Prince team sought addiction doctor’s help

— Prince was scheduled to discuss treatment with an eminent opioid addiction specialist’s team the day he died, the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported.

A Prince representative contacted the San Francisco offices of Dr. Howard Kornfeld on April 20 seeking help with “a grave medical emergency,” the newspaper reported Tuesday, citing William Mauzy, a Minneapolis attorney whom the newspaper said is working with the Kornfelds.

Kornfeld runs “Recovery Without Walls,” which specializes in treating opioid addiction among other issues, according to its website.

Kornfeld could not make it, but sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld in his place. The elder Kornfeld planned to fly out the following day, the newspaper reported.

Andrew Kornfeld took an overnight flight to Minnesota and met with Prince’s representatives the morning of April 21, the Star-Tribune reported.

He was among the group that found the 57-year-old entertainer’s body inside an elevator at his Paisley Park studios, the newspaper cited Mauzy as saying.

Andrew Kornfeld is the voice heard on the 911 call alerting authorities to trouble at Prince’s Chanhassen, Minnesota, estate, the newspaper said.

CNN was attempting to reach Mauzy, Howard Kornfeld and Prince representatives for comment Wednesday.

The revelation follows news that investigators had found opioid medication with Prince’s body, a law enforcement source told CNN last week.

Investigators also believe a health scare about a week before Prince’s death, which caused an unscheduled landing of his plane in Illinois, was likely the result of a reaction to the pain medication, a law enforcement source said.

Results of an April 22 autopsy are still pending.

Last week, a Carver County, Minnesota, judge appointed Bremer Trust to manage Prince’s estate after it was revealed he did not have a will.

Tyler Perry to narrate modern-day version of ‘The Passion’

— New Orleans is famous for its processions, but on Palm Sunday, Tyler Perry and a host of stars will take things to a new level with a live, modern-day portrayal of the last hours of Jesus’ life on Earth.

“The Passion” will be aired live March 20 on Fox.

The network says it “will follow the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected.”

Trish Yearwood will portray Mary, Chris Daughtry will play the role of Judas, and Seal will be Pilate while actor and singer Jencarlos Canela will portray Jesus.

Producers are also recruiting ordinary people to help carry a large illuminated cross through the city’s streets.

Perry, who will narrate, said he wanted to be a part of the project “because I was shocked to find out how many people in this country don’t know the story of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.”

“The Passion is about love, inclusion and compassion for all mankind,” he said Tuesday on Facebook. “It’s for believers and also nonbelievers. It’s for all faiths and all backgrounds. This story doesn’t just belong to one group, it belongs to humanity. Love, forgiveness and compassion, those are things that are universal to us all.”

The production was inspired by a similar one that has aired in the Netherlands for several years, producers told The Hollywood Reporter.

The show follows on a long tradition of religious spectacles on the big screen and television, from the 1959 behemoth “Ben Hur” to last year’s “The War Room.”

Perry said on Facebook that he’s hoping for more.

“I’m calling on my audience and believers all over this country to help support this show,” he said. “Please help us send a message to Hollywood that we want to see more TV shows that leave us lifted, inspired and changed. Shows that leave us hopeful.”

Miss Colombia’s advice for Steve Harvey: ‘Learn how to read’

— Miss Colombia isn’t holding a grudge against Steve Harvey, despite his mortifying flub a month ago mistakenly naming her the winner of the Miss Universe pageant.

She says she isn’t even going to sue him, as some lawyers have suggested.

But she does have some advice for the television host.

“You need to learn how to read cards,” Ariadna Gutierrez joked with Harvey during an appearance on his talk show scheduled to air Tuesday.

During the finale of the December 20 Miss Universe Pageant, Harvey misread the card listing the winner and runners-up; he announced Gutierrez as the winner.

Pageant judges had intended for Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, to win.

Harvey’s gaffe resulted in an intensely awkward moment in which the crown was taken from Gutierrez and placed on Wurtzbach.

“If you see the videos, I was laughing because I thought you were about to make a joke,” she said.

