The Insider

updated 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

BRONCO BUSTER

The closest prosecutors have come to finding an eyewitness in the O.J. Simpson case is Jill Shively, a 32-year-old sales rep who told a grand jury in June that her yellow Volkswagen bug nearly collided in an intersection with O.J.'s Ford Bronco just blocks from the crime scene on the night of the Simpson-Goldman murders. She further testified that O.J.'s car nearly hit another driver in a Nissan at the same intersection. (Shively's credibility was tainted when she sold her story to Hard Copy for $5,000.)

Now we hear that the district attorney's office has informed Shively that her story has been corroborated and that she should be prepared to take the stand as early as December. Although a source close to the investigation won't say if the driver of the Nissan is the one who backed up Shively's story, he did say that someone at the scene had given investigators a statement.

WHERE'S PAPA?

Robert Redford doesn't give up easily. The Quiz Show director was so keen on having his Butch Cassidy costar Paul Newman play contestant Charles Van Doren's father, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Van Doren, that he kept the part open for Newman for more than a month into production last summer. To give Newman as much time as possible to decide, Redford even changed the shooting schedule and filmed around all the scenes that called for the elder Van Doren. Sources tell us that Ralph Fiennes, who plays Charles, took to walking around the set muttering, "Who's my father?"

In the end, Newman finally passed on the job. So coproducer Gail Mutrux suggested English actor Paul Scofield. But Scofield was living in a house without a phone on a remote Scottish island. Once he read the script, however, he was on the next boat out.

STAR TRIP

Even after his smash debut as the cross-dresser in 1992's The Crying Game, Jaye Davidson professed no interest in pursuing an acting career. But then he was offered the chance to wear outlandish costumes and speak ancient Egyptian as an evil androgynous god who battles with Kurt Russell and James Spader in Stargate, a sci-fi flick due out this month.

Evidently he had no trouble acting like a star. People close to the production report that Davidson was a "difficult prima donna" during filming. "He played a weird, enigmatic god, and he acted like one," says a source. His attitude didn't bother the filmmakers though. Says coproducer-cowriter Dean Devlin: "Jaye is the first to admit he's a pain in the ass, but so is half of Hollywood."

(Mitchell Fink is on vacation.)

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