Demi Moore sets out to clear her name following charges filed by a disgruntled former employee with a bad track record
It's tempting to wonder if life is imitating art in the case of Demi Moore, who has been hit with two sexual-harassment claims from Lawrence Bass, 43, the former manager of Moore's ranch in Hailey, Idaho. Bass recently filed allegations with two government agencies—though not a formal lawsuit—against the 40-year-old actress saying she fired him last year after he resisted her advances. The situation is reminiscent of Moore's 1994 thriller Disclosure, in which the actress played a predatory female executive who is sued for sexually harassing an underling.
In truth, however, the parallels are few. Moore's lawyer Martin Singer quickly dismissed Bass's accusations as "nonsense" made up by a man with a troubled past. Legal documents provided by Singer and printed on thesmokinggun.com show that Bass has had several restraining orders issued against him in the last four years, including one from telecommunications giant GTE California after Bass allegedly made threats to the company's president and his family. In court papers filed two years ago, Bass's ex-wife, Sabine La Folie-Bass, said she had been granted a permanent order of protection against him since 1998. (The couple separated in September of that year.) "We're dealing with a very troubled individual," says Singer. "He has a track record." Singer adds that had Moore "known of [Bass's] background, he never would have been hired." Bass's lawyer declined to comment.
A Tough Rap: Nelly Fights for His Sister
Rapper Nelly is putting his career and hard-partying image on hold to help a family member fight cancer. The Grammy-winning artist's half sister (they have the same father) and stylist Jackie Donahue was diagnosed in 2001 with acute myelogenous leukemia and had a recurrence. This year Nelly, 28, canceled a planned European tour to stay home and help Donahue, 29. The siblings launched Jes Us 4 Jackie, a campaign to find a bone-marrow match for Donahue and to recruit more bone-marrow donors to the national registry. "Nelly said whatever needs to be done he would do," says Donahue, a mother of two. That includes getting screened to see if he might be a match. "He's going to try. Everybody in my family is going to try."
Coming to a TV Near You
The broadcast-television networks announced their fall schedules the week of May 12, and a quick glance reveals it's going to be a very starry autumn. Big-name celebs were plentiful on many of the network lineups, including a number of stars better identified with feature films. James Caan, for example, will appear in Las Vegas, a new NBC Monday-night drama about a security team at a large casino. Small-screen fixtures like Joe Mantegna and Mary Steenburgen, who star in CBS's Joan of Arcadia, are well represented also. Here are some of the other familiar faces you'll be seeing in the fall, along with the lowdown on their chances for prime-time success:
[This article contains a table. Please see hard copy of magazine or PDF.]
In Sync with a Gatsby Remake
Lance Bass as Jay Gatsby? Paris Hilton as Daisy Buchanan? Though plans are nascent, Bass has optioned Jake Reinvented, a novel, by children's author Gordon Korman. It's "a modern-day retelling of The Great Gatsby," says Wendy Thorlakson, the 'N Sync singer's production partner. Bass would star as the young Gatsby, and Thorlakson says the singer wants his good friend Hilton to play Buchanan. The deal's not set yet; Hilton's rep says he has not heard of the project.
HOLLYWOOD HOT SPOTS
PLACE: Dolce Enoteca, the chic West Hollywood Italian restaurant opened last month by former Big Brother contestant Mike "Boogie" Malin and former TV exec Lonnie Moore along with celebrity investors including Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, and Jamie Kennedy.
STAR CLIENTELE: David Schwimmer, Queen Latifah, Ben Stiller, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.
THE SCENE: The feng shui-inspired space is accented by 20-ft. ceilings and roomy black leather booths. And Kutcher is a near constant presence: "When he's in town," says Malin, "there's a better chance of seeing Ashton at Dolce than in his own kitchen."
From Ray to Riche
Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano's working-class charm may turn slightly less convincing now that Romano, 45, has signed a nearly $40 million deal with CBS to stay another year. At about $1.8 million an episode, that makes him TV's highest-paid actor of all time. Runners-up include:
1 Kelsey Grammer, Frasier, $1.6 million (pay per episode)
2 Tim Allen, Home Improvement, $1.25 million
3 Cast of Friends, $1 million each
4 Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld, $1 million
5 David Hyde Pierce, Frasier, $750,000 to $1 million
POP QUIZ with Survivor's Jenna Morasca
Swimsuit model Jenna Morasca, 22, overcame 15 scheming tribemates to win the $1 million prize on CBS's Survivor: The Amazon. In the final round Morasca defeated restaurant designer Matthew Von Ertfelda, 33, by a landslide of 6 votes to 1. Morasca gave Scoop the inside story of her rumble in the jungle.
You were a real long shot. How did you end up on top?
A lot of people hated me from the beginning and think I didn't deserve to win. But six of the seven jury members disagreed, and they were there with me. They weren't watching a one-hour edited show.
Why did you get so many votes out of the jury?
Rob said he thought I played a better game [than Matthew]. He thought Matthew was clueless. Deena felt the same way. I think they just felt I outplayed him.
What was the toughest part mentally?
Not having my mom and dad around to talk to. Luckily, I found Heidi, someone I could trust and rely on.
Does Heidi really have a high IQ?
She's a smart, smart cookie. People automatically think she's stupid because she's a blonde and she has implants.
Heidi has implants?
Who were you happiest to see voted off?
Before [the tribes] merged, I would have to say Jeanne. She just rubbed me the wrong way, and she was constantly dogging me and Heidi for being younger. After the merge, I'd have to say Roger, because he was a chauvinist.
When Matthew said he was just pretending to be crazy, was he telling the truth?
That's very hard for me to believe.
But you two seemed really affectionate at the end. Is there something romantic going on?
Matthew and I are not dating. We're just friends, I promise you.
ON THE BLOCK
COME TO HER WINDOW
Rocker Melissa Etheridge, 41, who recently announced plans to wed actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, 28, is making another change in her life: She's selling her New Mexico home for $5.75 million. The property, on nearly 300 acres just north of Santa Fe, includes a three-bedroom main residence and a two-bedroom adobe abode that serves as a guest house. It's "all about the views" of the nearby Jemez Mountains, says real estate agent Tim VanCamp.