EW Staff
June 25, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

HOOPLA: Did Phoenix Sun Charles Barkley try to go one-on-one with Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis over Madonna? ”Barkley’s been leaving (nasty) messages on my machine,” complained Kiedis, a Madonna pal who appeared with her on the special, 1,000th episode of The Arsenio Hall Show in May. ”(Barkley) showed up at my house at like five in the morning and he was screaming. Ask him.” Sir Charles and Madonna have been vehemently denying stories that link them romantically; they’ve only been seen together once (in a restaurant). Barkley’s agent did not return phone calls. Says Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, ”The whole thing is a figment of the media’s imagination.” And isn’t Madonna’s favorite indoor sport something other than basketball? -Michael Szymanski WINDFALL: Oprah Winfrey hasn’t written one word of Oprah, her upcoming Knopf autobiography, but booksellers say it may become one of the biggest best- sellers of all time. ”They could move 2 million copies, easy,” says an ^ editor at a rival house. Knopf-which already has orders for 750,000 copies- won’t divulge anything about it. Perhaps that’s because Oprah, who got a rumored $4 million, and a collaborator are just beginning to work. They’ll have to write fast: The book’s due out on Sept. 20. -Tina Jordan

PUPPET MASTER: Add Jason Priestley to the list of comely young actors in search of heavy rotation. The Beverly Hills, 90210 star may direct a video for the Meat Puppets’ fall album, Too High to Die (working title). Matt Dillon recently helmed a Dinosaur Jr clip, as did Sean Penn for Lyle Lovett. Priestley, a would-be drum-mer, may have an ulterior motive. ”One time he wanted to sit in with us,” says Puppet Curt Kirkwood, ”but he thought the better of it.” Will they let him now? ”How could we not?” asks Kirkwood. ”Everyone would find it very amusing.” Next up: Shannen Doherty on harmonica? -Stephen Sherrill

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