Plus: Michael Moore fights back, Howard Stern jumps ship and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
October 07, 2004 09:05 AM

RULED: The name of the Colorado woman who accused Kobe Bryant, 26, of sexual assault will be made public in the civil lawsuit she is pressing against him, federal Judge Richard Matsch decided Wednesday. In making the ruling, the jurist said that allowing the 20-year-old to remain anonymous could be misconstrued by a jury as a prejudgment in the case. Lawyers for the woman – who intends to follow through with the case – had asked Matsch to protect her identity, saying she has faced death threats. Prosecutors dropped felony charges against L.A. Laker Bryant last month after his accuser refused to testify.

SLAMMED: Michael Moore shot back at Republicans on Wednesday after they requested that the filmmaker be prosecuted for offering underwear and food to college students in exchange for their promise to vote. “It’s ironic that Republicans have no problem with allowing assault weapons out on our streets, yet they don’t want to put clean underwear in the hands of our slacker youth,” said Moore, 50. The Michigan GOP on Tuesday asked four county prosecutors to file charges against Moore, citing an election law provision that prohibits a person from contracting with another for something of value in exchange for agreeing to vote.

PRICED: Fans of shock jock Howard Stern will have to fork over $100 or more for special equipment and $12.95 a month to tune him in once he takes his show to the digitally broadcast and subscriber-based Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. in 2006. Stern, 50, announced the switch Wednesday, after being dropped earlier this year from several stations that objected to his often off-color humor. By luring Stern, Sirius is hoping to boost its competitive edge with its chief (and larger) rival, XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. “I have to get away from all these restrictions,” Stern told reporters about leaving broadcast radio.

NOMINATED: Already award-rich OutKast, composed of Andre 3000 and Big Boi, received the most nominations Wednesday for the MTV Europe Music Awards. The five nods included best group, best album (Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), best song and best video (“Hey Ya”). The awards show will be held Nov. 18 in Rome, with performances by Eminem and Gwen Stefani, as well as nominees Usher and Franz Ferdinand. Other nominees include Beyonce, Jay-Z, Black Eyed Peas and Britney Spears.

DECIDED: Florida prosecutors acted legally when they seized Rush Limbaugh’s medical records during an investigation into whether the conservative radio host, 53, misused prescription painkillers, the Associated Press reports. Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal said a search warrant outweighed Limbaugh’s right to privacy. Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black, said he will appeal the ruling. No charges were ever filed against Limbaugh.

SCHEDULED: New Jersey rapper Ja Rule will go to trial in Toronto next spring over a charge of assault causing bodily harm, a Canadian court ruled at a hearing Wednesday. The trial for the 28-year-old star (real name: Jeffrey Atkins) was tentatively set for March 7 to 11 in Ontario Court. The performer did not attend. His lawyers have said the rapper will plead not guilty to the charge, which stems from an alleged June 5 altercation at La Rouge Nightclub in the heart of the city’s club district.

HOSPITALIZED: Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars, 53, is recovering Wednesday after undergoing hip replacement surgery, his publicist said. Mars (real name: Bob Allen Deal) suffers from a degenerative, rheumatic disease called ankylosing spondylitis, said publicist Katie McNeil, adding: “The doctor was pleased with the surgery” that occurred Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

TOSSED: A judge has thrown out rape charges filed in July against Kangaroo Jack actor Anthony Anderson, 33, and another man, reports Reuters. A spokesman for Anderson says Judge Anthony Johnson dismissed the case brought by a film extra at a preliminary hearing in Memphis, Tennessee, after calling the woman’s testimony suspicious and bizarre. “He is, of course, both relieved and delighted by the judge’s decision,” the rep said.

LAUNCHED: Reba McEntire, 49, will design a line of women’s clothing for Little Rock-based Dillard’s Inc. and launch it in the spring in nearly half of the department chain’s 347 stores. McEntire’s line will include clothes for the office, sportswear and other items. Prices will range from $48 to $289 in sizes 4-14. The company didn’t disclose its terms with the star of TV’s Reba.

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