People in the News
NEW YORK (AP) _ A restaurant security guard says he was slam-dunked by Charles Oakley, and wants the basketball All-Star to pay him $2.5 million.
Chris Nunez, 23, says in a lawsuit that the New York Knicks forward showed up without a ticket for an event at Tavern on the Green in June, and entered the restaurant despite the objections of security guards.
Nunez’s lawsuit, filed Wednesday, says he asked Oakley to step out of the room, and the player ``responded with abusive and derogatory language″ and hit Nunez in the neck.
The blow, Nunez says, left him in pain and unable to work.
Neil Draddy, who works for Oakley’s agent, William Pollack, said Oakley was in Phoenix for the All-Star game and could not be reached.
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Benny Carter says a little divine intervention kept the rain away as he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Clouds threatened, but didn’t deliver Thursday as the jazz composer, instrumentalist, orchestra leader and arranger was honored the day before his 84th birthday.
``I called the man upstairs and asked if he could do something about it,″ he said. ``And the man upstairs said, `Give me a little time, I’ll ask her about it.‴
The 200 or so guests included Quincy Jones, who said Carter has had a profound effect on his life.
``Everything he’s done, I’ve wanted to do. He’s a guy who will give you the bow, the arrow and help you aim it at what you want,″ Jones said.
Carter received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 and is nominated for four Grammys this year. The awards will be presented March 1.
He began working as a musician at age 15, and paved the way for the swing era when he arranged music for early bands including Cab Calloway’s.
Carter wrote music for greats including Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Heather Whitestone, the first deaf Miss America, spoke to students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. That bothered some, who said sign language would have been more appropriate.
Whitestone, who was crowned in September, spoke to a mostly deaf audience of about 500 on Thursday. The speech was sent by closed-circuit television to 40 other deaf and mainstream schools.
A sign-language interpreter translated as Whitestone spoke.
Whitestone, 21, who has been profoundly deaf since she infancy, usually chooses to speak and relies on lip reading. She didn’t learn American Sign Language until she was in high school and says she has trouble speaking and signing at the same time.
``I appreciate your respect for allowing me to communicate with my best way,″ Whitestone said.
Brenda Tress-Mowl of Chili said she was shocked that Whitestone spoke aloud.
``She apparently forgot who the main audience was,″ Tress-Mowl, who is deaf, said in a written response to a reporter’s question. ``I understand if she wants to use her ability to speak to make an impression to the hearing public. But she talked to an audience who can’t evaluate her ability to speak because we can’t hear her.″
NEW YORK (AP) _ O.J. Simpson pal Al Cowlings says he also was a friend of Nicole Brown Simpson and isn’t about to portray her as a drug-abusing floozy.
Contrary to some reports, he said, his book currently being shopped to publishers doesn’t claim Ms. Simpson led a wild life of drug abuse and sex.
``We had a great relationship,″ Cowlings told TV Guide in an interview in the Feb. 18 edition. ``Look, I’ve lost a friend _ two people. ... The media has gotten away from that.″
Cowlings blasted reporters as ``trash″ for their reaction to the killing of Ms. Simpson and Ronald Goldman, and to Simpson’s trial. He said he’s going directly to the public to tell his side, setting up a 900 number that ``will allow me to speak _ not for (the media) to write it.″
Callers to 1-900-260-ACAC (260-2222) will pay $2.99 a minute to hear recorded messages about Cowlings’ _ not Simpson’s _ experiences. Cowlings said it’s fair for him to make money off the case: ``Why shouldn’t I? Everybody else has been making money off of me, ... off of O.J.″