Plus, Billy Crystal, John Lennon, Oprah Winfrey, ''Today,'' and more
LEGAL BRIEF A woman claiming that bad-boy basketball star Dennis Rodman sexually assaulted her last year in an L.A. hotel suite filed suit against Rodman Tuesday. According to the AP, Bridgette Chaker seeks unspecified damages for assault, battery, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. Chaker alleges that she met Rodman and a friend at a Sunset Strip nightclub, where Rodman invited her to his penthouse suite for ”a party.” But when Chaker got to the hotel room, she reportedly realized she was alone with the two men, who would not allow her to leave. Chaker claims that she then went into the suite’s bathroom, and when she returned she found Rodman had stripped to his underwear and was exposing himself. When Chaker told the former Laker that he was ”disgusting,” he allegedly ”jammed his hand under her dress and sexually assaulted” her. According to her lawsuit, Chaker slapped Rodman as police arrived.
AUCTION NEWS Lifelong Yankees fan Billy Crystal bought one of legendary ball player Mickey Mantle’s old gloves at a Sotheby’s auction of baseball memorabilia Monday. Crystal shelled out an amazing $239,000, 10 times more than the glove’s presale estimate of approximately $20,000. Mantle reportedly wore the ”Crystal” glove around 1960…. One page of John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for ”I Am the Walrus” is to be auctioned at Christie’s in London Thursday. The page, which has an estimated value of $115,000, consists of 20 lines in black ink and is peppered with editing marks and annotations. The page’s lyrics differ somewhat from the final version of the song.
MOONLIGHTING ”I haven’t been this nervous since I danced with Tina Turner,” said TV hostess/tycoon Oprah Winfrey after she and companion Stedman Graham taught their first business-school class Tuesday at Northwestern University. Winfrey and Graham’s 10-week lecture course for 110 students is called Dynamics of Leadership. Winfrey told the AP that she would give herself a B for her performance teaching the first class.
TV WATCH Lunchtime ”Today”? NBC News confirmed that its morning show ”Today” will be rebroadcast in its entirety on the network’s sister cable news channel MSNBC starting next Monday. The rebroadcast will be at 1 p.m. EDT, four hours after the program concludes its live telecast on NBC. This is the latest in a recent trend of networks rebroadcasting their own shows on partner channels. ABC announced last week it would rebroadcast episodes of its new drama ”Once and Again” on Lifetime (which is half-owned by ABC), and NBC has made a deal with USA Network to show ”Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” in addition to ”Law and Order.” But this is the first time a show will be rebroadcast on the same day it originally aired. What’s next, the Letterman show on VH1?
OSCAR ALERT Oscar-winning producers Richard Zanuck and Lili Fini Zanuck (”Driving Miss Daisy”) will produce the 72nd annual Academy Awards, which ABC will broadcast Sunday, March 26. The Zanucks are the first husband-and-wife team to produce the show, which has never had a woman producer. The couple replace Gil Cates, who announced earlier this year that he was taking a break after producing 9 of the past 15 Oscar ceremonies.
FESTIVAL NEWS The seventh annual Hamptons International Film Festival will feature a tribute to the past 40 years of American independent film, organizers have announced. The festival, which runs Oct. 20-24, opens with the New York premiere of ”Deterrence,” the directorial debut of former film critic Rod Lurie. The thriller stars Kevin Pollak, Timothy Hutton, and Sheryl Lee Ralph. Wes Craven’s ”Music of the Heart,” starring Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, Angela Bassett and Gloria Estefan, will close the film festival.