Spice deal leaves bad taste
We'll tell you what they want, what they really, really want: Money.
Too bad. The Spice Girls were ordered Thursday to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the company that made the unsuccessful Spice Sonic scooter.
The Spice Girls plan to appeal.
The dispute started when the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Aprilia signed a $835,000 sponsorship deal for the group's 1998 world tour.
To promote the tour, Aprilia made the scooter with a silhouette of the band's five original members. A few weeks after the contract was signed, Geri Halliwell -- Ginger Spice -- left the group. The scooter flopped.
The company said the group knew Ginger was going when it made the deal, and it refused to pay $316,000 of the sponsor fees. The Spice Girls sued and lost, and the judge said the band has to pay 60 percent of Aprilia's legal costs, not to mention $68,000 for motorcycles it gave the group.
Between that and its own attorneys, the band would end up spending $600,000 on the case, lawyers involved estimated.
A knife in a gift box of sausages that had been given to longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas set off airport metal detectors, leading to a brief case of mistaken identity.
Thomas was forced to leave the small blade behind, although the sausages stayed with her.
Thomas, who recently left UPI after covering eight presidents for the news service, received the gift box after giving a talk Tuesday for the LaFarge Lifelong Learning Institute in Milwaukee.
The institute's executive director, Marion Hook, escorted Thomas to the airport, and as he was leaving, he paused to thank the security technician for her graciousness.
"Do you know who you were talking to?" Hook asked her.
"She said, 'I didn't then, but I do now. That was Madeleine Albright,"' Hook said.
The record was set straight, Hook said, and the technician kept the knife as a souvenir.
Comedian Jackie Mason savaged New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on stage as usual this week. One night, though, the mayor was in the audience.
The crowd for Mason's one-man show "Much Ado About Everything" applauded Giuliani as he arrived for Tuesday's performance, but Mason was backstage and didn't see what was going on.
"I thought, 'I'm such a hit, they're applauding me even before I show up," he said in Thursday's New York Times.
As he began his mayoral slams, audience members started shouting "He's here!" It took a while for Mason to get the message, though he eventually balanced the act with a few jabs at his former Senate rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Afterward, the mayor visited Mason backstage, but Mason couldn't stay long. "We had to run downstairs to save my car because the mayor's security detail wanted to tow it away," he said.
Babs calls it quits
Barbra Streisand is saying goodbye to live performing.
Streisand announced Wednesday that two shows in Los Angeles and two in New York this September will be her swan song.
"Ms. Streisand has chosen to conclude her public performance career in the two cities most closely associated with her work," her manager Martin Erlichman said.
The 57-year-old Streisand's live performances have been infrequent. Prior to a pair of 1993-94 New Year's concerts in Las Vegas, she had not performed before a paying audience in nearly three decades.
Her most recent live show was a sold out, one-night stand in Las Vegas, marking the arrival of the millennium.
The farewell shows are scheduled for Sept. 20-21 in Los Angeles and Sept. 27-28 in New York.
Rockers to the rescue
Singers Don Henley and Bonnie Raitt, along with actor James Garner, helped environmentalists come up with the $250,000 needed to block logging in a Northern California forest reserve.
Henley donated all the proceeds from Tuesday's concert in Berkeley, giving the Sierra Club and the Environmental Protection Information Center more than half the money they needed by Wednesday's deadline.
The groups sued in March to stop Pacific Lumber Co. from logging its 705-acre parcel.
Last week, a judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop logging pending the trial but ruled that the plaintiffs had to set aside money to cover potential logging losses if their case failed.
The groups had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to come up with the money or Pacific Lumber was free to log.
It's tough to be a Klump, even if you're Eddie Murphy.
The comedian spent up to five hours every day in the makeup chair to create the six characters he plays in the movie "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," opening next week.
"I can tell you that I've seen many films on video, played every video game, heard every album. ... I've seen it all in that chair," Murphy said this week.
As sweet, dumpy genius Sherman Klump, he again faces his "Nutty Professor" nemesis Buddy Love. In addition, four Klump family members who sat at the dinner table in the first comedy return for the sequel.
Violinist Isaac Stern is 80. Actor-comedian Don Knotts is 76. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno is 62. Yusuf Islam (formerly singer Cat Stevens) is 52. Actor Robin Williams is 48. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 43. Actor Josh Hartnett is 22.