Plus: Connery retirement speculated, pleas in Zeta-Jones case, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 30, 2004 08:45 AM
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Credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

INJURED: Beyoncé tore a leg muscle while rehearsing for an upcoming TV special with Destiny’s Child, Columbia Records spokeswoman Yvette Noel-Schure tells the Associated Press. The singer, 23, tore her right hamstring, one of the muscles at the back of the knee, while practicing dance moves. “She overdid it,” said the rep. “We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that, because she’s young and healthy, it heals fast.” Beyoncé, who reportedly is still able to walk, was treated by a private sports-injury specialist, who told her to avoid dancing and other strenuous physical activity for about a week.

REPORTED: Sean Connery, 74, abruptly quit his most recent movie project, the bank-heist caper Josiah’s Canon, prompting Variety to report that the veteran 007 star – and onetime PEOPLE Sexiest Man Alive – is preparing to announce his permanent retirement from the screen. The Oscar winner’s publicist, Nancy Seltzer, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that Connery withdrew from Josiah’s Canon to focus full time on writing his memoirs. She refused comment on the speculation over his retirement. “There is nothing to add to the Variety report,” she said. Pressed by the paper as to whether Connery really is retiring, she said: “I have no interest in addressing the question.”

PLEADED: Dawnette Knight, 33, accused of stalking Catherine Zeta-Jones, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, two weeks after a judge ruled she was competent to stand trial, AP reports. The pleas were entered at an arraignment on one count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats. If convicted, she could face up to 19 years in prison. Defense attorney Richard Herman said at a press conference that Knight is not a threat and faces criminal charges only because the case involves celebrities. Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta declined comment.

PROJECTED: Model (and driving force behind UPN’s America’s Next Top Model) Tyra Banks 30, has closed a deal to develop a syndicated daytime talk show that will be distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in fall 2005, says the Hollywood Reporter, which notes that several time slots could open up next year if any of this season’s struggling newcomers don’t return – namely, The Jane Pauley Show, The Larry Elder Show and Life & Style.

CAST: Salma Hayek, 38, is returning to her telenovela roots with a one-hour project for ABC, an American version of the phenomenally successful Latin American soap opera Betty La Fea (translated: “Ugly Betty”), says the Hollywood Reporter. The Frida Oscar nominee will play the unattractive and unpopular Betty, a highly efficient assistant at a fashion design company who falls in love with her handsome boss.

HONORED: Country crooner Randy Travis, 45, received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star Wednesday, saying as the crowd looked on: “This has been an interesting run in this business.” Travis, who is married to his longtime manager, Elizabeth Hatcher, thanked her for helping him throughout his career. “If I hadn’t met her at a certain point in my life,” Travis said, “I wouldn’t be alive today.”