- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 23, 2003

Swayze’s razzle-dazzle

Associated Press

From “Dirty Dancing” to the razzle-dazzle of “Chicago” on tour.

Patrick Swayze, whose films include “Road House,” “Ghost” and “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar,” joins the national company of “Chicago” next month as that slick, song-and-dance lawyer, Billy Flynn. Mr. Swayze will portray Flynn when the stage version of the Oscar-winning film plays San Diego’s Civic Center, Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, and then the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, Jan. 7 to 18.

The touring production also stars Bianca Marroquin, who headlined the Mexico City production, as condemned murderess Roxie Hart and Brenda Braxton as her cohort-in-crime, Velma Kelly.

Bad memory revived

New York Post

Martha Stewart is still traumatized by her encounter with former CBS “Early Show” hostess Jane Clayson.

Miss Stewart was in Minnesota doing some holiday appearances when a local reporter asked her about her upcoming trial. The homemaking guru said she was in town to talk about Christmas and snapped: “You don’t have to be a Jane what’s-her-name,” reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Miss Stewart appeared on the “Early Show” for a cooking segment when Miss Clayson fired a barrage of scandal-related questions at her as she chopped salad fixings.

Smackdown suit

E! Online

Naomi Campbell’s less than model behavior has landed the British beauty in hot water.

The supermodel is being sued for undisclosed damages by a former administrative assistant who claims Miss Campbell struck her and tossed a phone at her during a fit two years ago at a Beverly Hills hotel. Former aide Simone Craig, 29, says that the catwalk queen grabbed her by the arms and tossed her onto a couch during a tantrum at L’Hermitage Hotel, according to the suit, filed in state Superior Court in Morris County, New Jersey. Miss Campbell then supposedly held Miss Craig captive in the hotel room and yelled, “You’re going to stay here and do your job.”

An attorney for the 33-year-old supermodel told the Associated Press that Miss Campbell “categorically denies the allegations.”

“It’s an unfortunate byproduct of visibility and celebrity that individuals such as Ms. Campbell are subjected to this sort of claim,” John Rosenberg said Tuesday.

As befitting Miss Campbell’s international diva status, Mr. Rosenberg has requested that the case be moved to federal court in Newark. According to court documents, Miss Craig quit immediately after the claimed L’Hermitage smackdown. She’d been hired to work for Miss Campbell two weeks earlier by a New York agency.

In fact, it’s not the first time the high-maintenance model has been sued for assault. In February 2000, Miss Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for whaling on former assistant Georgina Galanis while shooting a film there in 1998. As part of her plea bargain, Miss Campbell expressed remorse and was released without penalty or a criminal record. Details of her settlement with Miss Galanis were never revealed.

Trouble for Conrad

Associated Press

A California judge last week ordered former television tough guy Robert Conrad to stand trial on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Mr. Conrad, best known for his roles in the TV shows “Baa Baa Black Sheep”— later renamed “Black Sheep Squadron”— and “The Wild Wild West,” pleaded innocent to two felony counts.

The actor crashed head-on into another vehicle March 31 near his rural Calaveras County home, injuring the other driver, Kevin Burnett. Police testified that Mr. Conrad’s blood-alcohol level was 0.22 percent —nearly three times the legal limit.

Mr. Burnett, 26, sustained a broken wrist and leg in the accident, his family said. He’s filed a lawsuit against Mr. Conrad and his production company, Black Sheep Productions, seeking damages and compensation.

Mr. Conrad, 68, turned up two hours late for Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, later telling the Associated Press that he’d been at home doing physical therapy for injuries he sustained in the crash. He said he was hospitalized for four months after the crash and has had surgery to repair nerve damage in his neck and arm.

When he didn’t show for the scheduled start, prosecutors said that if he was well enough to attend a CBS anniversary show on Nov. 2, he should be able to come to the hearing. The judge then ordered Mr. Conrad’s lawyer to find his client.

Judge David L. Devore said there was enough evidence to try Mr. Conrad, who will be arraigned Dec. 8.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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