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Trial ends abruptly for R.E.M. guitarist



Published: Thu, November 15, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Trial ends abruptlyfor R.E.M. guitarist

LONDON -- Before the second day of R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck's bizarre air-rage trial could get under way Tuesday in London, the jury was discharged, reports Billboard Online.

"Matters have arisen which necessitate that this trial cannot proceed at the moment," Judge John Crocker reportedly told the Isleworth Crown Court. A retrial will be scheduled for later in the year.

Buck is charged with being drunk on an aircraft, assaulting two cabin crew members, interfering with the performance of a crew member's duties and damaging British Airways' dishes during an April flight from Seattle to London. Buck, who appeared in court Monday and Tuesday, denies the charges.

Prosecutor Edward Lewis painted an unflattering picture of the 44-year-old musician Monday, telling the court that Buck began drinking with his tour manager in the first-class cabin soon after boarding the plane and then tried various ploys to continue drinking once the crew stopped serving alcohol.

"He tried every ruse to get some more drink, even offering the crew money," Lewis said. "They acted like naughty children."

Lewis, likening Buck to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde during the 8 1/2 -hour flight, also said Buck staggered around the plane, got stuck between seats and covered himself in yogurt after downing 15 glasses of red wine in the first three hours of the trip.

In addition, said Lewis, Buck tipped over a food cart, ripped up a "yellow card" warning from the captain of the aircraft and threatened a flight attendant by squeezing the steward's tie tightly around his neck.

R.E.M.'s manager, Bertis Downs, was not available to comment.

Zellweger is a fanof Home Depot

NEW YORK -- These days, you're more likely to spot Renee Zellweger at the 24-hour Home Depot than at a trendy night spot.

"I just love Home Depot," the 32-year-old actress told W magazine for its December issue. "I'm a junkie for that place. Believe me, when I'm not working, I'm not afraid to pick up a paintbrush. I'm always redoing my places.

"During 'Jerry Maguire,' I lived in this tiny little apartment ... which I referred to as 'the crack apartment.' It was so gross the carpet pad had turned to dust. So I got in there with a shovel and a mask and redid the whole place while we were making the movie. When I told Tom Cruise about it, he went out and bought me a stereo!"

The star of "Bridget Jones's Diary" also has been spending a lot of time in recent months with George Clooney, whom she describes as "a very good friend of mine."

"I talk about him all the time. He's a wonderful man, the nicest person, you have no idea. He's so kind, so kind," she said. "And you'd be shocked at how smart he is. Or maybe not. I think it comes across. He's a wonderful person, and he's one of my best friends. And as good-looking as he is, he's 50 times nicer than that."

Rambo will returnto Afghanistan

LOS ANGELES -- Watch out, Osama -- John Rambo is headed your way.

Sylvester Stallone, 55, plans to reactivate his second most famous movie role, that of former Green Beret John Rambo, and send him back into Afghanistan 13 years after his last mission, London's Sunday Times reports.

The "Rocky" star, whose box-office performances have been rocky of late, is currently at work in his home on the script for a fourth Rambo adventure with an eye to a summer 2002 release, the paper reports. In the new story, Rambo parachutes into Afghanistan to battle leaders of the Taliban and capture terror chief Osama bin Laden alive.

It would not mark the first time Stallone's creation has gone marching with guns blazing into Afghanistan. In the last outing, 1988's "Rambo III," the character went behind Soviet battle lines to rescue his former superior.

Earlier this year, Stallone said he had mixed feelings about coming back 13 years later for one more Rambo outing.

"I don't know if I'd look good in a thong anymore," he told an interviewer. "In my fantasies, I'd love to do one more, but I don't think it would be in good taste at this age."

Bob Weinstein of Miramax Films said in March that he hoped to persuade Stallone to do one more Rambo movie.

"We'd love nothing more than for Stallone to be involved," said the studio chief. "We think it's a billion-dollar property."

Today's birthdays

Judge Joseph Wapner is 82. The U.S. ambassador to Japan, Howard H. Baker Jr., is 76. Actor Ed Asner is 72. Singer Petula Clark is 69. Comedian Jack Burns is 68. Actress Joanna Barnes is 67. Actor Sam Waterston is 61. Pop singer Frida (ABBA) is 56. Actor Bob Gunton is 56. Singer Janet Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 55. Director-actor James Widdoes is 48. Rock singer-producer Mitch Easter is 47. Actress Beverly D'Angelo is 47. "Tonight Show" bandleader Kevin Eubanks is 44. Rapper E-40 is 34. Rapper ODB (Wu Tang Clan) is 33. Country singer Jack Ingram is 31. Actress Virginie Ledoyen is 25.




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