Celebrity news for the week of June 6, 1997

LAWSUITS On May 27, an L.A. Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Pamela Lee, 29, in a $5 million suit citing breach of contract, among other complaints. The suit, filed in November 1995 by the Private Movie Co., claimed that Lee broke a verbal contract to appear in the Showtime movie Hello, She Lied in order to do a feature film, Barb Wire. Lee testified that she pulled out of the project due to graphic sex scenes. ”The judge’s decision is against the great weight of the evidence,” says Adam D. Miller, a lawyer for the Private Movie Co. ”We most likely will appeal, but need to analyze the situation.”… No Doubt are the prize in a tug-of-war between two labels both claiming rights to the band. On May 23, Trauma Records filed a $100 million suit whose charges included breach of contract against distributor Interscope, asking that their joint-venture agreement be dissolved. The indie label claims Interscope assigned No Doubt rights to Trauma, then secretly renegotiated with the band after Tragic Kingdom sold 10 million copies. Interscope was unavailable for comment.

RECOVERING Gary Busey, 52, after surgery to remove a malignant tumor near his sinus cavity, May 24, in L.A. The growth was found after Busey suffered severe nosebleeds several weeks ago. The actor’s spokesman says Busey ”is in good spirits, and the prognosis is good.”

EXITS Good Morning America cohost Joan Lunden, 46, announced May 27 that she will leave the show in September after 20 years to focus on ”prime-time projects.” Lunden’s departure comes after months of speculation of a shake-up at the second-place morning show. ”I have a lot of exciting plans,” said Lunden. ”And waking up and going to bed with the rest of America will allow me to pursue [them].”

DEATHS Actor Edward Mulhare, 74, of lung cancer, May 24, in Van Nuys, Calif. Best known as the cranky spirit on the ’60s TV series The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Mulhare also played David Hasselhoff’s mentor on the ’80s action series Knight Rider. ”Edward was my King Arthur and I was his Lancelot,” says Hasselhoff. ”He taught me many lessons about acting and about character.”