F1 CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE has revealed that organizers for a planned New Jersey Grand Prix "are in breach of their race contract and have not paid him since signing the agreement" in '11. AUTOWEEK's Christian Sylt noted the event was "due to debut this year but was cancelled due to lack of funding." Ecclestone said that the reason he "hasn't taken legal action is that he wants to keep the prospect of the race alive as other groups are considering taking over the contract" from event Exec Chair LEO HINDERY (AUTOWEEK.com, 12/24).
AMERICAN JOURNEY: In Dallas, Drew Davison noted MLB Rangers CF LEONYS MARTIN's defection from Cuba comes to light in a civil lawsuit filed a year ago in Broward County (Fla.) "against his former agents and a Mexican-based company, Estrellas del Beisbol, which managed him." The suit alleges that Martin's journey "included more than a six-month stay in Mexico, during which he says he was held captive with other Cuban players, while his family was held at a house in South Florida." Martin alleges that he and his group "were held hostage by a number of [gunmen], including ELIEZER LAZO and JOEL MARTINEZ HERNANDEZ, who are serving prison sentences in Mississippi for money laundering and Medicare fraud" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/25).
SCREEN TIME: In New Zealand, Michael Burgess notes tennis player ANA IVANOVIC has "been offered acting roles in several movies." Ivanovic said, "Most of (the offers have been) independent movies but there was one role in a Hollywood movie that looked so exciting. It was a bit more than a cameo, but not a major role. It would have suited me because it involved some action." She added, "Still, for just a few scenes and about 10 lines of dialogue, it would have taken eight days to film. Unfortunately I wasn't able, or willing, to sacrifice my training for that long" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 12/22)....Nuggets C JAVALE MCGEE will be part of a new reality show called "MOM'S GOT GAME" on the Oprah Winfrey Network starting Jan. 18. The series is "centered around JaVale's mom, PAMELA, as she acts as his business manager while trying to get her dating life going" (USATODAY.com, 12/25)....Motor Racing Network pit reporter STEVE POST will be featured in the Dec. 30 episode of the Food Network’s “DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES” (MRN).
PAY FOR A DAY: The Cowboys signed QB JON KITNA out of retirement and he will "earn about $53,000 for his Christmas week's work." Kitna said that he "would be donating his NFL check" to Tacoma, Wash.-based Lincoln High School, where he has been working as a math teacher and football coach (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/26).
THE BRADY BUNCH: Patriots QB TOM BRADY and wife GISELE BUNDCHEN on Tuesday "took the family to the Boston Pops concert at Symphony Hall and later went backstage" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/25). Brady on Monday was at Fenway Park "to host a kickoff party for his Best Buddies Challenge team" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/24).
NAMES: Former NFLers ART STILL and ALBERT LEWIS "headline a group of nine former Chiefs who have joined the workers' compensation lawsuit recently filed against the team" (K.C. STAR, 12/23)....SMU signed football coach JUNE JONES "to a three-year contract extension" through '17. Jones had 19 months remaining on his original five-year deal signed in '11. He will be paid about $2M annually through June '15 (DALLASNEWS.com, 12/23)....Baltimore-based ice cream shop The Charmery’s newest limited-edition flavor is “The Legatron,” which pays tribute to Ravens K JUSTIN TUCKER (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/18)….Trail Blazers and Seahawks Owner PAUL ALLEN sold his 292-acre Allan Island in Washington for $8M (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/24)….NFL Giants S COOPER TAYLOR during Super Bowl week is “renting out his New Jersey condo with roof-deck views of MetLife Stadium” for $9,000 for the week (NYPOST.com, 12/25)….Tennis player ROGER FEDERER said on Twitter that he and his wife MIRKA are “expecting another child next year” (AP, 12/24)….Jazz G GORDON HAYWARD yesterday got engaged to ROBYN VAN VILET (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/26).