Top Story: Will & Grace‘s Morrison Charged
Best known as the sharp-tongued maid Rosario on NBC’s Will & Grace, actress Shelley Morrison, who was arrested April 23 for allegedly trying to steal costume jewelry valued at $446 from a Los Angeles department store, will not be charged with a felony, the L.A. County District Attorney told Reuters. Even though the amount is officially over the cutoff of $400, authorities have decided to charge the 66-year-old actress with a misdemeanor. Alleged theft amounts are “generally upwards to $1,000 before we start considering felony prosecution,” District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told Reuters. Morrison‘s lawyer, Donald Etra, told Reuters his client was “relieved and gratified that she is not being charged with a felony.” He added: “At this point, she stands innocent.” Morrison was released on $20,000 bail and her arraignment is set for May 14.
Tribeca Film Festival Picks Eclectic Group to Judge
The 2nd annual Tribeca Film Festival has decided to pick a varying group to judge their films in competition. According to The Associated Press, the list includes Queen Noor of Jordon; filmmaker Michael Moore; actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Candice Bergen; documentarian Barbara Kopple; Traffic screenwriter Stephen Gaghan; fashion designer Miuccia Prada; Sheila Nevins, vice president of HBO and Cinemax, and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. The festival runs May 3-11.
AMPAS Honors Director Vincente Minnelli
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a program tonight in tribute to the late Vincente Minnelli, City News Service reports, to honor the centennial of the director’s birth. Minnelli directed such classic musicals as Gigi and Meet Me in St. Louis and films such as the original Father of the Bride and Lust for Life. Leslie Caron, Cyd Charisse and Kirk Douglas, each of whom starred in Minnelli‘s films, are scheduled to participate in the program.
Actor Conaway Sues Las Vegas Hotel
Actor Jeff Conaway, co-star of the hit ’80s show Taxi, has sued the Las Vegas hotel Mandalay Bay, claiming security guards broke his arm in June 2002 when he was staying there. According to AP, Conaway had been gambling in the establishment but, after awhile, was repeatedly told he was not allowed to continue to gamble. When the 52-year-old actor asked to speak to a supervisor, he was surrounded by security guards who “viciously, and without provocation … violently slammed him to the floor of the casino,” AP reports the suit claims. Officials from the hotel had no comment.
Mr. T Wants Some Respect
In more legal news, Mr. T, aka Laurence Tureaud, slapped a lawsuit against Best Buy Co., Inc., claiming the nation’s largest electronics company used a likeness of him in a print ad without his permission, AP reports. The suit claims the ads are devaluing a “unique persona that (he) developed for (more than) 20 years and is of great economic value to him.” The 52-year-old actor of the hit ’80s TV series The A-Team is seeking unspecified damages.
Michael Jackson’s Home Videos a Ratings Dud
Apparently, no one wants to see Michael Jackson‘s attempts at being normal. According to AP, the Fox special Michael Jackson’s Home Videos did poorly when it aired last Thursday, only snagging 7.8 million viewers. This pales in comparison to the 27.1 million people who tuned in last February to watch British journalist Martin Bashir’s interview with the self-proclaimed King of Pop.
Great White Will Do Benefit Tour
Surviving members of the metal rock band Great White will do a nationwide tour to raise money for the families of the victims who died in a tragic club fire Feb. 20. “Their thoughts from the beginning have been, ‘What are we going to do to help the victims?’ And the only thing they do is perform,” Great White’s attorney Ed McPherson told AP. The band’s guitarist Ty Longley was among the 99 people who were killed when pyrotechnics ignited the roof of the Rhode Island club.
Music Industry Continues Fight Against Piracy
The record industry continued their war against online piracy when an instant message went out Tuesday warning hundreds of thousands of users of the song-swapping Internet sites Grokster and Kazaa that they could be “easily” identified and face “legal penalties” for their actions, Reuters reports. Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America told Reuters millions more will get notices in coming weeks.
Role Call: Crow 4 on the Way, Dunst Gets Mushy at Wimbledon
Dimension Films has decided to resurrect the Crow franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Boreanaz, Edward Furlong, Dennis Hopper and Tara Reid will star in Wicked Prayer, the fourth installment of the supernatural series about the afterlife and retribution…On the lighter side, Kirsten Dunst and A Beautiful Mind‘s Paul Bettany will star in the romantic comedy Wimbledon. AP reports the film revolves around a nearly washed up British tennis player (Bettany), who gets into Wimbledon and falls for an up-and-coming American tennis player (Dunst).