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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Dec. 20, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

DICK CLARK

The man known as the "world's oldest teenager" is suing the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for more than $10 million.

Dick Clark -- whose company, Dick Clark Productions Inc., produces the American Music Awards -- accuses NARAS President and CEO Michael Greene of implementing a black list preventing performers from appearing on both the AMA and the Grammies telecasts.

Clark appeared visibly upset as he announced details of the lawsuit at a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Wednesday. He said during the past several years, artists who have wanted to perform on both shows -- including Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Toni Braxton -- "have been precluded from doing so because of this arbitrary and unfair policy."

In papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Clark alleged that Spears withdrew from the American Music Awards show two years ago -- after his production company had announced her performance and built an elaborate set for her -- because Greene told her that she would not be able to appear on the Grammys telecast if she also did the AMA show.

Clark said he spoke to Greene following the incident and that Greene said at the time that the "situation is indeed out of control." He said Greene promised him "the blacklist policy would be terminated." However, the lawsuit alleges that as recently as last month, Greene caused Jackson to breach an oral contract with Clark to appear on the upcoming 29th Annual American Music Awards, to perform and to receive an Artist of the Century award.

Clark accused Greene of "intentional interference" that will hurt the AMA's TV ratings and diminish the value of the Jan. 9 televised on ABC.

In response, NARAS denied any wrongdoing and called the suit "nothing more than a last-minute publicity stunt created in hopes of driving some attention to the plaintiff's show by attacking the Grammy Awards."

Nominations for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards will be announced Jan. 4. The awards will be presented Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, in ceremonies to be televised on CBS.

Although the suit indicates Jackson breached a contract to appear on the AMA, Clark said he is not taking any legal action against Jackson.

"I've known Michael Jackson since he was a kid," said Clark. "To have another party interfere with that friendship makes me very, very angry. This lawsuit is confined to C. Michael Greene." He added that he and Jackson will "stay friends forever, despite this bump in the road."


DREW BARRYMORE

Drew Barrymore has issued a public statement on the breakup of her marriage to MTV comedian Tom Green, less than six months after they took their vows.

"I love Tom very much. He has always been a great friend, and that won't change," said Barrymore.

Green filed for divorce Monday in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences, but issued a statement saying he still loves the star of "Charlie's Angels," "Riding in Cars with Boys" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial."

"Drew is a wonderful woman," he said. "I love her very much. I wish our marriage could have worked out. I wish her much happiness."

Gossip columnist Mitchell Fink reports Barrymore was still wearing her wedding ring Monday night at a benefit in East Rutherford, N.J., for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- and that as recently as last week, she was telling interviews her personal life is going great. He asked Barrymore's new publicist, Jennifer Allen if there's any chance the breakup is one of Green's well-known put-ons. "I've only worked with Drew for the past six weeks," said Allen, "but I don't think the breakup is a hoax."

(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


JOAN COLLINS

Actress Joan Collins, best known for her long-running role on "Dynasty" and her flamboyant lifestyle, says she will marry her boyfriend -- who is 32 years younger than she.

Her publicist says the 68-year-old Collins will marry 36-year-old theater manager Percy Gibson. The marriage is planned for February, with few other details released.

The couple first met during her national tour in "Love Letters." Gibson also collaborated with Collins on her newest novel, "Star Quality."

The actress's most recent stage appearance was in the London production of "Over the Moon" in which she made instant tabloid headlines by wearing a revealing black outfit on stage.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


ENTERTAINING THE TROOPS

Wayne Newton and comic actor Drew Carey are among the entertainers who'll be heading overseas this holiday season to bring some cheer to U.S. troops.

The USO "We Deliver America" tour --- sponsored by Nissan North America --- will bring the celebrities to undisclosed locations to entertain service personnel on land and at sea. Also taking part in the tour --- pop singer Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees, comedian Louis Dix, country singer Neal McCoy and some of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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