Thursday, December 19, 2002
Reubens pleads innocent
Los Angeles -- Actor Paul Reubens, best known for playing Pee-wee Herman, pleaded innocent Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography.
The misdemeanor charge of possessing materials depicting children engaged in sexual conduct stems from a search of the actor's home in November 2001. It carries a maximum penalty of one year in county jail and a $2,500 fine.
In 1991, Reubens, 50, pleaded no contest to an indecent exposure charge after his arrest in Sarasota, Fla., for allegedly exposing himself in a movie theater.
Divorce in friendly fashion
New York -- A Manhattan judge on Wednesday finalized the divorce of "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini.
State Supreme Court Justice Judith Gische granted the actor and wife, Marcella, a divorce after they settled disputed issues without a trial. They married three years ago and have a 3-year-old son.
The judge, who said she was granting the divorce in favor of the wife, did not state the grounds, but they appeared to be abandonment; Gandolfini walked out of the Greenwich Village home he shared with his wife in February 2001.
Lawyers would not divulge terms of the settlement, but Gandolfini's attorney, Robert Stephan Cohen, said that the divorce "was one of the friendliest I've ever seen. And it was done in almost record time."
Buddhists don't like Bond
Seoul, South Korea -- South Korea's largest Buddhist order protested the latest James Bond movie as profaning the ancient religion and inciting inter-Korean conflict.
The Jogye order issued a statement expressing discontent over "Die Another Day," starring Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.
"This is a slight to Buddhism, which has purified the culture and mind of mankind for 2,700 years," the statement said.
In the movie, Bond is up against an evil North Korean officer, Col. Moon, feared to be planning an invasion of South Korea and then Japan.
North Korea also has criticized the movie as slandering the communist state, saying it proves the United States is an "empire of evil." For similar reasons, some South Koreans have called for a boycott of the movie.
Reeve to ring in 2003
New York -- Actor Christopher Reeve will join Mayor Michael Bloomberg in ringing in the New Year at the annual ball-drop in Times Square.
Reeve, 50, and his wife, Dana, were selected to lead the celebration because of their "combined strength and courage," said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Business Improvement District.
Reeve has been an activist for spinal cord research since a 1995 horse-riding accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.