Archive for Friday, July 2, 2004

People

July 2, 2004

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Auction winner gets the shaft

Baltimore -- Gary Pusateri may ask to read the fine print next time he bids on dinner with a celebrity.

Billed as "Dinner with Tony Bennett," Pusateri paid $15,000 -- the highest bid -- for what he thought was to be an evening meal with the 77-year-old singer at a downtown Italian restaurant last weekend.

Instead, Pusateri and more than 100 others got to shake Bennett's hand. And when it came time to eat, the retired computer analyst ate on the second floor, while Bennett dined with his guests on the first floor.

"It was a big disappointment," Pusateri said. "I really wanted to be with him. That's why I bid extra."

Just who's to blame for the snafu isn't clear. Bennett is demanding that the organizers refund Pusateri's money, Bennett's manager said Wednesday.

Kelly statue plan falls apart

Pittsburgh -- Organizers of a project to memorialize Pittsburgh's native son Gene Kelly haven't had much to sing about in more than a year.

A plan to put up a statue of the choreographer, director and actor most beloved for the film "Singin' in the Rain" has been on hold since late 2002. And Kelly's widow has yet to give approval.

The Gene Kelly Statue Project hasn't heard from Patricia Ward Kelly, who lives in Los Angeles, in more than a year, said Aviva Radbord, co-founder of the project.

"We're prepared to continue our work, but we have heard rumors that she has decided to do something on her own," Radbord said. "We're in the dark."

There also were arguments about the location and design of the project, announced in 2001 as a tribute to Gene Kelly, who died in 1996 at 83.

Radbord said organizers also hadn't raised the $500,000 needed for the project.

Campbell defends driving drunk

New York -- Glen Campbell has defended against his drunken-driving charge, claiming he "wasn't really that drunk," but was "just overserved."

Campbell was arrested in November near his Phoenix home after causing a minor traffic accident. He pleaded guilty to extreme drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident and was sentenced to 10 nights in jail.

"I wasn't really that drunk," he told entertainment TV show "Access Hollywood" in an interview. "I was just overserved."

Campbell also said he didn't remember anything because he was "in a blackout mode." Excerpts of the interview were released Tuesday.

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