Take One

updated 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Eddie Murphy's recent press conference at Paramount Studios announcing a new picture deal was a laugh a minute until Barbra Paskin, a reporter on assignment for the BBC, brought up Murphy's crude language and behavior in his concert comedy routines, which she said were the talk of England. Paskin then asked Murphy what "license" he had in his act to call Michael Jackson "gay." Murphy, annoyed, denied calling Jackson gay and refused to answer any more questions from her because "you don't know what you're talking about." The next day Paskin says she got a call from Paramount marketing executive Sidney Ganis, who suggested that Paskin "write a letter of apology to Murphy." Will she? "As soon as he apologizes to Jackson I will," says Paskin.

Speaking of Jackson, a planned 30-minute documentary about the making of his forthcoming short film, Smooth Criminal, has been shelved. Apparently, he couldn't get a script that he liked, not even the one written by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels. After several months of false starts the docu-crew was given its walking papers: Only 10 minutes of film had been shot, including cameos featuring Pee-wee Herman as Michael's stand-in and comic Steven Wright as a production assistant. Sly Stallone, who was to play a makeup artist, and sportscaster John Madden, set to play a script supervisor, will have to wait for Jackson to call again before they strut their stuff.

ABC's Moonlighting, which has made reruns an art form and the hiatus a way of life, has taken a new step toward becoming a no-show show. Before leaving for a three-month break to give birth to twins due in October, Cybill Shepherd shot several solo scenes in which her character, Maddie Hayes, imagines work without David Addison (Bruce Willis). Willis is now shooting his solo spots, imagining work without Maddie. Where does all this lead? You guessed it—to time off in October for Willis, who, rumor has it, will make the most of his co-star's maternity leave by doing a film. The show's executive producer, Glenn Caron, is already taking two months leave to direct Clean and Sober, starring Michael (Mr. Mom) Keaton. Forget Moonlighting—when does the regular job begin?

Jessica Hahn, who brought PTL preacher Jim Bakker's career to a noisy halt after claiming that he brutally deflowered her, has gone on to profitable posings. Hahn signed a deal to tell all to Playboy, which she'll do in two parts beginning in the November issue. She'll show a lot while she's at it. Her attorney, Dominic Barbara, refused to comment, but insiders say Hahn will be pictured in the buff. Now, isn't that special?

By Manhattan standards it couldn't be a more hallowed trio engaged in a more sacred undertaking: In March, Francis Coppola, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese will each direct a vignette for Disney's New York Stories, a feature film about life in the Big Apple. Amen.

Roberta Flack, who hasn't released an album in five years, is coming out with a new one, tentatively titled Oasis. She's asked pal James Earl Jones to direct the companion video. "We're going to the desert and do something with intrigue," says Flack, 47. "Not just me sitting on a camel."

First there was Romancing the Stone; then came The Jewel of the Nile. Now screenwriter Warren (Beverly Hills Cop II) Skaaren is writing the third in the series, to be called Crimson Eagle. Shooting is set to begin next spring in Hong Kong. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas will return, but Danny DeVito's financial demands are providing more thrills than the films. Whether he'll be back is still a cliffhanger.

Joan Collins' new ex, Peter Holm, is shopping for a publisher for his chronicle of their tumultuous marriage. Collins isn't worried. "I don't think it will happen," she said of Holm's attempted literary effort. "He can barely write his name, let alone a book." Don't expect a reconciliation.

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