haven't changed. I can come home and always be his Connie."

She added: "He's so gorgeous. He looks like Brad Pitt, so there's no way I'm letting go of him. There's more chance of him running off with Jennifer Aniston than me running off with anybody."

But a source at the London Palladium revealed: "Connie and Leigh's friendship has been the talk of the show for the past few weeks. They appear extraordinarily close. It's got tongues wagging."

Last night, when asked about Davies, Connie said: "Are you serious? He's my sound guy. I haven't time for an affair.

"I go out for drinks with lots of members of cast and crew. Going out for drinks is not having an affair."

Sunday, November 12, 2006


By Rav Singh

SUPERSTAR Britney Spears is facing a mega divorce payout because she did it again and again and again... on a HONEYMOON sex video.

Dumped husband Kevin Federline has been touting the four-hour tape for sale and has already been offered £26 MILLION.

A film company wants to make it available online to fans around the world.

One close pal said: "This vid is dynamite and Kev knows it."

And the News of the World can also reveal that Britney slapped divorce papers on Federline - who had already been linked with hookers - after she caught him in a bedroom with another woman.


Britney, 24, fears the raunchy footage will destroy her wholesome image unless she caves in to his demands for a £16million payoff and custody of their children Sean Preston, one, and Jayden James, eight weeks.

She is worried she will become infamous like Paris Hilton - whose home-made sex video, was put on the internet by her ex and became one of the world's most popular sites.

Federline, 28, has bragged to pals that his X-rated tape shows the Oops, I Did It Again singer performing a series of explicit sex acts.

The home-made video is believed to show the naked couple enjoying an uninhibited range of love-making and sexual games.It was made during the first weeks of their relationship two years ago when they were holed up in one of the exclusive bungalows at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

The source close to Federline said: "At the time the two of them were in the honeymoon stages of the relationship and couldn't keep their hands off each other.

"They did nothing all day but have sex - and play the odd game of chess.

"They were insatiable and they believed they would be together forever.

"Britney didn't think twice about making the video at the time. She mistakenly believed that their love would last.

"They adored filming each other. They lived their lives in front of the cameras - even making a short-lived reality TV show of their exploits.

"Sex was no different to them, it seems. Now this video could prove very costly to her.

"Millions of people will be prepared to pay to watch.

"Kevin has told Britney she should comply with his demands otherwise the whole world will see her having sex, which will be devastating."

He added: "At the moment Kev is in talks with a company in Arizona about putting the four-hour sex vid online. If it all goes to plan he'll make £26million from it."

The source explained that Federline is so enraged with his estranged wife he will do anything to hurt her.

Meanwhile a pal of Britney added: "She is absolutely furious with Kevin, and knows a full-on sex video could almost certainly ruin her chance of a career come-back.

"They were made for the couple to watch in the privacy of their home. She never thought that he'd threaten to SELL them.


"Britney has contacted her lawyers to see how she can stop him but it is going to be a hard one. It is his tape, so in theory he owns the copyright."

We can reveal Britney - worth at least £50million after hits like Hit Me Baby One More Time - filed for divorce after she stormed into his hotel room and found him with another woman.

The singer flew into New York a day after her wannabe rapper husband to join his tour.

But he stood her up at The Library restaurant, and she was seen in floods of tears before storming to the Regency Hotel where he was staying. A source said: "It is against the hotel's policy to give keys to people not staying in the hotel, but she was so upset that when she demanded it they handed it straight over.

"She raced up to his room and found another girl in there.

"They didn't need to be doing anything. Just the fact she was in there was enough to confirm months of suspicions, rumours and accusations about him playing away.

"Two members of staff were fired for handing over the keys, but the damage was done.

"Britney had seen all she had to and decided their marriage was over on the spot."

Last week she filed for divorce after dumping him by text.

Federline is only entitled to £2million and half the sale of their £7million home in Santa Barbara because of the watertight pre-nuptial agreement they signed before they wed.

Britney also gets to take back his £78,000 Ferrari, custom-made motorbike and any gifts worth more than £6,000.

Two days later Federline filed his own divorce petition. He is demanding £16million, custody of their children and for Britney to pay his legal fees and maintenance.