“That would have been the worst damn joke I ever wrote in my life,” Harvey shot back.

Gutierrez says the experience felt like a “nightmare” and revealed that several lawyers contacted her, suggesting that she sue.

“That’s not me,” she said. “That’s not who I am.”

She says she’s moved on now.

“This is our destiny,” she said.

Harvey, who appeared emotional at times, said the gaffe wasn’t a publicity stunt, as some have theorized. He also revealed that he had received death threats over the mistake.

Tuesday’s show is the second part of a two-part special. Monday’s episode featured Wurtzbach.

“I was very happy that I won; I was excited,” she told Harvey. “But I was also thinking about (Gutierrez). I couldn’t help but think about how tough this must be for her.”

Processed foods begone, Michelle Obama says: ‘Cheese dust is not food’

— First, they came for the giant sodas. Then, the salt. Now … the cheese dust?

In the March issue of Cooking Light magazine, first lady Michelle Obama says she’s banished processed foods from her family’s table in an effort that began nearly a decade ago.

That’s when, acting on the behest of the family’s personal chef, she exiled the venerable boxed macaroni and cheese to the Obama scrap heap of history.

“He said, ‘there’s nothing wrong with mac and cheese, but it’s got to be real food,’ ” Cooking Light quoted Obama as saying in an article celebrating the fifth anniversary of her Let’s Move fitness initiative.

“So my oldest daughter (Malia), who was probably 8 at the time, he took a block of cheese, and he said, ‘if you can cut this cheese up into the powder that is the cheese of the boxed macaroni and cheese, then we’ll use it.’ “

“She sat there for 30 minutes trying to pulverize a block of cheese into dust,” Obama said.

Suffice to say, it didn’t work.

“And from then on, we stopped eating macaroni and cheese out of a box, because cheese dust is not food, as was the moral of that story,” she said.

The family went on to eliminate all traces of processed foods from their diet: “all those packaged lunches, all of the canned juices,” she said.

“We started using fresh-squeezed juice and added more water into their diet,” she told the magazine. “So when the kids were thirsty, we would even mix water in juice just to dilute it so it would get them out of that habit of wanting that sugary taste. And the kids adapted to the changes very quickly. “

Since becoming first lady, Obama has been a vocal proponent of fitness and healthy eating. In addition to the Let’s Move campaign, she oversaw the creation of a vegetable garden at the White House and championed 2010 legislation that increased subsidies for school meals and gave the federal government more authority to set standards for fold sold in school vending machines.

While well-received by many health and fitness advocates, the first lady’s statements at times have drawn groans or worse, and the Cooking light article is no different.

The conservative news site labeled the processed food ban “Michelle Obama’s Personal Fight Against Boxed Macaroni And Cheese.”

For some, it was a chance to poke fun.

“I’m counting down the seconds til Fox News declares cheese powder Freedom Dust,” Twitter user @Amy_said wrote.

For others, it’s about darn time.

Heathy food advocacy organization Slow Food USA offered a concise review of Obama’s comments: “We concur.”

Of course, all of the Obamas’ efforts to get their daughters to eat more healthfully could soon go up in a cloud of college dining hall fast-food glory. Malia, whose failed cheese dust experiment helped set the family on their processed-food-free journey, is about to go off to college, her dad noted recently.

“I joke with Malia and Sasha, because Malia is now at the age where she’s starting to look at colleges, and I said, ‘These days, I hear everybody is looking for fancy gyms and gourmet food and really spiffy dorms,’ ” he said last week.

Teacher to student: You can’t be Santa — you’re black!

— The family of an African-American high school student in New Mexico says he’s crushed after a teacher questioned why he was wearing Santa garb during a school holiday dress-up day last week, CNN affiliate KOAT reported.

The teacher told Christopher Rougier, a freshman at Cleveland High School, that he couldn’t be Santa because Santa is white, the student’s father, Michael, told KOAT.

“He was embarrassed,” he told the station.

Now, his son doesn’t want anything to do with Christmas.

Michael Rougier said the teacher called his wife to apologize, but that’s not enough.

