People talk 3/8/02

Friday, March 8, 2002

Comedian Pryor seeks rights to recordings

NEWARK, N.J. -- Richard Pryor has won the return of master recordings made early in his career by settling his lawsuit against a Middlesex County enterprise.

The 60-year-old comedian sought the materials because he's ill with multiple sclerosis, said his lawyer, William J. Heller.

"He has engaged in efforts to recapture his rights so he can take care of his family," Heller said Wednesday.

Last spring, Pryor sued Michael Chernow and his Sayreville-based companies, M.B. Music Inc. and San Juan Music Group Ltd., claiming the defendants infringed on his property rights.

Chernow agreed to return the recordings and refrain from any infringement. He admitted no wrongdoing.

In return, Pryor paid $10,000, Chernow said. That was the sum M.B. Music paid in 1988 for the assets of the bankrupt LaffRecords, which Pryor had licensed to market some of his recordings, according to findings by U.S. District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise.

Seinfeld builds parking garage for 20 cars

NEW YORK -- As master of his televised domain, Jerry Seinfeld handled all manner of urban headaches -- the dearth of parking spaces, the abundance of construction noise.

Now the comedian has found a permanent solution to problem No. 1 while contributing to problem No. 2: He's building a private Manhattan parking garage.

Seinfeld's 20-car Upper West Side garage, which would house his collection of Porsches, first was reported Wednesday in The New York Observer.

Located on West 83rd Street, three blocks from the former "Seinfeld" star's apartment, the garage already is two years in the making and is scheduled for completion in June. And some neighbors are less than amused by the heavy drilling this week to complete digging of a basement.

Seismographs have been installed to monitor the effects of the drilling on nearby buildings, and at least two businesses are closing temporarily or limiting their hours to avoid the noise.

"What they do and what I do are fairly incompatible," said Jennifer Walker, proprietor of Practice Yoga, which has been closing this week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. She said a design company managing the site has been reimbursing her business and others when noise forces them to close.

According to The Observer, the new garage would cost about $1.4 million and would have 20 parking spaces for Seinfeld's decade-old Porsche collection. Most of the cars are in storage near his Santa Monica, Calif., home or in a garage at the Southampton, N.Y., estate he bought in 2000 from singer Billy Joel.

'Beverly Hills' star ends marriage to Playmate

LOS ANGELES -- Former "Beverly Hills, 90210" actor Ian Ziering wants to end his nearly five-year marriage to ex-Playboy Playmate Nikki Ziering.

Ziering, 37, cited irreconcilable differences in divorce papers filed on Feb. 28 in Superior Court.

He and the former Natalie Jo Schieler were married in 1997. They have no children.

Ziering is best known as Steve Sanders, the smart-aleck teen who was expelled from both high school and college on "Beverly Hills, 90210," which aired from 1990-2000.

His 30-year-old wife made a guest appearance on the series and has been a model on "The Price is Right."

--From wire reports

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