A jury Friday ordered Cheers actor Woody Harrelson to pay almost $5,000 for a scuffle with two tabloid photographers he says were stalking his family during a visit to Martha's Vineyard.
The federal jury awarded Star magazine photographer Steven Connolly $4,826.30 for the 1995 incident in which Harrelson wrestled away Connolly's film. Paul Adao, a freelance cameraman who captured the incident on video, won only $2.
After getting Connolly's film, Harrelson chased Adao.
"I couldn't be much happier," Harrelson said. "I felt from the beginning it was a matter of principle. In my mind, they're no different from the French paparazzi in the case of Princess Di."
Tarantino may face up to
a year in jail for assault
Film director Quentin Tarantino, who is being sued by a fashion stylist after allegedly slugging her in a brawl, now faces criminal charges in the case, police said Thursday. Tarantino surrendered to police and was charged with assault. He will appear at a later date before a judge at Manhattan Criminal Court, where he will be formally arraigned. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail. Leila Mwangi, 25, filed a civil lawsuit last month in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging Tarantino hit her May 2 with a blow intended for her photographer boyfriend, Barron Clairborne. The civil suit seeks $5-million in compensatory damages and $10-million in punitive damages.
Paul Simon honored
After a hard year of watching his musical, The Capeman, struggle on Broadway, Paul Simon was happy to be getting an award when the Songwriters' Hall of Fame held its 29th annual induction Wednesday night at the Sheraton New York. The hall of fame started as a bastion of Tin Pan Alley songwriting and has gone on to recognize all segments of popular music. Wednesday, it gave songwriting awards to Simon; Berry Gordy; the team of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew; Larry Stock, who wrote You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You and Blueberry Hill; and film composers John Williams and John Barry. Simon addressed The Capeman experience in his acceptance speech. His show received generally negative reviews and closed in March after a brief run. "It was one of the biggest beatings that I have ever taken. . . . I understand what it means when they say, "You're not one of us,' " Simon said.
Travolta files $5-million suit against advertisers
A $5-million lawsuit filed by John Travolta accuses two men of using his name without his permission to lure investors to their film companies, his attorney said. The suit was filed Monday in Superior Court in Van Nuys, Calif., against the owners and partners of Silverado Films and its finance company, Capital Funding Group. The suit alleges they "knowingly and fraudulently" published Travolta's name in an advertisement that appeared in USA Today on April 29. The ad offered the sale of one-million shares of stock in Silverado Films.
"Men in Black' tops
Saturn Awards list
Men in Black was selected best science fiction film of last year by the Academy of Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. At the 24th annual Saturn Awards, given out Wednesday, the group also picked The Devil's Advocate as the best horror film. The best actor award went to Pierce Brosnan for his work as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies. Jodie Foster earned best actress honors for her work in Contact.
+ WUSF-FM 89.7 was incorrectly identified in the Fine Tuning radio highlights column in Weekend Friday.
+ The film Hav Plenty will open at selected theaters around Tampa Bay on June 19. An item in Weekend included an incorrect opening date due to a late scheduling change.