George Michael got pinched but not framed by cop-arazzi
As scandals go, it was equal parts Hugh Grant and Pee-Wee Herman. On April 7, pop star George Michael, 34, was arrested in a Beverly Hills park for committing a "lewd act." Three days later the singer went on CNN to out himself. "I'm in a relationship with a man," he said. "I feel weak for having allowed my sexuality to be exposed this way." The story had everything: titillation, sadness—even a sense that the healing had begun. The only thing missing was the Mug Shot. Where was that classic photo of Michael looking like the unluckiest man ever to stand behind a very long number? Why didn't we have that image to ponder, to hold up as a example to our kids, to turn into nifty screen savers?
The answer is that Michael got lucky: He was nabbed in 90210, and the Beverly Hills cops do not release mug shots. L.A. has a different history. Once, if you were arrested there, your mug shot would be released to the press. Unless of course you knew somebody. In the past, some believed stars with connections could suppress photos and news of any wrongdoings.
But L.A. is more consistent today. Hugh Grant was the last star caught there to have his mug shot open wider than some of his movies. The LAPD now says that "there is no need to release booking photos—whether it's Joe the construction worker or Hugh Grant—other than for police purposes."
Still, there is no consensus on the issue. New York City does not release mug shots, but Chicago and Houston do, and so does the Sarasota, Fla., Sheriff's Department. Just ask Paul Reubens, who in '91 posed there for a portrait that might be titled "Pee-Wee's Last Adventure." Though an endangered species, the celeb mug shot lives on.
THE NAME'S THE SAME
When Greg Basinger, a Houston oil company engineer, tells people his name, they often respond, "Sure, and I bet your wife is Kim."
As a matter of fact, she is.
The former Kim Anderson, 31, says that since she wed Basinger in 1987, she has heard the Question ("Are you her?") at least once a week. "Friends ask, 'Where'd you put the Oscar?' or 'Where's Alec?' I always try to think of something witty to say."
The ramifications of her name hit home after she got engaged. Greg, wanting to ease her into Basinger-ness, rented 9½ Weeks, her namesake's foray into kinky sex. "I thought," she says," 'Hmmm. This is going to be interesting.' "
It has been, says the mother of three, but in ways she never imagined. Though quite stunning herself, Basinger must deal with people who complain she's not you-know-who. Once, at the auto repair shop, "there were 15 mechanics waiting. When I said, 'I'm Kim Basinger,' I heard groans of disappointment. One of them said, 'Jose here got so excited he was going to go home and take a bath.' " Still, she admires the star of LA. Confidential, whom she rooted for on Oscar night. "Since we have the same name, we have a bond."
This Guy's a Gamer
My, how time flies when you're deciding if a box of dishwasher cleanser costs more than a can of bug spray. Last week, Bob Barker appeared on his 5,000th The Price Is Right show, maintaining a string that stretches back to '72. Much has happened in that time: Barker lost his wife of 37 years, Dorothy Jo, to cancer in 1981; he was sued, unsuccessfully, for sexual harassment in 1994 by a cohostess, Dian Parkinson, but mostly he has given away major appliances—35,000 refrigerators, washers and dryers. To celebrate his latest milestone, we asked the 74-year-old host and animal-rights activist to come on down for a chat.
What's your most memorable moment?
About 20 years ago a young lady was in the audience wearing a tube top. Her name was called. She began jumping up and down, and out they came over her tube top. She came on down, and they came on out. We superimposed a banner across her breasts. I've also had two women faint on the show. One, her eyes rolled up, and she went over stiff as a board, and I just stepped over her body and said, "Get me another contestant." No, I'm kidding. She was revived and lived happily ever after.
How do fans treat you?
They feel we are friends. That's because I've never played a role on television. I've never been a cowboy, a detective or a doctor. I've just been Bob Barker. When my wife was alive, she used to come on the show occasionally. I used to bring my dogs and cats. People who watch know me better than the people I socialize with.
How's the love life going?
I'm not dating anyone in particular. At my age, I read more and date less.
Didn't CBS name the Price Is Right studio after you?
I got a lump in my throat I could hardly speak. Following the 5,000th show, there was a plaque installed at the entrance.
How much longer will you do the show?
At my age you don't make long-range predictions. I have every intention of being there Monday. I enjoy going to that studio. Many, many days, that's the happiest two hours I have, doing that show.
Mary Green WANTS TO KNOW
What would you like to see happen on the final Seinfeld?
Wild Things' Denise Richards
"I'd like to see Jerry get married. I think there's a girl out there for him, and I want to play her!"
Sean "Puffy" Combs
"I like Seinfeld. I like the humor of it. I'd tell everybody to live happily ever after."
The Dancing Baby (of Ally McBealand Blockbuster Video fame)
"I'd love to see Jerry and Elaine get married and adopt a cherubic-faced, diaper-clad, techno-baby such as myself. And, of course, I would make a guest appearance."
Exes and Ohs
City of Angels premiere, Los Angeles, April 8.
Celebs usually have a tough time staying married, but Lauren Holly and Jim Carrey could have a problem remaining divorced. The couple, who split last July after a 10-month marriage, have been seen partying together around L.A. At Angels they seemed delighted to be touched by each other—then left together before the postshow bash.
Elvis's little girl, Lisa Marie Presley, 30, is selling her posh Clearwater, Fla., mansion for $2.5 million, roughly twice what she paid for it in '96. The three-level home—in walking distance of the Church of Scientology's spiritual headquarters—has a pool, spa and 430-square-foot patio overlooking Clearwater Harbor.
If bad taste were a crime, O.J. Simpson would be rehiring Johnnie Cochran. While taping a British talk show in L.A. recently, the ex-grid star "stabbed" host Ruby Wax with a banana. "O.J. said he had a 'surprise' for me, and I genuinely was surprised," Wax told London's The Sun. "I think it was his idea of a joke." The bizarre moment, captured in this photo taken from videotape, airs on the BBC April 29.
It is a moment in hair history: Monica Lewinsky has quit the stylist she has been going to since 1996. The reason? Bulent Bozdemîr of D.C.'s 3303 inc. salon wouldn't stop working with another client: Lewinsky's zippergate nemesis Linda Tripp.
Bozdemîr, 31, did Lewinsky's hair when she worked in the White House. "She never told me about the President," he says, but after the scandal "she was very sad" while getting her weekly blowout ($70 for a house call to her Watergate apartment) or occasional cut ($120).
Ironically Lewinsky recommended her then-friend Tripp to Bozdemîr in '96. But lately, "Monica got upset when I did Linda's hair," Bozdemîr says. "I'm sorry; it's my job. What can I say? 'I cannot do my job because you hurt Monica?' " Lewinsky now goes to Georgetown's Toka Salon. Such a shame, all this bad feeling. Especially when, as Bozdemîr notes, the women have at least one thing in common: They both, he says, "have frizzy hair."