Reporter feels wrath of Seagal

Bangkok, Thailand � Action star Steven Seagal got angry with a reporter on Thursday who asked him about his tangles with the Mafia.

Seagal was doing preproduction on the movie "Belly of the Beast," scheduled to begin filming here in November, which he described as "kind of a political thriller." He said Thailand was one of his favorite countries in the world.

"I like the culture, the people, the religion," said Seagal, who practices Buddhism, Thailand's national religion.

But he lost his cool when a reporter asked about a dispute with a former business partner, Julius Nasso, who has sued Seagal for $60 million, accusing him of backing out of a contract to perform in four movies.

Earlier this year, Nasso was arrested and charged with extortion in league with 16 members of the Gambino organized crime group. The case made headlines in June when federal prosecutors in New York said they'd taped Nasso and a Gambino gang leader allegedly plotting the shakedown of Seagal. Nasso has pleaded innocent to extortion.

Seagal was openly annoyed at the questions about Nasso's lawsuit, complaining to an assistant about being asked on-camera about it.

U.S. actors steal stage in London

London � Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan received some rave reviews Thursday for their London stage debut, joining the growing numbers of American movie stars who have impressed London's theater critics.

Harrelson, 40, and MacLachlan, 43, got a standing ovation Wednesday at the first night performance of "On An Average Day," John Kolvenbach's study of two brothers meeting for the first time in 15 years.

Reviewing the play for The Independent, Jonathan Myerson said the pair "acted their socks off."

Benedict Nightingale of The Times was less impressed with the stars.

They "only occasionally, fitfully" make the audience care about their loneliness, and "neither of them strummed my heartstrings much," he said.

Taxes pose challenge for Knievel

Butte, Mont. � Retired motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, hailed in a just-concluded weeklong tribute in his hometown, owes back taxes of $800,000 to the state and $5.3 million to the federal government, court records show.

Knievel, 63, also is being sued for $9,700 for allegedly not paying bills from his 1974 attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.

The unpaid state taxes cover years in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dan Hoffman, an administrator with the Montana Department of Revenue, said claims for $395,000 of the back taxes have made it through the proper channels for collection. He couldn't comment on the rest of the money listed as owed in district court records.

Knievel's lawyer, Wade Dahood of Anaconda, did not respond to requests for comment.


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