PASSAGES: Judge Dismisses Hewitt Suit
TOSSED: A New York judge dismissed a $1 million claim by Princess Diana‘s former lover James Hewitt, 44, against FOX News for breach of contract and let stand the network’s counterclaim that he violated their confidentiality agreement. Last January, FOX hired former British army major Hewitt to an $80,000 one-year contract to cover the anticipated Iraq war. Less than a week later, he was fired for allegedly violating a secrecy agreement by leaking information about his hiring. On Thursday, State Judge Louis B. York said Hewitt could not show the firing was “malicious or vindictive.”
WED: Actress Bridget Fonda, 39, and composer and former Oingo Boingo singer Danny Elfman, 50, married last Saturday night in a candlelit ceremony at Los Angeles’s First Congressional Church, say reports. The bride’s father, actor Peter Fonda, 64, gave her away while a 20-piece choir serenaded. Afterwards, guests reportedly gathered for a reception at the Cicada restaurant.
CITED: Nominations for the 2004 IFP Independent Spirit Awards — known as the indie version of the Oscars — went to best feature contenders “American Splendor,” “In America,” “Lost in Translation,” “Raising Victor Vargas” and “Shattered Glass.” A Special Distinction Award went to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “21 Grams” for its “uniqueness of vision, bold conception and direction, the honesty of its screenwriting, bravery of its performances, and achievement on every level of filmmaking.” Winners will be named at the IFP Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on Feb. 28, 2004, the Saturday afternoon before the Oscars.
OFFERED: Grammy Awards won by Peabo Bryson, 52, for “Beauty and the Beast” and “A Whole New World” are to be auctioned off this weekend to help pay his $1.2 million tax debt, reports the Associated Press. “We would like for the items that will be auctioned off to satisfy the debt that is owed the federal government. Will they? We don’t know yet,” said IRS spokesman Mark Green. The auction also will include a grand piano, the keys to the city of Miami, several gold records, a soundboard and mixer, African art, hundreds of shoes, a large old-fashioned wood bed and a yellow-and-black spotted Italian jacket.
CANCELED: FOX has yanked “Wanda at Large,” the sitcom starring Wanda Sykes as a comic who lands a gig as an outspoken commentator on a local TV show in Washington, says the Hollywood Reporter. The series had a promising start as a midseason entry in March, when it followed “The Bernie Mac Show.” But it hit a ratings wall after a moving to Fridays this fall, and in its last airing on Nov. 7 averaged a mere 3.8 million viewers.
DIED: Actor David Hemmings, 62, star of cult 1960s films “Blow-Up” and “Barbarella,” suffered a fatal heart attack at the end of a day filming a new movie called “Samantha’s Child” in Romania, say reports. “He had only recently returned to acting. He opted for a number of years to work on his own projects, directing and producing,” said his agent, adding that Hemmings’s wife, Lucy, was at his side when he died. The shows he directed and produced included “The A-Team,” “Quantum Leap” and “Airwolf.”
GOOFED: The New York Times mistakenly ran on obituary on Thursday for someone who hadn’t died, a gleeful New York Post reports. Legendary Broadway dancer Katharine Sergava (famed for the “Laurey Dance” in the 1943 landmark musical “Oklahoma!”), who is in her 90s, is said to be alive, if not necessarily kicking, in a Manhattan nursing home, while The Times had her passing away in Palm Springs, Calif., sometime last month. The Times has acknowledged the error on its Web site.