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THE COURT FILES / ANN W. O'NEILL

Tales of the Fresh Princess of Bel-Air

The case of the grumpy ump . . . and soured deals for Whoopi and Woody.

May 31, 1998|ANN W. O'NEILL

First it was a former Miss USA. Now another woman is telling tales of alleged sexual high jinks by members of Brunei's royal family.

The latest stories center on Princess Jefridah Mohn Luis. The tale-teller is her former bodyguard, Lorrie L. McCready, who is alleging sexual harassment and wrongful termination in a lawsuit in Santa Monica Superior Court.

McCready, a married mother of four, claims that the princess and other security employees forced her to party on the job and work in a sexually charged environment. She was fondled, propositioned and told to "loosen up," she says.

The security forces also went on "secret missions" to stalk the princess' former boyfriends and vandalize their property, the suit alleges.

When she complained, McCready says, she was fired.

We don't often blush while poring through legal documents, but the suit's detailed description of the alleged randy goings-on at the royal compound on Nimes Road in Bel-Air brought fire to our cheeks. Cold showers for everyone, we say.

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FOUL BALL: Longtime American League umpire James Evans is suing DirecTV and Hughes Electronics, claiming they used a photo of him in their advertisements without permission.

Evans, who has officiated at more than 1,000 games since 1971--including two All-Star face-offs, two divisional playoff games, six league championship matches and four World Series games--claims that his right to privacy was invaded. He further alleges that he is entitled to royalties and the right to control his own image.

The ump--we assume it's him because the guy in the picture is wearing a mask--is shown crouching behind home plate in a print ad for DirecTV's baseball subscription package. He claims it lends the impression that he endorses the product.

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UNIVERSAL MONSTERS: There's nothing funny about the world of cartooning. Consider producer Tom Klein's lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Universal Cartoon Studios.

Klein claims that he rescued a troubled series featuring friendly ghost Casper. In return, he was made a supervising producer and promised his own cartoon projects, he says.

Klein next worked on Tom Hanks' astronaut series "From the Earth to the Moon," but was never paid, according to his lawsuit. He says he's still owed $35,000 for that project.

Then, the suit says, he helped design a new, improved Woody Woodpecker but was fired over alleged "creative differences" after Fox picked up the series. Klein never did get to produce the "Universal Monsters" cartoon he was promised, he alleges in court papers.

He is seeking damages of at least $500,000.

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MAKING WHOOPI--NOT!: Actress Whoopi Goldberg is suing a New York businessman and his Spanish investment company for $800,000, claiming that they backed out of a deal to produce a $32-million film called "T Rex," in which she would star.

Goldberg's corporate self, Whoop Inc., is alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment on the part of Stefano Ferrari and his Talisma Gestao e Investimentos.

According to Goldberg's Los Angeles Superior Court suit, the parties sued each other earlier but agreed to let bygones be bygones as long as a retired judge mediated their differences. Retired Judge Lester Olsen was named a special production consultant on the "T Rex" project for his troubles.

But, Goldberg says, even the judge couldn't tame this beast.

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O.J.-ADJACENTS: O.J. Simpson sidekick Robert Kardashian is expected to testify this week in former fiancee Denice Halicki's $14.8-million probate case in Superior Court. . . . Jill Shively, we are told, is dropping her libel suit against author Joe Bosco but continues her slander case against his source, a Los Angeles County prosecutor.

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QUOTABLE: "Do you think I'm not still punk rock?"

--Actress and Hole lead singer Courtney Love as she allegedly kneed camera-wielding celeb journalist Belissa Cohen in the groin last month outside an L.A. fashion show. Cohen is suing Love in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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