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News, Oct. 29: "Fahrenheit" Debuts on PPV Monday, O'Reilly Settles Sexual Harassment Suit, Rip Torn Acquitted of Drunken Driving, More...

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Oct 29, 2004 | 9:41am EDT

Fahrenheit on PPV on eve of Election Day

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 will be available to at least a million homes on pay-per-view the night before Election Day, Variety reports. Bob and Harvey Weinstein's Fellowship Adventure Group, who own Fahrenheit, engineered a deal with Los Angeles-based TVN Entertainment to carry the documentary for two runs Monday night, at 8 and 11 p.m. EST. TVN, which delivers PPV movies and events to cable systems including Comcast and Charter, will retail the film at the higher than average cost of $9.95 because of the early window and the pre-Election Day timing. Neil Goldberg, TVN's senior VP of programming, said he couldn't remember ever getting his hands on a $120 million-grossing movie a month before its normal PPV window, which would begin Dec. 1 for Fahrenheit. Of the two satellite-TV distributors, EchoStar is leaning strongly toward carrying the documentary, but DirecTV passed.

Bill O'Reilly settles sexual harassment suit

Fox News Channel's top-rated TV host Bill O'Reilly has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by his former producer, but both sides have agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential. "This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again," O'Reilly said on Thursday night's edition of The O'Reilly Factor. O'Reilly, 55, filed a lawsuit Oct. 13 accusing 33-year-old producer Andrea Mackris and her lawyer of trying to extort $60 million in "hush money" to make the case quietly go away. Mackris sued O'Reilly later that day, alleging he made a series of explicit phone calls to her, advised her to use a vibrator and told her about sexual fantasies involving her. According to The Associated Press, O'Reilly also dropped the extortion lawsuit against Mackris and her lawyer. But it is still unclear whether Mackris is still on Fox's payroll. Several days after filing her sexual harassment suit, Mackris filed amended court papers claiming Fox had violated her rights under New York state law by firing her after she complained about being sexually harassed. Fox said Mackris had not been fired, but had simply stopped coming to work.

Rip Torn acquitted of drunken driving charges

A choked-up Rip Torn thanked jurors who acquitted him of drunken driving charges in Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday, the AP reports. "This is one of the great events in my life," Torn said in a courthouse corridor. "To be in the hands of this wonderful jury. I love New York." Torn was taken into custody Jan. 13 after the car he was driving crashed into the back of a taxi in Greenwich Village. A police officer at the scene described Torn's appearance as "disheveled, his hair messy (and) his eyes glassy and red." But the jury, who deliberated for less than two hours before returning a not guilty verdict, said the prosecution failed to prove that Torn was drinking before his car was involved in the fender-bender. Within minutes of the acquittal, the 73-year-old Emmy-winning actor offered warm handshakes to the four men on the jury, while planting kisses on the hands of the two women.

Hasselhoff pleads no contest to driving under the influence

David Hasselhoff, meanwhile, pleaded no contest in Los Angeles Thursday to a charge of driving under the influence and was ordered to enroll in an alcohol program for six months, the AP reports. A spokesman for the city attorney's office said Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Lippitt also imposed a $390 fine, community service and license restrictions on the actor. Hasselhoff , 52, was arrested in June and charged with driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater. The actor, best known for his role on the long-running TV series Baywatch and in the 1980s short-lived show Knight Rider, checked himself into the Betty Ford Center for treatment of alcoholism in 2002.

Sox's win prompts Fever Pitch rewrite

The Boston Red Sox's World Series win has forced a rewrite of Fox's sports-based romantic comedy Fever Pitch, starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, Reuters reports. The film, set during the 2004 Red Sox season, stars Barrymore as a woman who falls for Fallon's Red Sox-obsessed sports addict. It depicts the Red Sox losing just as the team has since 1919. "We had gone into the movie anticipating that the Red Sox would not win the World Championship, and it would be another dismal ending for them, but love would conquer all," said helmer Peter Farrelly, who is directing with brother Bobby. "But what happened because of this turn of events, we now have the double whammy of a happy love story and a championship team at the same time."

Elton John apologizes to Madonna

Elton John, who accused Madonna of lip-synching while presenting the Best Live Act award at the Q awards in London earlier this month, regrets his comments. The 57-year-old singer-songwriter told Entertainment Weekly he likes Madonna and would apologize to her if he saw her. "Yeah, because I don't want to hurt any artist's feelings. It was my fault. I instigated the whole thing. But it applies to all those bloody teenage singers," John said inEW's Nov. 6 issue. "The reaction to it was so hysterical," he added. "It was like I said, 'I think all gays should be killed or I think Hitler was right.' I just said someone was lip-synching. I'm not afraid to speak my mind. I'm not going to mellow with age. I get more enraged about things as I get older because you see that these injustices go on."

Nude portrait of Kate Moss could fetch $6.4 million

Lucian Freud's portrait of a naked, pregnant Kate Moss (who had a baby girl in September of 2002) is expected to fetch up to $6.4 million when it is auctioned next year. The near-life size portrait of the supermodel, titled "Naked Portrait 2002," will be included in a Christie's sale of postwar and contemporary art on Feb. 9, the AP reports. Freud, the grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, is considered by many to be Britain's greatest living artist, with his subjects ranging from friends and family to Queen Elizabeth II.

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