NEWSMAKERS: ‘Veronica’s Closet’ star offers settlement

“Veronica’s Closet” star Wallace Langham has proposed a cash settlement with the man who accused him of assault and anti-gay slurs, according to The Associated Press.

The man, whose identity was not released, says the 34-year-old actor beat him and kicked him when he looked at tattoos on the arms and midriff of Langham‘s girlfriend at a supermarket. He also says Langham made anti-gay slurs. The man was treated for bruises and an injured jaw.

Langham, whose character on the NBC sitcom is widely thought to be gay, contends that he was provoked by the man and denies making such slurs. His lawyer said Tuesday that an unspecified amount of money was put in escrow for the settlement, which is contingent upon prosecutors dropping hate crime and battery charges.

DISNEY’S BLIND EYE: If you watch the trailer for the upcoming animated “The Tigger Movie,” you’ll notice that the characters prance around to the catchy “doot-doot-doot”s of “Semi-Charmed Life,” the 1997 hit by rock group Third Eye Blind. Good thing it doesn’t last long, because the song’s raunchy lyrics — “doing crystal meth will lift you up until you break” and “She comes round and she goes down on me” — are decidedly not G-rated.

A Disney spokeswoman said she was unaware of any sexual content in the song. The sexual content-related controversy surrounding Disney films (rumors of phallic images in “The Little Mermaid” movie poster, dust spelling the word “sex” in “The Lion King“) is nothing new, but we’re wondering if Disney marketers are twisted — or just plain naove.

SHUTTERBUGS: Those men you see snapping pictures in front of movie theaters aren’t tourists — they’re directors.

And it’s not for a film but for their scrapbooks. Director Mike Leigh, whose “Topsy-Turvy” was named best film by the New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics, was out and about recently taking photos of people standing in line at New York’s Paris Theater to see his movie. Pedro Almod-var, whose film “All About My Mother” has swept nearly all the critics’ awards — and the Globe — for best foreign film, also confessed that he walked up and down the streets of New York taking pictures of not only the ticket holders but also every theater marquee that bore his film’s name.

“I feel like a part of this town when I pass by the theaters,” said the Madrid-born director. “I feel not only proud, but that I belong to this town.”

MUSIC BEAT: Santana’s “Supernatural” stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart for a third consecutive week in the wake of its American Music Award for best pop-rock album and its 10 Grammy Award nominations. The album, Santana’s most successful by far, has sold 6 million copies. The rest of the top five albums this week, in order, were: “All the Way: A Decade of Song,” Celine Dion; “Dr. Dre – 2001,” Dr. Dre; “Christina Aguilera,” Christina Aguilera; and “… And then there was X,” DMX …

… The Top Five singles for this week were: “I Knew I Loved You,” Savage Garden; “What a Girl Wants,” Christina Aguilera; “Smooth,” Santana featuring Rob Thomas; “Back at One,” Brian McKnight; and “Get it on Tonite,” Montell Jordan.

QUICK TAKES: President Clinton will give his own thumbs up or thumbs down with film critic Roger Ebert when he guest stars on the syndicated show “Roger Ebert & The Movies” on Feb. 5 and 6. The commander-in-chief will discuss his favorite pictures, which include “Casablanca,” “Three Kings” and “The Hurricane” …

… The 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award nominations will be announced at 8 a.m. Tuesday in Los Angeles by Lolita Davidovich (“Play it to the Bone“) and Blair Underwood (TV’s “City of Angels”). The ceremony, the only one in which actors honor actors, takes place March 12 …

Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby will host the Essence Awards 2000 on April 14 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The awards honor entertainers, public figures and activists whose work contributes to the advancement and awareness of social causes.

Matt Damon revealed in USA Today recently that his most difficult childhood moment was believing in the tooth fairy — at age 10. “I still thought the tooth fairy was real,” Damon told the newspaper. “I’d gone to school and mentioned the tooth fairy brought me $1. The kids started laughing. Then I said, ‘No, I didn’t mean the tooth fairy. I meant I, I got $1.” We’re assuming he already knows the Santa Claus-not-being-real thing.