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May 24, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ The public hubbub surrounding Anne Heche’s relationship with Ellen DeGeneres has prompted a film company to reissue a little-known movie in which Heche has a lesbian affair.

``Wild Side,″ starring a then-unknown Heche, Joan Chen and Christopher Walken, never made it to theaters. Nulmage spent $3.5 million producing the movie, but refused to release the full-length version because sex in the film guaranteed an NC-17 rating.

``The moment you go with an unrated version or NC-17, you eliminate a lot of potential sales,″ Nulmage president Avi Lerner said in the May 30 issue of Entertainment Weekly.

A tamer version of the film was shown on HBO in February 1996. Nulmage is now re-editing the film for video, hoping to take advantage of the new notoriety of Heche, who has sex scenes with Walken, Chen and Steven Bauer.

``This picture is really something you haven’t seen before on any screen,″ Lerner said. ``Every man will have something to keep in his home, and it’s something every woman would like to see.″


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Phyllis Diller finds nothing funny about today’s female comics.

She complains that too many stand-up comediennes have glutted the nightclub circuit.

``They really have nothing serious to talk about,″ Diller said in today’s Contra Costa Times . ``When I started out, I came with the baggage: the husband, the neighbors, the kids, the dog, the cats, all that crap.″

Diller, 79, was one of the first female comics when she began her act in the 1950s. It took 10 years for another woman _ Joan Rivers _ to hit it big on the stand-up scene.

One female comic Diller does admire is Roseanne, who called herself the ``domestic goddess″ when she began her career.

``I wish I’d come up with that,″ Diller says. ``God, what a great line.″


BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A bad bounce for Jimmy Connors.

The retired tennis star owes $8.3 million in overdue legal fees and his lawyer isn’t trying to collect, the attorney’s former partner claims.

Judy Cates filed the lawsuit this week against Connors and her former partner, Edward Brennan Jr.

Ms. Cates says Connors owes the money from a 1994 transaction in which he traded his ownership stake of the Alton Belle riverboat casino for stock in Argosy Corp. after Argosy bought the boat.

The lawsuit says Brennan failed to collect the legal fees, misused some of their firm’s money and refused to honor an agreement to dissolve the partnership.

Ms. Cates, who left the partnership in February, is asking that Connors be forced to pay the fees and that the court supervise the firm’s disbandment.


NEW YORK (AP) _ Nearly 13 years after his hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial, the King of Pop is once again endorsing a soft drink.

Mystery Drink, the first to win Michael Jackson’s endorsement since 1984, will be sold in markets where his HIStory tour visits. It is a new fruit-flavored health beverage from German manufacturer Mystery Drinks GmbH.

The drink is already on sale in Europe and soon it will be on the market in Asia, South Africa and the Middle East.

``At Michael’s request, we didn’t put anything artificial in it,″ said Udo Schaar, spokesman for Mystery Management.

Will the drink be sold in the United States? That’s still a mystery.


LA HONDA, Calif. (AP) _ Ken Kesey, author of ``One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,″ is selling the rustic log cabin that was an epicenter for hippies, beatniks and artists in the 1960s and 1970s.

Many of Kesey’s friends, called the ``Merry Pranksters,″ hung out at the cabin, which was featured in Tom Wolfe’s book, ``The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.″

``It was really a great, funky place,″ neighbor Jim Warren said.

Listed for $239,000, the dilapidated two-bedroom cabin is being sold to a ``nice couple who plan to keep the flavor of the place,″ Kesey’s real estate agent, Steve Perkins, said in The Times of San Mateo County on Friday.

``It’s really a very cute cabin,″ Perkins said. ``But it needs a lot of work.″

Reached at the family farm in Pleasant Hill, Ore., Kesey’s wife, Faye, said they sold the cabin partly because it was too difficult to maintain from so far away. She also said they need money to settle a lawsuit filed by a police officer who fell from a bridge on the property.

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