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Posted on Tue, Aug. 03, 2004

Newsmakers | Exam set for Zeta-Jones' alleged stalker




Inquirer Staff Writer

In a tremendous show of legal and psychological acumen, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ordered Dawnette Knight to undergo a psychological evaluation. Knight, you may recall, is the aspiring psychologist who is charged with one felony count of stalking and 24 felony counts of making criminal threats against Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Knight is being held on $1 million bail. The judge, Patricia Schnegg, has suspended a preliminary hearing until after the evaluation, to see whether Knight should stand trial.

You may ask: Why would Knight warrant the psych exam? Because she's so infatuated with Zeta-Jones' hubby, Michael Douglas, that she allegedly sent the couple letters threatening "to slice [Zeta-Jones] up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs"? Well, no - those allegations didn't prompt any outcries for an evaluation. What apparently led to it is that Knight's lawyer, Richard Herman, says his client tried to kill herself by taking two sleeping pills she acquired in jail.

"Catherine Zeta-Jones has driven Dawnette Knight to attempt suicide," Herman claimed, in a bit of overstatement. The next court date is set for Aug. 16.

Tyson goes to the birds

• Mike Tyson has a nurturing, sweet side. For real. According to MSNBC.com's "The Scoop," Iron Mike loves pigeons to death. He loves 'em so much that, a woman in his spokesman's office tells MSNBC.com, "he raises them and treats them like humans." He loves 'em so much that he allegedly invited in - or brought along - more than a half dozen of the birds to a Louisville, Ky., hotel room where he was staying for the boxing match he lost Friday night. They hung out on the furniture. They made a big mess, upsetting the maids. The unidentified Tyson spokeswoman says she doubts there's any veracity to the pigeons-in-a-hotel-room tale.

Bassett's new role

• Angela Bassett is a formidable woman. From her derriere-kicking, tough-as-nails portrayal of Tina Turner (What's Love Got to Do With It?) to her I'm-a-vulnerable-romantic-chick in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, she just makes us weak in the knees. So we welcome TV Guide Online's report that A.B. will join the cast of ABC's Alias as a derriere-kicking CIA director, joining that other formidable woman, the dimpled, kick-boxing Jennifer Garner (who is allegedly Ben Affleck's new honey).

The gov's land deal

We are always a little dubious about - and confused by - the concept of a compound, as opposed to a house or even a mansion. What exactly is it? So we offer this guide to the others who may be similarly perplexed: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, have sold an $18 mil portion of their exclusive Pacific Palisades residential compound. The chunk in question consists of three separate homes, one of which has its own pool and tennis court, the Los Angeles Times reports. A fourth property is in escrow. The couple have not lived in the 5.3-acre compound since they bought a new home in nearby Brentwood for a paltry $11.9 mil back in '02. We're thinking of putting a little fence around our desk here at Chez Newsmakers and calling it the gossip compound.

Hung's newest threat

• William Hung is famous for being a bad singer. Sure, the American Idol castoff is sweet and cuddly, but honestly, when it comes to his attempts to sing, any camp-slash-humor factor is outweighed by the far more powerful cringe factor.

So it is with apprehension that we pass along Hung's latest plan to conquer the entertainment world: He's making a Christmas CD. Here's our vision of hell: Hung's off-key squawks piped throughout malls across America during the holiday shopping rush.

That apocalyptic vision is clearly not shared by the folks who own the Kam Pek casino in Macau, in southeast China. They hired the 21-year-old U.C. Berkeley engineering student to entertain their guests last weekend. And he reportedly obliged with his trademark tune, an off-key rendition of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs," flanked by sexy dancers in red tube tops. Nothing more sexy.

Whither leather?

• Furniture store owner Gary Gevurtz shows up tonight talking leather on cable channel HGTV's Smart Design (8 p.m.). The segment was shot in the showroom of Gevurtz's Manayunk store, Dwelling.


Contact "Newsmakers" at 215-854-5797 or newsmakers@phillynews.com. Inquirer wire services contributed to this column.

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