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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Jan. 23, 2003 at 3:00 AM
R. KELLY ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORN

R. Kelly was arrested in Florida Wednesday after police allegedly discovered digital photos of the R&B singer having sex with a very young, unidentified girl.

Kelly, who was once married to the late singer Aaliyah when she was under-age, already faces child pornography charges in Illinois. Kelly and Aaliyah's marriage was annulled after her parents found out about it.

Arrested at a Miami-Dade County hotel, the Grammy Award-winning performer was released from jail on $12,000 bond about three hours later.

A statement issued by Allan Mayer, Kelly's representative, described the arrest as "a classic case of piling on, in which a local jurisdiction tries to make headlines by attaching itself to a celebrity case."

Mayer's statement continued: "As far as we can tell, the charges all relate to R. Kelly's arrest last summer. In other words, there is nothing new here."

The 36-year-old singer has been out on bond and awaiting trial in Chicago on 21 counts of child pornography, stemming from the discovery of a videotape investigators claim shows him having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Alleged copies of the tawdry tape were sold by street vendors in several major U.S. cities.

The latest charges reportedly were filed after pornographic digital images were found stored in the camera equipment police seized from Kelly's rented home last June.


HOLLYWOOD WRITERS LOSE AGE CASE

A Los Angeles judge has ruled against a group of Hollywood writers in a class-action age discrimination suit against studios, networks and agencies.

The judge ruled the plaintiffs could not press the suit under California law, and may proceed in federal court -- but only with individual suits rather than a class action.

Twenty-eight TV writers over the age of 40 filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in 2000, accusing the major TV networks, studios and talent agencies of intentionally engaging in age discrimination in hiring writers.

The plaintiffs include Tracy Keenan Wynn, 57, whose work includes "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman"; Ann Marcus, who is in her 70s, whose credits include "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," "Knots Landing" and "Falcon

Crest"; Jay Moriarty, 54, who worked on "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons" and "Maude"; and Art Eisenson, 60, whose credits include "Kojak."

The defendants include NBC, the Walt Disney Co. and ABC, Fox Entertainment Group, Time-Warner, Viacom and CBS, Columbia TriStar, DreamWorks and talent agencies such as CAA, ICM and the William Morris Agency.

The federal suit alleged violations of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Labor Management Relations Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. After a federal court ruled there was no basis for a class action suit in the matter, the plaintiffs refiled in state court.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy ruled Tuesday since the plaintiffs already had filed in federal court, they could not refile the same claims in state court.

Paul Sprenger, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, told United Press International he will continue to press the issue.

(Thanks to UPI's Pat Nason in Los Angeles.)


BELL TOLLS FOR BEE GEES

The unexpected death of Bee Gee Maurice Gibb has the family band talking about quitting.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Maurice's twin brother, Robin, says the band will no longer record new music or perform concerts, contradicting statements a third brother, Barry Gibb, has made about the group continuing as a tribute to Maurice.

Maurice died in Miami earlier this month.

"The Bee Gees to us was the three brothers," Robin explained. "In Maurice's name we would respect that and not be the Bee Gees any more."

Robin says that does not mean he and Barry will stop making music all together; they simply won't do it under the Bee Gee banner.

"Anything (Barry and I) do, we will do together, but it'll be as brothers and not under the name of the Bee Gees," Robin said. "We don't want to be the Bee Gees again."

The Miami hospital that treated Maurice says he died from a cardiac arrest during emergency abdominal surgery on Jan. 12.


OSBOURNES TO STAR IN PEPSI COMMERCIAL

Pepsi's new Super Bowl commercial will really have a new twist.

The 45-second spot will feature foul-mouthed Jack and Kelly Osbourne unwrapping their faces to reveal they are actually wholesome Donny and Marie Osmond.

More than 100 million viewers are expected to see the premiere of the hilarious commercial for new, lemon-flavored Pepsi Twist.

As they begin to sing, the scene cuts to a horrified Ozzy Osbourne awaking from a nightmare and crying out for his wife, Sharon, reports Media Guardian.

But that's not all. The final scene reveals the woman lying in bed next to the prince of bleeping darkness is not his wife, but "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson.


EVERYBODY LOVES WINONA?

Winona Ryder is negotiating for her first acting job since being convicted of shoplifting last year.

The "Age of Innocence" star reportedly is in negotiations to appear in "Eulogy," a new black comedy opposite "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Ray Romano and "Terms of Endearment" actress Debra Winger.

If she signs up, "Eulogy" will be the 30-year-old actress' first flick since being sentenced to three years' probation and community service for stealing nearly $5,000 in clothes and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.


COLIN FARRELL, ON SWEARING...

Reporters who have interviewed Irish actor Colin Farrell were not surprised he slipped and swore on air during the Golden Globes pre-show Sunday. In fact, the handsome "Minority Report" and "Daredevil" star is famous for his salty language.

"I seem to remember my dad always giving me grief for swearing and then I'd hear him (cursing) on the phone with his business partners," Farrell told reporters in New York. "I don't usually swear in a very aggressive way. It's usually just my language is peppered with it. It's not a conscious decision to swear. I'm not trying to be cool or street... I think 'f---' is a great word if used correctly. I think it's a really great word. I think it's expressive. It has a nice music to my ear."

© 2003 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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