A Vietnam veterans group plans to file for an injunction that would prevent NBC from airing its controversial movie, Unnatural Causes, next fall. In the film, John Ritter plays a Vietnam vet who dies of cancer that he thought was caused by exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange. The producers have said that Ritter's character is a "composite," but a group called Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Victims, Inc. claims that Ritter's character resembles its co-founder, Army helicopter pilot Paul Reutershan, who died in 1978 at age 28. The movie co-stars Alfre (St. Elsewhere) Woodard as Veterans Administration caseworker Maude DeVictor, who helped bring the Agent Orange issue to the public's attention. DeVictor had frequent dealings with Reutershan before he died, and sold the rights to her story in 1984. Reutershan's survivors were paid nothing despite the contention of his sister, Jane Dziedzic, that the 113-page script has at least 53 direct factual references to a character who could only be her brother. Dziedzic also says the movie is a "terrible distortion of the issue." The group is planning a June 30 protest rally in New York. Meanwhile the producers say that they have turned over the claims to their attorneys.
It's not all sin and skin on this week's General Hospital, as Frisco (Jack Wagner) and Felicia (Kristina Malandro) bed down for their honeymoon. To Malandro's dismay, the network censored two steamy scenes. In one encounter, she was feeding her new husband grapes she had placed between her breasts. "That was changed completely," she says. "The next night, we're in bed again and Jack is kidding around by wearing the negligee I had on for our wedding night. The censors made him put the spaghetti straps down his sides instead of over his shoulder." That would have been just too kinky.
Former pro football player Ernie Barnes, now a successful sports artist, has received a $100,000 commission from Sly Stallone to do a huge mural depicting the metamorphosis of the Rockys I to IV. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is already in use, so Sly plans to hang the artwork in his Culver City office building, according to Barnes. Stallone too is about to be immortalized: His tuxedoed likeness (no Rocky boxing shorts or Rambo fatigues for posterity, please) will be unveiled at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London this fall.
What would the week be without more royal wedding fever? Working girl Sarah Ferguson, it seems, is apparently having trouble paying for all the clothes she now needs. The word is that Fergie chose a $7,500 creation by Zandra Rhodes to wear to the gala ball that her father is throwing in her (and Prince Andrew's) honor in early July. She reportedly tried negotiating with Rhodes for a discount, pointing out that the designer would receive tons of free publicity. Rhodes countered that she doesn't need publicity and would prefer cash. Finally, the two reached a compromise: Fergie will pay the bill in full, but only after her July 23 wedding, when her cash flow problems will be over.
While Mark Harmon's publicist was denying reports that he will marry Pam Dawber (dare we call this a Mark & Mindy match-up?), Dawber's publicist confirmed that Mark had replaced the friendship ring he had given her with a diamond one, and that the two, indeed, would marry. "They are both outdoorsy, down to earth and family oriented," says a mutual friend. "They're perfect for each other." But are their publicity firms?
Fastidious to a fault, Diana Ross asked for a chemical toilet with unbroken sanitation seals as part of her concert deal in Rome.