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March 10, 1987| Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Free-lance journalist Christopher Van Ness' $1.1-million suit against the National Enquirer--which he alleged stole his story about Cathy Evelyn Smith's involvement in comedian John Belushi's death--was dismissed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday. Judge Miriam Vogel threw out Van Ness' August, 1983, suit because the tabloid had not been notified of the complaint until last October. Under state law, the defendant must be notified of a complaint within three years. Vogel said she will notify the state bar about the case because the National Enquirer was given a copy of the suit stamped "Original Filed, April 19, 1985." The complaint, however, was first entered on the court's record books 19 months earlier. Van Ness' attorney, Clinton Bailey, said the stamp was the result of an attorney service's mistake. In his suit, Van Ness had claimed that the Enquirer had promised to pay him $25,000 in May, 1982, if his information from interviews with Smith would support the headline "Was John Belushi Murdered?" The suit also alleged that editors at the tabloid used his materials for a story on June 21, 1982, after he called the deal off because of ethical considerations.

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