RESOLUTION Madonna’s beau, Guy Ritchie can rest easy now. He had gotten into a tangle with the London police after a brawl with a man who was reportedly waiting outside the couple’s residence to catch a glimpse of the Material Mom. Ritchie was cautioned yesterday and released with no further action, according to a Scotland Yard spokesman. (The offense will remain on record, though.) Now Ritchie can celebrate his freedom in the $15.87 million London pad his girlfriend purchased yesterday. The digs — complete with a basement swimming pool and sprawling drawing room that opens onto a roof terrace — should be a step up from the shabby little $3 mil shack the Madonna was renting until now. The singer recently complained that London housing was far ”too expensive.” Now that’s bargain shopping.
SURVIVAL Animal Rights group PETA launched a protest against ”Survivor” in front of CBS headquarters in New York today. The group is outraged by Wednesday night’s famed rat-eating episode. In front of some 23.25 million viewers (according to Nielsen ratings) hungry contestants chased rodents on the beach with clubs and devoured them later around the fire. (Arkansan Joel Klug made the highly original observation that the rats tasted ”like chicken.”) Wonder if PETA would feel better if the castaways were equipped with arsenic and traps like most urban dwellers? The Eye network has also announced that a ”Survivor 2” will be filmed in the Australian outback. Kangaroos beware.
CRIME Stanley Howse, founding member of the Grammy winning group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (”Crossroad”) was convicted of gun possession and assault with a deadly firearm by an L.A. Superior Court jury Thursday. The 27 year old faces up to 19 years’ imprisonment for the incident in which he allegedly pulled an AK-47 out of a baby’s crib and pointed it at a friend. What a great place for a semiautomatic weapon.
COURTS The case against Alec Baldwin is finally closed. The California Supreme Court decided against reviewing a previous ruling that celebrity photographer Alan Zanger is not entitled to recover costs of a lawsuit he filed against Baldwin. The tangle stems from a 1995 fight that broke out between the journo and his subject when he tried to steal a shot of Baldwin, his wife Kim Basinger, and their baby daughter, Ireland. Baldwin broke Zanger’s nose and sprayed shaving cream on his truck. Amazing that Madonna hasn’t come courting by now.
WEBNEWS Several powerful studios backed by the Motion Picture Association of America are suing L.A. based RecordTV.com for allegedly pirating TV shows and airing them on the Net. The studios are also requesting an injunction against the site…. The Academy of Motion Pictures issued a ruling that no movie shown on the Internet before it is released in theaters will be considered for an Oscar. No doubt the creators of ”Mission Imp” are cursing their fate…. New York hip-hop label 75 Ark announced an alliance with Napster yesterday. ”No one can avoid Napster, it’s everywhere,” said the label’s VP General Manager. He plans to use the site as a promotional tool. What a novel idea.
CASTING Oscar nominee Michael Clarke Duncan is in talks to join David Arquette in the Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures comedy ”See Spot Run,” about a mailman who cares for an FBI drug-sniffing super dog. Sounds like a winner…. Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt will star as a mother-daughter crime team in ”The Breakers,” which is set to begin shooting in mid-July.
TV NEWS Donny and Marie Osmond are looking for work again. Columbia TriStar decided not to extend their poorly rated talk show for a third season…. Lions Gate is set to produce a major first-run syndicate called ”Hawaiian Tropic Undercover.” The syndie, slated for a 2001 release will be coexec produced by ”Baywatch”’s Doug Schwartz and ”Magnum P.I.”’s Jay Solomon.
OBIT French author Jules Roy, the controversial anticonformist writer of ”Happy Valley” and ”The Navigator,” died in France. He was 92.