Plus Francis Ford Coppola, Bill Cosby, and more celebrities making the news the week of July 17, 1998

By Kipp Cheng and Will Lee
Updated July 17, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT
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WEDDINGS Uberdiva Barbra Streisand, 56, married actor James Brolin, 57, July 1 in Malibu, Calif. This is Brolin’s third marriage; Streisand was previously wed to actor Elliott Gould.

WINNERS Director Francis Ford Coppola, 59, was awarded $20 million in his case against Warner Bros., July 1, in L.A. In 1995, Coppola sued the studio for allegedly blocking his plans to film a live-action Pinocchio for Columbia. “We had a contract with” Coppola, says Warner’s Barbara Brogliatti. “[He] went behind everybody’s back, because we wouldn’t pay him what he wanted.” Coppola’s rep Kathleen Talbert says, “The jury decided there was no deal.” Warner plans to appeal.

SETTLED Jeff Smith, 59, a.k.a. the Frugal Gourmet, settled a sexual-abuse suit filed by seven young men, most former employees at Smith’s defunct restaurant, for an undisclosed sum, July 2, in Tacoma, Wash. The suit, filed in 1997, alleged that Smith “sought to engage in sex with minor boys, including coerced sexual acts with employees,” beginning in the ’70s. Smith’s lawyer declines to comment.

SHAME On July 2, CNN retracted a June 7 story that claimed U.S. military forces used nerve gas to kill American defectors in Laos in 1970. The correction came after an investigation by media lawyer Floyd Abrams concluded that the “broadcast was not fair.” The piece was a feature of the network’s new show NewsStand: CNN & Time. (TIME, which published a companion story, ran an apology in its July 13 issue.) CNN and TIME are both owned by Time Warner, EW’s corporate parent.

CONVICTED On July 7, after less than six hours of deliberation, a jury convicted Mikhail Markhasev, 19, of murdering Ennis Cosby, the only son of comedian Bill Cosby. Ennis was found shot lying next to his car on Jan. 16, 1997. Markhasev faces life imprisonment without parole.

DEATHS Author Kay Thompson, of undisclosed causes, July 2, in New York City. Though she appeared in 1957’s Funny Face and other films, Thompson is best known as the creator of Eloise, the heroine of a series of popular kids’ books published from 1954 to ’59…. Beverly Hills 90210 producer Steve Wasserman, 45, by drowning, July 3, off Marina del Rey, Calif. Wasserman was on a sailing trip with his family when he was reportedly blown overboard while adjusting a sail.

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