Frank Alexander, Richard Mason, and Tony Bennett made news the week of April 10, 1998

The rap on Tupac

Celebrity daughters Arnelle Simpson (O.J.) and Kidada Jones (Quincy) are up in arms over their portrayals in Got Your Back: The Life of a Bodyguard in the Hardcore World of Gangsta Rap, by ex-Tupac Shakur bodyguard Frank Alexander. Among the passages the women object to are one in which Alexander describes Jones quarreling with Shakur, which Jones denies, and another in which Alexander claims Simpson spent a romantic night with the rap star. ”They met to discuss work,” insisted Simpson’s lawyer, Shawn Snider Chapman, in a March 13 letter to St. Martin’s. Counters Alexander, who was on duty on the night in question, ”I got it straight from Tupac what he had done all night.” Lawyers for the two women have succeeded in delaying the book’s publication from March to July, but St. Martin’s editor Jim Fitzgerald says that after two scrupulous legal vettings, the house will publish Got Your Back without making any major changes. Neither Chapman nor Jones’ lawyer returned calls.

Good book hunting

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have nothing on Richard Mason. The 20-year-old Briton, who started writing The Drowning People when he was 18 and taking a year off between Eton and Oxford, has just sold the romantic suspense novel to Warner’s Jamie Raab as part of an $800,000 two-book deal. Agent Kathleen Anderson — who presided over the fierce four-day auction for the book — calls it ”a cross between Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and Daphne du Maurier.”

All his jazz

Tony Bennett, the crooner extraordinaire whose pals have included Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Ella Fitzgerald, is writing his autobiography. Pocket Books editor Jane Cavolina has acquired The Good Life — to be written with jazz authority Will Friedwald — for a reported seven-figure advance. It’s due out by November.