Plus Brian Wilson, John Popper, and more celebrities making news the week of August 2, 1995
More bad vibrations for Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, 53. The singer-songwriter filed suit against lawyer Jerome Billet, his former court-appointed conservator, claiming negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. Billet was assigned to represent Wilson’s interests in all legally binding contracts from 1992 to 1995 because a court had deemed the singer ”mentally incompetent.” Wilson, who contends Billet misrepresented him in a variety of business dealings resulting in the loss of millions, is asking Los Angeles Superior Court to award him unspecified damages of at least $10 million. David C. Nelson, a lawyer for Billet, says, ”We’re confident that Mr. Billet acted in the utmost good faith. He intends to defend [himself] against these claims vigorously.”
”You know, you only live once, and I’m really looking forward to feeling what it’s like to have some muscle on our bones for a change.” With that, Ted Turner, 56, summed up his reaction to a $7.5 billion merger between his Turner Broadcasting System (CNN, TBS Superstation, The Cartoon Network are among the holdings) and the behemoth Time Warner (Warner Bros., Warner Music, and Time Inc., including ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY). The pact returns Time Warner to its place as No. 1 entertainment company in the world — a position it lost over the summer when Disney snapped up Capital Cities/ABC. Echoing Turner’s sentiments is Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin, 56, who says, ”This is going to be a team, a family, it’s out to make money and have fun.”
A quiet afternoon outing for songstress Gloria Estefan, 37, and her producer-husband, Emilio Estefan Jr., 42, ended in tragedy when an out-of-control jet ski slammed into the couple’s 30-foot powerboat, Intrepid, off Miami’s South Beach on Sept. 24. The smaller vessel’s driver, Howard Clark, 29, was killed, and his passenger, Tisha Greene, 22, was injured.
While Paul Buchman grappled with the prospect of parenthood on the season debut of Mad About You, the show’s star, Paul Reiser, 38, and his wife, psychotherapist Paula, 33, faced the real thing with the early arrival of their 3-pound-3-ounce son, Ezra Samuel, in L.A. in mid-September. ”He was born six weeks early, but he’s fine,” says Reiser’s spokeswoman…. A 9-pound boy, Nicholas Pompeo, to Showgirls screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, 49, and his wife, artist Naomi, 37, on Sept. 14 in L.A…. A 7-pound-3-ounce boy, Rocket Valentino, to Desperado director Robert Rodriguez, 27, and his wife, producer Elizabeth Avellan, on Sept. 14 in L.A.
After persistent tabloid reports, a spokeswoman for Whitney Houston, 32, has confirmed the singer’s three-year marriage to Bobby Brown, 26, is in trouble. ”They’re trying to resolve those difficulties and would appreciate everyone letting them do that in private,” says the spokeswoman. As recently as three weeks ago, Houston and Brown, who have a 2-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards proclaiming their togetherness. Brown was arrested twice this year for his alleged involvement in brawls at a California hotel and a Florida nightclub.
Blues Traveler John Popper, 28, for possessing illegal weapons and driving a car whose registration had expired, by South Brunswick, N.J., police on Sept. 13. According to police, Popper, who lives in nearby Princeton, was pulled over around 3 a.m. for the expired registration and was later charged with two counts of possessing illegal weapons after officers found a knifelike weapon and a box of hollow-point bullets in the car. ”Apparently, he’s an aficionado of police equipment,” says police captain Michael Marosy. In a statement, Popper, who pleaded not guilty at a Sept. 21 hearing, admitted his embarrassment, saying, ”Boy, is my mom going to be mad.”
After screening 296 films from 50 nations, audiences at the 20th Toronto International Film Festival gave top prize to Antonia’s Line, a film by Dutch director Marleen Gorris. Second prize went to Love Letter, from Japan’s Shunji Iwai, while third-place honors were shared by two Americans: Diane Keaton for Unstrung Heroes, her feature-directing debut, and Peter Yates for The Run of the Country.
Writer and dentist Annie Elizabeth (Bessie) Delany, 104, Sept. 25 at her home in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. With her older sister, Sarah, 106, Delany coauthored the best-selling books Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years and The Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom. A play based on Having Our Say is currently on Broadway.