People talk 2/14/03

Friday, February 14, 2003

Terror alert puts scare into Kelly Osbourne

LONDON -- Kelly Osbourne pulled out of a British awards show Thursday because of fears terrorists might attack London, her British publicist said.

The teenage daughter of heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne had been scheduled to perform at the NME awards later Thursday, but became concerned after seeing images of tanks and soldiers patrolling near London's Heathrow airport, said spokeswoman Naz Ahmed.

Britain has sent hundreds of soldiers to Heathrow, and beefed up security at airports and other sites this week after police warned that al-Qaida might try attacking London during this week's Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

"Kelly's parents were in New York on Sept. 11 when the Twin Towers came down so you can imagine how they feel," Ahmed said.

Joan Lunden tries hand at surrogate parenthood

LOS ANGELES -- Former "Good Morning America" host Joan Lunden said she and her husband, Jeff Konigsberg, are becoming parents to twins born to a surrogate mother. The children, a boy and a girl, are due in mid-June.

Lunden, 52, has three daughters ranging in age from 15 to 22 from her first marriage.

She'd tried to get pregnant with Konigsberg through in vitro fertilization but was unsuccessful. Then they turned to the Center for Surrogate Parenting in Los Angeles.

"It seemed kind of strange in the beginning when you've never been involved in it," Lunden told CNN's Larry King Wednesday. But she and Konigsberg agreed that the result, having children, mattered most.

She said she's going public because she realized people would be curious.

"I've lived my entire life in the public eye. To think I could come under the radar and not have it noticed is a little unrealistic," she said.

Bankrupt company files suit against brokerage

LOS ANGELES -- A bankrupt Internet comics company named after a Marvel Comics founder sued the Merrill Lynch brokerage in seeking $10 million for the firm's alleged part in the company's demise.

Defunct Stan Lee Media Inc. filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court alleging the brokerage firm didn't do enough to keep a former Stan Lee Media leader and his brother, a Merrill Lynch financial consultant, from running an alleged scheme to manipulate the price of the company's stock.

Stephen Gordon, a former vice president for Los Angeles-based Stan Lee Media, was convicted in December of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and making false statements, in connection with a check-kiting scheme that cost Merrill Lynch and other financial institutions millions of dollars.

Gordon's brother, Jonathan, was convicted of wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements. The brothers and Stan Lee Media co-founder Peter Paul, who was arrested in Brazil, also face charges in New York related to an alleged scheme to manipulate their company's stock.

Lee was not charged in any of the schemes.

Filmmaker defends use of Sept. 11 imagery

BERLIN -- Spike Lee defended the use of references to Sept. 11 in his new film, "25th Hour," after its screening at the Berlin Film Festival.

"We wanted to truthfully reflect the rage and the tone of what people felt," Lee said Wednesday.

The film begins with images of the towers of light beamed from the spot where the World Trade Center had stood in downtown Manhattan. It also includes sequences with footage of Osama bin Laden.-- From wire reports

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