NEWS BRIEFS: Jessica Top of the Pops

03/01/2004 01:00AM

CROSSED: "Newlyweds" star Jessica Simpson has been on the pop scene for several years now, but the blond bombshell has finally crossed into new territory, topping the mainstream charts for the first time, Billboard reports. Simpson's song "With You," from last year's album "In This Skin," replaced OutKast's "The Way You Move" in the No. 1 spot of the mainstream Top 40 chart. Simpson did hit the top of the Hot 100 Singles chart back in 1999 with "I Wanna Love You Forever."

MASKED: Police outside Aspen, Colo., pulled over a masked Michael Jackson after he had been shopping at a local Wal-Mart, the Associated Press reports. An employee at the store reported seeing a vehicle with a masked person inside, and when police stopped the car, Jackson identified himself. Jackson, 45, who is facing charges of child molestation in California, was reportedly in Colorado on vacation (he denied recent reports that he was in rehab). His next hearing is April 2.


QUOTED: "My wife did it a time in film where that was not really done at all. ... Nobody complained about it (then)." -- director Blake Edwards, who won an honorary Oscar on Sunday, commenting on his wife Julie Andrews baring her breasts in the 1981 film "S.O.B." as compared with the recent Janet Jackson controversy, Reuters reports


DEFENDED: "Leave him alone." That's what actor and director Kevin Costner advises for people who are attacking Mel Gibson for "The Passion of the Christ." During an interview with "Access Hollywood," Costner said Gibson has probably questioned himself "more than anybody even knows," AP reports. Costner, 49, also called Gibson "an honorable filmmaker."

DIED: Character actor John Randolph, 88, died Tuesday at his Hollywood home, AP reports. A stage and screen star, Randolph was known for his roles as Roseanne's father in the TV sitcom "Roseanne," and for the part of Tom Hanks's grandfather in "You've Got Mail." ... On Friday, former New York Times Magazine style editor Amy Spindler died of a brain tumor, Fashion Wire Daily reports. Spindler, 40, battled cancer for many years, and had worked on the magazine until last summer.

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