People in the News

Comedian Will Ferrell brings laughs to the Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — American actor and comedian Will Ferrell isn’t just at the Australian Open this week for the tennis. He also came to (jokingly) announce his retirement from acting.

“I have kind of done all the movies I want to do. It’s a great way to go out,” Ferrell told the media at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

It was just one of several lighthearted moments during an unusual news conference with former No. 1 Jim Courier that felt more like an impromptu comedy club routine.

Among the wackier revelations by the “Anchorman” and “Blades of Glory” star:

— Roger Federer seemed “a little bit afraid of him” during his surprise on-court interview with the Swiss star following his first-round match at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

— Taylor Swift is the best tennis player in Hollywood, followed closely by Rihanna.

— And wombat doesn’t taste like chicken. It’s more of a “sinewy, tough meat.”

Ex-Ataris bassist accused

of telemarketing fraud

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The former bassist of the rock band The Ataris awaits arraignment after he and a woman were indicted on federal conspiracy and fraud charges.

Michael Sean Davenport was arrested last month at a Little Rock, Arkansas, airport on a warrant issued by a southern Illinois federal court accusing him of running a telemarketing business in Santa Barbara, California, for eight years. The indictment alleges the business advertised houses and apartments it didn’t own at low prices.

The 49-year-old Davenport is accused of defrauding more than 100,000 people out of $27 million.

Davenport and Cynthia Rawlinson, his sales manager, are charged with wire and mail fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Davenport’s attorney, Alan Karow, said in an email Wednesday night that he will “assert a vigorous defense” and that he believes Davenport is innocent. Rawlinson has no attorney listed in court records.