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Entertainment news from the week of Sept. 27

Sharon Stone, Anne Rice, and Julia Roberts made the news this week

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Stone Sober: It was ”an Italian thing.” That’s how Sharon Stone describes her sliver of a joke during last week’s Tribute to Style dinner and charity auction sponsored by Italian Vogue and Lexus. The haute evening on Rodeo Drive featured such guests as Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Maria Shriver, but emcee Stone turned out to be the night’s one fashion victim. After special guest Placido Domingo wooed the crowd with a rendition of ”Granada,” the actress thanked the tenor for ”not grabbing my ass,” leaving the audience to ponder her lack of basic instinct. ”It’s an Italian thing,” Stone says of her fashion faux pas. ”They say that when you go to Italy, you’re going to get your bum pinched. Since this is an Italian evening, that was my tribute to Italian style.” A spokeswoman for Domingo, a Spaniard, says, ”He was taken aback, but then he played with it.” After Stone apologized, Domingo set her straight. Italians, he said, pinch. Spaniards use both hands.

Paper Chase: If she wanted to give up writing best-sellers, Anne Rice could opt for a career as a copywriter. The gothic novelist, who back in 1994 published her anti-Tom Cruise sentiments via full-page ads in Variety, is at it again — this time sending ”Personal Letters to President Clinton” in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Since August she has placed six ads commenting on Clinton’s policies. And though Rice declines to elaborate on this trade-ad campaign, which has cost her nearly $16,000 this summer, what about the President himself? Pat Lewis, a White House spokeswoman says, ”He’s certainly interested in people’s comments on his legislation, but I can’t be sure he’s seen the letters (according to the magazine’s circulation department, the President doesn’t get Variety). Adds Lewis: ”His time is very tight on the campaign trail.”

To Dye For: Rumor of the week: late-’70s rockers Blondie are reuniting after 13 years. The facts: According to frontwoman Deborah Harry, the truth is…maybe. ”We had a little get-together, to record, to feel each other out, basically,” says Harry. ”Bands seem to be all in cycles. You work together a certain period of time. You break up for a certain period of time. Then you have a reunion. Look at what the Sex Pistols did. Van Halen’s getting back together.” But while the still-blond Harry waits to get back to her rock roots, she’s been busy honing her acting skills. She’s now filming the Fox TV movie Confessions (airing in November), in which she plays a Hollywood madam. Most recently, she played Delores, a waitress, opposite Liv Tyler in director James Mangold’s Heavy — a character she’ll reprise with a cameo in Mangold’s upcoming Copland. ”She returns,” Harry says. ”Cha-cha-cha.”
— Nancy Mills

Getting in Tune: Listen carefully and this fall you’ll hear Julia Roberts…singing. Roberts, who once did backup on ex-hubby Lyle Lovett’s album I Love Everybody, will croon alongside costars Goldie Hawn, Alan Alda, Drew Barrymore, and Woody Allen in Allen’s musical comedy Everyone Says I Love You. ”They didn’t know until after they were hired that they would be singing,” says a spokesman for the film, who won’t reveal what ditty Roberts performs. And Roberts’ vocal repertoire helped her land a supporting role in Neil Jordan’s political drama Michael Collins, due Oct. 11. Jordan, whose film won the Golden Lion at the recent Venice Film Festival, says he was so impressed that Roberts already ”knew the song” (an Irish folk tune called ”She Moved Through the Fair”) that he ”instantly cast her in the part.” A spokeswoman for the actress, however, says fans shouldn’t expect Roberts to cut an album anytime soon. ”Many actors sing,” she notes, ”but Julia’s an actor first.”