Plus, ''The Animal'' buys its way onscreen, pop stars tell how they lost it, and more

By Gary Susman
Updated May 31, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Dirk Been: Lisa O'Connor/Zuma Press
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LEGAL BRIEFS Now that Dirk Been‘s deposition has been made public, does it support Stacey Stillman‘s contention that ”Survivor” producer Mark Burnett manipulated him into voting her off the island? Depends on who you ask. Lawyers for Stacey, who is alleging in a lawsuit that the show was rigged, cite Dirk’s testimony that he didn’t consider voting against Stacey until Burnett suggested that he do so. Lawyers for CBS, who are countersuing her for defamation and breach of the confidentiality clause of her contract, point out that Dirk took ultimate responsibility for his actions and refused to use the word ”manipulate” to describe Burnett’s behavior. Author Peter Lance, who chronicled the competition in his unauthorized book ”The Stingray,” has posted Dirk’s deposition on his website.

”The Wind Done Gone” will be blowing into bookstores after all. The U.S. Court of Appeals lifted the injunction against Alice Randall‘s parody of ”Gone With the Wind” on Friday, citing First Amendment protections against prior restraint. By the end of next month, readers will be able to decide for themselves whether the book is terrific or Tarable.

The World Wrestling Federation won an early round in its lawsuit against the Parents Television Council when it got a U.S. District Court judge to body slam the PTC’s motion to dismiss the suit. The WWF is alleging defamation, claiming that the PTC’s fundraising letters have blamed the deaths of four children on kids who were trying to copy wrestling moves they watched on ”WWF Smackdown!” The WWF also claims lost revenue from sponsors who abandoned the show after the PTC approached them with a list of other sponsors who had supposedly left, a list the WWF says is fraudulent. The PTC says its statements are all protected by the First Amendment. The next court date is June 22.

TRAILER PARK The financially struggling movie exhibition industry must have been elated when Sony ponied up money to guarantee play for a trailer for ”The Animal” on hundreds of General Cinemas and AMC screens where ”The Mummy Returns” was playing earlier this month. Traditionally, movie theaters have screened previews for free. Although Sony says it paid only a ”minimal amount” to theaters ($100,000, says the Los Angeles Times), other studios are worried that the pay for play deal sets a dangerous precedent. The Rob Schneider comedy claws its way into theaters this Friday.

SPIN DOCTOR It’s four days and counting for WFMU‘s Glen Jones, who is claiming the world record for the longest continuous radio broadcast. The DJ at the Jersey City, N.J., free form radio station has been on the air since 9 a.m. on May 25, allowing himself only a 15 minute break every eight hours and playing songs no more than six minutes long (so he can’t just put on ”Stairway to Heaven” and catch 40 winks). Having played music by everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Muppets, he broke the previous record of 73 hours and 33 minutes on Monday morning and hopes to break the 100 hour mark at 1 p.m. EDT this afternoon. (His spinning feat still has to be verified by the Guinness Book of World Records to be official.) You can catch his broadcast in streaming audio and video at the WFMU website.

‘VIRGIN’ RECORDS Don’t think of John Stamos as just a certain supermodel/ actress’s trophy husband. Not only is the former ”Full House”er starring as the leader of a gang of high tech crooks in ”Thieves” on ABC this fall, but he’s also producing a series for MTV called ”The Virgin Chronicles.” On that show, pop stars will recount their earliest sexual experiences and the other party will then tell his or her side of the story, followed by a reunion of the two. No doubt Christina Aguilera will volunteer to be the first guest.

YA YA, RIGHT Now that ”Lady Marmalade” is a hit again, thanks to the version by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink on the ”Moulin Rouge” soundtrack, Patti LaBelle says she didn’t realize how risqué the song was when her group LaBelle first recorded it in 1974. She apparently didn’t know that ”Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” means ”Will you sleep with me tonight?” She told AP Radio, ”I just knew it sounded cute. Soon after that we found out, but we said, well, let’s keep it anyway.” Did she also not know that the song was about a New Orleans prostitute?

REEL DEALS For once, Dennis Hopper will be on the right side of the law, sort of. He’ll play a shady cop pursuing an art smuggling gangster in ”The Night Job,” which he’ll also direct. Val Kilmer is in talks to play the mobster…. Jackie Chan is going back to Hong Kong to shoot two films, a third ”Operation Condor” movie, and an adaptation of the Tony Soprano favorite, Sun Tzu’s ancient strategy manual turned management how-to, ”The Art of War,” whose $70 to $80 million cost is expected to make it the most expensive Hong Kong film ever…. Director Andrew Fleming‘s (”The Craft,” ”Dick”) fascination with teenage girls continues with ”American Princess,” a period romance he’ll direct this fall about an English peasant girl who wants to be a princess, is exiled to America by the queen, and becomes involved in rebellion against the crown. What is that, the Sarah Ferguson story?

Lady Marmalade

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