Most of these fights can be settled if the price is right

By EW Staff
December 30, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

Blink and you still couldn’t miss these shooting stars — stars shooting off their mouths and flashing their manicured talons at whoever happened across their manicured lawns. Just like the old days, when Hedda dished Louella and Joan battered Bette and Arsenio vowed to ”kick Leno’s ass.” And some of these star wars rage on, so there’s plenty of unfinished business to step outside for in ’95.

Sharon Stone vs. Harry Winston ”I prefer quality to quantity,” said Stone of her taste in jewelry. What a compliment that must be to Harry Winston Inc., the jewelers at whom Stone hurled a $12 million suit in June, after the company took back a $400,000 necklace that Stone claims it had given to her in exchange for publicity; Winston says the rocks were on loan. In November, a California court dismissed part of the suit — though the majority of Stone’s claims are still pending. Stone also reportedly tangled with Elton John’s AIDS foundation when, after endorsing a ring in a line of $100 to $600 jewelry for a fund-raising project, she found out that she wouldn’t get the ring for free. Stone’s spokesperson calls the story ”bogus.”

Rip Torn vs. Dennis Hopper How do they even remember the ’60s? Last August, Hopper told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show that just before filming began on Easy Rider, the 1969 Hopper-directed motorcycle odyssey, actor Torn pulled a knife on him, accusing him of trying to trim his role (Torn was replaced by Jack Nicholson). Torn (who plays Artie the producer on The Larry Sanders Show) had a different flashback — er, recollection — altogether: He filed a still- pending multimillion-dollar suit, not only charging Hopper with slander but also claiming that Hopper pulled the knife on him.

Faye Dunaway vs. Andrew Lloyd Webber When producer-composer Webber decided that Patti LuPone, who originated the role of Norma Desmond in the megamusical Sunset Boulevard‘s London production, would not move with the show to Broadway, LuPone left without much ado in a $1 million-plus contract buyout. Not so Dunaway, who was slated to replace Glenn Close in the Los Angeles production but was set free because, according to Webber, ”she could not satisfactorily sing the part.” Dunaway filed a $6 million suit to prove that Webber dismissed her only because he wanted to close the sluggishly selling L.A. show. Now Close is winning raves in the role on Broadway, Dunaway’s suit is pending, and Webber is doing what he does best — moving to dismiss.

Charles S. Dutton vs. Fox Television The network blamed low ratings for the cancellation of Dutton’s sitcom Roc; the actor blasted what he saw as network racism. ”Fox wanted monkey shows,” he said to Electronic Media in June. ”Whenever you hear white executives in Hollywood saying a black show is not funny enough, I interpret that as saying, ‘You niggers ain’t being nigger enough for us.”’ Fox executives didn’t comment, probably figuring that the show’s ratings — Roc was hovering below other Fox shows at the bottom of the Nielsens when it was canned — said it all.