Sean Penn in Altercation With Paparazzi: Actor-director Sean Penn allegedly used a rock to hit a paparazzi videotaping him while he walked on a rural Malibu road with his father, authorities said Monday. Penn, who turned 38 on Monday, was walking with his father, movie director Leo Penn, when he was allegedly confronted by Michael Sindell at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. "They encountered a paparazzi with a video camera and he was filming Sean and his father," Deputy Bob Killeen said. "They exchanged some words and there was a brief altercation. At this point, both sides are accusing each other of assault. The paparazzi said Penn hit him with a rock. Penn claims the photographer lunged toward him and was hit. It's a he said-she said kind of thing." Publicist Carol Stone said there was no immediate comment from Penn.
Rapper Denies He Pulled Gun: Rapper Wyclef Jean denied a report that he pulled a gun on a magazine editor, saying during a statement broadcast on MTV that the charge was a publicity stunt engineered by Blaze, a new hip-hop magazine from the publishers of Vibe and Spin that hits newsstands Aug. 25. In his statement, some of which was set to music, Jean concluded: "Did you hear that one about Wyclef? Some said he pulled a gun, that comes from Mr. Editor who wants to sell his magazines by the millions." Blaze Editor in Chief Jesse Washington, who writes in the premiere issue of the magazine that Jean threatened him at gunpoint over a negative review the magazine was going to publish on an album by the rapper Canibus, said Monday that he stands by his story. Said Washington, a former assistant New York City bureau chief for the Associated Press: "I'm not in the business of making things up. It absolutely did happen. There were witnesses there . . . people who would swear in court that this happened--if it came down to it."
Former Government Intern Suing Leno: A former government intern is suing Jay Leno over a gag on "The Tonight Show" based on a recruitment brochure bearing her picture with President Clinton and boasting opportunities for "hands-on experience." In a lawsuit filed in Michigan, Carrie Photsios seeks more than $75,000 from Leno and three other defendants, including Detroit's WDIV-TV, which aired the show, the Detroit Free Press reported. A photo used in an Albion College recruitment brochure shows Photsios standing next to Clinton during her internship at the Justice Department in Washington. Leno read the brochure mentioning opportunities for "hands-on experience" on his show Feb. 9. Photsios, 24, contends she suffered "embarrassment, humiliation and indignity." The 1996 Albion College honors graduate endured numerous phone calls and jokes about the Leno joke, said her attorney, Bill Colovos. Leno declined comment.
Fact Meets Fiction: Producers of the science-fiction dramas "Babylon 5" and the upcoming "Crusade" have announced the first-ever strategic alliance on an ongoing basis with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technology Affiliates Program. The Pasadena-based JPL will provide Babylonian Productions with the newest technology and assist in portraying science and astronomy to create the most accurate vision of the future ever attempted for television. Said J. Michael Straczynski, show creator and executive producer: "Viewers will see distant worlds never before attempted on any other TV series; worlds around twin stars, bizarre and strange environments, and alien life forms based on the best available scientific research from JPL." Both series air on TNT.
Loren to Rest for Month: Sophia Loren, hospitalized in New York with an irregular heartbeat, will take a month to rest after she is released, her husband said. The Italian actress flew to New York from Geneva on Aug. 10 to visit a friend and grew fatigued, said her spokeswoman Beebe Kline. Kline said she didn't know when Loren, 63, was admitted, and she refused to identify the hospital. The actress was expected to be released Monday. "She seems in good shape," Kline said. " . . . They wanted to run some tests for the arrhythmia. It's so unusual for her not to feel well." Arrhythmia is a heart rhythm abnormality that can be fatal. Loren's producer-husband, Carlo Ponti, reportedly told Venice Film Festival officials that she won't be able to attend their Sept. 3 ceremony to receive an award honoring her career.
TV news veterans Jane Pauley of NBC and Mike Wallace of CBS are among a group of 10 men and women who will be inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame during a Nov. 9 ceremony in New York. . . . Timothy F. Potts, a Near Eastern and Mediterranean art specialist who has been director of Australia's National Gallery of Victoria since 1995, has been named director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Worth. He succeeds Edmund P. Pillsbury, who retired in June.