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November 16, 2000|SHAUNA SNOW

Harrison's Attacker Found Insane: The man accused of stabbing former Beatle George Harrison and his wife after breaking into their home near Oxford in December was sent to a British mental hospital Wednesday after being acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity. The judge ordered that Michael Abram, 34, be held "without time restriction" and mandated that he gain the approval of a mental health tribunal if he seeks release. Abram, who had received psychiatric treatment for years, told psychiatrists that he attacked Harrison because he believed he was possessed by the former Beatle. In a statement read by their son after the ruling, the Harrisons criticized what they called an "ancient lunatic law" that allows acquittal on mental grounds, adding: "It is a tragic occurrence that anyone should suffer such a mental breakdown, but we can never forget he was full of hate and violence when he came into our home." The judge denied the Harrisons' request to be informed if Abram is ever considered for release, saying that would be a matter only for medical experts.

Paternity Revealed: In a posthumous biography, Oscar-winning actress Loretta Young admits publicly for the first time that she gave birth to a daughter as the result of a brief 1935 fling with her leading man, Clark Gable. Young, single at the time, kept her pregnancy a secret, the book says, placing the baby in an orphanage and later "adopting" her, though no legal adoption papers were ever filed. Hollywood had long speculated that Young and Gable were the child's natural parents. But Young, a devout Catholic, never commented on the rumors in her lifetime--even when daughter Judy Lewis wrote a 1994 book declaring that Gable was her father. Now, in Joan Webster Anderson's "Forever Young," due in stores Friday, Young says the tryst happened on a train ride after she and Gable filmed "Call of the Wild." The author--a writer of Christian inspirational books whom Young had asked to write the biography--interviewed Young at her Palm Springs home for two weeks in May 1999, followed by extensive communication by phone and mail. Young died of ovarian cancer in August at age 87.

Hopper--Parade Marshal: Actor Dennis Hopper will be the grand marshal of the 69th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on Nov. 26, with "Malcolm in the Middle" star Frankie Muniz serving as junior marshal. In addition, the parade, which airs live on KCOP from 6 to 8 p.m., will feature special Legends of Hollywood Awards--with honorees Mickey Rooney (film), Sid Caesar (TV) and Casey Kasem (radio) all scheduled to take part in the procession.

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Quick Takes: Elton John acknowledged in a London court Wednesday that he lives so lavishly that he spends up to $2.15 million a month. "I have no one to leave the money to. . . . I like spending my money," the pop star testified in his trial against former accountants, including the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, whom he has accused of negligence in managing his finances. . . . Singer-songwriter Randy Newman will receive the Century Award at the 2000 Billboard Music Awards, Dec. 5 on Fox. Don Henley will present the award, honoring "the uncommon excellence" of "living artists who have not been accorded the degree of serious homage their achievements deserve." . . . NBC will present one of its series in a wide-screen format for the first time, when "ER" airs in the elongated letterbox format tonight and on Thanksgiving.

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