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People in the News

November 22, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Comedian Joan Rivers is suing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for more than $6 million, alleging the film company granted her rights to a literary work without informing her the rights would expire eight months later.

In the Superior Court suit filed Friday, Miss Rivers alleged that MGM owed $150,000 to her company, Shasta Productions, and agreed to repay it by giving her $100,000 and a one-year option on a literary work called ″The Big Kiss,″ her attorney, Bertram Fields, said Saturday.

Miss Rivers said in the suit that the option was to begin in August 1985, but MGM didn’t tell her that the author claimed that the rights would revert to the previous owner if filming didn’t begin by April 6, 1986. The entertainer said she learned of the deadline April 7.

An MGM spokesman could not be reached for comment in calls made to the company’s Culver City headquarters Friday evening and Saturday.


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - If the legendary soul singing duo Sam & Dave is supposedly appearing in this seaside resort city this weekend, how can Sam be appearing in Dallas, too?

The answer is that another Sam has joined up with Dave, and they’re not supposed to bill themselves as Sam & Dave, said Joyce McRae. She books shows for Sam Moore, who is appearing with the Blues Brothers at the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas.

Moore’s former partner, Dave Prater Jr., and Sam Daniels are the opening act for comedian Billy Crystal at the Sands Hotel and Casino here.

But under an injunction issued last year, the two ″are not to allow themselves to be advertised or billed by or through booking agents as the original Sam and Dave in any form or fashion,″ Ms. McRae said.

Gary Serafine, a spokesman for Sands, said the hotel-casino was notified late Friday that advertisements must be changed so the billing reads ″The New Sam & Dave.″ Such signs have been posted around the casino, he said.

Sam & Dave, who split up in 1981 after 20 years, is known for such songs as ″Soul Man,″ ″Hold On, I’m Coming″ and ″I Thank You.″


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Farm Aid III will be held at Memorial Stadium unless University of Nebraska officials object, Gov. Bob Kerrey said Saturday.

Singer Willie Nelson told an audience in Austin, Texas, on Friday that he wants to hold the benefit concert in the 73,650-seat NU football stadium, adding with a chuckle that ″this may come as news to the people in Lincoln.″

Kerrey, who had talked to Nelson on Thursday, said that if the university gives its approval, ″that’s where it will be.″

″It doesn’t hurt at all to get some enthusiasm going and have people pay some attention to the farm crisis,″ the governor said.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials have not reviewed the proposal but will consider it carefully, said university President Ronald W. Roskens. ″Cooperation is our motto,″ he added.

Originally, Nelson said, organizers had considered Washington, D.C., as the site for Farm Aid III. ″But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made to go to the heart of the country, where people are suffering and need help,″ he said.

Nelson said he hoped the concert would be held in late September 1987. The first Farm Aid was in September 1985 in Champaign, Ill., while the second was in Austin last July.


NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - Louise Vanderbilt must pay $6,000 in back rent on an apartment she leases in a ″Millionaire’s Row″ mansion, a judge ruled.

Mrs. Vanderbilt, contacted Friday at her residence in Hawaii, declined comment on the ruling last week by District Court Judge John J. Capelli. The heiress is the widow of a grandson of transportation magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who built Newport’s most famous mansion, the ″Breakers.″

The owners of Sherwood, a mansion converted into apartments, had accused her of not paying her August and September rent. The judge said other disputes between the two sides are still pending.

It was not the first time Mrs. Vanderbilt has been involved in a rent dispute. Eight years ago, she joined other, mostly low-income tenants to fight the tripling of her rent for an apartment in another converted mansion.

At one point, Mrs. Vanderbilt barricaded herself in the apartment to keep from being evicted. She eventually moved from there, although a judge ruled that her landlord could not evict her.


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A radio station has apologized to entertainer Jerry Lewis for a talk-show host’s remarks that Lewis is paid for his annual Labor Day muscular distrophy telethon.

WJNO-AM radio apologized for the comments, made over Labor Day weekend, on the air and took out an ad in The Palm Beach Post newspaper Friday.

″It was a misquote by Barry Young regarding whether Jerry Lewis received compensation for his participation, which according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association he does not,″ said George Mills, WJNO vice president and general manager.

Lewis was aware of the situation ″and justifiably incensed,″ said Craig Wood, director of public health education for MDA. But Wood said Lewis was not directly involved in making the complaint to the station.

Young declined to comment except to say he was sorry if he hurt anybody’s feelings.

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