Winona Ryder may go on trial in October


September 06, 2002

The shoplifting case against actress Winona Ryder moved closer to trial with a judge setting pretrial proceedings and suggesting the trial will start in October.

Ryder, 30, did not appear at the courthouse yesterday for a conference between her attorney and the prosecutor to determine the schedule.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox set a hearing for Thursday and said he expected the trial to begin within 30 days of that date.

Ryder previously pleaded innocent to charges of second-degree burglary, grand theft, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance. She could face more than three years in prison if convicted.

She was arrested in December for allegedly stealing $6,000 worth in merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Beverly Hills.

Seaborn won't die

"Sam Seaborn is not going to die," said Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing where the character, played by Rob Lowe works as deputy communications director for the president.

"The door is always open," Sorkin said yesterday. Lowe, 38, has said he's leaving the award-winning series later this season because producers declined to give him more money.

Sorkin, as well as other cast members, have said they wished Lowe didn't have to leave.

Sorkin said he has a plan for writing Seaborn out of the series but wouldn't reveal it.

It's a girl

It will be a girl for Liza Minnelli and new husband, producer David Gest, in January.

That's when the couple will adopt a 3-year-old child they've already named Serena.

"This baby is the most important thing to us," the couple said yesterday in a written statement. "Our obligations as parents will become first and foremost before anything else."

Minnelli, 56, and Gest, 48, were married in March.

A trusting soul

Despite British tabloid reports, Heather Mills says Paul McCartney didn't force her to sign a prenuptial agreement before their wedding this summer.

Mills, 34, tells Vanity Fair magazine that she "wanted to prove that I love him for him" and offered to sign an agreement, but the former Beatle - who's worth more than a billion dollars - wouldn't allow it.

McCartney, 60, tells the magazine that he knows some people think he's been suckered by a gold digger.

"I'm not stupid," he says. "Heather's a really nice person, or else I wouldn't be attracted in the least. She's great."

No plain Jane

Jane Seymour, best known for her TV series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, will design clothing and accessories for girls and boys in a new line for Saks.

Seymour, who also has written the children's book This One 'N That One, has been designing clothes since 2000. Under its agreement with Seymour, Saks will hold exclusive U.S. rights to design, produce, distribute and sell the clothes and other items.

The 51-year-old actress also is set to design a line of home products, including decorative items such as vases. The clothing will be for newborns to children 7 years old. All the merchandise will debut in Saks stores in fall 2003, the department store said Wednesday.

Medical plan

Israel Haimowitz made a deal with his doctor 15 years ago - get me to 100 and I'll buy you a European vacation.

Yesterday, Haimowitz celebrated his 100th birthday. So Dr. Robert Drimmer and his wife are looking forward to a trip to London next summer.

"I hate to take his money," Drimmer said, but Haimowitz "would be mad if I didn't go."

Haimowitz, a retired furniture salesman and native of Brooklyn, N.Y., moved to Miami 16 years ago.

He credits his longevity and health to drinking 2 ounces of cognac daily, along with eating five Danish butter cookies.

Today's birthdays

Comedian JoAnne Worley is 65.

Country singer Mel McDaniel is 60.

Actress Swoosie Kurtz is 58.

Comedian Jane Curtin is 55.

Rhythm-and-blues musician Claydes Smith (Kool & The Gang) is 54.

Country musician Joe Smyth (Sawyer Brown) is 45.

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 44.

Comedian Michael Winslow is 42.

Rock musician Perry Bamonte (The Cure) is 42.

Pop musician Pal Waaktaar (a-ha) is 41.

Rock musician Kevin Miller (Fuel) is 40.

Country singer Mark Chesnutt is 39.

Actress Rosie Perez is 38.

Singer CeCe Peniston is 33.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Anthony (Az Yet) is 33.

Rock singer Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries) is 31.

Actor Justin Whalin is 28.

Rock singer Nina Persson (The Cardigans) is 28.

Rapper Foxy Brown is 23.

From staff and wire reports

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