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Stars Speak For (And Against) Web Exposure

Celebrities speak about their internet exposure likes — and dislikes.

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How many alt.fan newsgroups track every fluctuation of your biorhythm? And when was the last time a browsing click found an image of your head digitally grafted onto a stranger’s naked torso? No, when the Hollywood iconocracy go online, it’s not your average Net-head adventure. Already scorched by overexposure to the glare of fame, many marquee stars feel something between distrust and dark paranoia about the Web. They fear stalkers, hoaxers, setups, and unexpected consequences from a weird medium not under the studios’ — or anybody’s — control. Yet the Web is catching on, especially among younger showbiz trendsetters who laptopped in high school or college. For people whose instant recognizability is more burden than pleasure, joining a chat room is an exhilarating return to anonymity and a zone of privacy. Others don’t mind identifying themselves and chatting with fans via the Web. It’s a darn sight more fun than having a bunch of fans show up at the front door pleading for parts in your next movie.

DAVID CROSBY ”I was answering some E-mail this morning from a guy in Ireland who talks to me regularly. And I had to physically restrain myself from getting into answering it at length. I gave these terse little blip answers with no punctuation. I’m the e.e. cummings of the computer. ”(INTERVIEW WITH PATRIZIA DILUCCHIO)

PAMELA ANDERSON LEE ”There’s a site that has all these manipulated pictures [of me] … In one shot, I’m having sex with Raquel Welch. I saw it, and it was, ‘Yuuuuck. Why would anyone want to see that?’ Tommy said, ‘Do you mind moving over a little so I can get a better look?”'(YAHOO! INTERNET LIFE)

BARRY BONDS ”If a writer says something bad, you can E-mail him back and say whatever you want.”(THE WEB MAGAZINE)

KEENEN IVORY WAYANS ”I’m kind of boring on the Net. I go to real estate sites.”(INTERVIEW IN LOS ANGELES)

BILLY BOB THORNTON ”One of these days I’m going to learn how to use a computer.”(AMERICA ONLINE)

KEVIN BACON ”How do you know it’s really me? This is something that’s always interested me: You’re sitting there in front of your computer, Kevin Bacon is ostensibly answering these questions, but how do you really know it’s me? It could be my publicist. It could be the guy from the deli.”

JOHNNY CASH ”On the Internet, they found in Slovenia a Ring of Fire for sale. Of course, we sold the copyrights in most foreign countries. But it’s an example of the abuse that there is out there, that they were selling it over the Internet.”(REUTERS NEWS SERVICE)

GENA LEE NOLIN ”You’re trying to answer everything. You’re coming up with all these smart, witty answers for the crowd. Those poor people. I’m like, S-o-r-r-y i-t-‘-s t-a-k-i-n-g s-o l-o-n-g.”(THE WEB MAGAZINE)

MICKEY DOLENZ ”I do a physics newsgroup.” (TRANSCRIPT — WWW.PEOPLE.COM)

JAMIE LEE CURTIS ”I am online all the time, except now that I have a new baby.”(AOL)

LISA KUDROW ”There’s a commercial for a computer or something in which a girl goes on about how much she loves frogs. In her room are a bunch of froggy things, and online she’s created these really elaborate websites and message boards about frogs. They’re celebrating this as a good thing — using it to sell computers — but it’s about frogs. Frogs! She’s not okay! She’s really not okay. Obsessions are very strange.”(YAHOO! INTERNET LIFE)

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