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April 17, 2014

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People in the News for December 10, 1997

This week, life -- as it so often does -- has imitated a People magazine cover story: Young Actors in Peril! The gavel was still echoing on Monday's judgment dispatching Robert Downey Jr. to jail when yet another young buck fought the law and the law won: On Tuesday, an L.A. judge sentenced Christian Slater to 90 daze in the hole for a booze-and-smack-fueled August brawl. You'll recall that Slater, 28, allegedly barged into a party, punched his girlfriend, bit some guy on the belly, then battled with the fuzz. As his fate hung in the balance Tuesday, Slater no doubt looked heavenward, briefly pondered his wrecked life, and cried out, Why me, oh Lord, and not Charlie Sheen? It's enough to shake one's belief in a just God. Now, of course, comes the inevitable sobering realization that fame isn't a license to go around punching girls and biting guys on the stomach. "When you're a celebrity," Slater said later, "you start believing you can act off the screen any way you want without consequence. Now ... I'm ready to take responsibility for my actions." As with all life-as-People-magazine stories, this raises important questions: How will Slater's Jack Nicholson Lite act go over in jail? And what's the world coming to when celebrity isn't enough to keep you out of jail on belly-biting charges?

Briefly

You can never tell what sort of mayhem will result when members of the Sheen acting dynasty get together; sometimes, in fact, pigeons die. That was certainly the case on the Phoenix set of "No Code of Conduct," an action-adventure starring Sheens Martin and Charlie. Several explosions -- some meant to scare pigeons off the set, others part of the film -- killed upwards of 50 birds and maimed others. Martin Sheen, of course, is the sort of activist who will chain himself to a nuclear reactor for the good of Mother Earth, so it's no surprise that the production company is making pigeon amends: It will pay for the medical care of the injured birds. Will the pigeons also demand an apology and $500? While Charlie Sheen finally go to jail for something? Stay tuned!

Compiled by Scott Dickensheets

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