Shooting Fallout: A Brooklyn man filed a $100-million lawsuit Thursday against Sean “Puffy” Combs, accusing the rapper of assaulting him in a New York club shooting. The plaintiff, Julius Jones, 27, was one of three bystanders wounded by gunfire early Monday at Club New York. Jones, who claims in his suit that he was “shot, battered and assaulted by Sean Combs” and other defendants, was briefly hospitalized with a shoulder injury. A lesser-known rapper who goes by the moniker Shyne was arrested carrying a handgun that authorities allege he used while siding with Combs in a dispute. He was charged with three counts of attempted murder. Combs was arrested on a weapons charge after police found another gun in a car that had swept him and his girlfriend, actress Jennifer Lopez, away from the club. He has denied any wrongdoing. Both Combs, free on $10,000 bail, and Lopez reportedly were called to testify Thursday before a Manhattan grand jury in connection with the criminal charges. In a statement, Combs’ attorney, Harvey Slovis, called the new civil case “frivolous and without merit.”
Settled: As expected, ‘N Sync has settled the $150-million breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against it by the teen group’s former music guru, Louis Pearlman, and BMG Entertainment. Though most details of the settlement, finalized Wednesday, were not disclosed, ‘N Sync will be allowed to leave BMG--the label with which Pearlman negotiated the band’s deal--to record for a different company, Jive Records, which is home to fellow teen acts the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. Also under the settlement, Pearlman’s company, Trans Continental Group, will receive future compensation from ‘N Sync. And Zomba Group--which owns Jive--will continue a distribution agreement with BMG. “All parties involved are extremely pleased,” said a joint statement from ‘N Sync and Trans Continental.
Millennium Misfire: A planned 24-hour international broadcast celebrating the change to 2000, “Millennium Live,” has been canceled because of lack of financing and sponsorship. The worldwide event, from the producers of Live Aid, was to have aired in the U.S. on Pax TV. Reports surfaced weeks ago that the project was in trouble, but as recently as mid-December, organizers insisted it was still going forward. Pax will fill the breach by running movies. The television cancellation follows some other high-profile millennium cancellations in the pop arena, including a much-trumpeted New York gala that was to have featured Sting, Aretha Franklin and Andrea Bocelli. ABC, PBS and the cable news networks are all still planning to air marathon millennium coverage.
Half-Hour ‘Ally’ Canned: Producer David E. Kelley is 0 for 2 this season, despite his unprecedented double-Emmy victory in September, when Fox’s “Ally McBeal” (starring Calista Flockhart) was named best comedy and ABC’s “The Practice” took home the best drama trophy. Proving that less isn’t always more, Fox has canceled Kelley’s pared-down, reedited version of “Ally"--an experiment that Kelley had hoped would make the series more flexible in the lucrative syndication arena, after the show drew disappointing ratings. Kelley’s other new series, “Snoops,” was canceled earlier this season by ABC. Fox has not yet said what will replace “Ally,” which was shown Tuesdays from 8 to 8:30 p.m.
2000 Honors: Among those set to be feted early in the new year is filmmaker James Cameron, who picks up the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award from the American Cinema Editors on Feb. 27 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Cameron gets the honor despite having taken a break from feature directing since 1997’s hugely successful “Titanic.” . . . On the local film festival circuit, Anthony Hopkins receives the prestigious Modern Master Award during the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, taking place March 2 to 12, and “American Beauty” star Annette Bening receives the Charles A. Crain Desert Palm Award, the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s most distinguished honor, on Jan. 15. . . . Meanwhile, Bening’s husband, Warren Beatty, will be honored for his “extraordinary contributions to advancing the art of filmmaking” when he picks up the American Society of Cinematographers’ Board of Governors Award on Feb. 20 at the Century Plaza Hotel.
The Three Tenors are the latest victims of the apparent Y2K malaise that has left lots of pricey year-end concert tickets without buyers. There were lots of empty seats at the trio’s Wednesday night concert at the San Jose Arena, as only 14,268 of the venue’s 17,000 seats were sold. Ticket prices ranged from $100 to $1,000. . . . CNN is planning to broadcast a full 100 hours of around-the-world reports, beginning at 1:30 a.m. today and running through Jan. 4. There will be live reports from nearly 60 CNN correspondents worldwide, as well as coverage of any Y2K-related problems, a look ahead at the 21st century and a multi-part examination, with more than 50 reports, of social and cultural developments of the last 1,000 years. . . . Billy Joel does a live chat on https://www.abcnews.go.com today at 2:30 p.m. The chat coincides with his New Year’s Eve concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Also on https://www.abcnews.go.com will be about four songs from Harry Connick Jr.'s New Year’s Eve encores at Las Vegas’ Bellagio Hotel. That Webcast is slated to begin about 1 a.m., after the millennial ball drops.