Plus: Porn Idol altered, Vatican slams Da Vinci Code, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 16, 2005 08:00 AM

COMPLAINED: The veteran R&B group the O’Jays (“Love Train”) apparently protested the decision to have Justin Timberlake introduce them during Monday night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. reports that Eddie Levert, 62, said of the 24-year-old Timberlake’s involvement: “We protested, kicked and stomped. But it is out of our control.” Bandmate Walter Williams, 61, added: “No offense to Justin, because he deserves the respect he has earned, but I could think of a few people who know more about our pain and suffering and history.”

FORCED: A lawyer for American Idol host Ryan Seacrest has persuaded producers of a gay porn takeoff on the FOX talent show to make alterations in the X-rated flick’s content, TV’s Celebrity Justice reports. In American Porn Star, in which contestants do porn instead of singing, the show looks like Idol and the host is named Jason Seacrest. The show in the movie no longer looks like Idol, the Associated Press reports.

SENTENCED: Former Baywatch actor Michael Bergin has been sent to jail for 30 days after pleading no contest to a felony drunken driving charge, AP reports. The charge stemmed from a July 2004 accident in West Hollywood that injured a woman who was inline skating. Thursday’s sentence, by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard A. Stone, also carried three years’ probation and demands Bergin’s participation in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving program, said a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. Outside the courtroom, a tearful Bergin told reporters, “It’s an unfortunate situation and I’m glad part of it’s over.” In a book, Bergin, who turns 35 on Saturday, claimed to have had an extra-marital affair with John F. Kennedy Jr.‘s wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.

SLAMMED: Top Vatican cleric Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone urged Catholics around the world to boycott both Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code and the upcoming movie adaptation starring Tom Hanks, the cardinal said on Vatican radio. “Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice,” he claimed, citing the contents of the book, which features a claim that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and produced a family. The American publisher of Da Vinci, which has sold 25 million copies worldwide, noted that the theories in the book have circulated for centuries and said in a statement: “Doubleday certainly respects Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican and their desire to clarify any factual errors they feel may have been made in The Da Vinci Code.

BUSTED: Former Baywatch actress Alexandra Paul and another woman were arrested at a vigil meant to save General Motors’ EV1 electric cars, AP reports. On Monday, Paul and Colette Divine were in a car that blocked the path of trucks hauling the cars to Arizona to be destroyed, police said. Both women were booked on suspicion of failing to obey an officer, police Lt. William Berry said. They were later released on their own recognizance.

CONTACTED: Hugh Jackman tells gossip columnist Liz Smith that he will host this June’s Tony Awards, honoring Broadway’s best. The Van Helsing and Boy from Oz star has hosted the past two Tonys shows, to great reviews and lousy TV ratings. ? In other theater news, a new stage version of The Lord of the Rings, based on the fantasy classic by J.R.R. Tolkien, will open in March 2006 in Toronto and go to London six months later, Reuters reports. “We are going to have to break new ground. It is a hybrid of text, music, spectacle and physical theater,” vows producer Kevin Wallace.