Deals Network-less since 1995, when she was fired from the CBS Evening News after her ill-fated stint as coanchor with Dan Rather, TV newswoman Connie Chung, 51, will join ABC News as a special correspondent. She’ll contribute to several ABC news programs and fill in as a substitute anchor.
Lawsuits Actor Steven Seagal, 45, filed a $25 million breach of contract suit against Prince Abdulilah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Oct. 20, in L.A. In court papers, Seagal claims that Prince Abdulilah had agreed in 1992 to provide $30 million to finance the film Man of Honor, which Seagal was to coproduce and star in. However, after putting up $1.65 million to begin preproduction in 1993, Prince Abdulilah refused to provide any more money. Prince Abdulilah couldn’t be reached for comment … Actress Kelly Preston, 35, obtained a temporary restraining order against Fort Lauderdale waiter Joseph Cheffo, 30, on Oct. 23, in Miami, for allegedly stalking and harassing her on the set of her upcoming movie, Holy Man. According to court papers, Preston claims Cheffo wrote an ”extremely offensive and disturbing” letter to the actress that makes sexual comments and reveals that Cheffo ”may have been obsessed with [Preston] for approximately 15 years.” Cheffo couldn’t be reached for comment.
Recovering Comedian Buddy Hackett, 73, was released from Mercy Center hospital in Aurora, Ill., Nov. 2, after being admitted for an irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath. According to Hackett’s wife, Sherry, the comedian was getting ready to perform in Aurora when he suffered an adverse reaction to medication he’d taken for recent dental work. Hackett is doing well and has returned to his home in L.A.
Deaths Screenwriter Paul Jarrico, 82, of injuries sustained in a car accident, Oct. 28, in Oxnard, Calif. After writing a number of films in the 1930s and ’40s — including 1941’s Tom, Dick and Harry, for which he received an Oscar nomination — Jarrico was blacklisted when he refused to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947. In 1953, he produced Salt of the Earth, openly employing several blacklisted artists. Ironically, Jarrico was on his way home after being honored at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the HUAC hearings when his car ran off the road and collided with a tree.