LEGAL FILEBrandon Lee Case Settled: Linda Lee...

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Brandon Lee Case Settled: Linda Lee Cadwell, the mother of the late actor Brandon Lee, has settled her negligence lawsuit against filmmakers of “The Crow” for an undisclosed sum. Lee, the 28-year-old son of the late martial arts star Bruce Lee, was fatally shot March 31 during filming of “The Crow” in Wilmington, N.C. Cadwell had sued the film’s producers, California-based Crowvision Inc. and the Edward R. Pressman Film Corp., and several others. Lee’s fiancee, Eliza Hutton, is also compensated by the undisclosed settlement, according to Crowvision. The film company still plans to release the movie, about a murdered rock star who comes back to life with supernatural powers, although no domestic distributor has been found.

* Joel, Lawyers Settle: Billy Joel has settled a $90-million lawsuit that accused his former law firm of fraud and breach of contract. Terms were not released, and a single-sentence statement confirming the settlement merely said the two sides “have agreed to withdraw their claims against the other and end all litigation between them.” In the New York lawsuit, Joel had charged that lawyer Allen Grubman and his firm, Grubman, Indursky, Schindler & Goldstein, paid kickbacks to Frank Weber, Joel’s former manager and ex-brother-in-law, with whom Joel is still embroiled in a legal fight. Grubman had said the payments were for Weber’s personal financial services.

* Allegations Against Avedon: Noted fashion photographer Richard Avedon is portrayed in court papers as a drug abuser who took pictures of his grandchildren in the nude, sexually fondled one and had a preoccupation with seeing them naked. The allegations, which the photographer has vehemently denied, are in court documents filed by his former daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Paul Avedon, who divorced his son, John, in 1987. The suit seeks $5 million in damages and a court order directing Richard Avedon to turn over any photographs of the two boys, ages 13 and 10. The New York lawsuit does not seek to restrict 70-year-old Richard Avedon’s access to the children.


* ‘Dateline NBC’ Suit Dropped: The Southeastern Eye Center of Greensboro, N.C., has dropped its $8-million lawsuit against NBC over a “Dateline NBC” report that suggested it was scheduling needless surgery. Although NBC reiterated that the suit “had no merit” and said it “has not issued an apology, clarification or retraction, nor has the network paid money in connection with the claim,” representatives of the center said it had “sued for honor” and dropped the suit when NBC agreed to put out a statement saying the report “did not state that the physicians at Southeastern perform unnecessary cataract surgery.”


Four More Years for Brokaw: NBC News sources say that “Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw is expected to sign a four-year contract renewal by the end of the week. His old contract expired in August, and Brokaw had originally considered only a three-year deal. But sources indicate he and News President Andy Lack are getting along so well that Brokaw has decided to extend his stay to match the tenure Lack signed up for when he joined NBC from CBS News last spring.

Price Biography Will Repeat: “Biography,” the Arts & Entertainment cable series, will repeat its profile of the late Vincent Price at 9 a.m. Saturday. The hourlong program, which was produced prior to his death on Monday and aired for the first time Tuesday, features an interview with the actor in addition to film clips from 1944’s “Laura” (his personal favorite) and TV’s “Batman.” . . . In addition, cable’s TNT will air three of Price’s movies, 1959’s “The Tingler” at 11 a.m. today, and starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, the 1954 film “The Mad Magician” and the 1963 film “Twice-Told Tales.”


Connery Stops Rumors: Sean Connery dropped in on David Letterman Monday night to dispel rumors that he suffered from throat cancer. Connery complained that he once was reported dead. Now the media, he told Letterman, were saying that “I also had a serious throat disorder, a cancer, which obviously is not true, or I wouldn’t be able to speak. . . . I came here to be with you in living color. So, obviously, I’m OK.” A week ago, the 63-year-old actor said on British television that he had undergone radiotherapy treatment for a throat condition. He told Letterman that he was treated for a throat condition that briefly left him unable to speak but the illness wasn’t as serious as cancer.


Pop rapper Hammer, who left his big-bucks deal with Capitol Records, is about to produce the first fruits of his new contract with Warner Bros.-distributed Giant Records. Hammer’s new single, “It’s All Good,” is due next month, with an album, “The Funky Headhunter,” to follow in late January. . . . Actor Judd Nelson got two years’ probation after pleading no contest Monday to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from an incident in which he was accused of kicking a woman in the head after people began heckling him and actress Shannen Doherty outside a Dallas restaurant in May.