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Agassi book gets reaction overseas

Andre Agassi‘s stunning drug confession in his new book is meeting mixed reaction overseas, from harsh criticism to measured sympathy.

London Daily Mail columnist Piers Morgan, better known on this side of the pond as a judge on "America’s Got Talent," thought "absolutely nothing could possibly shock me any more."

"Blimey, Andre, talk about raising the bar!" wrote Morgan, after news leaked last week that Agassi admits in "Open: An Autobiography" to snorting crystal meth for about a year starting in 1997.

Some "pretty decent people" make spectacular errors in judgment, wrote Morgan, "and I’d include Agassi in that category. I don’t feel sorry for him because he’s suddenly decided to reveal he was a lying drugs cheat. He was an idiot, as he admits himself."

And, added Morgan, "confessing all this now to flog a few books and make a few quid seems a little mercenary to me. But I do now have a better idea of what made him go a little bit mad. And as a consequence, I can empathise and sympathise."

Morgan’s fellow Daily Mail columnist Ian Ridley had a harsher view.

"Tennis would have been better served had he and it taken responsibility and shown new balls instead of continuing to cover up," he wrote.

James Lawton of The Independent of London wrote "perhaps those who feel betrayed by his confessions might better reflect on the fact that he appears to have survived some of the worst of the pain that came to him at such an early age."

He added, "even now it is, surely, not so hard to understand, at least a little, the severity of the wounds so long hidden by their A-list smiles."

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Edward Lawrence, a news reporter at KLAS-TV, Channel 8 since 2003, is joining CBS News next month as a New York-based freelance correspondent. The Washington, D.C., native leaves the station Dec. 9, which allows him to participate in the Dec. 6 marathon. He’s pitched the network on having him cover the Dec. 16 opening of CityCenter’s Aria tower.

"It’s a national story, with the 12,000 jobs it has created." And, he added, "Nevada having the second-highest unemployment rate in the country."…

More details are coming out on the planned location of the Strip-based Las Vegas Mob Exhibition. It will be housed in a Capo’s restaurant which will open in an undisclosed venue in the first half of 2010. Jay Bloom, managing partner of the exhibition, made the partnership announcement Saturday. It will be Nico Santucci‘s third Capo’s. Also involved in the project is Antoinette "Mafia Princess" Giancana, the 74-year-old daughter of legendary Chicago Outfit boss Sam "Momo" Giancana whose turf once included Sin City. The crime syndicate museum will be in competition with a downtown rival group being pushed by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

DEAL OF THE DAY

UNLV’s 25th anniversary of 76 Trombones + four at Artemus Ham Concert Hall, Sunday, Nov. 8. Tickets: $10. 895-2787

SIGHTINGS

Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, dining at Stack (Mirage) on Friday. Comedian Kathy Griffin, in a back room at Fix (Bellagio) on Friday … Boxers "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz, taking in qualifying for the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday … At the Palms for the Fangoria Trinity of Terrors Halloween weekend: filmmaking legend John Waters, Bruce Campbell, the star of the "Evil Dead" trilogy, filmmaker/producer Roger Corman, and actors Corbin Bernsen, George A. Romero, Malcolm McDowell and William Forsythe … Pro wrestling legend Ric Flair, dining at N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) on Friday. He went to Nove Italiano in the Palms Fantasy Tower for cannoli …

THE PUNCH LINE

"(Sarah Palin) got a million dollars for the book (‘Going Rogue’). She’s got a sequel coming out — ‘Going Shopping.’" — David Letterman

Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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