The Insider

updated 02/10/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/10/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

Actress Christine Elise may have loved and lost Jason Priestley on Beverly Hills, 90210, but she's got him in real life. Priestley's publicist now is confirming for the first time that they are an item. "They aren't living together," says the rep, "but they are going out." Elise met Priestley earlier this TV season when she played Emily, a character who had an obsessive crush on Priestley, as Brandon, on several 90210 episodes.

And speaking of Beverly Hills: It soon may begin encroaching on nearby West Hollywood. The Fox network and producer Aaron Spelling are developing a 90210 spinoff, Melrose Place, about a group of twentysomethings trying to make it in L.A.'s modish Melrose district. Among others, Fox must find "Jake Hanson," described by a source in the casting industry as a "reluctant hunk who is irresistibly attractive and attracted to women." Plans call for Jake to be introduced during the Last two episodes of this season's 90210, which will air during TV's May sweeps.

If you think there are too many members of the Jackson family already, soon there will be even more. Suzanne de Passe, the head of Gordy/de Passe Productions, needs better than a score of look-alikes to appear in The Jacksons: An American Dream, a planned our-hour ABC miniseries about the early rise of Michael Jackson and his singing siblings. Because the series will show the kids growing up, says de Passe, she'll need "three sets of the Jackson Five, plus two Janets, two Randys and two La Toyas." De Passe says the miniseries, which begins shooting in April and airs next season, is being undertaken with the "blessings of Michael, his parents and the entire family." Jermaine, in fact, is a producer.


The continuing controversy over Oliver Stone's JFK delights actress Diane (Rambling Rose) Ladd. She believes JFK's success is the reason four studios are now showing interest in a project she has been developing for 12 years about the late Martha Mitchell, wife of Nixon Administration Attorney General and Watergate cover-up coconspirator John Mitchell.

Before Watergate unraveled, Mrs. Mitchell had begun making rambling late-night phone calls to Washington reporters, hinting at government skulduggery. She died in 1976, a year before her husband began serving a 19-month prison sentence for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury.

Ladd wants both to play Martha and produce the movie. "Now that JFK has been made," says Ladd, "it shows that the people really want the truth." Or at least that there's a movie market for political scandal.

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