News Roundup: June 20


Top Story

Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of disorderly conduct and assault and battery, The Associated Press reports. Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, was charged with sexual misconduct for allegedly gyrating against a security guard during a July 2001 concert at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Michigan. Manson was ordered to pay fines totaling $4,000.

Manson‘s litigation nightmares are far from over. He is also being sued by security guards who accuse him of similar behavior during an October 2000 concert in Minneapolis, and an August 2001 show in Long Island, N.Y. In a separate case, the mother of a woman who died when she drove her car into some parked cars is also suing him for wrongful death, claiming Manson gave her daughter drugs and sent her home.


The manager of the theater where Madonna is making her London stage debut has apparently quit over what he says is the star’s never-ending demands and quest for total control. According to the London Evening Standard, William Ingrey, who has spent nearly 30 years at the theater, had become exasperated by all the fuss surrounding Madonna and told colleagues he was “unable to cope with constraints put upon him to satisfy the needs of the present productions.”

It’s a girl for singer Brandy and her producer husband, Robert Smith, the AP reports. Brandy’s first child, named Sy’rai, was born on Father’s Day, two days before an MTV series on her pregnancy debuted. Diary Presents: Brandy–Special Delivery, will run for about four or five episodes.

Vanna White, Wheel of Fortune‘s famed letter turner, has filed for divorce from her husband of 11 years, restaurateur George Santo Pietro. A spokeswoman for the show told Reuters that the two are not bitter and remain good friends. The couple has two children–a daughter, 5, and a son, 8.


Actress Liv Tyler is in negotiations to join the cast of Miramax Films’ Jersey Girl, which is scheduled to begin production Aug. 12 in Philadelphia, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The role would reunite Tyler with her Armageddon co-star Ben Affleck. The film, directed by Kevin Smith, also stars Jennifer Lopez.

Robert Luketic, who directed last year’s sleeper hit Legally Blonde, is in talks to helm the DreamWorks comedy Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, reports Variety. The film follows a young grocery clerk who leaves West Virginia for the West Coast after winning a date with Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor.


Actor/comedian Damon Wayans is outraged over Fox’s decision to move The Bernie Mac Show from its original 9 p.m. time slot to 8 p.m., when it will air opposite WayansMy Wife and Kids on ABC on Wednesdays. Wayans told The Los Angeles Times, “The networks should not be playing checkers with two shows about African-American families that are working….It’s divide and conquer.” My Wife and Kids earned Wayans a People’s Choice Award for favorite male performer on a TV series, while The Bernie Mac Show recently took home a Peabody Award.

Nickelodeon’s special on gay parenting, My Family Is Different, pulled in strong ratings despite protests from conservative groups accusing the network of “homosexual advocacy.” According to Variety, the program brought in 976,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demographic, a record for the kids’ cable channel’s news specials. In kids 12-17, 145,000 teens tuned in.