People talk 9B

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Coleman wants to get California back in shape

LOS ANGELES -- "Diff'- rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman says he's running for governor of California without donations, expenses or regrets.

"I'm not spending any money, I am not taking any contributions, I am not taking donations," the 35-year-old actor told "The KTLA Morning News" on Thursday.

"I get 67 phone calls from media outlets every damn day and I try to fulfill every one of those outlets ... so I'm not worried about exposure," the 4-foot-8-inch actor said. His $3,500 filing fee was paid by an alternative newspaper in the San Francisco area.

"I thought, 'You know, somehow, some way we need to get this state back in shape, back in order and someone like me, someone who's new and not a politico, who's going to shake the trees and poke the bushes, needs to be in there,"' Coleman said, explaining why he wants to replace Gov. Gray Davis if there is an Oct. 7 recall.

"If I don't win, why not Arnold Schwarzenegger? I think he at least has the passion and the heart in the right place to do some good for California," he said.

Spielberg tried to meet scared Hitch in 1976

LOS ANGELES -- Bruce Dern, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's final film "Family Plot," revealed a situation where the master of suspense displayed some nervousness of his own.

Dern said during filming of "Family Plot" in 1976, a young Steven Spielberg appeared on the Universal lot, hoping to meet Hitchcock.

Spielberg, who had made the blockbuster horror movie "Jaws" the year before, stood at the back of the soundstage and begged Dern to help him get a 10-minute audience with Hitchcock.

Dern went to the formidable Hitchcock, who asked, "Bruce, is that the boy who made the fish movie?"

Dern replied, "Yeah ... He just wants to kind of let you know what a fan he is."

Hitchcock started shaking and said he was too nervous to speak to him because he felt "like such a whore."

When Dern asked why, Hitchcock said, "I'm the voice of a 'Jaws' commercial."

Dern told the anecdote in Los Angeles recently while promoting "A Decade Under the Influence," an upcoming documentary about the 1970s generation of filmmakers.-- From wire reports

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LOS ANGELES -- A Canadian stripper has sued the National Enquirer, saying the tabloid libeled and slandered her in an article that states she had a sexual liaison with actor Ben Affleck.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, claims the Aug. 12 issue of the Enquirer falsely reported that the dancer, Antonella Santini, prostituted herself to Affleck.

The suit further charges that next week's Enquirer includes an interview with another dancer, Tammy Morris, that contains more falsehoods about Santini. The lawsuit also alleges that Morris received $100,000 from the Enquirer and may have taken an anti-anxiety medication to help her pass a lie-detector test.

The Enquirer said it stands by its story. Morris did not immediately return a call for comment from the Associated Press Saturday.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, names the Enquirer, Morris and three reporters as defendants.

According to the suit, Santini and other dancers performed for Affleck in the VIP room of Brandi's, a Vancouver strip club where Santini works. It said there was no inappropriate touching between Santini and Affleck.

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LOS ANGELES -- A housekeeper was convicted Friday of stealing from former "Beverly Hills, 90210" actor Ian Ziering and one of his friends.

A jury convicted Gloria Lopez of grand theft for stealing a pendant from Ziering that had belonged to his late mother, along with other items.

Lopez also was convicted of petty theft for stealing a cell phone from Ziering's friend, actor David Sheinkopf of the cable television show "Design on a Dime."

Lopez, 48, faces a maximum of three years and six months in prison when she is sentenced Sept. 11, Deputy District Attorney Lisa Daruty said. She was ordered jailed without bail.

Lopez's attorney Cathryn Shin told jurors the housekeeper found the items in the trash.

In testimony, Ziering said that after the items disappeared he went to a friend's house where he knew Lopez also worked and found "a treasure trove" of items in Lopez's car.

"I am a little disappointed in myself for being so trusting," Ziering said.

Ziering played the character Steve Sanders on the '90s teen TV drama.

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MEXICO CITY -- English soccer star David Beckham "is more of a pop star than a player," and Real Madrid is a great team because it can afford to buy star players, soccer legend Pele said.

Pele, who was in Mexico City on Thursday to film commercials for an anti-impotence drug, appeared more interested in promoting the campaign than discussing the greatest passion of his life.

But the three-time World Cup champion, considered one of the greatest soccer players ever, did answer several questions reporters submitted to him in writing.

Regarding Beckham, he noted, "He is more of a pop star than a player these days."

Much of the media attention toward the superstar midfielder who left Manchester United for Real Madrid in June has focused on his changing hairstyles, outfits and personal life.

