Archive for Sunday, April 2, 2006

People in the news

April 2, 2006


Farley to be on billboards for addiction treatment

Los Angeles - Chris Farley, the funnyman who died more than eight years ago of a drug overdose, is making an appearance - on billboards that advertise treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

The outdoor ads - the first major commercial use of his image approved by his family - feature a photo of the smiling, famously bloated comic with the slogan, "It wasn't all his fault." The ads tout a new addiction treatment from Hythiam Inc.

The first billboard will appear Monday near the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard, the hotel where Farley's idol, comedian John Belushi, died of a drug overdose in 1982.

"We felt it was an effective way of getting people to focus on our message point, because it's unusual to see a celebrity in this fashion," said Terren S. Peizer, Hythiam's chief executive officer.

Farley - whose wild antics on "Saturday Night Live" earned him comparisons to Belushi, another veteran of the show - died Dec. 18, 1997, in Chicago of an accidental overdose of morphine and cocaine. He was 33.

The billboards will appear in the Los Angeles area. Peizer said talks are under way with estates of several other dead celebrities, whom he declined to identify.

Hythiam paid Farley's estate $25,000 for the right to use the image.

Brad Pitt scoping property in Domincan Republic

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Brad Pitt visited the Dominican Republic this week to scout real estate.

The actor took a helicopter to the Samana peninsula, on the north coast, and the eastern towns of Miches and Punta Cana to look into real estate projects with art dealer and promoter George Nader.

He was photographed Friday afternoon after a meeting with German architects Lars Kruckeberg and Wolfram Putz at a hotel in the capital's colonial district. The architects had previously refurbished Pitt and girlfriend Angelina Jolie's house in Los Angeles.

The couple, who costarred in 2005's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," are expecting their first child this year.

Jolie - who was in the Caribbean nation in January filming the movie "The Good Shepherd" with Robert De Niro - did not accompany Pitt, said her publicist, Holly Goline, who confirmed Pitt's trip.

Pitt will narrate a series on environmentally friendly structures and sustainable architecture in June on public television.

David Lee Roth pledges to stick with radio show

New York - David Lee Roth says he won't jump from his gig as a morning radio host. Roth, who replaced shock jock Howard Stern on seven stations in January, has struggled in making the move from rock star to radio host.

But during his Friday show, the former Van Halen frontman vowed to stick with it - although he acknowledged that problems continue.

"I'm going to give it a try," Roth told his audience. "I've invested too much in this show not to."

Roth's show underwent drastic changes last week, with the removal of his three on-air sidekicks and the ditching of background music.

According to Roth, he received four letters in five days from CBS Radio officials demanding "extensive changes" in his four-hour show.

The rocker complained that CBS executives had failed to offer him enough support when the show first made its debut.

"I didn't know what I was doing," Roth said. "I asked for rehearsal, and they didn't give it to me."

Failure to comply meant "termination or disciplinary action," said Roth, whose show airs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Dallas and West Palm Beach, Fla.

Jackie Chan recovering from injury suffered during filming

Hong Kong - Jackie Chan says he's still in pain from a recent chest injury sustained while filming his latest movie, "Rob-B-Hood."

"It's still swollen. It really hurts," the 51-year-old action star told reporters Friday at the opening festivities of a Hong Kong rugby tournament.

Chan, whose screen credits include roles in the "Rush Hour" movies, said an X-ray showed no broken bones but cartilage injury.

"Breathing hurts. ... It hurts to draw my fist. It's been hard filming fight scenes these past two days," he said.

Chan was injured March 23 when a stuntman wearing the wrong shoes kicked him.

He has suffered numerous injuries performing his own stunts.

Skipped hearing could spell death for Death Row Records

Los angeles - Rap-music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight skipped a court-ordered appearance at a hearing about his assets Saturday, setting the stage for courts to take control of his Death Row Records label.

Knight has missed several hearings in a legal battle since he lost a $107 million judgment last year to Lydia Harris, a former associate who claimed she helped start the rap record empire with her former husband, Michael Harris.

Michael Harris, an imprisoned drug dealer, says he put up $1.5 million to help start the record label - an assertion Knight has repeatedly denied.

A judge last month ordered the record company into receivership, which hinged on Knight's appearance at Saturday's hearing.

A court-appointed "receiver" would take control of all assets of Death Row Records, including a music library containing the records of such artists as Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, said Steve Goldberg, attorney for Michael Harris.

Attorneys for the Harris' said they would ask that Knight be held in contempt and jailed until he participates in the hearing to disclose his assets.

"He's had his last chance as far as we're concerned," Goldberg said.

A hearing was set for Tuesday to finalize the receivership and address the contempt request.


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