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Denver died sober, tests show

Singer John Denver had no alcohol or drugs in his system when he died in a plane crash, according to test results released Tuesday. Monterey County Sheriff Norm Hicks said toxicology tests carried out for his office found no traces of alcohol, controlled substances, prescription drugs or anything else irregular in the singer's bloodstream. The popular singer of songs such as Rocky Mountain High and Sunshine on my Shoulder died Oct. 12 when the experimental plane he was piloting crashed in the waters of Monterey Bay, about 100 miles south of San Francisco. "We were confident they weren't going to find anything because our investigation concluded that he had refused to drink before flying the plane," Hicks said at a news conference in front of his office in Salinas. Based on the toxicology tests, Hicks ruled Denver's death accidental. Hicks said the National Transportation Safety Board would make the final determination of the cause of the accident.

Fickle Lee makes ads for Lakers

Is Spike Lee sleeping with the enemy? The filmmaker, a rabid New York Knicks fan, is making some regional cable TV spots for the Los Angeles Lakers. "Hey, I like the Lakers the best of any team in the West. I have no qualms about offering my services to other teams in the NBA besides the Knicks," Lee said in Tuesday's Daily Variety. "I'm even going to shoot a couple of promos for the (Knicks' archrival) Miami Heat," he said. Lee worked Monday on the Lakers spots, to be carried by Fox Sports West, with Lakers Shaquille O'Neal, Rick Fox, Eddie Jones, Kobe Bryant and coach Del Harris.

In other news . . .

The divorce of actors Ralph Fiennes and Alex Kingston became final Tuesday. Fiennes, 34, left her two years ago for actor Francesca Annis, who is 18 years his senior and played his mother in a stage production of Hamlet. Kingston, also 34, was granted an uncontested divorce on the grounds that she and Fiennes had lived apart for more than two years. The star of The English Patient wed Kingston, who joined the cast of television's ER this season, in 1993. They met while students at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts.

MGM has purchased a comedy treatment for a film about a radio station operated out of a mental institution and plans to cast Jim Carrey in the lead. Variety says Carrey is attached to star in the comedy, Fool on the Hill, but negotiations are ongoing.

Will Smith is back in Washington, D.C. _ this time in a political conspiracy thriller, Enemy of the State. The co-star of mega-hits Men in Black and Independence Day will team in the new picture with Gene Hackman, Regina King, and Scott Caan.

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