NEWS BRIEFS: $33,000 for Diana Letters

03/04/2004 AT 01:45 PM EST

SOLD: A collection of 19 letters, cards and notes from Princess Diana to her therapist Chryssie Fitzgerald as she chronicled the disintegration of her marriage to Prince Charles fetched nearly $33,000 at auction in England, according to reports. Of greatest interest was a letter dated October 1994, telling of Diana's reaction to former Army major James Hewitt's public revelations of their affair. "I was in a total state of shock," Diana wrote. That note sold for $6,000.

SPLIT: The 11-month relationship of "The Sopranos" star Edie Falco, 40, and actor Stanley Tucci, 43, is no more, reports New York's Daily News. "They're not together," Tucci's rep confirms to the paper. When the two first linked up, during their Broadway run in the play "Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune," Tucci had just left his wife, Kate, and three children.


QUOTED: "I certainly am not going to comment based on circumstantial evidence from what I've been hearing and feeling in the last seven or eight days. I think it's much too important, and I'm really too smart to answer a question like that." -- Steven Spielberg at a news conference to promote the DVD release of his Holocaust epic "Schindler's List," when asked about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"


ADVANCED: High school junior John Stevens IV, 16, who delivered Billy Joel's "Always a Woman," was the top vote-getter on Wednesday's "American Idol" episode on FOX, scoring 28 percent of the viewers' votes. Stevens, who claims to be heavily influenced by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, was joined in the winner's circle by Jasmine Trias, 17, from the big island of Hawaii.

RESOLVED: Alec Baldwin, 45, and ex-wife Kim Basinger, 50, who were married from 1992-2001, have settled their custody battle over their 8-year-old daughter, Ireland, Baldwin's attorney said. Baldwin, who lives in New York, was seeking an "equal share" of parenting with Basinger, who lives in California. A Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Baldwin, TV's "Celebrity Justice" reports.

UNRESOLVED: Jurors in the trial of Martha Stewart, 62, completed their first day of deliberations on Wednesday without reaching a decision on whether the trendsetter lied to investigators about a suspicious stock trade. Hours after beginning deliberations, the jury of eight women and four men asked for telephone records from the day Stewart sold nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone stock. Deliberations continue into Thursday.

DECIDED: In a major victory for the defense team in Kobe Bryant's case, the 19-year-old Colorado hotel worker who says the L.A. Lakers star, 25, sexually assaulted her last June will be grilled on the witness stand about her sex life, Judge Terry Ruckridge said Wednesday. Prosecutors in the case say they will appeal that decision. The accuser has reportedly acknowledged having had sex two days before Bryant's alleged attack. He has denied any wrongdoing, calling the sex consensual.

PULLED: An ad in British Vogue magazine for supermodel Elle Macpherson's lingerie line has been banned in England after regulators received a complaint from the public that the model in the ad appeared to be masturbating, reports the Associated Press. The Advertising Standards Authority said Wednesday it had ruled that the ad by Bendon UK Ltd. for its range of Elle Macpherson Intimates was offensive and couldn't be repeated.

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