LEGAL BRIEFS On March 9, the fifth anniversary of the drive-by shooting of The Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace, Biggie Smalls) passed without anyone ever having been arrested for the murder. On Tuesday, his survivors filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, accusing the city of Los Angeles of failing to prevent Biggie’s death and failing to pursue fully the investigation against two people named in the suit as suspects, one of whom is a former L.A. police officer. The suit makes wrongful-death and civil rights violations claims against the city, police chief Bernard Parks, and former chiefs Willie Williams and Bayan Lewis. The plaintiffs (Wallace’s mother, Voletta Wallace, widow Faith Evans, two of his children, and the legal guardian of one of the kids) allege that the city and the police should have known that Biggie’s West Coast rivals at Death Row Records were affiliated with street gangs and blamed Biggie and his East Coast posse at Bad Boy Records for the killing of Tupac Shakur six months earlier. They also allege that Chief Parks ”intentionally, willfully, and recklessly delayed and stopped the investigation as soon as it became apparent officers employed by the Los Angles Police Department were involved in the murder.” That’s a reference to former LAPD officer David Mack, an alleged Death Row associate who the plaintiffs say acted with civilian Amir Muhammad in ”conspiring to murder” Christopher Wallace. (Mack and Muhammad have both denied any involvement in the murder.) The LAPD says it has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation….
Ed McMahon has filed a $20 million lawsuit against his insurance carrier and several contractors over toxic mold that he says has infested his home, made his family ill, and killed his dog. The former ”Tonight Show” sidekick and ”Star Search” host says the mold came from a pipe that burst last summer, and that the contractors that the American Equity Insurance Company hired to clean up the mold merely painted over it but failed to report the continued infestation to the McMahons. The family says it hired another contractor to clean its furniture, artwork, TV memorabilia, and other valuables, but that those belongings have not been returned or their whereabouts disclosed. ”What started out as a simple plumbing leak ended up a horrific nightmare only Stephen King could write about,” said McMahon’s lawyer. American Equity has not commented on the suit.
BABY TALK Geena Davis was practically speechless about the birth of her daughter on Wednesday at a Los Angeles area hospital. She said nothing of the girl’s name or weight, releasing only a statement through her spokesman, who said, ”Everybody is very healthy, and I hear the little girl is as beautiful looking as her mom.” It’s the first child for Davis, 46, and her fourth husband, Reza Jarrahy, a 30-year-old doctor she married six months ago. Her next delivery will be ”Stuart Little 2” on July 19….
King of Las Vegas Wayne Newton and his wife Kathleen are also expecting their first child together. The child is being carried by a surrogate mother, who is expected to deliver a girl in May. Newton, 60, has a 25-year-old daughter, Erin, by a previous marriage. He’s been married to Kathleen, a 38-year-old attorney, for eight years.
REEL DEALS It’s official: MGM and the Bond-movie-producing Broccoli family have given New Line license to call this summer’s Austin Powers sequel ”Austin Powers in Goldmember.” The makers of the 007 films had objected to the parody title and had used Motion Picture Association of America rules (under which New Line failed to dot all i’s and cross all t’s in registering the title) to force the ”Powers” producers to scrap the title (and all promotional materials that used it) back in January. Earlier this week, however, the studios reportedly agreed on deal that would allow New Line to use the title on the condition that it attach trailers for ”Die Another Day” (the upcoming 007 movie) and other MGM films to prints of ”Goldmember” and ”The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings.” Details of yesterday’s agreement were not specified in a joint statement by the two studios, which read, ”New Line will be allowed to use the ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember’ title, but all future titles that may be construed as parodies of James Bond titles will be subject to MGM’s approval.” Guess that means New Line won’t be able to use such proposed titles as ”License to Shag,” ”Live and Let Shag,” and ”Never Say Member Again.”…