RECORDING: George Michael isn’t letting his lawsuit against Sony (he wants out of his contract) interfere with Trojan Souls, a record he is producing and writing for others (Elton John, Aretha Franklin) on Hardback Records: He has been spotted in the studio with pal John laying down tracks for the album… *Dallas businessman Bill Winegar has sold almost 2,000 copies of The Corporate Rap, which is notable only as the very first rap album by a white, 59-year-old business consultant. Rapping under the name MCEO on his own label, Winegar takes on such topics as the savings and loan scandal, how to get ahead, and sexual harassment (”Be a good girl and come take a letter/Sit on my lap and you’ll feel better”)….
SEPARATING: Tennis ace John McEnroe and his wife, former child star Tatum O’Neal, are splitting after six years and three children. Apparently the hot-tempered McEnroe tried to put his foot down when O’Neal announced she wanted to make films again. In a release, McEnroe said he and O’Neal had each hired counsel to deal with their marital problems….
PRODUCING: Proto-feminist Gloria Steinem is going Hollywood again, coproducing Better Off Dead, an anti-death penalty TV movie airing in January on cable’s Lifetime Television. The film will star Boyz N the Hood‘s Tyra Ferrell as a black prosecutor and Mare Winningham as a white convicted killer….
PICKETING: Director Chris Columbus (Home Alone) recently crossed a Chicago picket line to see his Home Alone 2 but left complaining about the film being shown ”out of focus.” Chicago’s projectionists, who have been locked out of Cineplex Odeon theaters since early November, say they will take the complaint as a sign of support….
STRIPPING: Former teen queen Debbie Gibson, 22, is strutting into Madonna territory with a new Matthew Rolston-directed video. The Broadway star and pop princess will turn stripper, revealing as much of her grown-up body as MTV allows, in the video supporting her upcoming single, ”Losing Myself.” Remember that before Sex, Madonna played an exotic dancer in her ”Open Your Heart” video. Gibson’s record, Body Mind Soul, is due in January….
ARRESTING: More trouble for N.W.A rapper Andre ”Dr. Dre” Young. In October, fellow N.W.A’er Eric Wright sued Sony for racketeering because, he alleges, the company lured Young away from Wright’s Ruthless Records. Meanwhile, a New Orleans court convicted Young of three misdemeanors. Then, on Nov. 9, an arrest warrant was issued in Los Angeles after Young failed to show at a hearing to set a trial date for four other misdemeanor charges stemming from an alleged fight with record producer Damon Thomas. As of this writing, Young is MIA….
CASTING: Warren Beatty is considering a role in Rob Reiner’s next film, playing an ex-astronaut who comes out of retirement for one last blast into outer space…. *Aussie actor Paul Hogan will star as a Crocodile Dundee-esque cowboy in the action-comedy To Be an Outlaw…. *Max Von Sydow, who played chess with the devil in The Seventh Seal, will get to star as Beelzebub himself in Columbia Pictures’ adaptation of Stephen King’s 1991 best-seller, Needful Things….
STEAMING: Party-size John Candy reportedly pulled out of a gig hosting the Toronto-based 1992 Genie Awards, Canada’s version of the Oscars, last month because an ad for the event smirkingly called him ”the biggest star we could find.” Candy apparently doesn’t think fat jokes are funny; he was replaced by fellow Canadian expatriate Leslie Nielsen (Naked Gun 2.5).
— Benjamin Svetkey, with reporting by Bob Young, Casey Davidson, Jane Birnbaum, Bart Mills, Danny Sinopoli