News Roundup: Jan. 4

Top Story

Slash, once the jammin’ guitarist of rock band Guns N’Roses, was banned by lead singer Axl Rose from the revamped G N’R’s concert on Sunday at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel. Acting on Rose’s orders, security guards turned Slash away at the door when he tried to get into the sold-out show. Rose told ABC that he would walk off the stage if he saw any of the former band members in the audience. It was only the second time in eight years Rose and his new band has performed for an American audience.

In General

Hassan Tantai, an actor in the new Afghanistan film Kandahar, has turned out to be American David Belfield, a wanted assassin and terrorist. Maryland’s Montgomery County State’s Attorney Douglas Gansler confirmed to the Associated Press that Tantai and Belfield are indeed the same man who killed an Iranian dissident in Washington, D.C., in 1980 and then fled to Iran. The film’s director, Mohsen Makhmabalaf, has denied any knowledge of the actor’s past history.

Director/actor Ed Burns and his fiancee, supermodel Christy Turlington, closed on two adjacent triplex penthouses in Manhattan for $8 million, The Post reports.

French designer Yves Saint Laurent has scheduled a press conference with Paris fashion editors for Monday, fueling speculation of his impending retirement. The 65-year-old fashion designer, rumored ill, recently handed over his ready-to-wear operation to Gucci designer Tom Ford and has only been working on two exclusive haute couture collections per year.

Due to her feminist principles, plus-size model Emme turned down Hugh Hefner’s invitation to pose for Playboy magazine–although she takes it as a compliment. In an interview with People magazine, the 38-year-old admitted, “I was pretty slack-jawed,” about the invite and added, “I want to frame this letter and put it in my office.”


Veteran Hollywood director and animator David Swift, best known for directing the film How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and the original The Parent Trap and for creating the 1950s TV show Mr. Peepers, died of a heart attack Dec. 31 at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 82. He is survived by his wife, Micheline, two daughters and two grandchildren.

Actress and model Catya Sassoon, daughter of hairstylist Vidal Sassoon, died in her sleep after attending a New Year’s party at a friend’s house in Los Angeles. She was 33. Her manager, Hilly Elkins, said she suffered from high blood pressure. Sassoon also had admitted to having severe drug and alcohol problems in her younger years.


Three men were arrested in conjunction with the robbery of actress Kim Novak‘s rural home Dec. 26, where more than $20,000 worth of firearms and tools were stolen. The men broke into the home through a paneled door. The stolen property was recovered.

Ronrico Madison has been indicted on mail and wire fraud charges for impersonating R&B singers Ginuwine and DeVante of the group Jodeci. Madison attempted to get models’ phone numbers and have the victims’ pay his personal bills under the guise of the singers.