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News, April 26: Billy Joel in Yet Another Car Crash, Don Johnson Files Bankruptcy, Cosmetics Queen Estee Lauder Dies, More…

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Apr 26, 2004 | 12:25pm EDT

Top Story: Billy Joel in Yet Another Car Crash

One wonders if Billy Joel might need a refresher course at driving school. Slightly injured but mostly embarrassed, the singer/songwriter was involved in his third car accident in two years on Sunday when he lost control of his car on a rain-slicked road and banged into a house in Nassau County, New York, The Associated Press reports. The accident occurred at about 4 p.m., when Joel, driving a vintage VW bug, crashed through a row of bushes and banged into a small beige home one block from the beach. The singer suffered a small cut on his hand but refused medical attention, AP reports. "He seemed embarrassed that he lost control of the car," witness Thomas Phillips Jr. told AP. "He said, 'I can't believe I got in another accident.' He was just going out to get a pizza." There was no evidence of alcohol or drug involvement and Joel was not suspected of any crime, Nassau County police spokeswoman Joan Eames told AP. After his second accident in June 2002, Joel checked himself into a rehabilitation center for substance abuse.

Johnson's Company Files For Bankruptcy

Don Johnson's company, Timber Doodle Glade Equity Venture LLC, which holds title on the actor's Woody Creek ranch in Aspen, Colo., filed for Chapter 11 April 14, AP reports. The bankruptcy filing follows a lawsuit brought by City National Bank of Los Angeles in March, asking the court to allow the ranch to be auctioned to collect $930,000 Johnson owes the bank. Johnson's publicist, Elliot Mintz, told AP the actor is refinancing the ranch and the bankruptcy filing will stave off creditors until Johnson can get the financing he needs.

Stone Gets Kudos From Lesbian Group

Actress Sharon Stone will receive the National Center for Lesbian Rights Spirit Award for her support of gay and lesbian civil rights, including helping to raise millions of dollars for AIDS research, AP reports. "Sharon Stone has a very long history of leadership and involvement with volunteer groups," Ruth Harris, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based center told AP. "We're honoring her for a whole range of things over a many year period."

Knight Released From Prison

After serving 10 months for violating his parole, rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight was released from a California prison Thursday, Reuter reports. A state parole panel had sent Knight back to prison on Aug. 4 for his second parole violation in a 1997 assault conviction after he punched a parking attendant outside a Hollywood nightclub last summer. Knight, 39, also announced Monday that he plans to produce a hip-hop album to benefit financially troubled families of soldiers in Iraq by Christmas, Reuters reports.

Cosmetics Maven Lauder Dies

Estee Lauder, who created one of the world's largest cosmetic companies and a $10 billion empire, died Saturday in New York from cardiopulmonary failure, Reuters reports. She was 97.

Role Call: Sykes Joins Monster, Locklear Steps Into Mother Role, Biggs in Guy X

Comedian Wanda Sykes has joined the cast of Monster-In-Law, starring Jennifer Lopez as a woman who is set to marry the perfect guy (Michael Vartan)--until she meets his mother (Jane Fonda). Sykes will play Fonda's wisecracking assistant…Speaking of mothers, Heather Locklear is set to play one to Hilary Duff in the romantic The Perfect Man. Duff plays a teenager who is trying to find the best mate for her single, romantically challenged mom. Chris Noth and Mike O'Malley also have been cast in the Universal Pictures project…American Pie's Jason Biggs has signed on to star in the dark (and cold) comedy Guy X. Set in 1979 as Ronald Reagan is gearing up his presidential campaign and the Cold War is entering its endgame, the film focuses on a hapless American soldier transferred by clerical error to the Qangattarsa base in the Arctic, and unable to escape because he no longer officially exists.

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