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Names in the News

March 8, 1991

ATLANTA (AP) _ Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield may find himself back in court for a new fight with his estranged wife.

Paulette Holyfield’s lawyer has filed to have her divorce petition dismissed. Her new attorney, Frederic W. Tokars, says he plans to file a new petition seeking more than the estimated $4 million the couple had agreed upon.

Mrs. Holyfield filed for divorce in September. Acting without attorneys, the couple signed a settlement Dec. 31 and within a month transferred $4 million in cash and property to Mrs. Holyfield.

But a judge wouldn’t sign the divorce decree, citing the lack of lawyers.

Tokars filed the dismissal motion Tuesday, claiming Holyfield ″conned″ his wife into signing the agreement.

Tokars says the request was based on a law that voids a divorce petition if the parties continue to have sex with each other. Mrs. Holyfield said she had sex with her husband last week, Tokars said.

Holyfield, in Houston training for his title defense against George Foreman April 19, did not deny the tryst but said he had no desire to reconcile.

″I don’t feel it’s right where she goes back and lets some lawyer tell her, ’Since it happened, now you can get out of the divorce,‴ Holyfield said. ″This whole thing is about money.″


LOS ANGELES (AP) - A frail Peggy Lee recalled the highlights of her career for a jury trying to decide whether the jazz singer deserves royalties from videocassette sales of ″Lady and the Tramp.″

In a darkened courtroom Thursday, jurors chuckled as they watched the 1955 animated classic about a high-class cocker spaniel who falls in love with a mutt. Miss Lee wrote several songs and performed voices of four characters.

Miss Lee sued Disney Co., saying she is entitled to some profits from the videocassette issued in 1987.

A judge already decided Disney violated its 1952 contract with her by not seeking permission for use of her voice and songs when the videocassette was released. The jury is to decide whether she deserves damages.

Her lawyer is seeking $35 million. The movie has earned more than $140 million, including $90 million from videocassettes. Miss Lee was paid $3,500 when the film was made and received unspecified royalties over the years.

Jurors also watched a video of Walt Disney’s 1950s television show. Disney paid tribute to Miss Lee, who appeared on the show, and her contribution to ″Lady and the Tramp.″

The platinum-haired, 70-year-old singer came to court in a wheelchair. She suffers many ailments, including diabetes and a heart condition, but still sings. She was nominated for a Grammy this year.

Miss Lee described her rise from a North Dakota radio singer to her days with the Benny Goodman Orchestra and her million-selling records, including ″Where or When,″ ″The Way You Look Tonight,″ ″Fever″ and ″Is That All There Is?″


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - Actor Kirk Douglas, honored by the American Film Institute, says a lifetime achievement award couldn’t come at a better time - considering he recently survived a helicopter accident.

″I’m a little stiff but I am very gratified to be here,″ he said before Thursday night’s ceremony.

Douglas, 74, was injured Feb. 13 when a helicopter piloted by voice artist Noel Blanc, son of the late Mel Blanc, collided with a stunt plane. Blanc also was injured. Both men in the stunt plane died.

Douglas said the accident forced him to get his ″priorities in order.″ He said the last few weeks have been ones of recuperation and contemplation.

Douglas, who has appeared in more than 70 movies, joked that he was not quite ready for the award.

″I think I’m much too young for this. The years go by so fast ... suddenly I have become a veteran,″ he said.

The star-studded crowd included former AFI winners Jack Lemmon, James Stewart and Gregory Peck. ---

CINCINNATI (AP) - The rap group 2 Live Crew won’t perform Saturday in Cincinnati, but Riverfront Coliseum officials say it’s a matter of insurance, not morals or slow ticket sales.

″This has nothing to do with the controversy that has surrounded the group for the past months,″ arena marketing director Barry McComb said Thursday night.

Riverfront Coliseum requires all acts to provide $2 million worth of liability insurance and the concert’s promoter failed to, McComb said. He said the show would be rescheduled once the insurance was secured.

Los Angeles-based promoter Jim Taite of Coast-to-Coast Concerts told WKRC- TV that 2 Live Crew and other rap groups have trouble getting insurance ″because of the obvious - they attract the hard-core audience, the gangs ... and the stabbings and shootings at shows.″

2 Live Crew, known for its graphic sexual lyrics, was warned by Cincinnati police to clean up its lyrics or face arrest.

Obscenity charges were filed against group members after a performance in Florida last year. They were acquitted.

Luther ″Luke″ Campbell, lead rapper of the Miami-based group, said earlier this week that the group wouldn’t tone down its performance.

Saturday’s ″Rap Jam ’91″ was scheduled to include Ice Cube and BWP, rap groups convicted on disorderly conduct charges stemming from a 1989 concert at Riverfront Coliseum. Their convictions were later overturned.

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