NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan judge says the rich are different — partly because they are newsworthy — and therefore an heir to the drug maker Johnson & Johnson fortune may release a documentary film about his wealthy peers.
State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich ruled that Jamie Johnson, a 23-year-old New York University film student, had the right to distribute "Born Rich," a documentary that features 11 offspring of wealthy families.
The movie, which Johnson has submitted to the Sundance Film Festival, includes interviews with Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Ivanka Trump, model-daughter of real estate developer Donald Trump; and Juliet Hartford, an A&P supermarket heiress.
The judge's ruling dismissed a lawsuit filed against Johnson by Luke Weil, 22, who said in court papers that he was "tricked" into taking part in a project that "embarrassed" and "humiliated" him and his family.
Weil, whose father ran Autotote, a gaming technology company, said that on three dates in 2000 he signed releases that allowed Johnson to use an interview with him for what he thought was solely a school project.
Weil's court papers complained that Johnson "publicly and maliciously" referred to him as an 'heir of a gaming operation,' thus making him an object of disdain, derision and obloquy."
The judge said the releases Weil signed clearly state that the documentary is a commercial undertaking for a professional studio in Beverly Hills, Calif., and because of the unambiguous language, he cannot claim to have been tricked or defrauded.
NBA stars donate to Catholic school
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — A financially troubled Roman Catholic high school in New Jersey has received a big assist from two NBA stars.
St. Anthony High School, a longtime basketball powerhouse that has won 23 state parochial championships, said Monday that Orlando's All-Star forward Grant Hill and Washington Wizards forward Christian Laettner have each donated $50,000 to the Jersey City school.
Both players were teammates with Bobby Hurley on the Duke University teams that won back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992.
Hurley's father, Bob, has coached the St. Anthony team for several years, and is among the school officials who are trying to raise up to $500,000 to keep its doors open.
The elder Hurley said Hill and Laettner weren't asked to make the donations, but decided to give the money after reading a newspaper article about the school.
Don Rickles honorary UofA hockey captain
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hey, hockey pucks!
Insult-spewing comic Don Rickles is the honorary captain of the University of Arizona's hockey team for the 2002-03 season.
"He became a friend of ours and we are honored to have him as part of our team," Arizona head coach Leo Golembiewski said Monday.
Besides serving as honorary captain, Rickles will be featured in the hockey team's card sets, which feature trading cards of team players, coaches and now, the man known as "Mr. Warmth" — who often uses the phrase "hockey puck" in his insults.
"I'm pleased to have been chosen by Coach G. and the team. I know they'll do me proud," the 76-year-old Rickles said. "If not, I'm going to invite them to leave Tucson and come to one of my Las Vegas shows, and then make them sit outside in the desert and let them watch their skates melt."
'A New Day' theme of Celine Dion show
LA LOUVIERE, Belgium (AP) — "A New Day" will be the theme and title of Celine Dion's new show, set to debut March 25 at the new 4,000-seat Colosseum theater at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
"It will be the beginning of a new adventure, of something incredible," Dion said at rehearsals Monday. "I can't wait until the curtains rise. … I'm so excited."
Producer-creator Franco Dragone said the show would include song, dance, theater and special effects — even clowns.
"The story will be Celine," he said. "Our tableau will be built around her."
The show's cast of 60 dancers and performers have been secretly rehearsing since June at a makeshift studio in the mining town of La Louviere, Dragone's hometown, located 30 miles south of Brussels.
Dragone directed both of Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas productions, "O" and "Mystere."
After taking a two-year break to have a baby, Dion, 34, is planning 200 shows a year for three years in Las Vegas.
Dion said she is in full training to ready herself for the show. Although she'll miss touring, the Canadian-born singer said she'll have more time with her family.
"I'm having the best time of my life right now, it is really amazing," she said.
Germany honors Nobel-winning author
LUEBECK, Germany (AP) — Germany honored Nobel-winning author Gunter Grass with the opening of a center exhibiting his work.
The Gunter Grass House in Luebeck's old town will show original manuscripts, sketches and sculpture by the author and hold a calendar of cultural events.
Officials expect some 30,000 visitors a year to the museum, which opened Sunday.
Grass, the author of "The Tin Drum" and "Cat and Mouse," won the Nobel Literature Prize in 1999 — the first German to secure the award since Heinrich Boell 27 years earlier.
Grass, who was born in Danzig, now the Polish port of Gdansk, has lived in the northern city of Luebeck since 1995.
Norway princess expecting child
OSLO, Norway (AP) — Princess Martha Louise is expecting her first child in late April or early May, the palace announced.
The 31-year-old princess, who is second in line for the throne, gave up the "royal highness" part of her title and her royal allowance before her marriage earlier this year to Norwegian writer Ari Behn. Martha Louise said she wanted more freedom to pursue her interests, which include her own entertainment company.
"The expectant mother is in good shape and a normal pregnancy is expected," a palace news release said Monday.
Behn, who does not have a title, and Martha Louise have faced criticism in the news media over what many see as the princess mixing her roles as a representative of the royal house and a private business person.
The palace wouldn't comment on whether the baby would have a title, but according to the constitution, the child would follow Martha Louise in the line for succession.
Martha Louise is the eldest child of King Harald V and Queen Sonja.
Clinton among those honoring former Sen. Fulbright
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton, university leaders and German dignitaries were among the hundreds who gathered to celebrate the life of J. William Fulbright and his contributions to international understanding.
Clinton dedicated a life-size statue of his mentor and friend, U.S. senator, university system president and founder of the Fulbright Program Monday at the University of Arkansas.
The statue stands on the west side of Old Main, the hub of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and is across a brick walkway from the peace fountain that also bears his name.
"I admired him. I liked him," Clinton said. "On the occasions when we disagreed, I loved arguing with him. I never loved getting into an argument with anybody as much in my entire life as I loved fighting with Bill Fulbright. I'm quite sure I always lost, yet he managed to make me think I might have won."
Clinton was an intern in Fulbright's Senate office while he was attending Georgetown University. Clinton presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Fulbright in 1993, two years before the former senator's death at 89.
— Arizona Daily Sun