Briefs, Tabloid Edition: Drunk Gospel Singers, Petrones in Exile, TV Viewers in Distress (19)
Police confirmed this week that Siiri and Viivi Sõnajalg, twin sisters who front one of Estonia's best-selling musical groups, were intoxicated when the car Viivi was driving was stopped on Saaremaa Island in late September.
The sisters had vehemently denied that they had been drinking.
Viivi refused to take a field sobriety test in the September 24 incident and was taken to a hospital for an official analysis, which she fled. Several hours later, Siiri, who was on the way to pick up her sister, was stopped by police in the same vehicle. Siiri failed the field sobriety test.
Viivi and Siiri are married, respectively, to Oleg and Andres Sõnajalg, a pair of brothers who are among Estonia's richest people and the country's only private helicopter pilots.
The sisters' trouble with the police clashed with their squeaky-clean Christian image and drew unflattering anonymous comments on various media.
The writing-publishing duo of Justin and Epp Petrone have announced that they have left their home in Viljandi, Estonia indefinitely for the US following an incident in late September that made them, according to Epp Petrone in her blog, lose faith in the country.
Justin Petrone was stopped for driving too slowly on the Tallinn-Tartu highway after the Robbie Williams concert in Tallinn on August 20. Police said that as a legal resident, he should have applied for an Estonian license rather than continuing to drive on his American license. Controversially, he was not allowed to continue on his way despite the late hour and young family members and friends in the car.
The Petrones, who had not sought publicity regarding the minor offense, had criticized the media for posting material taken from Epp Petrone's Facebook page without permission. The stories drew hundreds of anonymous comments, many unsympathetic to the Petrones.
The Petrones run a publishing house best known for a successful series of personal memoirs, each about a different country. The two of them have each authored several books in the extensive series.
Mare, a lead character on popular TV series "Õnne 13" (13 Good Luck Street), was hit by a car at the end of this week's season 21 opener, leaving thousands of Estonian fans in suspense.
In the cliffhanger ending on Saturday night, the character played by Anne Veesaar was pinned between a car operated by her husband and a garage door. She had been fetching a pumpkin when the car, which had a transmission problem, jerked into reverse rather than first and struck her.
Like Mare and Allan's marriage in the series, screenwriter Urmas Lennuk's relationship with the producers had also reportedly been on the rocks. He told Naisteleht this summer that he had asked for a raise and that the producer had replied that "if you want that much, then Mare could just as well get hit by a car."
But Lennuk said today in Õhtuleht he hadn't counted on such a visceral reaction from the public and reassured viewers that Mare was still alive.