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Two members of Everclear face assault charges

Plus, Janet Jackson is sued, and one of the Two Fat Ladies dies of lung cancer

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CHARGED Two members of Everclear, singer Art Alexakis and guitarist Brian Lehfeldt, are facing assault charges in Texas, according to MTV News. Alexakis was charged with simple assault by contact, having allegedly poured water over a teenage female fan’s head and then thrown the bottle at her during a July 31 concert in Austin; she says he did it because he thought she had tossed a drink at him, and she claims she did nothing of the sort. His court date is set for Aug. 24. Lehfeldt faces the more serious charge of assault with injury, although police reportedly wouldn’t release any details because the investigation is still pending.

OBITUARIES Jennifer Paterson, one of the corpulent chefs on the BBC cooking show ”Two Fat Ladies” (seen in the U.S. on the Food Network), died Tuesday from lung cancer at the age of 71. The show, in which the two hosts eagerly concoct health-defying fatty dishes, is a cult hit, and inspired a 1998 cookbook, ”Cooking With the Fat Ladies.” The Food Network is planning a two-hour tribute to Paterson, to air Sunday at 9 p.m…. The man who originally recruited the Spice Girls, Bob Herbert, died instantly in a car crash Monday night during a heavy rainstorm. The 57-year-old manager placed the infamous ad in Stage magazine looking for female singers to form a quintet, but he did not see them all the way to worldwide fame: By then they had moved on to a different manager.

LAWSUIT Janet Jackson‘s former cook is suing her for allegedly having several of her medications prescribed in his name, according to Wall of Sound. Ricardo Macchi maintains that Jackson had asked him to pick up hepatitis B vaccine, appetite suppressants, and antidepressants at the pharmacist’s for her, but he didn’t realize until later that she had his name put on the prescriptions so she could keep her medical needs private. Macchi, who claims that this practice went on for a year, also says that his name was used to ”secretly admit Jackson’s former boyfriend Rene Elizondo Jr. into a drug-rehabilitation program for his addiction to pain killers.”

LOVE CONNECTION? Talk about revenge of the nerds: Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen is reportedly wooing Mick Jagger’s ex, Jerry Hall, according to England’s Daily Telegraph. Her friends told the paper that she had been vacationing on his yacht. Hey, Ric Ocasek, keep your eye on Paulina Porizkova — you never know when Steve Jobs is gonna start pitching woo.

REEL DEALS David Mamet will next direct his own script for ”State and Maine,” a comedy about a small Maine town that goes Hollywood very quickly when a movie crew comes to shoot. Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, and William H. Macy will star…. Antoine Fuqua (”The Replacement Killers”) has taken over directing duties for the Jamie Foxx/Kris Kristofferson action-comedy ”Bait,” after Stephen Surjik (”Wayne’s World 2”) quit last week.

HONORED Steven Spielberg is being awarded the Defense Department Public Service Award, the Pentagon’s highest honor for civilians, for his work on ”Saving Private Ryan.” Defense Secretary William Cohen credited the film with educating the public on the military and what soldiers go through in war.

NEXT PICTURE SHOW Director Peter Bogdanovich is taking an acting role on next season’s ”The Sopranos,” playing the shrink to psychiatrist Lorraine Bracco.

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