Letterman lawyers want restraining order quashed
Santa Fe, N.M. (ap) - Lawyers for David Letterman want a judge to quash a restraining order granted to a Santa Fe woman who contends the CBS late-night host used code words to show he wanted to marry her and train her as his co-host.
A state judge granted a temporary restraining order to Colleen Nestler, who alleged in a request filed last Thursday that Letterman has forced her to go bankrupt and caused her "mental cruelty" and "sleep deprivation" since May 1994.
Nestler requested that Letterman, who tapes his show in New York, stay at least 3 yards away and not "think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering."
Lawyers for Letterman, in a motion filed Tuesday, contend the order is without merit and asked state District Judge Daniel Sanchez to quash it.
"Celebrities deserve protection of their reputation and legal rights when the occasional fan becomes dangerous or deluded," Albuquerque lawyer Pat Rogers wrote in the motion.
Sanchez set a Jan. 12 hearing on the permanent order.
Nestler's application for a restraining order was accompanied by a six-page typed letter in which she said Letterman used code words, gestures and "eye expressions" to convey his desires for her.
She wrote that she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" after his "Late Show" began in 1993, and that he responded in code words and gestures, asking her to come East.
She said he asked her to be his wife during a televised "teaser" for his show by saying, "Marry me, Oprah." Her letter said Oprah was the first of many code names for her and that the coded vocabulary increased and changed with time.
No show for Sharpton
New York - Al Sharpton, who was previously in talks with CBS to star in a sitcom, says he's not interested in being a TV star after all.
"I haven't done the things I've done to be in a sitcom," Sharpton told the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., in Tuesday's editions.
The Democrat, who has run for president, mayor of New York and the Senate, was earlier this month reported to be working with CBS on a pilot tentatively titled, "Al in the Family" - an allusion to the Archie Bunker classic '70s show.
"I'm not interested in being Archie Bunker, I'm looking forward to becoming George Bush," Sharpton said, alluding to a possible future presidential race.
Broadway stars join '24'
New York - Two Broadway stars have signed on for the new season of Fox network's action-drama "24."
Tony winner Stephen Spinella and two-time Tony nominee Jayne Atkinson have joined the cast for the series' fifth season, the network announced.
The four-hour, two-part season premiere of "24," which stars Kiefer Sutherland as U.S. counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer, will air Jan. 15-16.
Atkinson, who won Tony nominations for "The Rainmaker" and "Enchanted April," will play Homeland Security official Karen Hayes. Spinella, who won Tonys for "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches" and "Angels in America: Perestroika," will play Miles, Hayes' subordinate.
Jean Smart, Connie Britton, Sean Astin, Peter Weller and JoBeth Williams will also be featured in the new season.
Blige booked for festival
New York - Mary J. Blige will perform at the 2006 Essence Music Festival, which is temporarily moving to Houston as New Orleans continues to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.
The annual festival, sponsored by Essence magazine, has been held in the Superdome in New Orleans since 1995.
The 2006 festival will take place July 1-3 at Houston's Reliant Park. Several concerts, a marketplace and empowerment seminars will be featured. A portion of the event will be aimed at helping victims of Katrina.
Other performers will be announced in coming weeks, organizers said in a statement Monday.
Nearly 500 artists have performed at the Essence Music Festival, which has brought millions of dollars into Louisiana's economy since its inception.