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News, July 30: Zeta-Jones's Alleged Stalker Hospitalized, Anderson Makes Court Appearance, Boy Hurt at Jackson's Neverland Ranch, More...

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Jul 30, 2004 | 11:40am EDT

Zeta-Jones's alleged stalker hospitalized

The woman accused of sending death threats to Catherine Zeta-Jones was hospitalized Thursday after jail personnel found her asleep on the jail floor and were unable to awaken her. The Associated Press reports Dawnette Knight, 32, took two sleeping pills that she apparently bought from someone in the Los Angeles County jail because "she just wanted a good night's sleep," her attorney said. As a result, Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg rescheduled the preliminary hearing for Friday afternoon. Yesterday, Zeta-Jones and her husband, Michael Douglas, testified during the preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to send Knight to trial. During the proceedings, Zeta-Jones read aloud from 19 of the letters that were sent to her employees, family members and friends. One suggested, "We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs." Knight, was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills, Calif. apartment after authorities traced several letters and phone calls. She was charged with one felony count of stalking and 24 felony counts of making criminal threats, and was held on $1 million bail.

Anderson makes brief court appearance

Anthony Anderson, who was charged Wednesday with raping a Memphis, Tenn., woman, made a brief court appearance yesterday in Shelby County General Sessions Court to say he understands that he is accused of rape and has legal representation, the AP reports. The 33-year-old actor avoided reporters by using a side door to the courtroom generally reserved for judges. The unidentified woman has accused Anderson and a production assistant of luring her into a trailer on the set of the film Hustle & Flow and then sexually assaulting her. Both Anderson and Wayne Witherspoon, an assistant director, deny wrongdoing. They are free on $20,000 bond each. A hearing was also set Aug. 19 for lawyers to tell the court if they're ready to go forward with the case.

Boy injured at Jackson's Neverland Ranch

A 15-year-old boy riding an all-terrain vehicle at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch was hospitalized after the vehicle flipped, the AP reports. County officials told the Santa Barbara News-Press a security guard at the ranch directed paramedics to the victim, who was at or near the main house. It wasn't immediately known if Jackson was at the ranch. The boy was lifted out of the ranch, about 35 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, Calif., by a helicopter and taken by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was listed in good condition. Jackson, 45, pleaded innocent in December to seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent.

Brandy engaged to b-baller

Singer and former Moesha star Brandy is engaged to pro basketball player Quentin Richardson, the AP reports. Richardson, 24, surprised the 25-year-old Brandy with an 11-1/2-carat diamond ring valued at $1 million at a reception Tuesday at Los Angeles' Century Club, People magazine reported Thursday. The engagement announcement conveniently comes a week after Brandy's ex, music producer Robert Smith, said the singer's claims they were married was actually a ruse to protect the image of Brandy, who at the time pregnant with their daughter, Sy'rai. Brandy and Smith broke up in early July of last year, a year after the birth of their daughter.

Judge wants doctor's note from Rosa Parks

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who sued OutKast over claims their 1998 single "Rosa Parks" constituted false advertising and infringed on her trademark rights, has been ordered to provide medical proof to explain why she cannot testify in the lawsuit. Lawyers for Parks, who wants her name removed from future versions of the record, say the 91-year-old woman suffers from an unspecified medical condition and cannot testify. During a hearing in Detroit Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald A. Scheer also excluded OutKast from the lawsuit, leaving only BMG as a defendant, because the individual members were not named in the suit and the group's name was incorrect, the AP reports. A jury trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 10. The song in question only mentions Parks' name in its title. The song's chorus is: "Ah-ha, hush that fuss. Everybody move to the back of the bus."

Long Island Lolita pens autobiography

Amy Fisher, who spent seven years in prison for shooting her lover's wife in the face in 1992, is releasing an autobiography titled If I Knew Then... this fall, the AP reports. Fisher was released from prison in 1999 after serving seven years for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the head during a confrontation outside Buttafuoco's Massapequa home. At the time, Fisher was having an affair with her husband, auto mechanic Joey Buttafuoco. The book's co-author, Robbie Woliver, said Thursday that Fisher, now 29, is now married and raising a young son in an undisclosed Long Island community. The Buttafuocos, meanwhile, have since moved to California and are no longer married. The paperback starts with Fisher's troubled childhood, details her relationship with Buttafuoco, her prison time and her rehabilitation in the past five years.

Miss America pageant drops talent portion of contest

The Miss America pageant, which has steadily decline in viewership over the last few years, is eliminating the "talent" portion from its competition, the AP reports. The talent routines were first introduced in 1935 in a bid to make Miss America more than a beauty contest, and the custom became mandatory in 1938. But the routines, which typically feature baton twirling and opera singing, have by and large turned viewers off. The casual, swimsuit and evening wear elements of the contest will each count for 20 percent this year's score instead. The talent routines will still be included in the three nights of preliminary competition leading up to crowning, but just one contestant chosen by the pageant's producers will perform live, after the selection of the five finalists for Miss America 2005.

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