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People: Dec. 9, 2002

5 minute read
Michele Orecklin


Those who turn to the comics to avoid the strife reported in the rest of the newspaper may have lost their refuge. The estate of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz has sued Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey, for the return of 19 comic strips lent to Walker in 1978 when he was opening a museum of cartoon art. One stipulation was that they be returned when Walker no longer needed them. In July, lack of funds caused the museum to close. The Schulz trust wants the strips back, but Walker says he plans to reopen the museum in another location. Perhaps it’s safest to stick to the word jumble.

SPLITSVILLE Nicolas Cage & Lisa Marie Presley

Deviating from the familiar script in celebrity divorces, Lisa Marie Presley made no mention of a continued friendship or deep mutual respect when she announced that she and Nicolas Cage would be divorcing after three months of marriage. Instead, she displayed uncommon candor, saying, “I’m sad about this, but we shouldn’t have been married in the first place. It was a big mistake.” Presley and Cage ominously chose to marry on Aug. 10, the 25th anniversary of her father’s death. Their divorce seems less surprising than the fact that the union didn’t last as long as her previous marriage. Presley somehow managed to stay married to Michael Jackson for 20 months.


A doddering rock star past his prime and continually vexed by his unruly brood would seem to provide enough possibilities for real-life drama. But in an interview last week, two of the teenage Osbourne offspring, Jack and Kelly, suggested that MTV had been concerned that there might not be enough tension on the reality show and threw in a few curves to keep things interesting. On Good Morning America, Kelly said a confrontational family meeting from the first season was manufactured. Her brother Jack said an episode in which a dog therapist was called in was “an MTV thing.” A publicist for Ozzy denied any artificiality, saying “Nothing is ever scripted or planned on The Osbournes. Ozzy and Sharon would not have done it unless it was all real.” Not surprisingly, MTV also took issue with the allegations, saying “You could not stage anything with that family.” One can only hope they’re right. It would not reflect well on the network if the best twist it could come up with was a dog therapist.


With the constant bad press afflicting the royal family, one can hardly blame Prince Charles for wanting to indulge in a pint every now and then. But this drink was taken in memory of the Prince’s late friend Ted Hughes, England’s poet laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998.

Charles opened the pub, called Poet Laureate, in Poundbury, in the southwest of England. He has been involved in developing the area to resemble a traditional village rather than urban sprawl. Hughes does not seem like the most obvious person to inspire bonhomie: his poems were often moody meditations on the English countryside. But with any luck, the establishment will inspire patrons to pen lyric verse somewhere other than the bathroom wall.

L.A. Confidential: Things Get Sticky for the Gumshoe

The image of private investigators in Hollywood has segued over the years from Philip Marlowe to Charlie’s Angels. Real-life gumshoe ANTHONY PELLICANO, however, is a throwback to the noir era; he has handled cases for Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone and Farrah Fawcett, below, and once described his job as making people “remember why they’re afraid of the dark.”

Things are looking pretty dark for the detective right now. He spent six days last week in a Los Angeles jail on charges of illegal weapons possession, after police searched his office to see if he was involved in the harassment of Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch. While researching a story on a possible mob shakedown of actor Steven Seagal, Busch found a dead fish, a rose and a note reading STOP on her car. Police traced the threat to an ex-con who said he had been hired by Pellicano on behalf of Seagal.

In Pellicano’s office, police found two handguns, two modified hand grenades and material consistent with C4 plastic explosive “strong enough to bring down an airplane,” according to an FBI agent on the case. Pellicano said the armaments were from an old case, and his attorney denied any complicity in the Seagal affair. Seagal says he never tried to stop the stories either. Pellicano was released on $400,000 bond and had to surrender his passport.


Is Nick Carter a Boy or his own man? The Backstreet Boys have filed a $75 million lawsuit against their record company, Zomba, alleging that the label was so concerned with promoting Carter, center, as a solo artist that it delayed the release of the group’s new album, thus depriving the Boys of $5 million they would be owed had they completed it by April 30, 2002. The lawsuit claims that the label’s attention to Carter made it unavailable to approve song selections, causing the group to miss its delivery date. This is surely a case of divided loyalties since Carter is part of the suit. “We are committed to the Backstreet Boys,” read a statement from the group, “and we will protect our group from anybody or anything that tries to break us apart.” Even if that anybody is one of them.

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