Journalist sentenced for taping Kidman

People And Places

May 18, 1999

A free-lance journalist who taped an intercepted telephone call from actress Nicole Kidman to her husband, actor Tom Cruise, and sold the tape to a tabloid newspaper was sentenced yesterday in Los Angeles to six months in a halfway house. U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter also sentenced Eric Ford, 27, to three years of probation, fined him $3,000, ordered him to perform 150 hours of community service and ordered him not to possess any more electronic scanning devices. Ford pleaded guilty in March to a single federal wiretapping charge in a plea bargain arrangement.

Kubrick feared technology

The late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, who gave the world the malignant computer HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey," feared computers would make movies "antique," director Steven Spielberg says.

"He was both worried, as I am, and a little bit threatened, as I am, but also a little bit intrigued that anyone who wants to tell a story will be able to do so" thanks to computers, Spielberg said Sunday in Los Angeles during a tribute to Kubrick, whom he met in 1980. Kubrick, who died in March at age 70, was also concerned that more sophisticated technology would make collective moviegoing a thing of the past, Spielberg said.

The prince gets `desperate'

Britain's Prince Philip believes the world sees him as the "refugee husband" of Queen Elizabeth II. The 77-year-old Greek-born prince told the London Sunday Telegraph that marrying into the British royal family in 1947 threw him in at the deep end. He said the media have turned the royal family into a soap opera. "Now, I am desperate if I find there are British press on a foreign visit. I know they'll wreck the thing if they possibly can."

Oprah inspires grads

Oprah Winfrey had some big advice for the dreamers among new Morehouse College grads.

"God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can ever dream for yourself," the talk show host told 470 graduates at the historically black Atlanta college Sunday. "Real success comes when you learn to act as if everything depends on you, and pray as if everything depends on God." Winfrey established a $1 million scholarship fund at Morehouse a decade ago and added $1 million in 1997.

Seeger turns 80 with song

Pete Seeger celebrated his 80th birthday by doing what he does best: strumming the banjo and leading a singalong. "I'm very honored to be here," he said Sunday at the annual Riverlovers Shadfest in Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. "It's one of my favorite spots." In jeans and a red shirt, the white-bearded Seeger played for a crowd that sang and swayed to familiar tunes like "If I Had a Hammer."

Grant's ready to be Dad

Hugh Grant's ready for fatherhood, Well and good, but what about his one-and-only Elizabeth Hurley?

"It's come up," Grant, 38, said in the upcoming USA Weekend magazine. Grant, co-star of "Notting Hill" said "age and Christmases" have motivated him to want children. "It's too humiliating to have Christmas without children. All my friends and relations have them, and I'm this sad old spinster," he said. "I've turned the corner. I must get down to it."

Today's birthdays

Singer Perry Como is 87.

Pope John Paul II is 79.

Actor Bill Macy is 77.

Actor Pernell Roberts is 69.

Actor Robert Morse is 68.

Actor and television executive Dwayne Hickman is 65.

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson is 62.

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is 53.

Country singer Joe Bonsall (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 51.

Actress Candice Azzara ("Caroline in the City") is 50.

Rock musician Rick Wakeman (Yes) is 50.

Country singer George Strait is 47.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Butch Tavares (Tavares) is 46.

Rock singer-musician Page Hamilton (Helmet) is 39.

Rapper Special Ed is 25.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Allen (Mista) is 19.

Actor Spencer Breslin ("Soul Man") is 7.

Net Byte du Jour

The Family Education Network (http: //www.familyeducation. com) answers questions and shares info about a variety of family-related topics.

Pub Date: 5/18/99

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