October 10, 2001 02:28 PM

DENIED: Jay Kay, 31, the lead singer of Jamiroquai, maintained his innocence on Monday in a London court. He stands accused of common assault and criminal damage stemming from a fight with a photographer outside a nightclub last April. In court, Kay spoke only to confirm his name and to plead not guilty. A hearing, which the singer is not required to attend, was set for Oct. 22 . . . SUED: Music legend Stevie Wonder (real name: Steveland Morris), 51, has been slapped with a $30 million palimony lawsuit by ex-girlfriend, Angela McAfee. She also alleges in her lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court that Wonder concealed a contagious venereal disease from her and passed it to her through sexual contact. Wonder’s attorney told the Associated Press that McAfee’s claims are without merit . . . DIAGNOSED: “Billy Jack” cult actor Tom Laughlin, 72, has cancer at the base of his tongue, doctors have told him, but it is inoperable because of his heart condition. “It’s a real mystery, because he doesn’t smoke or drink or do anything that would have caused this,” said a spokeswoman. Laughlin says that he will seek alternative treatment . . . RENEWED: “Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart, 49, who has anchored the show for two decades, has signed a deal giving her more than $5 million annually, said a producer of the program. The contract reportedly allows Hart to assume a more creative role in possible “ET” spin-offs, including a children-oriented project and a celebrity homes show . . . REVEALED: “Weakest Link” quiz mistress Anne Robinson, 57, credits her mother (named Annie but nicknamed “The Duchess”) with inspiring her own impatient manner. “She loathed bullies while being a disgraceful bully herself. Not that anyone had the nerve to say so — least of all my father,” Robinson writes in her new autobiography, “Memoirs of an Unfit Mother.” (The title refers to the fact that Robinson drank while raising her daughter Emma in the ’60s.) . . . MENDED: Model-actress Lauren Hutton, 57, severely injured last year in a motorcycle accident (she still walks with a pronounced limp), joined the Guggenheim Motorcycle Club, this time as a passenger, on a 450-mile ride that began last Wednesday in California and wound up the next day in Las Vegas. “I haven’t been on a bike in 11 months,” she told the Associated Press afterward. “I had forgotten how sexy it is” . . . DIED: Photographer WILL COUNTS, 70, who took the historic shot of a white mob jeering an African-American schoolgirl in the 1957 Little Rock desegregation battle, passed away from cancer in Bloomington, Ind., on Saturday. Actress GLORIA FOSTER, 64, best known for playing the elderly Oracle in 1999’s “The Matrix,” died Saturday of complications from diabetes. Foster was set to reprise her role in two sequels to the sci-fi film and had reportedly filmed many of her scenes. (Eerily, she is the second “Matrix” star to die in as many months. On Aug. 25, R&B singer and actress Aaliyah was involved in a fatal plane crash.)

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