As for Real Madrid, which also has signed mega-soccer stars including Ronaldo, Claude Makelele, Roberto Carlos, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, and Raul, Pele said that it's a "team that has a lot of money; it can buy the best players in the world."

Pele said in his time, "no one talked about defeats, only triumphs," and they would never have discussed impotence -- the focus of his advertising campaigns for the drug Viagra.

The smiling 62-year-old Pele notes that he doesn't need Viagra, but would use it if he did.

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VERONA, N.Y. -- Jo Dee Messina didn't let a massive power blackout in the Northeast and Midwest stop her from entertaining her fans.

She delivered a 30-minute impromptu performance Thursday in a dimly lit main lobby at The Oneida Indian Nation's Turning Stone Casino Resort.

"I just wanted to make sure the fans who showed up were taken care of," the 32-year-old country singer said in a statement.

The power outage occurred just after 4 p.m. Messina was scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. in the casino's 800-room showroom.

Sam Madonia, entertainment department director, said about 500 ticket holders waited in the lobby, hoping power would be restored.

When the power was still out at 8 p.m., Messina agreed to perform an acoustic concert on the showroom stage. When the casino's generators failed to provide enough lighting, the audience was moved into the lobby.

"Her whole band came out," Madonia said. "They had acoustic guitars and the drummer has some maracas, and Jo Dee played the piano."

Her concert has been rescheduled for Sept. 5.

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LOS ANGELES -- Hulk Hogan has wrestled his way to magazine cover boy.

Hogan is featured on the cover of duPont Registry's new automotive lifestyle magazine -- Celebrity Car. It debuts on newsstands Tuesday.

The inaugural issue of the quarterly publication also features the wild wheels of Washington Wizards all-star Jerry Stackhouse, adventure author Clive Cussler, former NBA and NFL cheerleader Bonnie-Jill Laflin, the NFL's Barber twins Ronde and Tiki, and Hogan.

"I've had a passion for cars for years, collecting anything from Harleys to hot rods, and I wanted to share this with my fans and car enthusiasts alike," Hogan said, showing off his 1994 "Hulkster" Dodge Viper. "There isn't any substitute for horsepower."

The magazine also features Atlanta Braves slugger Gary Sheffield, who discusses his collection that includes a Bentley Arnage T and Cadillac Escalade ESV with 24-inch spinner wheels. Skateboarder Tony Hawk shows off his Lexus LS430.

"We wanted to create a magazine solely devoted to entertainers and the passion they each share for life in the fast lane," said Tom duPont, chairman of duPont Publishing.

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LOS ANGELES -- Kellie Martin's acting is just one of her talents on display in the new TV movie "Mystery Woman."

Some of her own photographs appear in the movie, scheduled to air Aug. 31 on the Hallmark Channel. Martin plays amateur detective Samantha Kinsey.

Martin, 27, took photography classes during her freshman year at Yale University, where she majored in art history.

"I do mostly black and white, and I print my own work in a friend's darkroom," she said, citing Diane Arbus, Sally Mann and Alfred Stieglitz as her favorite photographers.

The movie's art department chose photos that could have been taken by her character.

"My work lately has been photos of a ranch in Montana, the landscape, barns, cows," she said.

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LOS ANGELES -- Sometimes life really does imitate art. Or the other way around.

A highly respected NBA star's life is turned upside down after a woman accuses him of rape: That's both the story of Kobe Bryant and the plot of an independent film that completed shooting last February, months before Bryant's real-life drama began.

"I was just amazed," Jennifer Harper, the film's writer and director, told the Los Angeles Times recently. "We were calling each other like, 'Can you believe the timing of this?"'

The movie was the brainchild of Portland Trail Blazers center Dale Davis, who hopes to have it sold to a distributor before the upcoming NBA season.

Even more remarkable, Harper said, is that Bryant was the model for the lead character, played by actor Allen Payne.

"In rehearsals, Allen Payne asked, 'What athlete is this based on?' I said, 'Just think of Kobe Bryant,"' Harper said. "He's loved by everybody. He has all the endorsements. That's who this character is."

Bryant, who turns 25 later this month, was charged July 18 with felony sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman in Colorado.

In the film, Payne plays Cedric Tinsley, a 27-year-old NBA superstar who is the subject of a paternity suit by a woman who threatens to accuse him of rape if he doesn't agree to an out-of-court settlement.

The movie's title, "Playas Ball," refers to the party held during NBA All-Star week, which attracts professional athletes and others.

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