Downey denies drug charges
Actor Robert Downey Jr. pleaded not guilty this week to reduced drug charges stemming from his November arrest in a Palm Springs, Calif., hotel. The 36-year-old actor, who wore amber-tinted glasses and a conservative blue suit, didn't speak during the hearing at a Riverside County, Calif., courtroom. He is scheduled to return to court on July 16.
Downey was arrested Thanksgiving weekend at Merv Griffin's Resort Hotel and Givenchy Spa. Then, last month, he was arrested in a Culver City alley and booked for investigation of being under the influence of drugs. The incident cost him his role on TV's "Ally McBeal," for which he won a Golden Globe earlier this year.
Dylan donates 'Shelter' song
It's his birthday, but Bob Dylan is the one doing the giving. The legendary singer-songwriter is paying back a 40-year-old debt he says he owes to his first fans animals. Dylan, who has just turned 60, has given one of his classic songs, "Shelter From the Storm," to World Wildlife Fund for use in a new public service announcement. It is the first time in his career that he has allowed his words and music to be used for charity.
"Early on, animals were the only ones who liked my music," Dylan said. "Now it's payback time."
'West Wing' star politically naive
Actress Allison Janney, who plays her "West Wing" character with brainy authority, admits the world of politics was foreign territory.
"Growing up, I didn't even know if my parents were Democrat or Republican," Janney told More magazine in its June issue. "I'm surrounded mostly by liberals, but I'm very cynical about politics very cynical." Janney, 40, plays press secretary C. J. Cregg on "The West Wing," the NBC drama starring Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet. "She's a brilliant speaker: confident, witty, powerful, very independent, efficient everything I'm not," the actress said.
Playmate's millions voided
A federal judge Thursday threw out a U.S. bankruptcy court ruling that gave former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith $475 million from her late husband's estate. U.S. District Court Judge David Carter said he will review the case. He called his ruling neither a victory nor defeat for either side.
Smith, 33, lost a Texas court battle in March over the fortune left behind by her husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. The two met in 1991 while she was working as a stripper in Houston. He died at age 90 in August 1995, 14 months after they wed.
The Texas jury found that Marshall made no agreement to leave part of his estate to son J. Howard Marshall III or Smith. The jury ruled in favor of E. Pierce Marshall, another son of the tycoon.