- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 7, 2004

Sued, according to Jim

Associated Press

Actor James Belushi has sued next-door neighbor Julie Newmar for $4 million in damages, accusing the actress of a “campaign of harassment” designed to drive him from his home.

Mr. Belushi, 50, claims in the lawsuit filed Nov. 2 that Miss Newmar destroyed a fence and landscaping at the home in the posh Brentwood neighborhood and repeatedly made defamatory statements about him to neighbors and friends.

The lawsuit also claims that Miss Newmar, 71, spied on Mr. Belushi’s family from her residence and caused a nuisance by playing loud music directed at his backyard.

Miss Newmar had an unlisted telephone number and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Belushi — who currently stars in the ABC sitcom “According to Jim” — says the actions of the actress who played Catwoman in the 1960s television series “Batman” caused emotional distress and harmed his reputation and career.

Ecstasy of gold

New York Daily News

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but cover art from a Metallica album can fetch $16,000.

The Hard Rock Cafe hosted its first heavy metal auction Saturday, with Metallica memorabilia, including the art from 1986’s “Master of Puppets,” accounting for more than half the $100,000 in sales.

“The thing about these auctions is that you never can tell what’s going to be popular,” said Darren Julien, who helped organize the event for the cafe.

Thirty fans and collectors attended in person — joined by 300 online and phone bidders around the world — to buy such items as a 1984 Eddie Van Halen jumpsuit and a smashed guitar from Anthrax’s 1987 Among the Living tour.

Most of the merchandise came from Jon Zazula, co-founder of Megaforce Records, which signed Metallica to its first record contract in 1983.

Besides vintage artwork, handwritten documents were also highly coveted. Sixteen lots of handwritten Metallica lyrics netted a total of $48,000, and a pile of 1984 gas and rental car receipts signed by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich brought in $200.

Out to Munch

Newsday.com

Oslo’s Munch Museum could remain closed until June 2005 while officials upgrade its security system following a brazen daylight robbery in August of two Edvard Munch masterpieces.

The city-owned museum on Thursday released a report it had commissioned after the Aug. 22 armed robbery, and said the security flaws it found could cost as much as $7.8 million to fix and take until June 2005 to complete.

“It was not pleasant reading,” said Anette Wiig Bryn, city councilor for culture, about the report.

Three masked robbers, including at least one with a pistol, took “The Scream” and “Madonna,” and fled in a stolen car.

The museum has been closed for a security study since shortly after the theft. There has been no sign of the paintings, or word from the thieves, who may have stolen them hoping to get a ransom.

Down — but not out

Associated Press

P. Diddy’s “Vote or Die!” initiative lives on.

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who started the group Citizen Change to increase voter turnout among young people for last Tuesday’s presidential election, told Associated Press the group will continue to be involved in politics.

“This is phase one, step one for us to get people engaged,” said Mr. Combs, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Thursday. “I’m trying to set up an infrastructure of empowerment and understanding power.”

The group — with the slogan “Vote or Die!” — enlisted celebrities such as Mary J. Blige, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to boost the youth vote, and in the last days of the campaign, charted a jet to visit swing states.

Exit polls, however, showed fewer than one in 10 voters Tuesday were ages 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000. Still, since voter turnout was higher overall, more young people actually voted.

“I think it’s obvious that the youth voter turnout increased,” Mr. Combs said.

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

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