News Roundup: July 15

In Court

Rap artist Beanie Sigel was charged with assault for attacking a man on the
South Philadelphia street from which he derived his hip-hop moniker, police
told Reuters on Saturday.

Connie Stevens has appealed a reversed $4.3 judgement made by the San
Francisco State Supreme Court against her former manager, Norton Styne, who in
1998 claimed the singer owed him royalties from sales of her cosmetics line
on the Home Shopping Network. Stevens is testifying that
Styne was an unlicensed agent at the time, violating the state’s Talent
Agencies Act, The Associated Press reports.


The Indian film Sandstorm, based on the true story of a low-caste
woman who was gang-raped for criticizing child marriages, won the best feature
film award at Zanzibar’s Festival of the Dhow Countries on Saturday, the
Associated Press reports. Directed by Jag Mohan, the heroine of the film
seeks justice against the group of upper-caste men who raped her, confronting
sexism and political opportunism in the Indian judiciary.

At an inaugural annual festival in Rochester to celebrate the accomplishments
of women in film, Jackie Brown star Pam Grier will be presented with a
career achievement award on Oct. 20, Friday’s Rochester Democrat and

In General

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon helped sponsor a contest to help produce an
aspiring script writer’s film, then documented the process for Project
, a 13-episode documentary debuting on HBO in December.
According to the Associated Press, the documentary includes uncensored,
behind-the-scenes arguing about budgets and script revisions with Pete Jones,
a Chicago insurance salesman, who was selected from more than 7,000 entrants
for his script Stolen Summer.

The members of ‘N Sync offered the Backstreet Boys’ A.J. McLean their condolences
while he spends 30 days at a rehab clinic for depression and alcohol abuse.
“I really don’t know what to say about that, except for, you know, I hope he
gets better,” Chasez said in a telephone press conference Friday, reports. “It’s kind of sad that he’s got a problem like that,
and I wish the guy the best. I hope he pulls it together. At least he’s
admitted to himself that he has a problem. And that’s pretty much the first

Folk musician Joan Baez has canceled her appearance at the Singer Songwriter
Weekend festival on July 21 because of her sister’s life-threatening cancer.
According to AP, the festival, sponsored by WXPN-FM, the public radio station
at the University of Pennsylvania, will continue with other performers,
including Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer.