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PEOPLE: Earnhardt visits 'Handy Manny' in primetime

Earnhardt visits ‘Handy Manny' in primetime

LOS ANGELES — The children's animated TV series ‘‘Handy Manny Big Race'' went prime time Saturday night with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR star Earnhardt voices the character of Chase Davis, who steps in to help Manny compete in the Wood Valley 500 auto race. The special, which debuted at 7 p.m. Saturday on the Disney Channel, stars Wilmer Valderrama as the voice of Manny.

Earnhardt said he decided to participate in ‘‘Handy Manny'' because his 4-year-old niece is a fan of the show. The Disney Channel series is designed to teach preschoolers about working together and problem-solving.

The ‘‘Handy Manny'' special also features a new song performed by Lance Bass, who voices the character of Elliot.

The ‘‘Handy Manny'' series airs weekdays at 9 a.m. and on weekends at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. as part of Disney Channel's programming block for preschoolers.

Lady Gaga fires back in court

NEW YORK — Lady Gaga is firing back at a music producer who claims he launched her career and is suing her for $30.5 million.

Her lawyer said in a court filing made public Friday the agreement at the heart of the suit was ‘‘unlawful.''

Song writer and music producer Rob Fusari filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Manhattan against the Grammy Award-winning performer. He said his protege and former girlfriend, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, ditched him as her career soared.

The lawsuit said they co-wrote songs such as ‘‘Paparazzi'' and ‘‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich.'' Fusari also said he came up with her stage name and helped get her record deal.

According to the lawsuit, Lady Gaga and Fusari's relationship turned romantic and then became a business partnership in May 2006, when they created a joint venture called Team Love Child LLC to promote her career. Fusari's share was 20 percent.

But Lady Gaga lawyer Charles Ortner wrote in his response that the arrangement was ‘‘structured in such a way as to mask its true purpose — to provide to the defendants unlawful compensation for their services as unlicensed employment agents.''