June 16, 1997 12:00 PM


So where was Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee while his wife, former Baywatch star Pamela Lee, was in an L.A. courtroom last month beating a $5 million breach-of-contract suit? “I watched her every day on Court TV,” says Lee, 34, whose wife had been sued for backing out of a cable-TV movie, Hello, She Lied, in which she was expected to appear nude in graphic sex scenes. “I’m really surprised the TV is still intact. It was hard to watch my wife get grilled by attorneys who I thought were closer to being class clowns.” So how come Lee didn’t watch the proceedings in person as a show of moral support? “I wanted to go,” says Lee, whose next Mötley Crüe album, Generation Swine, is due June 24. “But Pamela said, ‘You can’t come. Between me and my attorney, we’ve got things covered. We think you should stay home.’ ”


Billy Crystal, currently starring with Robin Williams in the comedy Fathers’ Day, admits he’s not above dropping gift hints when the occasion arises. (Psst! It’s June 15, kids.) “First of all, I’m a tough guy to buy presents for,” says Crystal, 50, who has two daughters, actress Jennifer, 24 (who has a bit part in Fathers’ Day), and New York University directing major Lindsay, 19, with wife Janice. “So I’ll go, ‘Gee, there’s this great Babe Ruth ball at this auction that Ruth signed on both sides.’ And my kids will go, ‘Hmmm, interesting.’ But then I’ll get a tie.” Still, Crystal has gotten a few keepers over the years. One year the kids made a photo book of themselves as babies,” he recalls. That was really sweet.” So ow is Dad coping with the fact that his little girls are all rown up now? “Well, we have a that they’re not allowed to have sex until I’m dead,” says Crystal. “So it’s been fine so far.”


It didn’t take a heroic effort to persuade ER’s George Clooney to lead the latest caped crusade, in Batman & Robin, opening June 20. “I’m sitting at home and the phone rings,” recalls Clooney, 36. “It’s [director] Joel Schumacher, and he says, ‘Hey, do you want to star in one of the biggest movies of all time and one of the greatest franchises in the world that will give you a shot at a film career?’ I really didn’t, pause. I just went, ‘Sure, Joel, sure.’ ” So who was the first person Clooney told? “I called my cousin Miguel Ferrer, who is an actor, because his hero growing up was Batman. We used to sit around making plaster Batmans and stuff like that as kids. I go, ‘I’m going to be Batman.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, that’s nice. What are you going to do—be a helper or something?’ I said, ‘No, listen, I’m going to be Batman.’ ” Unfortunately, the next words out of his cousin’s mouth, Clooney says apologetically, “are unprintable. They contain many expletives.”


Irish-born actress Roma Downey, who plays heaven-sent messenger Monica on the CBS hit Touched by an Angel, says fans of the series view her with a certain reverence. “They usually genuflect when they see me,” jokes Downey, 33, “which I insist upon: ‘Down on one knee!’ ” But now that the show is one of TV’s highest-ranked dramas, Downey occasionally feels the pressure of her celestial calling. “I was at a clothing store in the mall looking through a rack,” she says, “and this lady recognized me and said, ‘Excuse me, but are you the angel?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ Then she grabbed her husband’s elbow and said, ‘You can see her too, right?’ It was really funny.”

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