Rick James Death Due to Heart Attack, Drugs
Plus: Avril not engaged, Kidman rules Australia, and more
DETERMINED: “Super Freak” singer Rick James, who died suddenly in August, had nine drugs in his system including cocaine, methamphetamine, valium and vicodin, according to a coroner’s report. James, 56, died in his sleep Aug. 6 in his Los Angeles home of a heart attack, but the drugs in his system likely contributed to the organ’s failure, Reuters reports. His family attributed his death to natural causes, but the Los Angeles County coroner took over the case because James (a diabetic with a weak heart) had not seen a doctor in the weeks prior to his death.
DENIED: Avril Lavigne, 20, and Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley are denying reports that they are engaged after dating since this summer, his managers say. Lavigne recently was photographed showing off a large ring to a friend in Bel Air and to partygoers at the Spider Club. Her camp refuses comment on personal matters, but a friend of the pair tells PEOPLE: “They’re probably just messing around.”
EARNED: With an estimated $108 million to her name, Nicole Kidman is the richest woman under 40 Down Under, according to Australia’s BRW magazine. The Oscar winner, 37, came in fourth overall and was the highest-ranked woman on the list, which was headed by 39-year-old mobile phone magnate John Ilhan ($210 million). Supermodel Elle Macpherson and pop star Kylie Minogue tied for third place on the rich women’s list with $42 million each.
CELEBRATED: Christian Slater, 35, has a hit on the London stage in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. “It moved me to tears,” raved the Evening Standard’s critic. Slater, who came down with chicken pox before the (subsequently delayed) opening, told PEOPLE: “I secretly sort of rehearsed on my own because I missed two weeks of rehearsal. Then I just showed up and jumped right in.” Even with his own personal triumph, Slater paid homage to the man who made the vehicle famous. Says London’s hottest leading man: “Everyone … has got to be a huge fan of Jack (Nicholson). He’s the greatest actor of our time, couldn’t love him more.”
ACCUSED: Kangaroo Jack and Barbershop actor Anthony Anderson, 33, has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman who visited him on the set of his TV show last year, reports the Associated Press. Anderson, who also is facing rape charges in Tennessee, denies both allegations. “Clearly, this is an attempt to exploit Anthony’s perceived vulnerability because of the ridiculous rape charges pending against him in Memphis,” according to a statement from Anderson’s publicist. “As Anthony has said before, those charges are also completely baseless.”
SHATTERED: Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings, 30, won his 47th consecutive game in an episode of the syndicated game show that aired Thursday. This gives him the longest winning streak in TV history, topping a record set in 1980 by former Navy pilot Thom McKee, whose 46 days on Tic Tac Dough resulted in winnings of $312,700 in cash and merchandise.