February 03, 2003 11:19 AM

SUED: Sotheby’s auction house is taking Michael Jackson to court, arguing in a lawsuit that the former King of Pop, 44, changed his mind about purchasing two 19th-century paintings in October — but he should nevertheless pay nearly $1.4 million for them, Reuters reports. Sotheby’s is asking for payment of $1,324,247, plus at least $60,733 in late fees. One painting shows Cupid removing a thorn from his foot; the other is a portrait of a young woman with a child and a sheep. A lawyer for Jackson said he was confident the matter would be resolved.

RELAXED: Superior Court Judge Bernard Kamins reduced comedian Paula Poundstone‘s psychological counseling sessions from four to two a month and her Alcoholics Anonymous meetings from three to two a week, the Associated Press reports. In December, Poundstone, 43, regained full custody of three adopted children she lost after pleading no contest to child endangerment. “Everything went really well,” her attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, told reporters after the hearing.

CANCELED: “Dawson’s Creek,” which five years ago helped make a real network out of the WB (which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner) and made stars out of James Van Der Beek and Katie Holmes, among others, will end this season with a two-hour finale on May 14, Variety reports. With the cast members’ contracts set to expire — and some of its stars now focusing on film careers — everyone agreed it was time to move on.

RENEGED: Jane Fonda, 65, withdrew her $12.5 million donation to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, derailing plans to establish a research center to study gender in education, reports the Boston Globe. The unused portion of her initial contribution reportedly will be returned to her. School officials declined to say how much of it is left. A school spokeswoman, Margaret Haas, described the relationship between Harvard and Fonda as “very cordial.”

SUED: Wesley Snipes, 40, has been sued for the second time in two years for failing to make mortgage payments on his 10,000-square-foot mansion in the gated Orlando, Fla., community of Isleworth (home to Tiger Woods, Ken Griffey Jr. and Shaquille O’Neal, among others), reports the AP. The suit alleges that the “Blade 2” star defaulted on his payments in October and owes the Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. almost $609,000. There’s been no comment from Snipes’s camp.

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