Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  Oct. 29, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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The attorney defending actor Robert Blake against charges he killed his wife last year has quit the case.

Harland Braun told United Press International Monday he decided to stop representing Blake because he objected to the actor's decision to discuss his case with TV reporter Diane Sawyer Friday.

The judge presiding over the Blake case will have to decide whether to accept Braun's resignation. Until the judge comes to a decision, Braun will remain the attorney of record in this case.

Blake is charged with killing his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, last year outside a restaurant where they had dined. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 11.

CBSNews.com legal analyst Andrew Cohen says Blake's attorney has made the right decision.

"Braun is getting out of Dodge while the getting is good because Blake is about to make a monumentally bad decision that is sure to increase his chances of being convicted, whether he is guilty or not," Cohen said. "And Braun's not being disloyal, either. He's simply following the rules that help govern the relationship between lawyer and client; rules that allow a lawyer to fire a client from time to time."


Earlier this year, "Jackass" creator Johnny Knoxville admitted he was as surprised as anyone by the popularity of his MTV reality show, which features amateur daredevils performing dangerous, sometimes disgusting stunts. The success of "Jackass: The Movie" must have surpassed Knoxville's wildest dreams then when it topped the box office this weekend, earning $22.7 million.

With its boffo debut, "Jackass" mule-kicked last weekend's No. 1 horror flick, "The Ring," into second place with 18.8 million. Taking the No. 3 slot was another scary movie, "Ghost Ship," which earned $11.7 million in its first weekend.

Rounding out the weekend's top five were the romantic comedies "Sweet Home Alabama," which made $6.4 million, and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," with $6.32 million.


"Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon reportedly is thinking about ending the critically acclaimed UPN drama this season.

"Nothing's official, but it's starting to feel possible," Whedon told TV Guide Online. "The way people are talking, there's a finality to it."

UPN's 44-episode deal with show producer Twentieth Television is set to expire in May. A UPN spokeswoman said the network could, if Whedon leaves, explore ways to bring the show back or create a spinoff.

The series, which has an enormous cult following, chronicles the adventures of a 20-something vampire slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her pals (Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon and James Marsters) as they save the world from various monsters, demons and gods, while overcoming everyday trials and tribulations like college, romance, family relationships, and career goals.

Based on a 1992 film of the same name, "Buffy," the series originally aired on the WB network in 1997. It moved to UPN last year and now is in its sixth season.


Gorgeous Mexican actress Salma Hayek says she is grateful for the attention Madonna brought to artist Frida Kahlo, but admits she is glad the pop singer decided not to star in the bio-pic based on her life.

Noting several filmmakers and studios had said they were working on Frida projects in the mid- to late-1990s, Hayek told reporters in Toronto recently: "I had them working on this project six years (ago.) I'm not sure those projects were ever there. Publicly they were saying they were making these films, but you never know...

"The truth is that Madonna was going to do it way before and then gave up on it," she said. "I'm really grateful to Madonna because she took interest in this Mexican artist very early on before people knew about Frida. And because everyone wants to know what Madonna is doing it brought a lot of attention to this character that later on helped us get this movie made, so if anything, I am grateful for her appreciating her art and her culture," said the "Desperado" and "Dogma" star.

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