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Ben Roethlisberger has settled the lawsuit filed against him by Andrea McNulty in 2009 - the first of two incidents in which he was accused of sexual assault.

The civil lawsuit filed by McNulty, a former Lake Tahoe casino host, claiming the NFL star raped her while he was in town for a golf tournament in 2008.

Neither side will say if Andrea McNulty was paid in the settlement.

Ben Roethlisberger Image

McNulty filed the suit in Washoe District Court in 2009, claiming Roethlisberger lured her into his Harrah's penthouse suite and forced her to have sex.

The suit also named a list of Harrah's employees, claiming they covered up the alleged sexual assault to protect the Pittsburgh Steelers superstar.

McNulty's lawyer, Cal Dunlap, refused to discuss the terms of the case. Roethlisberger's lawyer, David Cornwell, and his agent, also had no comment.

McNulty claimed Roethlisberger asked her to come to his suite to fix his broken television, only to force her onto the bed and rape her, the suit said.

Lawyers for Roethlisberger denied the claims, and the casino denied covering it up. McNulty was accused by some of trying to extort money from him.

The star faced similar allegations in Georgia only one year later when a second Ben Roethlisberger accuser said he sexually assaulted her after a night of drinking.

Authorities investigated the allegations, but no charges were filed.

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Brittany Kerr, a cheerleader for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats and now a contestant on American Idol, probably can't challenge Phillip Phillips on talent alone.

She does bring other attributes to the table, however.

A massive surge in traffic from peeps looking for Brittany Kerr bikini photos crashed her manager's website the following day, according to reports.

Not only that, she's on her way to Hollywood! J.Lo wasn't impressed with her audition (below), but Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson sent her through.

Big surprise. No word if she'll don a two-piece in the next round ...

Kerr's management company wasn't the only thing affected. Jim Merrill, a photographer who recently shot Kerr in a bikini, had to buy more bandwidth.

Merrill typically gets about 5,000 hits a month on his website. Just moments after Kerr's audition, his traffic ballooned to 20,000 hits ... Wednesday.

The moral of the story? People love their American Idol. And cyber stalking pics of hot girls who become Z-list celebrities overnight. U-S-A! U-S-A!

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We're down to the final four in the NFL.

On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens do battle with the New England Patriots, while the New York Giants head to San Francisco to face the 49ers. Which teams will be featured in a Super Bowl that also includes a mostly naked David Beckham?

We break down the key categories of the first match up below...

Ravens vs. Pats

CONNECTION TO GOD:
Ravens: Middle linebacker Ray Lewis is an ordained minster.
Patriots: Blew away Tim Tebow and the Broncos last week, 45-10.
Edge: Patriots

UNIVERSITY STARTING QUARTERBACK ATTENDED:
Ravens: Delaware
Patriots: Michigan
Edge: Ravens

RECORDS BROKEN BY STARTING QUARTERBACKS:
Ravens: Worst facial hair
Patriots: Most touchdown passes in a single season
Edge: Patriots

MASCOT REPRESENTS:
Ravens: The most widely distributed of all corvids
Patriots: A patriotic freedom fighter
Edge: Patriots

TYPICAL FAN:
Ravens: Unclear
Patriots: Drunk Masshole
Edge: Ravens

THE VERDICT: The Patriots pull it out, three categories to two. Blame Joe Flacco's Fu Manchu, as well as his poor passing ability, for the inevitable loss by the Ravens.

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN?

 

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The higher-ups at Volkswagen must be big Star Wars fans.

For the second straight year, the car maker is using George Lucas' epic saga as inspiration for a Super Bowl commercial. A year ago, Little Darth Vader was a huge hit.

So much so that the company released a teaser for the ad early here in 2012. The sequel, featuring a canine chorus barking a familiar tune, may be even better:

Barking along to the ominous "Imperial March" dressed as Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and an Ewok, these mutts will surely get people talking.

Or howling, one might say ... see what we did right there?

The appropriate title for the spot: "The Bark Side." Amazing.

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Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa is about to be a very rich woman.

Sources connected to the couple say the couple's property settlement agreement, which they worked out before even going public with their divorce, is final.

Vanessa Bryant is walking away with $75 million, which represents close to half of their total assets, estimated at around $150 million. Not a bad payday.

Famous Guests

Several transfers of property earlier this year between Kobe and Vanessa. The female Bryant now owns all three of the former couple's Newport Beach mansions.

Vanessa gets the estate she lives in, the estate her mom is living in, and the new one that had been under construction for two years and was just completed.

