A man who appeared on "Geraldo" sued the host, Geraldo Rivera, and a producer yesterday for $28 million, claiming they revealed his identity after promising not to do so. Carl J. Ober said in his lawsuit that he appeared on a segment of the syndicated television show titled "Telephone Terror," with women who were victimized by telephone harassment. Ober, from Albany, appeared as an alleged telephone harasser under a written and verbal agreement with Rivera that his identity would not be revealed, the lawsuit said. On at least two occasions during the show, Rivera called him "Carl" and on at least two other occasions referred to him as Carl Ober, the lawsuit said. The show aired Feb. 15, 1990. The lawsuit said Rivera disclosed Ober's occupation and place of residence and identified a psychologist who is treating him. The lawsuit said that on at least four occasions, Ober's face was shown with the words, "Made obscene phone calls," and Rivera called him a "sick person" who "verbally raped" women. There was no answer yesterday at the show's offices.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber apparently has better things to do with his time than piddle around with the money-making likes of Steven Spielberg. The January-February issue of Spy magazine reports that Spielberg phoned Lloyd Webber, his downstairs neighbor at New York's Trump Tower, wondering what he thought of the idea of skipping the Broadway run of "Aspects of Love" and taking the musical directly to the screen -- with a certain bespectacled, bearded, aging Wunderkind more than happy to serve as director. "Tell me, Steven," Lloyd Webber asked, "just how much money do you make from your films?" The director replied that "E.T." did something like $75 million, and the talk was over in minutes. "Seventy-five million dollars," Lloyd Webber said later. "It hardly seems worth the bother."
Think about this the next time you watch "Psycho." Thirty years later, the Alfred Hitchcock classic retains its imprint on Janet Leigh. To this day, since that certain bathroom scene, the actress never takes a shower, according to Movieline magazine. She also insists that hotel staffs leave her shower door ajar, from check-in until after she leaves. It's no star-tripping joke: She has no intention of being surprised by a prankstering Norman Bates wannabe.
Billy Joel revealed that he was suicidal in his earliest 20s. "I wasn't doing well as a musician, my girl had run out, I had this succession of lousy jobs," he says in Sunday's Parade magazine. "So I popped a bunch of pills. It didn't work so I [swallowed] furniture polish. Again it wasn't fatal so I checked into the hospital. ..." After three weeks of treatment the rocker said he decided he'd "never feel that sorry for myself again."
Marilyn Monroe's 1956 Jewish certificate of marriage to playwright Arthur Miller sold at auction yesterday for about $14,000 at Christie's in London. An anonymous American bought it. Not so anonymous was French eatery owner Michel Axel, who coughed up almost $25,000 at the same auction for the bullwhip cracked by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies. "I would have paid anything for it," he said.
Bart Simpson, the cartoon character who spouts "Don't have a cow, man," was voted one of the "Ten Most Inspiring" yesterday by The Millennium Society, the organization specifically established to celebrate New Year's Eve 1999. He joins such other inspiring people as Czechoslovakia's President Vaclav Havel, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and singer Paul McCartney, who also received special invitations to worldwide festivities planned to ring in the new century. The World Millennium Charity Ball, the society's world-wide, 24-hour celebration on New Year's Eve 1999, will be held at the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza, Egypt. To make sure that society members have no problem getting there, the group is chartering the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth 2. The event will be televised as midnight strikes in each of the world's 24 time zones. The organization was founded in 1979 by a group of Yale University students who vowed to meet in 20 years, patterned after an O. Henry story, "After 20 Years," said Carol Treadwell, executive director.