News, Feb. 25: Busta Rhymes’ SUV Shot At; Jackson Back in Court, More…

Top Story: Busta Rhymes’ SUV Sprayed with Bullets

The Associated Press reports police are still looking for the suspect who fired gunshots at Busta Rhymes‘ black GMC Suburban Friday night after the rapper left it parked on a Manhattan street in front of his management company Violator Records. Last month, an unknown assailant also fired shots into the Violator offices. No one was injured in either shooting.

Ex-Heartbreakers Bassist Dies

Musician Howie Epstein, the former bassist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, died in a New Mexico hospital Sunday night, Reuters reports. He was 47. Epstein was booted from the band last May due to legal and drug problems. His cause of death was not immediately known but an overdose is suspected.

George Harrison’s First Guitar on Display

A small acoustic wooden guitar the late George Harrison bought in the mid-1950s went on display at the Beatles museum in Liverpool Tuesday, Reuters reports. Valued at $800,000, the guitar has been loaned indefinitely to the museum. Harrison died in November 2001 of throat cancer.

King of Pop Back in Court

According to AP, Michael Jackson filed a court injunction Monday against Martin Bashir and Granada Television to block them from releasing unused footage from their 90-minute documentary Living with Michael Jackson. Jackson and his company MJJ Productions Inc. said in a statement Monday the unseen footage should be held until wider disputes are settled–specifically whether Bashir “breached the terms on which he was permitted to film Jackson.”

The “Love Rat” Sues FOX News

Princess Diana’s former love, James Hewitt, known in the British tabloids as the “Love Rat,” has filed a $1 million breach of contract suit against FOX News, Reuters reports. Hewitt, who is also a former British Army commander and Gulf War vet, claims he was fired as a war correspondent for the news organization after he allegedly leaked the terms of his deal to London’s Daily Mirror.

MTV Nixes Rap Contest After Fans Go Haywire

MTV had to cancel their plans to hold a weeklong MC Battles rapping contest after thousands of wannabes who were lined up Monday outside Times Square in New York started pushing and shoving in the streets. Reuters reports a police statement said two police officers were injured and four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.

Pat Robertson Returns to the Pulpit

Hallelujah! A week after successful surgery to remove a cancerous prostate gland, evangelist Pat Robertson returned to spread the Word on his television program The 700 Club, AP reports. Robertson, 72, said in a statement he hopes his example will serve as a reminder to men older than 50 to get early screenings for prostate cancer.

ROLE CALL: Daniel Day-Lewis, wife Rebecca Miller Team Up; Peter O’Toole, Julie Christie Head to Troy

Variety reports Oscar nominee Daniel Day-Lewis will join his wife, director/writer Rebecca Miller, on their first collaboration together, the family drama Rose and the Snake. Day-Lewis will play the father of a 16-year-old, both living in an abandoned commune on an island off the northwest coast of Canada. British thesps Peter O’Toole and Julie Christie join the star-studded cast of Wolfgang Petersen‘s Greek epic Troy, including Brad Pitt as Achilles and Orlando Bloom as Paris. According to Variety, the search to cast the part of Helen of Troy, “the face that launched 1,000 ships,” is still in progress.

ROLE CALL, Part II: Rob Lowe Battles Vampires; The Witching Hour Approaches

Ex West Wing-er Rob Lowe will star in the TNT miniseries Salem’s Lot, based on the Stephen King book about a small Maine town being taken over by vampires. And speaking of the supernatural, Variety reports Columbia Pictures’ has two witch projects in the works–a remake of the 1942 comedy I Married a Witch, with Danny DeVito on board to helm and Tom Cruise to possibly star; and the big-screen treatment of the 1960s TV hit Bewitched, with Nicole Kidman attached to star and writer/director Nora Ephron on board to write and possibly direct.