The Insider

updated 07/15/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/15/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT

DID AN OLD FLAME FLICKER?

I am fairly certain Jack Nicholson won't want to read this, but here's an added twist to his ongoing battle with his ex-lover, actress Susan Anspach. If you haven't been following the story (PEOPLE, July 1), Anspach is suing Nicholson for breach of contract following his attempts to foreclose on the Santa Monica house that she purchased in 1979 and that Nicholson later helped refinance. Anspach contends Nicholson is acting out of spite because, two years ago in a letter to Vanity Fair, she named him as the father of her son Caleb Goddard, 25. He was conceived, according to his mother, while she and Nicholson were filming Five Easy Pieces in 1970. Now Anspach tells me her fling with Nicholson didn't end with the making of Pieces. She says they "continued an on-and-off romantic involvement" through the '80s. If Anspach is to be believed, it would mean she may have been seeing Nicholson during his longtime romance with Anjelica Huston. Not surprisingly, neither Nicholson nor his reps would comment....

On paper it must have seemed at HarperCollins like the perfect marketing plan: publish tennis star Monica Seles's new autobiography, Monica: From Fear to Victory, to coincide with Seles's expected scampering about in the finals at Wimbledon on July 6. Oops! Seles was knocked out of the tournament June 26. But the book is due this week anyway, and its version of Seles's 1990 professional breakup with her then coach Nick Bollettieri differs from the account Bollettieri offers in his autobiography My Aces, My Faults, which Avon Books will publish on Aug. 8. In her book, Seles states that she and her father, Karolj, showed up one day for practice at Bollettieri's tennis academy to be told she was no longer welcome. Subsequently she received a letter from Bollettieri ending their relationship. In his tome, Bollettieri contends that Seles left him after he refused to cave in to her many demands, including one that he give her more money and provide apartments and jobs for members of her family....

Olivia Newton-John, 47, got a thrill recently when she went backstage at an Alanis Morissette concert in Los Angeles to pay her respects to the hot young singer whose Jagged Little Pill album won four Grammys this year. It was Morissette, 22, however, who poured on the praise, telling Newton-John that she was the one who first inspired her, at age 8, to test her own pipes....

New celebrity moms like Pamela Lee and Roseanne now own wooden round cribs that were designed by actress Jean Kasem, the wife of golden-throated DJ Casey. The cribs retail at Neiman Marcus for about $5,000 (bedding included). Too pricey? Kasem now plans to offer a plastic knockoff version for under $500 at Babies "R" Us stores....

All through her bout with ovarian cancer, Seinfeld writer-producer and standup comic Marjorie Gross, 40, joked to friends that she needed to stay alive until after November. That, she explained, is the month Madonna's baby is due and, "I don't want to come back as Madonna's child." Gross didn't make it. She died June 7, and among the celebrities mourning her passing at a memorial service in L.A.: Madonna.

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