Backstreet Boy Nick Carter meets the backseat of a police cruiser
Not unlike an unruly child being warned with a time out Backstreet Boy-next-door Nick Carter was given to the count of three before Tampa police arrested him on Jan. 2 for defying repeated orders to leave the scene of a nightclub fracas. Carter, 21, who was charged with the misdemeanor of resisting an officer, had been partying with friends at the Pop City nightclub when other patrons began brawling shortly after 3 a.m. When police tried to disperse the crowd, the singer refused to budge. "They handcuffed him and put him in the cop car," says clubgoer Jennifer Guggino, 21.
For his part, Carter says his only crime was "moving too slow." A hearing is set for March 4. The incident comes on the heels of the Backstreet Boy's other G-rated run-in with the law: In May his luxury cabin cruiser ran into a protected sea grass habitat in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. (Carter is negotiating with a federal agency to pay for the restoration of the sea bed and appear in public service announcements encouraging boaters to avoid coral reefs.) Shaken fans can take heart that, despite recent tarnish on his wholesome image, Carter's trademark boy band sensitivity remains as strong as ever. During the arrest, "there were tears running down his face," recalls Guggino. "I told him it was not a big deal, and there was no need to cry. He said, 'It's okay for a man to cry.' "
History Repeats Itself (and Gets Caught)
Dr. Thomas Childers, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a longtime fan of historian and author Stephen Ambrose (Band of Brothers), found many of the vivid descriptions in Ambrose's bestselling tome The Wild Blue more than vivid. "As I was reading," says Childers, 55, "I thought, 'Wow, this sounds awfully familiar.' " In fact entire passages of Blue had been lifted verbatim from Childers's 1995 book The Wings of Morning. "What he took was not the substance," says the professor, "but the art." Still, he elected to let the matter drop. Not so the executive editor of The Weekly Standard, who accused Ambrose of plagiarism in a Jan. 14 piece. Ambrose, 66, who did cite Childers as a source, has since made amends. "I made a mistake for which I am sorry," he said in a statement. "It will be corrected in future editions of the book." As for Childers, he accepts the apology: "I thought it was a classy thing to do."
Paula Zahn Tells Her Bosses: Zip It!
There's nothing like the adjectives "provocative" and "sexy" voiced-over the sound of a zipper unzipping to make you think about...serious, hard-hitting news coverage? In what Walter Isaacson, chairman and CEO of CNN News Group, calls "a major blunder by our promotions department," a 15-second spot vaunting CNN morning news anchor Paula Zahn's sex appeal aired repeatedly last weekend. "I was offended," says Zahn, 45, a journalist with 23 years' experience. Management, she adds, "has apologized to me." CNN's livid top brass claim they never approved the ad, written by a female staffer. Isaacson promptly yanked the spot, though not before pundits pounced. "I think [the CNN ad] was wrong, but I think it's honest," said ABC's Meredith Vieira, quoted in the New York Daily News. Surprisingly, words of solace came from a rival network. "Being sexy is not a bad thing," says FOX News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor. "I'll take that all day long."
Complaining of wooziness at a friend's party on New Year's Eve in Los Angeles, model-actress Catya Sassoon, 33, daughter of coiffure king Vidal Sassoon, went to lie down. She was found dead the next morning by her husband, Joe Meyers. Her death—the cause awaits toxicology test results—was a quiet end to a brief but wild ride. Soon after Catya 's modeling career took off when she was 14, says her father, "the monsters with drugs got to her." Though the mother of three eventually beat her addictions, her father believes Catya, who recently had been calling old friends, had, a premonition of her death. Says Sassoon: "She seemed very resigned."
