- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2004

Hold that tiger

Internet Movie Database

Actress Melanie Griffith fears her mother, Tippi Hedren, will be the victim of a tiger attack, following illusionist Roy Horn’s near-death experience with one of the animals.

Miss Hedren, founder of the Shambala Animal Preserve in Acton, Calif., lives in a cottage on the grounds that are home to 60 exotic large cats such as leopards, lions and tigers. She was once mauled by a lioness, the Internet Movie Database reports.

Miss Hedren was injured while filming the 1981 movie “Roar,” while Miss Griffith was grazed. Mr. Horn is still recovering after being savaged by one of his own tigers in October during his stage show with partner Siegfried Fischbacher in Las Vegas.

Michael’s new woes

Associated Press

Can things get any worse for Michael Jackson? Probably.

Authorities on Saturday searched the home of one of his former music producers for an hour but refused to disclose how or even if the search was connected to the sex abuse charges the entertainer is facing.

Sheriff’s investigators from Santa Barbara County, where Mr. Jackson’s case is unfolding, searched the Calabasas residence of Marc Schaffel, said John Caffrey, a deputy with the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department. Mr. Schaffel, who produced Mr. Jackson’s song “What More Can I Give” two years ago, was not at home during the search, “Entertainment Tonight” reported on its Web site. The producer has an unlisted telephone number and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Jackson has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 and two counts of giving a child an “intoxicating agent,” reportedly wine. He is free on $3 million bail and due back in court Feb. 13 for his preliminary hearing.

The search came just days after an upcoming Vanity Fair article, written by Maureen Orth, alleging that the King of Pop is also the king of wine-filled pop cans that he doles out to minors — claims that have been vigorously denied by Mr. Jackson’s family and supporters.

Firpo Carr, a Jackson family friend, told reporters that the Gloved One’s parents and siblings are outraged by the story — on newsstands this week — that reports Mr. Jackson provided young children with wine he referred to as “Jesus juice” or “Jesus blood.”

Miss Orth did not include a response from the Jackson camp in her article, though she stated she had attempted to contact his intimates for comment. Vanity Fair, meanwhile, has issued a terse statement in support of its story, saying only: “Vanity Fair stands by Maureen Orth’s Michael Jackson story. The article underwent rigorous fact-checking and legal vetting.”

Missus a bigamist?

New York Post

James Brown’s got a brand new bag in his increasingly bitter battle with his fourth wife, Tomi Rae Hyne. The Godfather of Soul claims she’s still married to another man.

Mr. Brown, 70, was arrested last Wednesday on charges of criminal domestic violence after he allegedly shoved Miss Hyne, 33, to the ground and threatened her with a chair. He has since filed for an annulment, charging that Miss Hyne is a bigamist and still married to her last husband, the New York Post reported in yesterday’s Page Six column. Lawyers for Miss Hyne did not return calls.

“His wife is still married to another man,” a source familiar with the situation told the newspaper. “She’s trying to extort money from Mr. Brown by making him honor their prenuptial agreement. She’s planning on saying she and her son are starving — that he left her high and dry. However, she’s still married to a man named Ahmed and never filed for divorce.”

Mr. Brown married Miss Hyne, his then-backup singer, in December 2001, after the couple had already lived together for almost five years and had a baby son. But things quickly went sour. Last summer, the R&B; legend announced his separation from Miss Hyne with a full-page ad in Variety. They reconciled a few months later.

But given Mr. Brown’s history of warring with his wives, it’s no surprise things have turned ugly. In 1988, then-wife Adrienne charged that Mr. Brown assaulted her with an iron bar, shot holes in her fur coats and later fired shots at her when she tried to flee. She later refused to testify, and charges were dropped. Adrienne Brown died of complications from plastic surgery in 1996. Mr. Brown also has been charged with aggravated assault for waving an unloaded shotgun at a seminar of insurance salesmen. He went to jail in 1988 on drug charges after leading police on a car chase.

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

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