News Roundup: Oct. 23

Top Story

Organizers of three all-star benefit concerts this weekend have so far raised an estimated at $17 million, The Associated Press reports. The New York concert, which featured Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Elton John, raised approximately $14 million while the United We Stand concert in Washington raised about $3 million. Ticket sales figures for the Nashville charity concert were not available Monday. A concert in Seattle featuring R.E.M. also raised $1 million for a United Nations food program.


Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were married Monday in a private ceremony by a Las Vegas judge, Reuters reports. The two are expecting their first child in December.

In Courts

An independent inquiry found significant failings in the care of paranoid schizophrenic Michael Abram, who stabbed former Beatle George Harrison at his home in December 1999. The probe found that Abram went untreated despite numerous contacts with mental health and drug services before he was discharged from a psychiatric hospital in November 1999. The report also criticized community health services for not notifying Abram’s family after his discharge, Reuters reports.

O.J. Simpson testified at his road rage trial in Miami that Jeffrey Pattinson “puffed up like a bullfrog and went off,” reports. Pattinson, who lives near Simpson, claims Simpson ran a stop sign and flew into a rage when he honked his horn. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in 1995, but was later held responsible for their deaths in a civil trial.

James Brown‘s former security chief pleaded guilty to forgery, property damage and stealing $75,000 from the singer, AP reports. Richard Glenn, who was arrested in May 2000 after a fire destroyed a business office for James Brown Enterprises, was sentenced to 15 years on Friday.


Country singer Johnny Cash was released from Baptist Hospital in Nashville Monday after recovering from a two-week bout with bronchitis, Reuters reports. Cash was admitted to the hospital Oct. 7. He suffers from autonomic neuropathy, which makes him susceptible to pneumonia.

In General

Fox on Monday announced plans to re-release Moulin Rouge on Nov. 21, with special engagements in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. According to Variety, the theatrical re-release will not affect its home video release on Dec. 18.

First week sales for Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace have set a record with an estimated 2.2 million DVD units purchased by consumers since its release on Oct. 16, Variety reports. The sales equate to more than $45 million in consumer spending on the DVD.

Jerry Springer will be replacing talk show host Dick Cavett in the production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show reopening on Broadway Oct. 30. According to Variety, Springer played the narrator 20 years ago in a Cincinnati Playhouse production of Rocky Horror.

While the Spice Girls have not decided whether to split the band, two members have confirmed they have dumped their manager Nancy Phillips. Melanie Brown and Victoria Beckham blame Phillips for their lack of success as solo artists, the BBC reports. Meanwhile, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell will be launching a sex education Web site this week aimed at children under the age of 16.