News Roundup: Oct. 26

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Model Niki Taylor said that she has lost some of her hair and may require back surgery to fix a curvature of the spine when she gave her first interview to Us Weekly magazine on Thursday. Taylor said she suffers from constant pain, lingering nightmares and has had about 40 surgical procedures. “I now have scars all over my stomach – it looks like I have a 16-pack,” she told the publication. Taylor added that the scoliosis resulted for her two-month stay in bed. Antibiotics caused the hair loss, and the sides of her legs are numb due to nerve damage. “When I look in the mirror, I see a survivor. I see a fragile but strong person. And I love her,” she said.


Television producer Aaron Spelling received the lifetime achievement award from The Friars Club of California on Oct. 24 for the hours of television entertainment he has provided to audiences worldwide and for his efforts in the Los Angeles community, The Associated Press reports. Some of his biggest television hits include Beverly Hills 90210, Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty and Fantasy Island. Proceeds from the event went to the Friars Charitable Foundation, City of Hope National Medical Center and the Sept. 11 Fund for victims of last month’s terrorist attacks.

The American Film Institute will honor actor Tom Hanks with the 30th AFI Life Achievement Award for his commitment and understanding of American history during a ceremony at Hollywood’s new Kodak Theater on June 22. “Tom Hanks is American film’s every man for a new generation,” AFI board of trustees chairman Howard Stringer told Reuters. The ceremony will be aired by USA Network on June 23.

In General

Michael Jackson will give a sneak preview of his upcoming release Invincible on his official Web site,, on Oct. 26. According to a Michael Jackson press release, the King of Pop will log on for a live audio chat at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT and the 24-hour streaming of his new album will begin at 12 p.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT.

Producers of the syndicated show Crossing Over With John Edward have decided to not air footage of the host trying to contact people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Reuters reports. Edward, who claims to communicate with the dead, recently taped some “readings” for viewers who asked him to contact their relatives. Although producers claim that the show was “inundated with calls and pleas for readings,” they decided that the subject matter was too sensitive to air on television.

Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has reportedly bought a huge villa north of Denmark and plans to settle there, Se & Hoer (See & Hear), a popular Danish magazine reported on Oct. 25. The magazine also said that Tyson felt safer living in Denmark after the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, Reuters reports.

Michael J. Fox helped the University of California, San Francisco to kick off a drive on Oct. 24 to raise $1.4 billion to help its medical research institute find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. “It’s been a tremendous blessing to me in many ways,” Fox told AP of his diagnosis. “It has opened my eyes to the staggering work researchers are doing.”

The producers of the Broadway musical The Producers are trying to undercut illegal ticket sales by setting aside 50 tickets to each show and charging $480 per ticket, AP reports. The decision was made after months of watching scalpers resell tickets for staggering prices. “Those moneys belong to the people who created the show, pure and simple,” Rocco Landesman, one of the play’s producers told The New York Times on Oct. 24. The producers will donate $150 from every $480 ticket to the Twin Towers Fund for several months.

Barbara Streisand has sold her six-room pad on the 20th floor in the Ardsley building on Central Park West and 92nd Street for $1.99 million to a “highly qualified couple,” The New York Post reports. The singer’s apartment had been on and off the market for the last 10 years.

ABC anchorwoman Carole Simpson said that she regretted releasing false information at an Oct. 16 International Women’s Media Foundation conference in New York that led to her two-week suspension from Sunday’s World News Tonight. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Simpson told the conference that This Week‘s co-host Cokie Roberts had received a suspicious letter and had contracted anthrax along with her 7-month-old infant. But later the letter was proved uncontaminated and left officials upset that Simpson had bypassed the network’s process for disseminating anthrax information.

Billy Joel has given permission for the New York musical The Thoel Project to use about 15-20 of his songs to tell the story of three Vietnam vets, reports. The musical will debut next year and will be choreographed by Twyla Tharp and produced by the Nederlander Organization.