Plus: Blake trial testimony, 122 lbs. for Biggest Loser, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
January 12, 2005 09:00 AM

ALTERED: Star Jones Reynolds, who worked as an assistant district attorney for six years before turning to TV work in 1992, for the first time listed her profession as TV personality instead of attorney while filling out customs forms during a European trip. “I guess I’ve crossed over to the dark side,” she tells the Associated Press. “It felt truthful. I’m sure it’s strange for my father, who wants to know where all the money went for law school.”

WITNESSED: Michael Dufficy and Robert Noel, two regulars at Vitello’s Restaurant – where Robert Blake ate his last meal with wife Bonny Lee Bakley – testified Tuesday that the actor, 71, appeared nervous, agitated and “was messing with his hair a lot” shortly before she was killed on May 4, 2001. “He stood out as being quite nervous and agitated,” Dufficy said, AP reports. “I thought it was behavior that stood out dramatically.” On cross-examination, Dufficy acknowledged he might have had a preconceived opinion of Blake that colored his perception. He said he told Noel, “Oh there goes that kook, Blake.”

SELECTED: Oscar de la Renta will design Laura Bush’s inaugural ball gown, the First Lady has announced. It will be ice blue and silver tulle. For the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony, de la Renta, who has designed for Bush for the past five years, will outfit her in a winter white cashmere day suit.

WON: Ryan Benson, 36, of Spokane, Wash., won on Tuesday’s night’s finale of the NBC weight-loss reality program The Biggest Loser after shedding 122 lbs., going from 330 to 208 – a loss of 37 percent of his body weight and 18 percent of his body fat, for a winning total of 55. Second place Gary Deckman, 40, of Brooklyn, started at 227 and ended up 156. There was no follow-up feast to the finale.

APPEARED: Ordinarily reclusive Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, was in a New York courtroom Tuesday to answer charges of plagiarism, say reports. He denied that he lifted material for his international bestseller from rival author Lewis Perdue, who claims Brown infringed copyrights on Perdue’s The Da Vinci Legacy and Daughter of God. Brown called the claims nonsense, but Perdue insisted there are too many similarities between the mysteries to be a coincidence. Judge George Daniels said a ruling would be issued in the spring.

ENTERED: Isley Brothers lead singer Ronald Isley, 63, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of five counts of tax evasion and one count of failing to file an income tax return. He was indicted in October for allegedly evading taxes from 1997 to 2002 by depositing his dead brother’s royalty checks, buying cars for his personal use with money from a business account and paying his band members cash to keep them off the books. A trial has been scheduled to begin March 8.

REUNITED: Happy Days cast members Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, Scott Baio, Erin Moran, Don Most and Anson Williams will gather for ABC’s Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion, to air Feb. 3, reports the New York Post. The special will feature bloopers and recollections – as well as an unseen clip of Fonzie (Winkler) making out with Mrs. Cunningham (Ross).