Plus: Stars remember Ray Charles, Robin Givens sued, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 21, 2004 08:00 AM

PANNED: In a scathing front-page review on Sunday, New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani calls Bill Clinton’s My Life “sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull,” while on NBC’s Meet the Press and on Monday’s Today show, columnist Joe Klein, giving his thumbs down, said the book reads as though it were hastily written and edited, especially the second half of the 957 pages. My Life goes on sale Tuesday with a first printing of 1.5 million copies. Advance online sales are enormous. But The Times review is bound to be quoted for some time, as Kakutani compares the tome to the Clinton presidency (“lack of discipline leading to squandered opportunities”).

REMEMBERED: B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Stevie Wonder and Wynton Marsalis performed musical tributes to Ray Charles on Friday at the music legend’s funeral at Los Angeles’s First African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Now heaven has a maestro,” said Jesse Jackson. “Ray, when you first get there, before you meet Count (Basie), before you meet Duke (Ellington), before you meet family and friends, there’s a man over there, across the river who is giving sight to the blind!” Said Clint Eastwood: “I’m here to join the chorus to praise Ray. He was called a genius. Certainly, Ray was super-talented, but talent comes with a lot of work. I don’t think I’ve met anyone with a stronger work ethic than Ray Charles.”

SUED: An 89-year-old woman whom Robin Givens struck with her SUV has sued the actress, reports the Associated Press. The auto negligence lawsuit filed on behalf of Maria Antonia Alcover does not seek a specific money amount. Alcover, a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States in 1963, is in a nursing home recovering from the accident that occurred five months ago in the crosswalk of a busy city street at rush hour. Givens, who stayed with Alcover until officials arrived, was issued a traffic summons for failing to use due care when a pedestrian was in the crosswalk, which carries a fine of less than $70, police said. She pleaded not guilty and appeared in traffic court Wednesday. Her trial was postponed to Sept. 13.

SCHEDULED: The ’70s TV series Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley will be released on DVD Aug. 17, reports Variety, adding that another Happy Days spinoff, Mork and Mindy, will be out the following month. Also in September from Paramount Home Video: the movies Mean Girls, Footloose Special Collector’s Edition and Murder on the Orient Express, as well as the first season of TV’s 7th Heaven and the complete series of Keene Eddie.