KOBE DISMISSED: In a stunning development Wednesday, Colorado prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges against Kobe Bryant after the young woman who made the accusations said she could not go on with the criminal case. Her civil suit against the Los Angeles Lakers superstar will proceed as planned, however. Neither Bryant, 26, nor his 20-year-old accuser (a concierge who claimed Bryant raped her after she entered his Vail hotel room on June 30, 2003) were in the courtroom at the time of Judge Terry Ruckriegle’s announcement.
JACKSON DECLINED: Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville refused on Wednesday to reduce Michael Jackson‘s $3 million bail on child molestation charges, citing the star’s enormous wealth, his “ability to hire private jets” and the fact that Jackson “has frequently traveled beyond the borders of the United States.” In reaching his decision, the jurist said that a secret grand jury transcript “provides detailed evidence” that Jackson attempted to arrange for the family of his accuser to travel to Brazil, and family statements indicated “this was being done against their will.”
PASSION PAYS: Mel Gibson‘s The Passion of the Christ sold 4.1 million DVDs by Wednesday after only one day in stores, reported the Associated Press. The sales figure falls short of the record holder, Disney’s animated Finding Nemo DVD, which sold about 8 million. For a live-action movie, Spider-Man holds the one-day record with 7 million. Still, FOX Home Entertainment, which is distributing The Passion, calls the release the best-selling R-rated film of all time and best-selling non-English language film of all time.
CHARLIZE RECUPERATES: Charlize Theron is resting back in Southern California after getting hurt earlier this week on the Berlin set of her new sci-fi film, Aeon Flux. The injury involved the Monster Oscar winner’s neck, said the Hollywood Reporter. Theron, 29, who was hurt while performing her own stunts on a trampoline, reportedly was taken to a hospital for examination and returned to California on Tuesday to consult with her personal physicians. “She’s resting and hopes to be back to work soon,” said her L.A.-based publicist, Amanda Silverman
BUSH ACCEPTS: Pres. George W. Bush took center stage at the Republican National Convention in New York City Thursday night and accepted his party’s nomination to run for a second term. During his 62-minute speech he took aim at terrorists, taxes and his Democratic opponent John Kerry and, never mentioning Osama bin Laden, defended his decision to go to war in Iraq after the events of Sept. 11. “In Saddam Hussein, I saw a threat,” he said, explaining that the attack on America nearly three years ago “requires our country to think differently: We must, and we will, confront threats to America before it is too late.”