General News

NEWSMAKERS: Private Jail Time for Jason

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Ex-"Beverly Hills 90210" star Jason Priestley today was sentenced to five days in jail (well, a private "correctional institution"), dinged with nearly $600 in fines and ordered to complete an alcohol-treatment program, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said. This, after entering a no-contest plea to one count of misdemeanor drunken driving.

The 30-year-old actor was not personally in the Los Angeles courtroom. He's currently on the boards in London with the Tony-winning play "Side Man." When he returns to the States, he'll be hoofing it around town for a while. The court also suspended Priestley's license for a year. In fact, he's got two weeks to turn over the card to authorities.

According to Priestley's lawyer, Peter Knecht, other than the license deadline, the actor can pretty much serve his sentence, such as it is, at "his leisure." In fact, Knecht told Hollywood.com that Priestley might not return to these shores until September or October. "Side Man" wraps in June, and Priestley tells Knecht that he's got other Euro gigs to tend to after that.

Priestley's car troubles began Dec. 2 when he ran his Porsche into "several fixed objects," including, er, a parked car. His passenger, a 27-year-old friend, suffered a broken arm.

At the time, the actor argued that he'd merely been trying to avoid a deer when he started crashing into all that stuff. Police later said the actor was legally drunk.

The jail that's Priestley headed to, by the way, isn't exactly Sing-Sing. Knecht says the star won't be required to stay on the grounds 24/7 -- although he will have to bed down there at night.

HOLD THE RICE: Courtney Love is not engaged to record exec Jim Barber, no matter what Women's Wear Daily says. Love's publicist today denied the WWD report that had the couple walking down the aisle. Love and Barber are an item, the rep says -- they're just not spouses-to-be.

IMAGINE HOW CHAD LOWE FELT: Best Actress winner Hilary Swank "should not stand up there and thank my child," so says the ticked-off mother of Teena Brandon, the real-life gender-bended subject of "Boys Don't Cry." JoAnn Brandon took exception to Swank's Oscar-night speech, the one in which she forgot to thank her husband but did pay tribute to Teena, or as Swank called "him," "Brandon Teena." Says Mrs. Brandon: "I get tired of people taking credit for what they don't know."

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SO SORRY: Led Zeppelin rocker Jimmy Page did not don a robe, cast a satanic spell and otherwise stand idly by whilst bandmate John Bonham choked to death on his own vomit in 1980. The British magazine Ministry, which said all that stuff about Page, today apologized for the story that appeared in its pages last year. Unfortunately, the magazine could not take back the thing about Bonham choking to death on his (Bonham's) vomit. That part really happened.

GOOD-TIME CHARLIE: In a Malibu, Calif., court Monday, onetime bad-boy Charlie Sheen, 34, was released from probation two months early on account of the judge doesn't think he's such a bad boy anymore. That sigh of relief you hear is from the producers of "Spin City," the ABC sitcom on which Sheen will step into next season.

THEY SEE DEAD PRESIDENTS: Shut out at the Oscars or not, "The Sixth Sense" keeps rolling along at the box office. The thriller is now the No. 10 domestic grosser of all time. Through March 23, it had raked in $290.3 million at the box office, bumping 1980 "Star Wars" sequel "The Empire Strikes Back" ($290 mil) from the vaunted Top 10.

HEADLINE NEWS: CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour is a new mommy, having given birth to son Darius on Monday in Washington, D.C. The dad (and Amanpour's husband) is U.S. State Department spokesman James P. Rubin.

GRUNGE LIVES: Pearl Jam has announced plans to launch a 39-date North American tour August 3 in Virginia. The caravan is tentatively scheduled to wrap Nov. 5 in (where else?) Seattle.

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