Blake faces legal deadline

Los Angeles -- Robert Blake sure runs through lawyers. And don't think the judge presiding over his murder case in California hasn't noticed.

Monday, Judge Darlene Schempp gave the 70-year-old actor one more week to find a new lawyer. Blake and his third defense attorney, Thomas Mesereau, parted ways this month because of "irreconcilable differences."

The former "Baretta" star appeared in court Monday without an attorney and gave Schempp a list of lawyers he had interviewed. The judge warned Blake against seeking lawyers from outside California whose travel could create delays.

Blake is accused of killing his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, outside a Los Angeles restaurant in May 2001. Mesereau quit abruptly on Feb. 5, the day before Blake's trial was to begin.

Whoopi to write children's book

New York -- Add another name to the list of celebrity children's book writers: Whoopi Goldberg. The actress-comedian has agreed to a multibook deal with Hyperion's Jump at the Sun imprint, which specializes in releases by black writers.

"If I can give kids and their parents something that'll make them smile and maybe teaches them a little something about living with one another on our planet, it makes me a happy granny," Goldberg said in a statement Monday.

The first of several expected books is scheduled for 2005.

Scholarship fund grows

Atlanta -- Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey has given Morehouse College another $5 million donation to fund scholarships at the Atlanta school.

The gift, announced Saturday night, brings to $12 million the total contributions to the college by Winfrey, making her the school's largest individual donor, said Morehouse spokeswoman Elise Durham.

Winfrey was in Atlanta on Saturday to accept Morehouse's first "Candle for Lifetime Achievement in Humanitarian Service" award.

So far, scholarships funded by the talk-show host have helped about 250 students continue or complete their education, Durham said.

Kournikova making rounds

Las Vegas -- Tennis star Anna Kournikova turned heads Saturday when she walked the red carpet with actor Mickey Rourke to celebrate Light nightclub's second anniversary at the Bellagio resort.

Publicists swear the two are just friends and Kournikova was in town to see her boyfriend, Enrique Iglesias, who is performing at the Hard Rock hotel-casino.

Earlier in Miami, it was New York Yankee Derek Jeter who kept the tennis bombshell amused. The pair appeared cozy at Miami's Metro Kitchen + Bar in the Astor Hotel.

"They arrived together and left together," one insider said. "They were with a group of people, but they sat next to each other all night."

"They looked like a couple to me," said another.


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