Josh Wolk
November 05, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

ARRESTED Dennis Rodman and his ex-wife Carmen Electra were arrested at 7 a.m. Friday morning when cops responded to complaints that they were screaming and fighting at a Miami Beach hotel, according to the Associated Press. The two — who were divorced in April after a five-month marriage — were both taken away in handcuffs and charged with the misdemeanor of simple battery. Rodman’s lawyer said the arrest was an ”overreaction,” and added that ”both of them are upset that they have been charged. Dennis is really more upset that she has been charged.”

QUITE A PAIR Eddie Vedder has a surprise partner on his next duet: Susan Sarandon. The two teamed up to sing “Croon Spoon,” a 1930’s-style tune done for the upcoming movie “Cradle Will Rock.” Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon was originally supposed to take the high notes, according to MTV News, but Sarandon took over. The fact that her honey Tim Robbins wrote and directed the movie was purely coincidence.

LOST THEIR VOICE Yet another Van Halen singer bites the dust: Crooner No. 3, Gary Cherone, has left the band, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In a rare instance for Van Halen, it seems to be a friendly — though unexplained — split. The first album with Cherone, “Van Halen III,” performed quite poorly last year, but the quartet had been recording songs this summer for a follow-up. Cherone wrote on the band’s website in August that “We’re really getting a lot of work done. [Producer Danny Kortchmar is] pushing us all; kicking everyone’s ass. We’re having lots of fun and we’re really pounding out the songs. Personally, I couldn’t be happier!” Well, times change. Now the search begins for a fourth singer, preferably who doesn’t give a damn about job security. Scott Weiland, perhaps?

IT’S BAAAAACK Stop them before they film again! Determined not to let the Batsuit wrinkle, Warner Bros. is planning another “Batman” sequel, according to the Hollywood Reporter. There’s no script yet, but the studio is considering two concepts: One based on the animated WB series “Batman Beyond,” in which an elderly Bruce Wayne passes his suit to a high schooler, and another based on the comic miniseries “Batman Year One,” which traced Wayne’s initial transformation into a superhero.

FULL PLATE Making sure your holiday season is teen-terrific, Britney Spears has several projects lined up for next month: On Dec. 1 she’ll appear on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center”; on Dec. 8 she’ll perform on the “1999 Billboard Music Awards”; and on Dec. 11 it’s off to “Nickelodeon’s Big Holiday Help-A-Thon 99,” where hopefully she’ll entertain the tots in a slightly less skimpy outfit than she did at this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards. Meanwhile, she’s currently in the studio working on her new album, expected out next spring.

CASTING Jennifer Aniston will have to feather her Rachel ‘do until it screams for mercy; she may join the cast of the based-on-fact “Metal God,” playing the girlfriend of a metalhead (Mark Wahlberg) in a Judas Priest cover band…. Ben Stiller will get a surprise when he meets his girlfriend’s odd folks — Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner — in “Meet the Parents”…. Heather Donahue (“The Blair Witch Project”) has been cast in the indie “Seven and a Match,” a “Big Chill”-esque film about a group of successful young people navel-gazing while vacationing on an island. My kingdom for a murderous witch…. Glenn Close may play Miss-America-turned-scandal-plagued-Senate-candidate Bess Myerson in “Queen Bess,” written and directed by Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters”)…. In “Hangman,” Lou Diamond Phillips will play a detective trying to track a serial killer who murders every time a woman (Madchen Amick) can’t solve a game of Hangman he sends her over the Internet. If successful, this film could spawn the riveting sequel “Word Jumble… of Death!”

FRIENDS FOREVER Just because Sporty and Scary are madly promoting their solo albums doesn’t mean that the Spice Girls may go the way of the Fugees. At a London release party for their new optimistically titled picture book “Forever Spice,” the quartet stated that they will definitely continue to work as a group.

BLOCKED The Florida jurors currently in the midst of a multibillion-dollar court case against tobacco companies have been ordered by the judge not to see “The Insider,” because it may be prejudicial. (At one point, the movie suggests that the tobacco giant Brown & Williamson put a bullet in whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand’s mailbox as a threat.) They’re also being urged not to see “Superstar,” but that’s just for their own good.

IN TREATMENT Madeline Kahn has gone public with the fact that she is currently undergoing “aggressive treatment” for ovarian cancer. “It is my hope that I might raise awareness of this awful disease and hasten the day that an effective test can be discovered to give women a fighting chance to catch this cancer in its earliest stage,” said Kahn, 57, in a statement.

LAWSUIT The OutKast rappers have defended themselves against a suit by Rosa Parks — who wants her name taken off the group’s Grammy-nominated song “Rosa Parks” — by saying that titling a song after her is protected by the First Amendment. The band has always said that they meant the song as an honor to her (though she protested the group’s “vulgarity and profanity”). According to the Associated Press, its lawyer told an Ann Arbor, Mich., court Thursday that music is freedom of speech protected by the Constitution, and OutKast didn’t need Parks’ permission to use her name.

ON STAGE “The Seussical,” a musical based on Dr. Suess‘ stories, will be heading to Broadway in October. Tickets for New York shows are notoriously expensive, so remember: Hock your socks and hock your frocks, if you want to afford seats that are box.

RECOVERING Carroll O’Connor has been released from a Santa Monica hospital after a nearly monthlong stay to surgically remove scar tissue that had built up from a previous gall bladder operation. A spokesperson for Saint John’s Health Center said that an extended stay like that was not unusual for a patient of O’Connor’s age, 75.

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