“He needs to be fired,” Rougier told KOAT. “For him to make a comment like that, there has to be at a minimum prejudice in him, and we don’t have room for that.”

Kim Vesely, the director of Rio Rancho Public Schools, released a statement to media about the incident.

“This situation involves a teacher recently hired by Cleveland High who made — and admits he made — a stupid mistake,” the director said. “The remark was inappropriate and should not have been made. The teacher feels very badly about what occurred. He self-reported the incident to the principal and has apologized to the student and to the student’s parent. Appropriate disciplinary action has been taken.”

The boy’s family has asked that he be moved out of the teacher’s class, and the school has complied, Vesely said.

The teacher’s remark came amid something of a dust-up over Santa’s skin color after Fox News Channel picked up on a writer’s piece questioning the mythical character’s ethnicity.

Writer Aisha Harris, who is black, wrote about growing up wondering why Santa was depicted as a white man, and argued for something less definitive: a penguin.

In a widely viewed segment reacting to Harris’ piece, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly said on air: “And, by the way, for all of you kids watching at home, Santa just is white, but this person is arguing maybe we should also have a black Santa. But, you know, Santa is what he is. And so, you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”

Harris said Kelly’s comments are part of the reason she felt the need to provoke thought about Santa’s race.

“To me, (it) just spoke to the reason why I wrote the piece, is that there are a lot of people out there who automatically assume that Santa must be white and there’s no way — it’s laughable that he could be anything else,” Harris said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

“The point I was trying to make was that I think that we have, the world has changed a lot over the last 50, 100 years, and Santa Claus is a fictional character,” Harris continued.

“He is nothing like the original historical figure he was based off of anymore,” she said. “We’ve kind of evolved him into this magical mythical figure, and for kids, I think it’s important that they don’t have to feel necessarily bogged down that Santa is always white, and that’s the way he should be.”

Kelly shot back at her critics, telling them to get a sense of humor.

“Humor is what we try to bring to this show, but that’s lost on the humorless,” she said Friday on “The Kelly File.”

“This would be funny if it were not so telling about our society, in particular, the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel.”

She wasn’t motivated by racial fear or loathing, she said. “In fact, it was something far less sinister: A lifetime of exposure to the very same commercials, mall casting calls, and movies Harris references in her piece.”

“We continually see St. Nick as a white man in modern-day America,” Kelly continued. “Should that change? Well, that debate got lost because so many couldn’t get past the fact that I acknowledged, as Harris did, that the most commonly depicted image of Santa, does, in fact, have white skin.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, co-host of CNN’s Crossfire, said a network makeup artist told him “Santa Claus is what every child needs him to be, and the children get to decide Santa Claus, not some TV commentator.”

“I thought it was beautifully done,” Gingrich said.

Reality check

At least all adults can agree on one fact: Santa Claus isn’t even real. So why the brouhaha?

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said the debate is “much ado about nothing” because there’s no doubt Santa is white.

“(St.) Nick was Greek. The last time I checked, Greeks weren’t black,” Donohue told CNN’s Don Lemon on The 11th Hour.

According to the St. Nicholas Center, which says it’s dedicated to “discovering the truth about Santa Claus,” St. Nicholas was indeed Greek and lived about 1,700 years ago in an area that is now southern Turkey.

But author Reza Aslan said he doesn’t think many Greek people would be accurately portrayed as the “rosy-cheeked Santa that we’re all used to.”

“White has more to do with sociological, economic, cultural considerations that go far beyond just the simple color of your skin,” Aslan told Lemon.

Amy Holmes, anchor of “The Hot List” at, acknowledged that most depictions of Santa feature a white man.

But in addition to being fictional, “traditionally Santa has also been an obese, alcoholic elf who lives in the North Pole, who has very questionable labor practices — not to mention animal cruelty, lashing those poor reindeer through the sky all night long.”

“This is ridiculous that we are even having this debate,” Holmes said. “Everyone knows that Santa is your parents. So whatever race they are is the race that Santa is.”

CNN’s Holly Yan and Martin Savidge and contributed to this report.