People talk 5/24/02

Friday, May 24, 2002

Former '7th Heaven' star has Hodgkin's

LOS ANGELES -- Barry Watson, former star of WB's hit show "7th Heaven," has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease.

The 28-year-actor played eldest son Matt Camden on the series.

"He begins treatment this week, and both he and his doctors are extremely optimistic about a full recovery," Watson's publicist, Robin Baum, said in a statement Wednesday.

No other details were released about his condition or where he would receive treatment for the cancer of the lymph system.

The season finale, Watson's last appearance as a regular on the "7th Heaven," aired Monday. The episode centered on his character marrying his sweetheart, Sarah (played by Sarah Danielle Madison).

An official with Spelling Television, which produces the show, said a decision as to whether Watson would return for guest appearances next season has not been made.

Watson has been a regular on the show since it began in 1996. He also has appeared in a handful of films, most recently "Sorority Boys."

Fix-it man Vila wins jury trial over kicking

EUGENE, Ore. -- A jury has rejected claims that home-improvement celebrity Bob Vila repeatedly kicked a woman's seat during a flight more than four years ago.

The woman, Carol Berger, said a possibly drunk Vila kicked the seat while she tried to sleep during a November 1997 United Airlines flight from Denver to Eugene. She sought as much as $250,000 in damages for injuries to her lower back and mental anguish.

Vila, star of the TV series "Home Again," denied the accusation, saying he had no memories of Berger or a disagreement.

"These accusations are not trivial," he said on the witness stand Wednesday in U.S. District Court. "My character is out there. This is something that is absolutely unacceptable to me. Neither I nor my companion have any recollections of an incident taking place."

Asked whether he had tried to recall the flight, Vila said, "You better believe it. This has been going on for four years. You end up losing a lot of sleep over it."

Asked whether he had kicked Berger's seat, Vila said, "I have never kicked anybody. I have never struck anybody. I have never hit anybody in my life."

The eight-member jury deliberated for more than three hours. Vila, 55, then hustled out of the courthouse, chased by reporters.

John Wayne Bobbitt gains rights to see wife

LAS VEGAS-- A Family Court judge dismissed a temporary protection order banning John Wayne Bobbitt from seeing the wife he married two months ago.

Bobbitt, who gained fame in 1993 when his first wife cut off his penis, remained in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas without bail pending resolution of a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

The 35-year-old is due in Churchill County District Court in Fallon on June 4. It's where a judge in 1999 sentenced him to five years' probation after Bobbitt pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny.

--From wire reports

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