CHARGED We’ve seen the woeful People cover. Here’s the follow up: Robert Downey Jr. could end up serving as much as four years and 18 months in jail if he’s convicted on two felony charges and one misdemeanor. Prosecutors have officially hit Downey with felony possession of cocaine, and felony possession of Valium, as well as a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance. The 35 year old will remain free on $15,000 bail until his trial, which could take place as soon as 90 days after his arraignment. The ”Chaplin” star’s lawyers are ”continuing their investigation regarding the circumstances of Mr. Downey’s arrest and will be entering pleas of not guilty to all charges,” according to a statement released by attorney Robert Waters.
LEGALESE Here’s a new one: Metallica is back in the lawsuit game! The band has filed a trademark infringement suit against a perfume manufacturer and the posh department stores Neiman-Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for selling a fragrance that was creatively named Metallica. The band is also suing for false designation of origin, dilution, unfair competition, and injury to business reputation, reports Allstar. (The companies have yet to comment on the suit.). They certainly had a viable product, though. What young girl doesn’t want to smell like a sweaty heavy metal star?
BANNED Sony Music Corp. strikes again. Both Rage Against the Machine and their fans were shocked to discover that followers of the agenda laden rock band have been banned from Napster. Those who downloaded tracks from the group’s latest album are being blocked from the file swapping service and redirected to a webpage that claims alleged copyright infringement necessitates the action, according to Rolling Stone. Rage guitarist Tom Morello – who has long taken a pro-Napster stance – was outraged by the action. He posted a message on the group’s website, calling the incident a ”horrible mistake.” ”The move to take action against Rage fans was taken completely unilaterally by our new management,” Morello wrote. ”In their zeal to keep the record from getting out before the release date, they did not consult the band before instructing Sony Music Corp. to institute the Napster ban. As soon as I was made aware of this horrible mistake on their part, I immediately phoned our management and record company to see what we could do to get our Napster using fans reinstated as soon as possible … In the future we will be more vigilant about this matter.” Sure, that’s what the Offspring might have said, too.
TV NEWS Michael Davies, the exec producer of ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” is loosening his hold on the reins of the ABC ratings leviathan. He’s signed a three year deal with the alphabet to create his own production company, Diplomatic, which will focus initially on development of more reality TV, according to the Hollywood Reporter. ”I don’t want my legacy to only be ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,”’ Davies told HR. ”I don’t want ‘game show producer’ on my tombstone. It’s not the only thing I ever want to do.” Rather, he wants an epigram that says, ”The man who joined the race to clone ‘Survivor”’…. Meanwhile, ABC is shuffling a few shows on its roster. ”Once and Again” will move to the challenging Wed. night 10 p.m. slot opposite ”Law & Order.” The former 10 p.m. resident, ”Gideon’s Crossing,” which was struggling against the popular legalese show, will switch to Monday nights.
REEL DEAL ”Shanghai Noon” director Tom Dey has a new gig. He’s signed on to the Warner Bros. flick ”Showtime.” This could be a swell follow up to last summer’s Jackie Chan/ Owen Wilson comedy for the rookie feature helmer. Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro are in talks to star.
CASTING Charlton Heston to be Mark Wahlberg has signed on to star opposite Thandie Newton in a new Jonathan Demme flick titled ”The Truth About Charlie.” The film is a remake of Stanley Donen’s 1963 thriller ”Charade.” Gee, won’t they ever stop aping old movies?… Nope: Kristin Scott Thomas is considering a role once played by Ingrid Bergman. ”The English Patient” star is expected to sign on to ”Twenty Four Hours of a Woman’s Life,” a film based on the novel by Stephan Zweig.
SLAYING The family of the actor Anthony Dwain Lee – who was shot and killed by L.A. police checking on a Halloween party – have filed a $100 million wrongful death suit against the city. The 39 year old Lee was shot three times in the back and once in the head on Oct. 28. The officer claims he fired in self defense. The family’s attorney, Johnnie Cochran, Jr., tells Reuters that Lee ”could not have had time to withdraw a gun and point it at an officer and then have been shot four times in the back. If you’re going to shoot a man in the back and claim self defense, that’s murder.”