A pal said: "The bid for custody of the kids was a warning shot that Kevin means business.

"And, more importantly, that he is NOT going to go away quietly with his pre-nup pittance.

"He wants an awful lot more. and he'll most likely get it."

But the star put a brave face on her troubles this week as she celebrated her freedom. She was spotted beaming away in a big baggy jumper at an ice rink in New York.

Giggling as she took a twirl, the singer was filmed by a fan.

Coke, Vice Girls and Vegas

By Georgina Dickinson

SOBBING Britney broke down in her mum's arms last week as she finally admitted: My husband is a love rat into GAMBLING, HOOKERS and DRUGS.

Worried Lynne Spears begged her daughter to leave Federline. Now Britney has finally accepted that he:
- ROMPED with Vegas hookers,
- SNORTED cocaine and popped ecstasy in a limo, and
- SQUANDERED millions on boozy 24-hour gambling sessions.

A close friend of Britney revealed: "For ages she was blinded by love for Kevin. Now she's seen the light."

Prostitute Danielle Coakley, 20, has told how she took drugs and partied with Federline while Britney was pregnant. She said: "Kevin was a real party animal. We went to two casinos then back to his hotel suite in Vegas. There were lots of drugs—cocaine, weed and ecstasy. We shared an E in his limo on the way then passed out on his bed." And £500-a-night stripper Vanessa Hulihan, 30, revealed she spent weekends with him.

She said: "Kevin said we could be together if he wasn't married. Another time I went to his hotel suite and the tub was full of strippers."

Kevin was also seen blowing thousands at gambling tables while cuddling up to porn star Kendra Jade, 29.

Secrets of her £65m Pre-Nup

CANNY Britney has protected her millions with a watertight pre-nuptial agreement of astonishing detail, it has been revealed.

Federline may be using the sex video in the hope of upping his payout but LEGALLY he's entitled to as little as £160,000 cash.

Britney, then worth £65million, even staged a fake wedding in September 2004 because the pre-nup was not ready. The couple then went through a second legal ceremony almost three weeks later.

The pre-wedding deal, referred to as the Smith and Jones Cohabitation/Pre-nuptial Agreement, states the couple agree to each have a one-half share of their £5.2 million home in Malibu.

The agreement BANS Federline from getting his hands on any money Britney had before their marriage when a large part of her fortune was earned.

It also BANS him from getting any cash from deals pre-dating the marriage.

Even gifts he has received from her valued at more than £5,263 require a legal document signed by both of them stating who owns it if they split.

In the first draft of the pre-nup, Federline was due to receive £18,947 a year in the event of a split. This was later increased to £157,894 ‘spousal support' for every two years of marriage. As they wed just over two years ago, this could be all he gets.

Kevin Federline was worth £15,789 when he wed. He submitted a one-page document listing assets. He was earning £39,000 a year, while his bride's income was £10.2 milllion. The pre-nup lists Britney's bling as worth £170,000, including a diamond engagement ring she bought herself.

Merchandise, including her perfume Curious, earned her £8.5million, endorsements £11million and music, including touring, royalties and a record deal were worth £13.5 million.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


EXCLUSIVE: Beckhams' fears over epileptic son Romeo

By Rav Singh

VICTORIA Beckham has confessed that her son Romeo is battling epilepsy, the News of the World can reveal.

Posh and Becks were "devastated" when specialists confirmed that their four-year-old middle child has the brain condition which causes violent fits.

Sufferers can die during an attack and many have to take medication for the rest of their lives.

Posh has revealed that she and David are now terrified flash photos will spark an epileptic fit that could kill him.

The world's most-photographed celebrity family are desperate to protect little Romeo from fans and paparazzi eager to get a snap.

The lad, who turned four just five weeks ago, has been warned to avoid flashing lights known to cause potentially-fatal seizures.

The frightened youngster reacted violently after being photographed at Heathrow last Saturday as he returned to Britain from Madrid with Posh and brothers Brooklyn, seven, and Cruz, one.

Initially he shielded his eyes against the flashes as his mother pushed him through the terminal building in his buggy and out to a waiting car.

He then started screaming in terror and lashing out with his legs as one photographer pressed his camera inside the car and started flashing.

