Stripper sues over Affleck article

Los Angeles -- A Canadian stripper has sued the National Enquirer, saying the tabloid libeled and slandered her in an article that states she had a sexual liaison with actor Ben Affleck.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, claims the Aug. 12 issue of the Enquirer falsely reported that the dancer, Antonella Santini, prostituted herself to Affleck.

The suit further charges that next week's Enquirer includes an interview with another dancer, Tammy Morris, that contains more falsehoods about Santini. The lawsuit also alleges that Morris received $100,000 from the Enquirer and may have taken an anti-anxiety medication to help her pass a lie-detector test.

The Enquirer said it stood by its story. According to the suit, Santini and other dancers performed for Affleck in the VIP room of Brandi's, a Vancouver strip club where Santini works. It said there was no inappropriate touching between Santini and Affleck.

Movie coincidentally mirrors basketball star's troubles

Los Angeles -- Sometimes life really does imitate art. Or the other way around.

A highly respected NBA star's life is turned upside down after a woman accuses him of rape: That's both the story of Kobe Bryant and the plot of an independent film that completed shooting last February, months before Bryant's real-life drama began.

"I was just amazed," Jennifer Harper, the film's writer and director, told the Los Angeles Times recently. "We were calling each other like, 'Can you believe the timing of this?"'

The movie was the brainchild of Portland Trail Blazers center Dale Davis, who hopes to have it sold to a distributor before the upcoming NBA season.

Even more remarkable, Harper said, is that Bryant was the model for the lead character, played by actor Allen Payne.

"In rehearsals, Allen Payne asked, 'What athlete is this based on?' I said, 'Just think of Kobe Bryant,"' Harper said. "He's loved by everybody. He has all the endorsements. That's who this character is."

Bryant, who turns 25 later this month, was charged July 18 with felony sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman in Colorado.

The movie's title, "Playas Ball," refers to the party held during NBA All-Star week.

Coleman takes diff'rent approach to California governor's race

Los Angeles -- "Diff'rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman says he's running for governor of California without donations, expenses or regrets.

"I'm not spending any money, I am not taking any contributions, I am not taking donations," the 35-year-old actor told "The KTLA Morning News."

His $3,500 filing fee was paid by an alternative newspaper in the San Francisco area.

"I thought, 'You know, somehow, some way we need to get this state back in shape, back in order and someone like me, someone who's new and not a politico, who's going to shake the trees and poke the bushes, needs to be in there,"' Coleman said, explaining why he wants to replace Gov. Gray Davis if there is an Oct. 7 recall.


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