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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Sept. 25, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

POP SINGER'S SISTERS MISSING

Two sisters of Latin pop sensation Thalia reportedly have been kidnapped.

According to newspaper reports Tuesday, the sisters of the Mexican singer-actress, who also happens to be married to Sony Music Chairman Tommy Mottola, were followed and ambushed after leaving a theater in Mexico City.

Witnesses say two cars, a minivan and a sport-utility vehicle followed actress Laura Zapata and her sister, Ernestina Sodi, late Sunday as they left a theater where Zapata had just starred in the play, "La Casa de Bernarda Alba." The occupants of the two cars are said to have gotten out when Zapata stopped at a red light, smashed the windows of her car, then grabbed both women.

Officials in Mexico City confirmed they are investigating the apparent kidnapping, however, the alleged victims' family members reportedly have refused to file a report with police or comment on the women's whereabouts.


NY JURY VIEWS RARE LENNON VIDEO

A Manhattan jury Tuesday watched rare video footage of John Lennon laughing and playing with his family outside their country home just weeks before his 1980 murder.

The video was introduced as evidence in a trial brought by the slain Beatle's widow, Yoko Ono, against Lennon's former personal assistant, Frederic Seaman.

Ono claims Seaman violated a confidentiality agreement when he published photos of the Lennons in his memoir and sold articles of Lennon's clothing to collectors.

Ono argues photographing her family was among Seaman's official duties, thereby making pictures of her, her husband and her son, her property. Seaman maintains he took the photos with his own equipment and on his own time, which he says means they belong to him.

The lawsuit demands Seaman hand over the rights to 374 photos he snapped of Lennon, as well as $75,000 he made from the sale of the Lennon's personal belongings.


NOLTE CHECKS INTO REHAB

Actor Nick Nolte, who was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol earlier this month, has reportedly checked into a Connecticut rehab center.

The New York Daily News reports the 61-year-old actor "voluntarily entered" the Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., on Sept. 14, three days after Malibu cops pulled him over for swerving and allegedly found him "drooling" and "out of it" behind the wheel of his car.

Spokesman Paul Bloch said in a statement the Oscar-nominated actor will stay at the $1,000-a-day treatment center for "as long as he feels it necessary," noting he is there to "receive advice and counseling that he feels he needs at this time."

The News reports Silver Hill is the facility where Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Gregg Allman, Oksana Baiul, Spalding Gray and Joan Kennedy previously have sought help.


'GLADIATOR' SEQUEL?

Russell Crowe's character may have died at the end of "Gladiator" but that isn't stopping some Hollywood big-wigs from considering a sequel to the Oscar-winning Best Picture of 2000.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, producers of the epic are thinking about a follow-up flick, even though most of the characters from the original met gory demises. Although one solution to the problem might be to make a prequel starring Crowe as the gladiator, Maximus, and Joaquin Phoenix as the Roman Emperor Commodus, the trade publication says that does not appear to be the direction the filmmakers are heading.

While details regarding the project are vague, the story for "Gladiator 2" reportedly is set 15 years after Maximus' heroic death. The film, which most likely will be written by Oscar nominee John Logan, is not expected to hit the big-screen until at least 2005.

© 2002 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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