CASTING Break out the sleeveless tees: Keanu Reeves has signed on as a wife beater in ”The Gift,” the latest by director Sam Raimi (”A Simple Plan,” ”The Evil Dead”). In the drama, written by actor Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, Reeves will play the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Also on board for the project are Giovanni Ribisi, Cate Blanchett, and Katie Holmes.
RECOVERING Former Beatle George Harrison has returned home from a three-day hospital stay after being stabbed four times in the chest by a home intruder. Harrison also sustained injuries to his fingers, though doctors say it won’t impact his guitar playing. While Harrison is recuperating at home for what a spokesman says will be ”a long while,” the alleged attacker, Michael Abram, has been charged with attempted murder. Abram is reportedly in custody in a Liverpool psychiatric unit.
SO SUE ME The news gets worse for Sean ”Puff Daddy” Combs. First came the shooting at Club New York in which Combs was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, and his protegée Jamal ”Shyne” Barrow was charged with attempted murder and reckless endangerment. Now Julius Jones, a Club New York bouncer who was reportedly shot in the shoulder that night, has filed an $800 million lawsuit against Combs and others, including the owner of Club New York. In a statement, Combs’ lawyer calls the suit ”frivolous and without merit.”
SPLITSVILLE There’s more breaking up going on in the Spice Girls camp, but this time it’s not with each other. Mel G. – or Scary Spice – has reportedly split from Jimmy Gulzar, her husband of just over a year, after a heated New Year’s Eve argument. The couple has a 10-month-old daughter, Phoenix.
Y2K WATCH Spurred by millennial fears and possibly just to see if their TVs still worked, approximately 175 million viewers caught at least part of ABC’s 24-hour global new year’s coverage, more than three times the network’s daily viewership.
LAST GOODBYE The final daily strip of Charles Schulz’s classic comic ”Peanuts” ran in newspapers today. This last strip, an open letter from Schulz to his fans in which he expresses appreciation for their longtime support, ends the comic’s five-decade run.