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News Roundup, Dec. 26: Eastwood Files $10 M Lawsuit Over Biography

Dec 26, 2002 | 11:55am EST

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Clint Eastwood filed a $10 million libel suit in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday against the author and publisher of the unauthorized biography, Clint: The Life and Legend, which he says portrays him as an atheist and wife-abuser. The suit accuses St. Martin's Press and author Patrick McGilligan of lying about Eastwood and "setting out intentionally to destroy [his] reputation," The Associated Press reports. Eastwood's attorney Marshall Grossman said the book, released in the United States in August, is riddled with false statements and incorrectly claims the actor struck his first wife. McGilligan stands by the book and said that while he is upset about the suit, he is not surprised. "He has sued people religiously," he told the AP."He's made a career of suppressing dissidence."


In his new book, It's Good To Be the King ... Sometimes, pro wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler confesses that his infamous feud with comedian Andy Kaufman was a set up, the AP reports. The supposed feud began in Memphis when Kaufman tried out pro wrestling. Later, in a 1982 appearance on the David Letterman show, Lawler slapped the comedian, who in return threw coffee at him--as Letterman watched aghast. Lawler writes that he and Kaufman orchestrated the confrontation on their own, unbeknownst to Letterman and his producer. Kaufman died in 1984.

Britney Spears filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Monday against Skechers USA, Inc., claiming the footwear company ran ads for her brand of skates when the skates she endorses--and receives royalties for--weren't even for sale, causing consumers to buy Skechers' skates instead. Skechers, meanwhile, said Wednesday it would file a countersuit against Spears' company, Britney's Brands, Inc. They claim the singer failed to approve designs and manufacturers for the line, causing them to miss the fall season for the apparel industry, resulting in millions of dollars in lost sales, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Michael Jackson's baby-dangling stunt last month has given rise to a new video game. Available at, the game features a cartoon version of the pop star hurling babies from a rooftop. Players must catch babies in a basket, but watch out! The cartoon Jackson also throws spiders that cause the basket to spill. At the end of the game, players receive a score--and an evaluation of their parenting skills.

Osbourne clan matriarch Sharon Osbourne gave a rather untraditional Christmas Day speech in Great Britain, the BBC reports. In the address, shown at the same time as Queen Elizabeth's traditional address, Osbourne had kind words to say about the monarch, whom she met at her Golden Julbilee. "She was very warm and amazingly down-to-earth, and I just told her that she had great tits," Osbourne observed. "Because she does."

Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was seriously injured in a car accident Nov. 27, is recovering rapidly. "I must say she is recovering very quickly," her husband Frederic von Anhalt told the AP. "At the beginning she was very moody, she wanted to give up. Now she wants to go home fast. She wants to recover and to ride her horses." Gabor remains in fair condition at Cadars-Sinai Medical Center.

Ken Tobey, who starred in the 1951 horror pic The Thing From Another World, died Dec. 22 at the age of 85, the AP reports. Since launching his career in 1949, Tobey had appeared in nearly 100 films--mostly Westerns and B-movies--and made dozens of television appearances.


Late night talk show host David Letterman spent Christmas Day with troops at the U.S. base at Kandahar, Afghanistan. According to the AP, Letterman was also due to visit the U.S. military headquarters at Bagram Air Base, but the trip was canceled because of bad weather.


The Hard Rock Café International is showcasing rock 'n' roll memorabilia to the public in a 17,000-square-foot museum in Orlando, Fla. Called the Hard Rack Vault, the exhibit features a portion of the company's 65,000 music artifacts that rotate among its restaurants, hotels and casinos worldwide, the AP reports. Items include guitars from Pete Townshend, Steve Cropper and B. B. King, as well as costumes worn by Elton John, Madonna and Prince.

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