A Santa Monica, Calif., physician whose name appeared in a Los Angeles County probation report released in the course of Winona Ryder's sentencing on shoplifting charges denied Monday that he knowingly allowed patients to abuse drugs, People.com reports. Dr. Jules Lusman, who reportedly specializes in laser hair removal and skin resurfacing, had his license revoked Friday by the Medical Board of California for incompetence in the case of eight patients, although Ryder was not
identified by name. Lusman blamed his downfall on a handful of "problem patients" and told Inside Edition, "I certainly did not believe at the time I attended to (Ryder) professionally that she was in an abusive situation." At the time of Ryder's arrest last year, Beverly Hills police found a syringe and seven different kinds of painkillers. According to the probation report, Ryder received 37 medications from 20 doctors between January 1996 and December 1998. Ryder's publicist's office reportedly denies knowing if the actress was Lusman's patient or not.
Britney Spears sought a restraining order Monday against a man who allegedly stalked her at her home and her parents' home, Reuters reports. Court papers identify Spears' alleged stalker as Masahiko Shizawa, a 41-year-old resident of Japan. Shizawa has been ordered to stay at least 1,000 yards away from the singer at all times.
Actor Tom Sizemore was arrested Saturday for allegedly punching his girlfriend (NOT, police say, onetime madam Heidi Fleiss--the two reportedly split up in recent weeks) in the face and throwing her to the ground. He was later released on $2,500 bail, Reuters reports. The actor, best known for his role as Sergeant Horvath in Saving Private Ryan, was ordered to appear in court Jan. 8 for arraignment.
Forty years of crashing guitar riffs has reportedly taken its toll on The Who guitarist Pete Townshend. Britain's The Sun newspaper quoted the rock legend as saying his hearing has worsened since that band's U.S. tour last year. "My right ear, which encounters my own edgy guitar and the machine-gun strokes of the drums, has suffered badly," he told the paper.
Dreamworks is in negotiations with director Gore Verbinski and scribe Ehren Kruger for a sequel to the hit thriller The Ring, Variety reports. The film, which revolved around a killer videotape, was a surprise hit this fall and has already grossed $123 million at the North American box office.
Saturday Night Live alum Cheri Oteri has joined the cast of New Line Cinema's When Harry Met Lloyd: Dumb & Dumberer, a prequel to the 1994 blockbuster Dumb & Dumber that starred Jim Carrey. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oteri will play Ms. Heller, a high school cafeteria teacher. The film also stars Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson.
Sex and the City writer Cindy Chupack has signed a seven-figure deal with HBO that calls for her to continue as an executive producer on the show and develop new projects for the TV network, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chupak joined Sex in its second season and has written 11 episodes of the show.
R&B singer Ashanti and rapper Nelly cleaned up at the 2002 Billboard Music Awards Monday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Nickelback, Creed and Puddle of Mudd followed with four honors each, Billboard.com reports. Ashanti took home eight awards, including R&B/hip-hop artist of the year, while Nelly pocketed six, including the coveted artist of the year honor.