People talk 2/13/03

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Knight's parole board hearing postponed

LOS ANGELES -- State officials postponed a parole board hearing to decide whether jailed rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight should go back to prison for allegedly associating with gang members.

Members of the California Board of Prison Terms "wanted to review our decision about whether he could have legal representation at the meeting," Bill Sessa, the panel's liaison, said Tuesday.

Board members had barred Knight's attorney, David Z. Chesnoff, from attending the hearing with his client. Knight, 37, has been in jail since Dec. 23 awaiting a parole board hearing.

Attorneys typically are barred from parole revocation hearings, but such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. No date was set for a new hearing, but it likely will be within two weeks, Sessa said.

"We wanted to be comfortable that we were on solid ground with whatever decision we made," Sessa said.

Chesnoff had complained that barring him from the hearing was unfair.

The violations involve Knight's alleged association with reputed gang members at social events.

In December, state investigators said they learned Knight had been in contact with gang members after raiding his home and office a month earlier as part of an unrelated investigation.

Knight's attorney maintains his client has done nothing wrong, adding that if he did come into contact with any gang members it only would have been through his responsibilities as a record company executive. Knight is the founder of Death Row Records, which has been renamed Tha Row.

Knight served five years in prison for assault and federal weapons violations.

Songwriter hopes to win Oscar gold

LOS ANGELES -- Paul Simon said he's celebrating his new chance at an Oscar after a paperwork mistake likely kept his song "Mrs. Robinson" out of the competition 35 years ago.

The singer-songwriter received his first Academy Award nomination Tuesday for "Father and Daughter," from the animated "The Wild Thornberrys Movie."

He said many people erroneously believe he was nominated for "Mrs. Robinson," which he and former collaborator Art Garfunkel sang in 1967's "The Graduate."

"We forgot to fill in the forms," Simon acknowledged with a laugh. "You know, it was the 1960s. We just weren't paying attention. We went along our way and never filled it in. That's what happened."

"Talk to the Animals" from "Doctor Dolittle" claimed the movie song honor at that year's Oscars.

Simon, 61, said his three young children inspired him to write a song for "The Wild Thornberrys Movie," a feature film version of a popular Nickelodeon cartoon.

Pending birth may alter actress's scheduling

LOS ANGELES -- Catherine Zeta-Jones hopes to get through Oscar night without a little thing like giving birth getting in her way.

Zeta-Jones, whose second child with husband Michael Douglas is due in April, said she plans to be at the Academy Awards ceremony March 23, where she's up for best supporting actress for the musical "Chicago."

"They can roll me in on a stretcher if they have to," the 33-year-old said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press Tuesday, when nominations for the 75th annual Oscars were announced.

"Chicago" earned a leading 13 nominations, including best picture, director for Rob Marshall, lead actress for Renee Zellweger, supporting actor for John C. Reilly and a second supporting-actress honor for Queen Latifah.

"I just can't wait," Zeta-Jones said. "I hope this baby doesn't come on the same night. That'll be just my luck to get all dressed up and ready to go, and the pains will start."

VH1 to rebroadcast Jackson documentary

NEW YORK -- VH1 is rebroadcasting a documentary that offers an inside look at Michael Jackson's private life.

The 90-minute "Living with Michael Jackson" is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. EST Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday and 10 p.m. Monday on the cable music channel.

When it aired for the first time on ABC's "20-20" last Thursday, it was the week's highest rated show according to Nielsen Media Research, drawing more than 27 million curious viewers.

The 44-year-old pop singer said he felt betrayed by journalist Martin Bashir's film, in which he discusses having innocently shared his bed with children. The documentary also includes the now-infamous video of Jackson dangling his infant son over the fourth-floor balcony of a hotel in Berlin.

Success of 'Wedding' stunned film's star

LOS ANGELES -- A year ago, Academy Awards nominations were the last thing on Nia Vardalos' mind. She was just hoping a few people would go see the low-budget film she wrote and starred in, an old-fashioned little romance called "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

A word-of-mouth blockbuster unlike anything the movie industry has ever seen, the film opened in a few theaters last April and grew into a $240 million sensation as enchanted moviegoers talked it up.

The icing on the wedding cake came Tuesday, when Vardalos earned an Oscar nomination for original screenplay. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" also hit video Tuesday, while still lingering in the top-20 box-office chart at theaters.

"All I'd hoped for is that really we would be released in one theater," Vardalos said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "I thought I could bus my relatives in. You know, where is that theater?"

-- From wire reports

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