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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Feb. 4, 2003 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

PHIL SPECTOR CHARGED WITH MURDER

Legendary record producer Phil Spector was charged with murder Monday in connection with the death of an unidentified woman.

Police in California confirm the 62-year-old kingmaker was taken into custody after a woman was found slain in his mansion in suburban Los Angeles. The producer, who helped launch the careers of Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers, was arrested at his home and taken to the Alhambra Police Department, authorities say.

Although Spector owns the house where the woman was discovered dead, the victim's identity and relationship to Spector were not immediately disclosed.

The news Web site Ananova.com says neighbors alerted police after hearing gunshots and officers arrived at the property at around 5 a.m. Spector was taken into custody for questioning and later charged.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department told Ananova, "Mr. Spector has been booked and charged with murder."

Bail was set at $1 million and Spector is expected to appear in court later this week.


JACKSON DOCUMENTARY AIRS IN ENGLAND

"Living With Michael Jackson," a documentary of the eccentric pop star, was set to air Monday night in the United Kingdom.

British journalist Martin Bashir reportedly was given unlimited access to Jackson and his "Neverland" ranch for the show.

The British Broadcasting Corp. says the reporter also was present during the infamous "baby dangling" incident in Germany when Jackson held his son over a balcony to show waiting fans beneath.

Claims Bashir, "Not one of his entourage was prepared to tell him it was ludicrous and dangerous."

The 90-minute documentary, which was filmed over the course of eight months, also sees Jackson spending $6 million on a shopping excursion in Las Vegas, the BBC reports.

Bashir told the London Sunday Times Jackson bought "everything from 10 foot-tall glass urns to over-sized marble chess sets," even though "he's already got three of these."

The documentary producers have said no line of questioning was off limits and no money was paid to the singer. The BBC also notes Granada Television, the company that produced the film, is set to make millions from overseas sales of with America's ABC network reportedly paying millions for the rights.

Explains Bashir: "In many ways he is charming. In others he is a disturbing individual whose financial power enables him to do what he wants when he wants."

Bashir is best-known to Americans as the journalist who got Diana, Princess of Wales, to dish about her failing marriage to Prince Charles.


'DAWSON'S CREEK' RUNS DRY ON THE WB

The WB has announced plans to cancel its once-popular teen drama, "Dawson's Creek."

TV Guide Online says the series will end its five-year run in May with a two-hour finale to air May 14.

It doesn't look like 20-something stars James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson will be collecting unemployment insurance for long -- all have been moonlighting as movie actors for the past few years.

© 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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