Plus, Eddie Murphy, Steven Seagal, and more stars making the news the week of February 24, 1995

By Jessica Shaw and Maria Ricapito
Updated February 24, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

LAWSUITS R&B’s Boyz II Men filed a suit against writer Rita Elizabeth Henderson on Feb. 8 in L.A., alleging that Henderson broke the terms of her agreement to write a Boyz bio and now plans to publish an unauthorized history. ”[The group’s] confidences have been undertaken with fraud, oppression, malice, and with an intent to injure plaintiff,” the suit states. Henderson’s representative denies the charge.

The family of stuntwoman Sonja Davis filed a $50 million suit against Paramount and Vampire in Brooklyn star Eddie Murphy, 33, on Feb. 7 in L.A., charging negligence in the wrongful death of Davis, who died last November from injuries sustained while filming. Davis performed a 43-foot jump without a deaccelerator or porta-pits, which pad walls for protection. ”[The studio and stunt crew] shouldn’t have taken their expertise for granted,” says a spokesman for the Davis family’s lawyer. ”Because of a combination of screwups and negligence, we have a dead woman now.” Paramount has no comment on the suit.

Following months of allegations, optician to the stars Cheryl Shuman filed suit against Steven Seagal, 42, Warner Bros., and several others, on Feb. 10 in L.A., charging employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and breach of contract. ”Miss Shuman is a totally unreliable person,” says Seagal’s attorney. ”Any claims are absolutely frivolous, without merit, and purely specious.”

DEATHS Writer Paul Monette, 49, of AIDS on Feb. 10 in West Hollywood. His autobiography, Becoming a Man, a gay treatise, won the 1992 National Book Award, and his treatment of loss in such books as Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir and Afterlife defined a new chapter in AIDS literature. ”His writing gave people hope and inspiration to live outside of the closet,” says his friend, the actress Judith Light. ”He was a role model.”

Actor David Wayne, 81, star of stage, screen, and TV, of lung cancer in Santa Monica, Calif., on Feb. 9. Wayne’s credits included Finian’s Rainbow, for which he won a Tony Award in 1947, The Three Faces of Eve, The Andromeda Strain, and a stint as The Mad Hatter on the ’60s series Batman.

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