COMPLAINED: In a surprise call to FOX News host Geraldo Rivera on Thursday, Michael Jackson, 46, complained about Eminem’s controversial video “Just Lose It,” which parodies Jackson’s legal troubles. “I think that it’s demeaning and disrespectful,” Jackson told Rivera of the video, which shows the rapper impersonating Jackson with boys jumping on a bed. “I also want to make it clear that it’s not just about Michael Jackson but about a pattern of disrespect that he has shown to our community. He needs to stop it and he needs to stop it now,” Jackson added. At the time of the phone call, The Washington Post reports, Rivera was covering a protest staged by a small group of Jackson fans outside MTV’s Times Square studios because the cable music station continues to air the Eminem video.
DIAGNOSED: World and Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton, 46, has a benign, slow-growing, non-cancerous brain tumor, reports the Associated Press. “We will be working with him on a treatment plan moving forward,” said Dr. Gene Barnett, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic. Hamilton was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 and treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
TRANSFERRED: The body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was flown from Paris to Cairo Thursday for a memorial service before his burial in the West Bank on Friday. Arafat, 75, died at a French military hospital outside Paris, where he had been for two weeks under treatment for what doctors described as digestive and blood disorders. Arafat’s duties have been handed over to four new leaders, signaling hope that there may be an opportunity to renew peace talks with Israel.
REBUFFED: The Rolling Stones is getting no satisfaction from a British court, which has shot down the band’s attempt to get more royalties allegedly owed to them by their record label, AP reports. A judge at the High Court in London refused the request that the accounts of Decca Music Group be examined, saying instead that disputes over royalties must be referred to arbitration, not the courts. Mick Jagger , Keith Richards and Charlie Watts claim they may be entitled to millions of dollars in royalties from their greatest hits compilation, 40 Licks.
APOLOGIZED:” Actress Julie Newmar, known for playing Catwoman on the ’60s TV show Batman, has publicly apologized to her neighbor, Jim Belushi,. Earlier this week Belushi, 50, star of the ABC sitcom According to Jim, sued Newmar for $4 million for allegedly harassing him and trying to force him to move by destroying his fence and playing loud music, among other things. Newmar, 71, called in cameras from Entertainment Tonight and recorded her regret over the situation saying, “I’d like to apologize to (Jim) and tell him how deeply sorry I am if I’ve cause him any grief or sorrow. We are wonderful neighbors here and we mustn’t do these kinds of things, you know what I mean?”
PLANNED: Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind filmmakers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are in negotiations to executive produce a 9/11-themed miniseries for NBC, says the Hollywood Reporter. They are expected to work with Speed screenwriter Graham Yost, who was already attached to develop and executive produce the still-untitled project. The trade report says the network is developing the project as an eight-hour limited-series “event” production.
MIFFED: CBS ticked off fans of its CSI: NY Wednesday night, during the episode’s final moments, when the network broke in with the news that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had died. “An overly aggressive CBS News producer jumped the gun with a report that should have been offered to local stations for their late news,” said CBS’s apology, which did not name the producer. “We sincerely regret the error.” CBS will rerun the episode – in its entirety it is hoped – Friday night.
SPOTTED: Star Jones’s “bridal luncheon” at New York’s flagship Saks Fifth Avenue on Thursday was attended by Lorraine Bracco, Holly Robinson Peete and socialite-songwriter Denise Rich, reports the New York Post, noting that Joy Behar was the only cast member from The View on view. Jones is set to marry fianc Al Reynolds on Saturday in a wedding that has been much talked about for its heavy commercial sponsorship.
HIRED: In a surprise move, former ABC president Susan Lyne, 53, will replace Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. president and chief executive Sharon L. Patrick, reports The New York Times. The paper also says that Lyne will report to Stewart, 63, despite the fact that the disgraced domestic diva currently has no title at the company she founded and is serving a five-month prison sentence for lying to federal investigators looking into a suspicious stock sale.
ENGAGED: Donald Trump Jr., 26, proposed to fianc e Vanessa Haydon, also 26, on Thursday, with the paparazzi in tow, according to photos in Friday’s New York tabloids. The real-estate scion got down on his knee inside a jewelry store inside New Jersey’s Short Hills Mall. No wedding date has been announced, but the two reportedly have dated for a year and a half.