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April 20, 2014

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People in the News for September 25, 1997

Does Jean-Clod Van Damme really have the fight stuff? Not according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles. Frank Dux, the real-life martial artist Van Damme portrayed in his first film, "Bloodsport," contends the actor doesn't have the chops for karate; he's more of a ballet dancer. Ouch! But wait -- what about those European martial arts titles? "Van Damme had lied to the public that he was a martial arts champion," says Dux, who claims he tutored Van Damme when the actor was still laying carpet for a living. "I asked Jean-Claude to do a simple forward roll, and he landed on his head." A star is born! Van Damme's lawyer, Martin Singer, quickly leapt to the defense of the man paying him hundreds of dollars per billable hour to quickly leap to his defense. "There are records to document his martial arts acclaim," Singer says. Why, just look at his movies; he didn't get those roles on his acting ability! "He's the one who does those splits on chairs," Singer says. "He doesn't have a stuntman to do that." But you can't take someone to court for his phony-looking drop kicks; Chuck Norris would never leave the courtroom. Dux is suing Van Damme for $50,000 the actor supposedly owes him for co-writing and consulting on last year's Van Damme epic "The Quest." Court action was set to begin today.

Goulet!

Sounds like another day here at People in the News: "Every night I'd look down the staircase to the dungeon and say, 'I don't know if I can make this, everything hurts."' But no, Robert Goulet is talking about the agony of performing "Man of La Mancha" every night despite an ailing left hipbone. Finally, however, he went under the knife -- and not a minute too soon, baby! "My femur had split in half, and I had a piece of bone the size of a quarter floating around in there," he says. Ouch! Now he has a shiny new titanium replacement -- as if he wasn't already hip enough!

Files away

Now that the FBI has finally released John Lennon's ex files, they contained exactly what we always suspected they would: top-secret reports of a parrot trained to squawk "Right on!" Lennon biographer Jonathan Wiener had requested documents gathered by the agency on the former Beatle more than 10 years ago. The FBI dragged its black-shoed feet, citing national security concerns. You just never know when the mildly subversive folk singing of a long-dead musician might suddenly escalate into a situation requiring action. However, pressured by an L.A. court, the agency released all but 10 documents, even though some were blacked out. The upshot: Although Lennon funded a few leftist causes and met with some badly groomed malcontents -- including the owner of the hippie parrot -- nothing in the files indicates he did anything illegal.

Compiled by Scott Dickensheets

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