Newton sidelined with heart infection

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LAS VEGAS -- Wayne Newton is taking the rest of the year off from performing while he is treated for a viral infection of the heart, a Harrah's Entertainment Inc. spokeswoman said Friday.

The "Danke Schoen" crooner and Las Vegas icon has cardiomyopathy, an infection of the heart muscle for which he has been treated in the past, said Harrah's official Deanna Pettit.

Calls to Lori Jonas, his spokeswoman in Los Angeles, were not immediately returned.

Newton, 65, has said he was diagnosed with the virus after returning from a USO trip to Afghanistan in 2001. He told People magazine his doctor was confident that he'll be able to resume his performance schedule after two months of rest.

Newton canceled a two-month holiday engagement at Harrah's Las Vegas, and will not be able to perform on the Nov. 27 finale of the ABC television show "Dancing With the Stars," although he should be doing well enough to make an appearance, Pettit said.

"I really want to apologize to the fans that were going to see me in those shows," Newton told People. "I'm terribly apologetic. And for those who want to paint this situation with a black brush, they're not going to get their wish. I'm going to be fine."

Comedian Rita Rudner added additional dates to her run at Harrah's.

Cardiomyopathy impairs heart function, and the ability to pump blood. Untreated it could lead to congestive heart failure or pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs.
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