- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 29, 2006

Profiles in courage

Ted Kennedy Jr. has been chosen to receive the Gilda Radner Courage Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, which called him “a hopeful example and advocate for other cancer patients.”

The son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy lost his right leg to bone cancer at age 12 and went on to pursue a legal career dedicated largely to advocating for people with disabilities. He encourages cancer patients to take an active role in their care and to consider participating in clinical trials of new treatments to further research.

Mr. Kennedy took part in a clinical trial of a then-experimental drug after his 1973 diagnosis.

“People who are more active, more knowledgeable are less stressed out,” he said in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday. “They have more hope and they have a more positive attitude.”

The Gilda Radner Courage Award, named for the late comedian, recognizes a cancer patient whose public battle has given hope to cancer patients and has focused public attention on cancer.

Past recipients include skater Scott Hamilton, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, actress Rue McClanahan and new Buffalo Bills General Manager Marv Levy.

Producer sued

A nurse who was sued by TV producer Aaron Spelling last year for purportedly violating a confidentiality agreement has filed a lawsuit claiming he sexually harassed her.

Charlene Richards claims Mr. Spelling, 82, made sexual advances during her employment and engaged in inappropriate behavior.

Her lawsuit was filed Thursday in Superior Court and names Mr. Spelling, his wife, Candy Spelling, and their trust fund. It seeks at least $25,000 in damages for sexual harassment and discrimination, battery, wrongful termination and other grounds.

The lawsuit also claims Miss Richards worked unpaid overtime and never was issued tax forms by Mr. Spelling.

“There’s no merit whatsoever to this case,” Mr. Spelling’s lawyer, Bert Fields, said Friday. “The claims are “scurrilous” and “we deny every one of them,” Mr. Fields said. He claimed the lawsuit was retaliation for the Spellings’ legal action against Miss Richards.

Mr. Spelling’s TV hits include “Charlie’s Angels,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Dynasty” and “Fantasy Island.”

Miss Richards signed a confidentiality agreement when she began working as a home nurse for Mr. Spelling in November 2004. She was fired last April.

In November 2005, Mr. Spelling and his wife sued Miss Richards and her lawyer for $5 million for purportedly violating a confidentiality agreement and spreading rumors that Mr. Spelling sexually harassed her.

The pending lawsuit claims the nurse threatened to reveal confidential information unless Mr. Spelling paid her “an unspecified amount” to settle her sexual harassment claims.

• Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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