Sick Bay Report
Former Beatle George Harrison confirmed Monday that he has been treated for cancer for a third time. In a statement released by his lawyer in London, Harrison said he's "feeling fine" after undergoing radiotherapy at a cancer clinic in Switzerland.
Harrison was responding to a report in the Swiss weekly Sonntagszeitung that cancer specialist Franco Cavalli treated him last month for a brain tumor at the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland. "I am feeling fine and I am really sorry for the unnecessary worry," Harrison said. Cavalli said in his own statement that Harrison had successfully completed radiotherapy, "and we foresee no need for further treatment here." Neither mentioned a brain tumor.
In May, Harrison underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to remove a cancerous growth in his lung. And, in 1998 he received radiation treatments and underwent surgery at the Royal Marsden Hospital for throat cancer, which he blamed on smoking.
Whoa There, Filly
Prince Charles' first public snogging of Camilla Parker-Bowles set off another frenzy of wedding rumors over the weekend. Charles himself contributed, albeit inadvertently, when the Daily Mail of London confronted him about possible wedding plans and elicited this rather ambiguous statement from him: "Who knows what the good Lord has planned? You can't be certain about anything."
Since Charles, 52, has said he has no desire to marry again, some royal watchers immediately interpreted the lack of denial as confirmation. "His failure to rule out a marriage to Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles may be interpreted as a sign that such a step is not now viewed as inconceivable," opined BBC Royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell.
But a spokeswoman for Charles pooh-poohed the speculation: "It's a statement saying, 'I'm not going to answer that question.' " Later, at a fete near Highgrove, Charles told reporters to leave him alone.
Here in the States, Entertainment Weekly's Jim Mullens had this perspective: "The future king kissed his girlfriend in public for the first time. Then he let her eat a carrot out of his hand."
Everybody's a Critic
Will the real Slim Shady please shut up? Eminem seems to have forgotten that just a few short months ago, Madonna was one of the few artists to defend his 1st Amendment right to offend everyone. Eminem is dissing Madonna's Drowned World Tour, during which she grabs a rifle and "kills" an abusive male dancer on stage.
"I wasn't impressed with her recent live shows," yawned the rapper, according to the Mr. Showbiz Web site. "I'd rather sit in the dentist's chair."
Steven Soderbergh, sipping martinis with E! glamour girl Jules Asner at the Derby .... Debbie Reynolds, singing along to "The Sound of Music" with her granddaughter at the Hollywood Bowl .... Diane Keaton, thumping watermelons at Whole Foods in Brentwood .... Nicolas Cage, holding hands with Lisa Marie Presley at InStyle magazine's art party at Quixote Studios. Other party-goers included Danny Masterson, Ashton Kutcher, Jack Black, Javier Bardem, Jenna and Bodie Elfman, and Megan Mullaley .... Rapper Heavy D, singing to producer Lawrence Bender and photographer Davis Factor at a dinner party at the Four Seasons Los Angeles hosted by Michael Baruch, CEO of Fred Segal Beauty.
Leaving the World on His Own Terms We got to know criminal defense lawyer Barry Levinduring the Rampart and Menendez trials, and we comfort ourselves with the belief that he'd prefer to leave this world on his own terms rather than allow a painful and debilitating disease drain the dignity from his life.
"Barry decided that his illness had reached a stage where, to avoid becoming a burden on his family and friends, he took his life this afternoon in the U.S. National Cemetery in Westwood," longtime friend Ron Dorfman told reporters Saturday night. "Barry's not a quitter," another stunned friend and legal colleague, Harland Braun, told us.
Nobody knew better than Levin how difficult it is to care for an ailing loved one. As he was making a name for himself in the courtrooms of Los Angeles, few knew that Levin had moved his mother from Chicago, set her up in a house across from his, and was caring for her as she succumbed to Alzheimer's.
Levin, 54, was proud he had served his country as a paratrooper in Vietnam, and his city as an LAPD officer. In Vietnam, he was shot during the Tet offensive, and won a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. As his Bronze star commendation noted, on March 20, 1968, "without regard for his own personal safety" Levin "moved 50 meters under heavy enemy fire to a river where he and another soldier lifted a wounded man from the water so that he could be treated and evacuated." In L.A, he patrolled some of our toughest neighborhoods without ever having to fire his gun. As lawyer Leslie Abramson said, "He was my hero."
Times staff writers Gina Piccalo and Louise Roug contributed to this column. City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday.