Wednesday, May 7, 2003

50 Cent's money problems

New York -- A surgeon who treated 50 Cent for bullet wounds three years ago has sued the rapper for more than $32,000 in unpaid medical bills.

Dr. Nader Paksima says in papers filed in Manhattan's State Supreme Court that he operated on 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, at a hospital in May 2000 for several gunshot wounds. The papers don't say how many wounds 50 Cent had.

Paksima says the bill for 50 Cent's medical care, including follow-up treatment in June, was $32,511.87. Court papers say the 26-year-old rapper hasn't paid any of it.

In interviews, 50 Cent has said he peddled crack while growing up in Queens, and that he's been shot nine times. No one was arrested in the May 2000 shooting.

Buttafuocos to divorce

Los Angeles -- Joey Buttafuoco and his wife, Mary Jo, who was shot in the face by "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher, are divorcing after 26 years of marriage.

"It's OK. To move on you've got to get a divorce," Buttafuoco said in a telephone interview Monday. "She's with another guy. His name is Stew. I've been with a girl for a while, too."

Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who filed divorce papers Feb. 3 in Ventura County Superior Court, didn't list an attorney in her filing and couldn't be found for comment.

Joey Buttafuoco initially denied having an affair with Fisher, then 17, but pleaded guilty in 1993 to one count of statutory rape and served six months in jail. He said Monday he only pleaded guilty because he'd run out of money and wanted to put the case behind him.

Inspiration in the neighborhood

New York -- "The World According to Mister Rogers," a collection of Fred Rogers' "inspirational sayings, advice and anecdotes," will be published this October by Hyperion.

"Fred Rogers' messages -- that we respect each other's uniqueness, that we be gentle with each other, that we understand that feeling frightened or sad are part of feeling human -- will live beyond him in this small but powerful book," Hyperion President Bob Miller said Monday.

"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" aired from 1968 to 2001. Rogers died in February at age 74, after a bout with stomach cancer.

New look for a living legend

Atlanta -- One of the most recognizable faces of the civil-rights movement got a little freshening, with some help from talk-show host Oprah Winfrey.

Coretta Scott King, the 76-year-old widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., unveiled new makeup, hair and clothes before a national audience Monday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which was dedicated to "age-defying makeovers."

"Even living legends need to spice it up every decade or so," Winfrey said on the show, which was taped April 23.

Winfrey said she tried hard to give King a look she would be happy with, and King wasn't disappointed.

"I feel great," she said.