Plus, Eddie Van Halen, Black Rob, Britney Spears, Dana Carvey, a Backstreet Boy, and more
JAILED Tommy Lee spent Memorial Day weekend behind bars for parole violation. Pamela Anderson‘s estranged ex was jailed for five days beginning last Friday, after a closed session with an L.A. Superior Court judge in Malibu, Reuters reports. The judge also extended Lee’s probation to 2003, and ordered him to resume random drug testing and to enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous. (The rocker was originally jailed in 1998 for kicking Anderson while she held their infant son.) Though no official details of the violation were available, prosecutors charged earlier in May that Lee was seen drinking.
ILLNESS Rumors that guitarist Eddie Van Halen is undergoing treatment for cancer of the tongue have been circulating the Internet all weekend, but the Houston hospital he visited last week today said that his tests came out NEGATIVE. Rather than treating the illness, a spokesperson said, the 45 year old chain smoker and recovering alcoholic is taking part in a cancer prevention clinic.
WANTED Bad Boy artist Black Rob skipped a court date Friday in New York, where he was supposed to face charges for his previously reported arrest for weapons and drugs possession. The rapper, who has spent nearly half his life behind bars, missed the opportunity to turn himself in, according to a Manhattan District Attorney spokesperson. He could get seven years if convicted. Bad Boy Entertainment has yet to respond to reports.
BE LIKE BRITNEY Britney Spears is sponsoring a summer camp, where 100 lucky kids can learn to sing and dance like the Mickey Mouse Club grad. Presumably, ”Baby One More Time” will supplant ”Kumbaya” around the campfire.
LEGAL BRIEFS Former ”SNL” star Dana Carvey settled his $7.5 million lawsuit against a surgeon who operated on the comedian’s wrong artery during a double bypass two years ago. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Carvey’s lawyer expressed satisfaction with the deal…. Coordinators of an August Rolling Rock sponsored outdoor concert in Pennsylvania featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers vowed that the show would go on, despite the possibility of a lawsuit. A resident who lives near the concert site, where some 25,000 fans are expected, has said that he fears his property will be damaged and threatened to sue. Concert organizers say they have acquired all the necessary permits…. Barry Bulsara, a man obsessed with Queen’s Freddie Mercury, has been charged with the murder of Jill Dando, who presented British TV’s ”Crime Watch.” The man reportedly changed his name to Bulsara, Mercury’s real name, in honor of the rocker.
SHOPPING Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell caused a stir when he and his girlfriend tried to sneak into a suburban Atlanta Kmart to buy barbecue supplies for Memorial Day weekend. As he was quickly surrounded by a throng of squealing teens, a thief tried to seize the opportunity to sneak out with a TV set. Workers apprehended the crook, but not before the couple was also briefly detained. Next time, order in.
BLOCKBUSTERS Hollywood is on track to break its box office record for the third straight year. Revenues are up 9 percent from the same time last summer, though it remains to be seen whether this year’s slate of big hits can ultimately match the pace set by ”Star Wars: Episode One,” which earned $431 million domestically and helped bring the total summer revenues to nearly $3 billion. Poor kids, they couldn’t possibly afford to lower the ticket prices.
REEL DEALS DreamWorks has postponed the release of the Matt Damon–Will Smith flick ”The Legend of Bagger Vance” from Aug. 4 to Nov. 3, saying that the Robert Redford directed movie is 75 percent complete…. Palme d’Or winning Chinese director Chen Kaige will make his English language directing debut with the erotic thriller ”Killing Me Softly,” starring Heather Graham…. ”The End of the Affair”’s Neil Jordan will write and direct DreamWorks’ ”Lucrezia,” about a powerful and corrupt Renaissance family.
CASTING Oscar winner Juliette Binoche is in negotiations to star in Miramax’s ”The Assumption of a Virgin,” which will be directed by Oscar nominated Brazilian director Walter Salles. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have also reportedly been offered roles…. ”The Insider”’s Christopher Plummer is in final negotiations to join Ving Rhames in the cast of CBS’ O.J. Simpson story, ”American Tragedy”…. Ice Cube will star in New Line’s ”Stray Dawgz,” about a parolee forced to save his sister from a new breed of L.A. werewolves. When did the old breed die out?
ONLINE Warner Bros. is set to distribute Internet original programming that will compete with its parent (and EW Online’s parent) Time Warner’s Netcaster, Entertaindom.com. The first site to launch will be TheOblongs.com, a 25-episode animated series cocreated by ”The Simpsons”’ Jace Richdale and ”The Drew Carey Show”’s Bruce Helford. The 30-second sketches will appear on the Internet as a runup to the 2001 debut of WB’s ”The Oblongs,” a half-hour show about a physically deformed family that lives near an industrial waste dump.
BOOK DEAL Michael Jordan signed a six-figure deal with Random House to collaborate with Washington Post sports writer Michael Wilbon on a bio entitled, ”A Whole New Ballgame: Michael Jordan Comes to Washington,” according to Publisher’s Weekly.
OBIT Milo Speriglio, the private detective who devoted two decades to trying to prove that Marilyn Monroe was killed in a Mafia hit, died of lung cancer. He was 62.