News Roundup: May 21

Top Story

Penthouse magazine said on Monday it has settled a lawsuit that stems from running pictures of a topless sunbather misidentified as tennis star Anna Kournikova in its June issue, Reuters reports. The suit was brought against Penthouse‘s parent company, financially troubled General Media Communications, by Judith Soltesz-Benetton–daughter-in-law of Italian fashion designer Luciano Benetton–who is the woman shown in the pictures. Kournikova has sued Penthouse separately in a California federal court, which may be the only court where the winless-on-the-WTA-singles-tour tennis player can prove victorious.


Britney‘s self-proclaimed “living nightmare” is over, now that the pop diva is back together with beau Justin Timberlake, reports. Ms. Spears and the ‘N Sync crooner had been split for two whole months.

…and Anne Heche makes three. In July, Heche will become the third big-screen actress–following Mary-Louise Parker and Jennifer Jason Leigh–to, er, star in the Tony-winning play Proof. This will be Heche‘s Broadway debut, unless you count the time Heche‘s alter-ego Celestia was beamed down from her spaceship into the revival of Oklahoma.

In the Biz

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, who have yet to be seen in the upcoming Gigli, have already agreed to work together again, this time in Kevin Smith‘s Jersey Girl. No word yet as to which star will be featured as the titular character.

Though Spider just premiered at Cannes Tuesday, Canadian director David Cronenberg has moved on to his next project, Painkillers, which centers on the well-hidden subversive world of radical performance artists.

Tube News

Survivor‘s ratings may have eased since the original installment, but that didn’t stop the finale of Survivor: Marquesas Sunday from firmly planting CBS in the second spot–behind NBC–and spurred the Tiffany network to its highest rating among the most-coveted adult 18-to-49 demographic as May sweeps ended. ABC, which finished fourth in adults 18 to 49, did capture the highest ratings among the “Regis’ mother” demographic–we think.

Despite a meager 1.0-ish Nielsen rating, The Other Half–think The View, only with more males but less testosterone–has been inked to second-season deals in nine of the top 10 media markets countrywide, including L.A. and New York, Variety reports.

From the Didn’t We Get Rid of This After Leaving High School Department: The History Channel, a fave with in-crowd members Tony Soprano and Ozzy Osbourne, has announced five new primetime shows for the network’s upcoming season, Variety reports.

Music News

The big winner at the 2002 American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Awards was Marc Anthony, who won for outstanding male performer on one of his three trips to the podium Saturday night. Anthony beat out diva Shakira and breakthrough group Ozomatli, who each walked away with two honors.