People talk 1/8

Tuesday, January 8, 2002

Porn star to run for Hungarian parliament

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Hoping to build on a political career she launched in Italy, Hungarian-born porn star Ilona Staller -- known popularly as Cicciolina -- is planning to run for a seat in the Hungarian parliament.

In an interview published in Monday's edition of the Magyar Nemzet daily, the 50-year-old Staller said she plans to run as an independent candidate in Budapest's working-class Kobanya neighborhood.

In the interview, Staller was asked whether she thought her trademark publicity stunt -- exposing her left breast during public appearances -- would be too daring for Hungarians.

"The Hungarians' problems are not my breast or that they are too prudish, but that because of the intervention of the current government they have fallen back instead of advancing," Staller said.

She said she bares her left breast to reflect her left-wing political views.

A member of the Italian parliament for five years starting in 1987, Staller said she was most concerned about social issues such as public health, homelessness and the problems of pensioners.

"Although lots of things tie me to Italy, I have always considered myself Hungarian," she said.

The first round of Hungary's general elections is set for April 7.

Rodman arrested for obstructing police at bar

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Dennis Rodman has been arrested again, this time for allegedly obstructing police officers who were looking into a possible code violation at a restaurant he co-owns.

Police took the 40-year-old former NBA star into custody early Saturday after he refused to let them enter Josh Slocum's on Pacific Coast Highway.

Sgt. Neal Harvey said Rodman violated a Business and Profession Code, which bans alcoholic beverage service after 2 a.m. Harvey said Rodman, who has a seaside home nearby, stayed inside Josh Slocum's past that hour.

But restaurant customers said they break no laws.

"We were all hanging out, sobering up to come out (to Rodman's home)," said his friend, Joey Hinojoza, 27. "Dennis is serious about people sobering up before they drive. He's offered his limo or will pay for a cab."

Officers saw cars in the restaurant parking lot at 2:40 a.m. and tried to enter. Rodman was at the door, but reportedly refused to open it and allow them inside.

About 30 minutes later, patrons were let out and Rodman was arrested and taken to the city jail. He was booked at the Orange County jail in Santa Ana, and later released. His case will be submitted to the county prosecutor for review.

Singer to headline NBA reading program

NEW YORK -- She's not a girl, she's not a woman. She's not even a basketball player.

But Britney Spears will headline the "NBA All-Star Read to Achieve Celebration," set for 10 a.m. Feb. 9. The one-hour television show, featuring NBA All-Stars and celebrities, will air on NBC, TNT, BET, Nickelodeon and NBA.com in the United States, and on MuchMusic in Canada.

The event is part of the NBA's Read to Achieve program, in which teams promote literacy and encourage families to read together. It takes place during NBA All-Star weekend, set for Feb. 8-10 in Philadelphia.

Spears will perform her new song, "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman," featured in her movie, "Crossroads," which opens Feb. 15.

Redford won't have wrinkles removed

RADNOR, Pa. -- Robert Redford insists he'll keep his wrinkles.

The actor and director, who turned 64 in August, told TV Guide in its Jan. 12 issue that plastic surgery isn't in his future.

"I'm not a facelift person. I am what I am," Redford said.

Interviewed before his annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, set for Jan. 10-20, Redford said he didn't want to put down the practice. "It is OK for some people," he said.

But the "trade-off is that something of your soul in your face goes away," he said. "You end up looking body-snatched in the last analysis. That's just my view. It's not necessarily a popular view."--From wire reports

Last year, Redford starred in "Spy Game" with Brad Pitt and "The Last Castle" with James Gandolfini.

Golfer aware of threats, will stay in tournament

KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Saying he was aware of a threatening letter containing cyanide sent to the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand, golfer Tiger Woods said he had no plans to withdraw from a tournament in that country.

"Things like this do happen," Woods said Sunday. "You have to go on living your life. It's unfortunate that people have these types of views and do these types of acts."

Police and U.S. Embassy officials said the embassy received a letter last month containing cyanide and threats to disrupt the New Zealand Open slated to run Jan. 10-13.

Jon White, assistant police commissioner in Wellington, New Zealand, said the threats were directed at the tournament, rather than Woods individually, but "it was clear the threats had been made because Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer, was playing."

Woods said this was not the first threat he has received since Sept. 11, although he declined to name the others.

75 years after star's death, battle on over trust fund

BOSTON -- Variety show performer and actress Lotta Crabtree was a millionaire by the time she died in 1924 but there's a fight over how her fortune is being used.

Crabtree left her $3 million estate in trust funds to benefit a variety of causes, including animals and struggling farmers.

A number of the funds, however, are paying out little money, while two Boston attorneys who oversee the now $7.7 million estate are taking home nearly $50,000 each in annual fees for no more than several hours a week of work, the Boston Sunday Globe reported.

Last year, probate Judge Jeremy Stahlin began asking questions when lawyers Robert Naughton and Francis Harney nominated another attorney to join them as trustees.

Stahlin asked a lawyer to investigate. Naughton and Harney objected, saying the judge had overstepped his bounds. The matter is before the state appeals court.

Attorney Gary Toddy, who is representing Naughton and Harney in the appeal, said the trustees "are very capable and intelligent attorneys."

"They are compensated for their services on the same basis customarily charged by Boston trustees," Toddy said.

Stahlin wrote that between 1997 and mid-2000, the trustees paid themselves $448,997 in fees.

During the first half of 2000, four of the seven trusts paid a prorated portion of the fees and other expenses of all the trusts but gave nothing to charity, according to reports filed in November.

Spanish soap star's fans force mall evacuation

WHEATON, Md. -- Fire and police officials had to evacuate a shopping mall after thousands of fans packed inside to see a Spanish-language soap opera star.

Miguel Varoni's appearance at the Westfield Shoppingtown Wheaton Plaza attracted about 3,000 people on Sunday, said Authur Hawkins, deputy fire chief for the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department. Mall management had expected several hundred fans.

"I was overwhelmed by the amount of people inside," Hawkins said. "It was packed all the way down the center of the mall."

Fire officials were called to the mall shortly after noon to investigate a report that people were unconscious, he said. The crowd, packed shoulder-to-shoulder, prevented firefighters from reaching the injured people.

Hawkins said he shut down the event and called in Montgomery County police to help because of concerns that there were too many people in the mall.

One girl was taken to a hospital for heat exhaustion and two others were treated at the mall for minor heat exhaustion, Hawkins said.

Varoni, who stars on the Telemundo show "Pedro El Escamoso," was the main attraction at the event, which the network sponsored.

"The turnout was much, much bigger than we ever expected," said Debbie Young, senior marketing director for the mall. "He is a huge celebrity."-- From wire reports

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