July 5, 2009 - 9:00 pm
The wife of Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator filed for divorce in February, Fator acknowledged Saturday.
Melinda Fator filed in Texas a month after their January separation, but she walked the red carpet with the singing ventriloquist in March, when his show opened at The Mirage.
After winning NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2006, Fator signed what he said was a $100 million deal, if all the contract conditions worked out.
The Fators had gone all-in two years ago when the “America’s Got Talent” opportunity came up. He put his career on hold to concentrate on the competition, and she quit her job to assist him.
They had maxed out their credit cards, drained their bank account and borrowed from friends.
After winning the $1 million prize, Fator bought his wife a huge wedding ring, he told reporters.
In his first interview acknowledging the divorce, Fator told Vegas Confidential, “It wasn’t the pressures of a career. It was more personal matters. Just some things we were unable to see eye to eye. We both understand the reasons.
“We’re going to remain friends. We have no desire to make it nasty, hateful and spiteful. We’re not two people who want to destroy each other’s lives.”
They were married in Denver on Jan. 8, 1991, after eloping. They have no children.
More local Michael Jackson connections, direct and indirect, are surfacing.
Jackson’s longtime Beverly Hills dermatologist, Arnold Klein, is being identified in media reports as the father of Jackson’s two oldest children. Los Angeles police want to interview Klein about what drugs he may have prescribed for Jackson, according to reports.
Klein’s former assistant, Debbie Rowe, is the biological mother of 12-year-old Prince Michael and 11-year-old Paris. Klein is the rumored sperm donor.
The local connections? At least two dozen prominent Las Vegas residents/entertainers have been clients of Klein, a Botox pioneer, for years.
The list includes Cher, Barry Manilow and Wayne Newton, film icon Elizabeth Taylor and numerous high-profile gaming figures and their wives.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
The last time Tonya Harding‘s name was linked to Las Vegas, it had to do with her doing a topless ice skating show. That didn’t happen. This time she’s coming to town for LAX nightclub’s “Way Back Wednesdays” on Aug. 19. Watch your kneecaps.
Rihanna, in a rare public appearance since her beating by then-boyfriend Chris Brown, seen dancing throughout Jay-Z‘s concert Friday at The Pearl (Palms). NBA superstar LeBron James went on stage late in the show and sang along. … Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoree Little Anthony (Jerome Anthony Gourdine) of Little Anthony and the Imperials, joining Earl Turner and Lani Misaluca on stage Friday in their “Voices” show at the Hilton during a tribute to Michael Jackson. They sang “I’ll Be There.”
THE PUNCH LINE
“South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford disappeared for a few days and said he was out hiking. Then he said he was in South America. Today he says he was in Las Vegas and woke up hung over with a tiger and a baby. ” — David Letterman
Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.