Kobe, whose cheating led to their divorce, is getting a new bachelor pad instead. We have a hunch he'll do alright there, financially and otherwise.

Vanessa is asking for joint custody of their two daughters, Natalia, 8, and Gianna, 5, but is asking that the LA Lakers superstar get visitation rights.

Vanessa Bryant: Gold digger?

 

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The New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers last weekend in the NFL playoffs, moving within one win of the Super Bowl after a 37-20 victory at Lambeau Field.

Cheese Heads everywhere did not take it well, but we have a feeling this one girl is still not over it. Her tearful reaction leaving the game suggests a relative died.

Perhaps, just maybe, we take pro sports a tad seriously sometimes.

And tank goodness for that, as it makes for videos of crying fans:

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Sarah Burke, a four-time X-Games champion, has passed away from injuries sustained during a training run last week. She was 29.

The Canadian crashed in Park City, Utah on January 10 and, according to reports, fell into cardiac arrest soon after. She was airlifted to a hospital and underwent surgery to repair a tear in a significant artery before being placed in a medically-induced coma on life support.

Sarah Burke Pic

But it was all too much and Burke lost her battle earlier today due to a lack of oxygen to her brain, doctors said. She was surrounded by family and friends when she died and donated her organs and tissues. Sarah is survived by her husband of two years, skier Rory Bushfield.

"Sarah, in many ways, defines the sport," said Peter Judge, the CEO of Canada's freestyle team, prior to her death. "She's been involved since the very, very early days as one of the first people to bring skis into the pipe. She's also been very dedicated in trying to define her sport but not define herself by winning. For her, it's been about making herself the best she can be rather than comparing herself to other people."

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Even if Tom Brady and the Patriots knock off the Ravens on Sunday, the quarterback may not be the most handsome man associated with Super Bowl XLVI.

That's because David Beckham - who just signed a new two-year deal to remain with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS - will be featured during a second quarter commercial... in his underwear!

David Beckham H&M Ad

The spot will mark Beckham's first campaign with H&M and will support the launch of his nine-piece bodywear collection, which hits 1,800 stores nationwide on February 2. He says of the collaboration:

"With my design team we spent time working on the feel, fit and style to ensure the product is not only something I would wear but one which I would be proud to put my name to. I always want to challenge myself and this was such a rewarding experience for me. I'm very happy with the end result and I hope H&M's male customers will be as excited as I am."

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Parks and Recreation star Rob Lowe turned the football world upside down late yesterday with a series of tweets regarding Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

Lowe stated, matter-of-factly, his shock that Peyton Manning is retiring.

Quickly questioned about it, he then said his "people are saying" the injured, aging NFL legend is hanging up the cleats, but did not exactly change course.

Ludicrous on the surface, the fact that Lowe is friends Colts owner Jim Irsay gave the situation a little more credibility. A little. Barely more than none.

Rob Lowe, Peyton Manning

Manning’s father and agent quickly denied the rumor, and Irsay has fired a shot at Lowe via Twitter. In response to Lowe's "scoop," the owner wrote:

“My sources tell me Rob will star in an epic remake of Deep Throat with aging porn stars and 4 finger circus clowns!”

It's unclear if Irsay was taking a swipe at Lowe’s infamous sex tape, or just trying to come up with a BS Twitter report of his own that’s odder than Lowe’s to make a point.

Either way, this whole thing is hilariously weird.

Lowe later told Rich Eisen of NFL Network that the info came from a “pretty darn good source.” Lowe said the source wasn’t Irsay, however, or anyone close to him.

The fact that Manning didn’t retire doesn’t mean he won’t, but it's doubtful Rob Lowe broke the sports scoop of the year, though stranger things have happened.

We can't think of one, but we assume they have.

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Aaron Rodgers has many reasons to be sad this week. His heavily-favored Packers followed a 15-1 regular season with a stunning loss at home on Sunday, falling to the New York Giants 37-20 and ending their hopes for back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

But Laura Kaeppeler is doing her best to put a smile on the Green Bay quarterback's face.

Laura Kaeppeler Photo

The Wisconsin native, who was crowned Miss America on Saturday night, introduced herself at the pageant by saying: "If you're watching, Aaron Rodgers, call me."

Now that the Packers have been eliminated, perhaps Rodgers will cue up that tape and realize the opportunity in front of him. Forget a Discount Double Check, dude, and focus on a beauty queen body check... if you know what we mean!

If Rodgers does propose to Kaeppeler, it would mark the second recent union between a signal caller and a tiara-wearer: disgraced former champion Carrie Preston is married to perennial backup Kyle Boller.

[Photo: Pacific Coast News]