Slipping through the quacks Robert De Niro...

Slipping through the quacks Robert De Niro faces charges of being a raging bully.

Joseph Ligier contends the star of "Raging Bull" bloodied his nose outside a downtown New York club early Saturday when he refused to turn over some video he was shooting of the actor.


Mr. De Niro surrendered to police after the encounter and was fingerprinted, booked and released on the misdemeanor.

"He punched me in the nose and grabbed me by my hair," Mr. Ligier told the Daily News. "He had me bent over a car. He kept saying, 'Give me the video.' I said, 'No way.' I had footage of Julia Roberts on the same tape."


Stan Rosenfield, a spokesman for the actor, said Mr. Ligier was part of a new breed of "video paparazzi" who provoke celebrities into scenes, then sell the footage.

Mr. Ligier said he had a deal to sell the tape to "Hard Copy," but a spokesman for the program, Gary Rosen, said he wasn't on assignment for the show.

Cast helped Angelou decide to be a part of 'Quilt'

A grand cast of women in "How to Make an American Quilt" drew Maya Angelou into acting.

The poet acts alongside Anne Bancroft, Kate Nelligan, Winona Ryder, Ellen Burstyn, Lois Smith, Alfre Woodard and Jean Simmons.

"When I was told the names of the actresses who would be in it, I thought I wanted to be part of that," Ms. Angelou told Premiere magazine.

The movie, adapted from Whitney Otto's 1991 novel "American Quilt," is an exploration of love and friendship among the members of a quilting circle.

Ex-ABBA stars stay in tune with musical


Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, the creative duo behind the Swedish pop group ABBA, earned critical acclaim yesterday after their new musical "Kristina fran Duvemala" opened in Stockholm over the weekend.

One newspaper compared Mr. Andersson with Schubert.

"Kristina fran Duvemala" is based on novels by Vilhelm Moberg that tell the story of a million Swedes who escaped poverty by emigrating to the Americas.

Wettig gives verdict on 'Courthouse': I'm gone

Patricia Wettig is leaving the CBS drama series "Courthouse" because of creative differences, a Columbia Pictures TV representative confirmed.

Sources said Ms. Wettig, best known for "thirtysomething," wanted the show to be more of a star vehicle for her rather than an ensemble series. She will continue through the eighth episode.


Three kids aren't enough, so Demi wants more

Three-time mom Demi Moore wants another child.

"A boy would be nice, and I like the idea of there being four kids so there is no middle child," the actress told the TV show "Extra."

Ms. Moore and husband Bruce Willis are the parents of three girls -- Rumer Glenn, 7; Scout LaRue, 4; and 19-month-old Tallulah Belle. The oldest appears with her mom in the upcoming movie "Striptease."

"I felt it was something that was really going to give her the opportunity to understand what I do," Ms. Moore said.

Don't call him Captain Picard again


After seven years in command of the starship Enterprise, actor Patrick Stewart says he's hoping to shed his "Star Trek" identity with a series of roles on film and the stage.

"I'm currently in a mode of looking for work that puts as much room between me and Captain Picard's space suit as possible," the actor joked before putting on a one-man show at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Today's birthdays:

Playwright Harold Pinter is 65. Former Illinois Sen. Adlai Stevenson III is 65. Entertainer Ben Vereen is 49. Singer David Lee Roth is 40. Singer Tanya Tucker is 37.