Bee Gees Score Heavy Medal
At last the Bee Gees may have reason to take the technicolor military uniforms they wore in the Sgt. Pepper's movie out of mothballs. Queen Elizabeth II recently named the disco dynasty—Barry, Robin and Maurice—Commanders of the Order of the British Empire for their outstanding contributions to the arts. "We'll get a blue and gold medal, like a star. It's beautiful. And we'll have tea with the Queen," says Maurice, 52, who adds that the group plans to release a new record by the year's end and kick off a worldwide tour in 2003. Has the new honor changed him? "No," says Maurice. "I'm still Mo the Twit. People keep calling me 'Commander,' and I say, 'Stop it!' "
Starsky: The Next Generation
A proposed big-screen remake of the hit '70s cop show Starsky and Hutch may boast Ben Stiller as Starsky, but it's got no Soul. And that's a serious point of contention for David Soul, 58, who played Det. Ken Hutchinson in the original series. "In my gut I'm so angry," the actor, who was not asked to reprise his star-making role, told Britain's Mail on Sunday recently. " [The original Starsky, Paul Michael Glaser, and I] are part of the Starsky and Hutch legacy, but we're not flavor of the month." (Stiller, who also plans to produce the film, declined to comment.) Adding salt to the wound, Soul, now working mainly in British theater, has for years been pushing his own sequel script—one where the former crime-busting tandem reconnects 20 years later—to no avail. Nevertheless, Soul is coping. "Anger is controllable," he says. "It can be a great source of strength." Let's hope so. The Mail says Brad Pitt may play Hutch.
Welcome to the Rumble
Every Rose has its thorns. Perpetually cranky Guns N' Roses front man Axl Rose, 39, displayed his before a year's end concert at Las Vegas's Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Rose ordered security guards to bar former GNR guitarist Slash, 36, with whom he has had musical differences, from entering the hall where Rose and some newly hired Guns were set to perform. A rep for Rose claims the snub was a precautionary measure: "We didn't know Slash's intentions." But a spokesman for Slash has another theory: "Axl may not have wanted Slash to steal his thunder."
with Carson Daly
Carson Daly, host of MTV's Total Request Live, made the leap to grown-up TV last week with the debut of his NBC talk show Last Call, which airs in the wee hours. Daly, 28, took Scoop's request for a brief Q&A.
There have been many late-night failures. Nervous?
No, 'cause this show will be exactly like Magic Johnson's show—minus the lay-ups and dunks. [laughs] No. This isn't Chevy Chase, Martin Short, it's not Arsenio. This is 22 minutes of content.
Personal preference: Jay, Dave or Nightline?
Oh, David Letterman is my hero. Without question. No disrespect to Mr. Leno—he's on my network. But I'm a New Yorker, I'm a longtime Letterman fan.
Are you a news junkie? Do you read the papers?
I do. I read TIME and Newsweek as often as possible. I read the [New York] Daily News and Post every day. I watch a lot of MSNBC. I stay abreast in news probably more than the average 28-year-old.
Have you received advice from other talk show hosts?
Conan [O'Brien] took the time to do a test show with me. We've had long conversations about this time in my life and what to make of it all. He's been like a big brother.
Will you ask the tough questions?
If somebody doesn't want to talk about their breakup, I get it, because once I was on a talk show and I asked them to not bring up my own breakup. But I have a way of extracting information out of guests once I sucker them into my zone.
Do you have time for a personal life?
I don't. After I went through my last departure [from actress Tara Reid], I found that a good way to get over a tough time in your life is to saturate yourself with work. I have a place to focus my energy. I'd probably make a pretty lousy boyfriend right now.
ON THE BLOCK
THE MONKEE HOUSE
If all goes according to plan, Monkee Micky Dolenz's Sherman Oaks, Calif., home will soon be sans-simian. The 56-year-old drummer is selling the 2,200-sq.-ft., four-bedroom house and moving to larger lodgings. What'll you get for $625,000? Hardwood floors, a master bedroom with two huge walk-in closets and a Jacuzzi. Best feature: a private balcony with spectacular views where Dolenz—who still tours with the band 33 years after The Monkees, the NBC sitcom that launched the group, went off the air—often enjoyed pleasant San Fernando Valley Sundays.