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Web posted on:
Wednesday, September 30, 1998 5:47:05 PM

Today's buzz stories:

Cameron Diaz in "There's Something About Mary"

Farrellys deny 'Mary' plagiarism charges

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who brought us the summer gross-out comedy hit "There's Something About Mary," have released a statement that categorically denies plagiarism charges made by an independent filmmaker.

Writer-director Vince Offer sued the Farrellys, 20th Century Fox and several other people connected with "Mary" last week in federal court, saying they copied 14 "unique scenes" from his film "The Underground Comedy Movie."

The Farrelly brothers' statement dripped with their usual pointed humor in denying Offer's claim. "We've never heard of him, we've never heard of his movie, and it's all a bunch of baloney," the Farrelly brothers said in a joint statement from Boston. "We wish the guy would just break into (David) Letterman's house and leave us alone." A spokesman for Fox says the studio has not seen the complaint, but they will investigate. "There's Something About Mary" has grossed over $150 million since its July release.

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Christie's to auction Oscar dresses for AIDS research

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Christie's auction house announced on Tuesday it will auction off actresses' dresses worn to the annual Academy Awards galas.

Created by such designers as Giorgio Armani, Arnold Scaasi, Richard Tyler and Valentino, the outfits include those worn and donated by Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Madonna, Glenn Close, Cher and others.

One outfit, among the most remarked-upon at any Oscar ceremony, was worn in 1996 by actress Sharon Stone, when she arrived in a full-length Valentino skirt, a long Armani coat -- and a black mock turtleneck made by the Gap.

Proceeds from the auction, to be held in March, will benefit the American Foundation for Aids Research. Actress Natasha Richardson, whose father, the late director Tony Richardson, died of AIDS in 1991, said she got the idea of a charity auction after Christie's sold a number of gowns belonging to the late Princess Diana a few months before her death last year.

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Gumbel gets to work on 'Time 100'

NEW YORK (CNN) -- CBS News personality Bryant Gumbel will host the next installment of "The Time 100," a series about the movers and shakers of the 20th century. The hour-long special -- subtitled "Builders and Titans" -- will air in December, and will focus on the business leaders who have shaped the century. Gumbel will conduct many of the interviews for the hour, insiders said. It marks the first work for the $7 million-per-year anchor since his "Public Eye" newsmagazine was cancelled last month.

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The Boss bullying record company?

NEWARK, New Jersey (CNN) -- Fledgling record company Pony Express Records says Bruce Springsteen is trying to block the release of some songs he sang before he hit it big.

The company claimed in a federal suit that it bought rights to several Springsteen songs recorded before his 1970s rise to stardom. The title of its compact disc is "Before the Fame." But distributors are afraid to put the music on the shelves because Springsteen has "used his stature and position as a famous recording artist" to spread word that the recordings are bootlegs, Pony Express said. A Springsteen representative refused to comment.

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Web site operator wins TV sitcom deal

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- If you want to land a TV sitcom deal, perhaps you should start on the Internet. A sitcom series is in development based on a 10-month-old Web site, Independent producer Panamort Television -- which is headed by former "Late Show with David Letterman" producer Robert Morton -- has signed a deal with the site's operator, Lynn Harris, to develop the project, and ABC will have first-look rights.

The site explores the trials and tribulations of dating as seen through the eyes of a young woman who dispenses relationship advice over the Internet. It receives an estimated 36,000 hits a month.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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