Plus: Survivor may hit Canada, Baywatch boy busted, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 20, 2004 09:00 AM

INVESTED: Rapper Nelly (real name: Cornell Haynes Jr.), has bought into the NBA’s expansion Charlotte Bobcats as a partial owner, reports the Associated Press. “This is a great opportunity for both the Bobcats and Nelly,” Robert L. Johnson, the team’s majority owner and the founder of Black Entertainment Television said in a statement. Said Nelly, 29: “Of the many dreams that I have fulfilled in life, being an NBA owner is certainly one of the biggest achievements.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

REVEALED: Survivor creator Mark Burnett, 44, tells the Toronto Sun that the CBS reality show may be settling in Canada’s Great White North for its 11th go-round, slated to begin airing fall 2005. This would mark the first time that the show eschewed warm climes that lend themselves to a lot of nearly nude contestants (or outright nude, in the case of first winner Richard Hatch). Burnett would not confirm the locale, but said, “We could be heading to Canada.”

BUSTED: Former Baywatch actor Michael Bergin, 35, who authored a tell-all on his affair with Carolyn Bessette (who married John F. Kennedy Jr.), was arrested on a felony charge of DUI Friday night – which was also the fifth anniversary of the plane crash that claimed the lives of the Kennedy couple. Bergin was charged after he allegedly struck a 39-year-old woman who was rollerblading across a West Hollywood street, reports the Smoking Gun Web site. Bergin spent more than 10 hours in jail and was released after posting $50,000 bail. The alleged victim reportedly suffered a broken left leg.

DISSOLVED: The marriage of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and his wife, Skylar, is over, according to a statement on the band’s Web site. “Lars and Skylar Ulrich are getting divorced after seven years of marriage,” it reads. “The couple have been quietly going through divorce proceedings and separated since March. They will share custody of their two children.” The couple currently can be seen in happier days as part of the new Metallica documentary, Some Kind of Monster. The New York Post reports that Skylar, who dated Matt Damon, was said to be the inspiration for the Minnie Driver’s inspirational character in Good Will Hunting.

CHANGED: Except for Emmy-nominated Kiefer Sutherland, nearly the entire cast of FOX’s 24 will not be returning for the show’s fourth season, to begin in January, reports Variety. Reiko Aylesworth, who played Michelle on 24 for the past two seasons, will jump over to CBS’s CSI in a new, recurring role. As for other changes on 24, Sutherland’s character, Jack Bauer, will no longer work for the Counter-Terrorist Unit, executive producer Joel Surnow tells the trade paper.

OFFERED: Some of singer Ray Charles’s items, including a pair of his trademark sunglasses, will be auctioned off Aug. 13 in Los Angeles to benefit Joy Community Outreach to End Homelessness, an organization run by Mable John, who used to sing with Charles. “He was always giving to others. He gave us items every year we’ve held this auction. It’s fitting we can help some people through the sale of some of his collection,” she said in a statement. Charles, 73, died of liver failure on June 10.

DEDICATED: The 39th Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, set to air Sept. 5-6, will be dedicated to Mattie Stepanek, the 13-year-old poet who died in June of complications from the neuromuscular disease mitochondrial myopathy. Mattie, the National Goodwill Ambassador for the MDA, wrote five books of poetry and was working on a book with former President Jimmy Carter. “Mattie was an amazing youngster,” said Lewis, 78, in a statement. “He touched many people’s hearts – mine included – in his short lifetime, which was devoted to helping others and spreading peace and love.”

EXPOSED: The Sci Fi cable network and parent company NBC Universal have acknowledged that a Sunday-night special purporting to be an unauthorized documentary on director M. Night Shyamalan was really part of a marketing hoax that went too far, reports Reuters. The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan was falsely promoted as a “disturbing expose” of the filmmaker that Shyamalan first cooperated with, then tried to have shut down when producers delved too deeply into his personal life. It turns out that Shyamalan was in on the entire process, all to promote his new movie “The Village.” “The intention is never to hurt the press, to have them go along with you, so I think that’s where it sort of took a wrong turn,” said a Sci Fi spokeswoman.