Only then did horrified Posh, 32, reveal the truth about brave Romeo's dangerous condition.

She pulled her blond-headed son to her, shielded him from the lights and yelled: "Leave him alone.

"He's got epilepsy. All that flashing will start an epileptic fit. You can't do that!"

Kevin Smith — owner of Splash news, the agency that took the shot —said: "No picture is worth putting a child's life in danger.

"Now that we know Romeo has epilepsy I will not be authorising any of my photographers to take flash pictures of him. I think this is absolutely the right thing to do and I hope other agencies follow suit."

And we at the News of the World are only printing the shocking picture — taken BEFORE the facts were known — to persuade fans and the world's press to act responsibly.

The frightening incident came soon after specialists told the couple that Romeo's condition was more serious than first feared and that he had epilepsy.

Romeo has endured a series of frightening fits and has been rushed to hospital four times in three years.

Intially it was thought his attacks were simply febrile convulsions, common in young children running a high temperature.

But when the fits continued with no clear explanation he was tested for epilepsy, which has now been confirmed.

A close friend of Posh and Real Madrid star Becks said: "They have told friends the situation. While it's heartbreaking, he is being brave.

"They are devastated — worried sick about Romeo. He is on medication to control the seizures but obviously things like flashing lights can trigger one at any time.

"They can only hope the medication limits the number of fits he suffers to a minimum and he can enjoy as normal a life as possible. Epilepsy affects a great number of people and many grow out of it. They are just praying Romeo gets better."

A friend of Victoria's said of the Heathrow drama: "Romeo was very distressed. He hates flashes going off because he knows what they can do to him.

"Normally he just shields his eyes but this was right in his face. There was nowhere for them to go.

"Victoria was really scared and tried to shield him. She was furious. That's why she yelled out — anything to make them stop and think about what they're doing to him."

Flash photography is one of the trigger factors for epileptic seizures. In extreme cases attacks can be fatal. News of the World doctor Hilary Jones said: "We do not know how seriously the condition affects Romeo but if he is having grand mals — which cause the sufferer to thrash about and bite their tongue — it can cause a fatality.

"It is extremely rare but the Beckhams will not want to expose him to that sort of risk. The paparazzi — and the fans — should take care when they're around Romeo."

Victoria has been seeking advice from celebrity pal Elton John, who also suffers from the condition. He is godfather to little Romeo and his older brother Brooklyn.

The pal added: "Elton has been a tower of strength for the Beckhams since they found out the news. He's been able to tell them how it affected him and how to cope."

Other famous sufferers of epilepsy include Julius Caesar, Vincent van Gogh, Sir Winston Churchill, Napoleon, actor Richard Burton and comic Rik Mayall.

Plucky Romeo was first rushed to Princess Alexandria Hospital in Harlow, Essex, in October 2003, aged just one, after suffering frightening convulsions.

He had a high temperature and his face had turned blue. He was kept in overnight for observation.

Just weeks before he had two stitches in his forehead after falling on an escalator in Madrid.

Then in July last year he was taken to hospital again after suffering similar convulsions.

In October Romeo was back in hospital twice in four days in Madrid after collapsing again.

Former England skipper David, 31, postponed plans to fly off for a World Cup qualifier against Austria to be at his son's bedside.

Romeo was first taken to the La Paz hospital for two hours before his parents were allowed to take him home.

But four days later the Beckhams rushed him to the Ruber International Hospital in Madrid where he was detained for four days for extensive tests.

- Epilepsy affects one in every 130 people in the UK.

- Sufferers can experience petit mals, which are slight blackouts, to grand mals, where their bodies convulse and they can lose consciousness for several minutes.

- It is treatable with anti-convulsant drugs and most sufferers can lead a normal life. But in more extreme cases their lives can be ruined by near-constant seizures.

- In six out of ten sufferers, epilepsy can be explained by brain tumours or injuries to the head. But for the rest there is no easy explanation and the cause remains a mystery.

The Beckhams have had their share of medical scares with their sons. Brooklyn had a hernia operation at just six weeks old.

Last night a spokesman for the Beckhams said: "We can't comment on any medical matters."

But a friend of the couple added: "It's been a harrowing period for Victoria and David. They are desperately worried about their son."