July 07, 2003 08:50 AM

ACCUSED: L.A Lakers’ All-Star Kobe Bryant, 24, turned himself into police on Friday and posted a $25,000 bond on suspicion of felony sexual assault, after a Colorado woman claimed he attacked her in a hotel room, reports the Associated Press. Bryant, who is married and was reportedly in Colorado for knee surgery, was released after posting bail. He was not charged. Bryant’s Denver-based lawyer, Pamela Mackey, told the Los Angeles Times, “Kobe is innocent,” AP noted.

LOST: Prince William, 21, played it serious during a charity match at Cirencester Park Polo Club on Saturday, scoring two goals for his family team, Highgrove, reports PEOPLE’s Lindsey Whistler. It wasn’t enough, however, because the royal team lost 7-1/2 to 6 to the opposing team, Altu. As for his playing style, the prince, looking severe, kept his polo helmet on throughout the match, refusing to remove it between periods and at half time, and confined any chatting to father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry, until after the game.

SOUGHT: The Screen Actors Guild president, Melissa Gilbert, 39, will seek a second term this autumn as she continues to press for a reorganization of the union and unification with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, say trade reports. Gilbert was elected in 2001, defeating fellow actress Valerie Harper.

DROPPED: “Seinfeld” alum Jason Alexander, 43, currently starring in the L.A. production of the stage musical “The Producers,” will no longer be hawking Kentucky Fried Chicken in TV commercials, reports The New York Times. With the actor’s contract expiring this month, the ad campaign “has run its course,” a KFC spokeswoman in Kentucky tells the paper, which notes that sales of the company’s fried chicken have softened recently.

DIED: Andrew Heiskell, 87, who served as chairman of Time Inc. (a parent of PEOPLE), and whose philanthropic efforts helped to improve the New York Public Library and Bryant Park in Lower Manhattan, died Sunday, reports AP. During the late 1960s, after riots tore through many American cities, Heiskell helped found the Urban Coalition, an organization of community groups that addressed urban problems.

SWALLOWED: Takeru Kobayashi, 25, won the annual Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest on Coney Island July 4, devouring 45 franks but not surpassing his own 2002 record of 50-1/2 wieners, reports New York’s Daily News. The paper attributed Kobayashi’s victory over such dog hogs as William (The Refrigerator) Perry to what it termed his “Zen-like focus” during the 12-minute heat. Kobayashi told the paper that he planned to skip dinner that night.

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