Ray Liotta's engagement and Jack Nicholson's lawsuit made news the week of November 22, 1996

By Tom Sinclair and Anna Holmes
Updated November 22, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

Jack Nicholson, 59, has been named in an assault-and-battery suit filed Nov. 8 by Catherine Sheehan, in L.A. The suit states that Nicholson invited Sheehan and another woman to his Mulholland Drive home Oct. 12 and agreed to pay each woman $1,000 for sex. Afterward, he allegedly refused to pay and became violently abusive. At press time, calls to Nicholson’s agent had not been returned … Eddie Murphy, 35, and Universal Studios stand accused of stealing the idea for The Nutty Professor from two New York screenwriters, Steven and William Patrick. A suit filed by the brothers Oct. 30 in L.A. alleges they sent a screenplay to Universal in 1991 entitled Brand New Me, about an overweight female geneticist who loses and regains weight at inopportune times. Murphy and Universal are unavailable for comment.

Buffalo girls, won’t you come out and fight … Comedy Central’s plan to air a parody of the sappy holiday mainstay It’s a Wonderful Life is getting the old ”Bah, humbug!” from Republic Pictures, which owns the Life copyright. The network claims it’s within its legal rights to dub a new story line and music over the 1946 film; Republic says it will fight any attempt to air the mock film. Where’s Clarence the Angel when you need him?

Jonathan Schmitz, 26, of second-degree murder in the March 9, 1995, slaying of Scott Amedure three days after Amedure admitted to having a crush on him at a taping of The Jenny Jones Show. A Jones spokesman said, ”[The verdict] doesn’t lessen the sadness and sorrow we feel about the senseless murder.”

For he’s a jolly GoodFella … Ray Liotta, 41, and actress Michelle Grace, 26, are engaged to be wed early next year in Thailand. It will be Liotta’s first marriage; Grace divorced Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace in 1993.

Porno for Pyros guitarist Peter DiStefano, 31, has been diagnosed with cancer. The band canceled the last few dates of its current tour to let DiStefano begin chemotherapy. A band spokesman refuses to divulge the exact nature of the cancer but says ”doctors are optimistic about a full recovery because they’re catching it early.”

It's a Wonderful Life

  • Movie
  • 130 minutes
  • Frank Capra