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Tuesday, October 27, 1998 Published at 16:16 GMT


No joke: Seinfeld sued by 'real-life Costanza'

George Costanza (second right) subject of real-life lawsuit (courtesy NBC)

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is facing a $100m lawsuit from the man who claims he is the inspiration for the character George Costanza in the hit sitcom Seinfeld.

Michael Costanza, a college friend of Seinfeld's, has filed the suit against him, claiming one of the main characters in the show was based on him and portrays him in a negative light.

The suit accuses Seinfeld of slander, libel, and unauthorised use of his name, likeness and persona for the character.

"They have used his name and likeness without Michael Costanza's permission," said his lawyer Jonathan Fisher.

College friends

Fisher said that like Jason Alexander, who played Seinfeld's neurotic friend in the series, his client is "short, heavy set and bald. There is a resemblance".

Seinfeld and Costanza attended New York's Queens College together and were friends, according to Fisher. "He knows Jerry very well. Jerry was his friend."

"They have based the entire George Costanza character on my client and have portrayed him in a very negative light," he said.

"As a result, people don't treat my client with respect. They look at him differently. Everybody has a preconceived idea of who he is because of this character."

Jerry Seinfeld has not commented on the lawsuit.

Bitter Natalie 'leaves' Theakston

[ image: All Saints' Natalie Appleton: Split from Jamie Theakston]
All Saints' Natalie Appleton: Split from Jamie Theakston
All Saints star Natalie Appleton's relationship with BBC presenter Jamie Theakston is over, according to newspaper reports.

Natalie, 24, whose sister and fellow band member Nicole is seeing Robbie Williams, had been involved with 27-year-old Live and Kicking frontman Theakston, since January.

The London-based group's hits Never Ever and Under The Bridge boosted them to success on both sides of the Atlantic. But extensive touring meant the two saw little of each other.


The Sun says Appleton confronted Theakston with rumours he had been cheating, punched him, then ended the relationship

She is quoted as saying: "I've finished with him. There are many reasons but I just don't trust him anymore. I thought he was the one, but that's it."

London Records, All Saints' record company, refused to comment on the story.

Noel takes TV role

[ image: Noel Gallagher of Oasis: To star in Channel 4 sitcom]
Noel Gallagher of Oasis: To star in Channel 4 sitcom
Oasis star Noel Gallagher has landed a cameo role in a TV comedy about wannabe pop stars .

Gallagher will play himself in Channel 4's new show The Young Person's Guide To Becoming a Rock Star on Channel 4.

The show tells the story of Jocks Wa-Hey, a five-piece band struggling to make it in Glasgow, the city where Oasis were discovered by Creation Records mogul Alan McGee.

"We will have to wait until later this year to see if he ends up on the cutting room floor," said a Channel 4 spokesman.

DiCaprio film moves ahead despite protests

[ image: Leonardo DiCaprio: Work on film continues]
Leonardo DiCaprio: Work on film continues
Filming of Leonardo DiCaprio's latest film, The Beach, is set to continue despite protests by environmental activists. They allege the Thai island location will be further damaged by the project.

Local officials have given 20th Century Fox the green light to shoot part of the film on Phi Phi Island.

Once a small fishing community, much of its coral and other natural resources have been destroyed by tourism.

But the studio allayed officials' fears by agreeing to pay £83,000 to offset any environmental damage and also to support a national park there.

The film, based on a 1996 Alex Garland novel, will see DiCaprio in the lead role. His character finds a map to a secluded island paradise and sets off for it with two friends. It is set to be directed by Trainspotting's Danny Boyle.

Foster leaves newborn in good care

Hollywood star Jodie Foster is returning to work after maternity leave - but not without making sure baby son Charles is well taken care of.

The Oscar-winning actress has mustered a staff of 20 to look after her three-month-old boy.

While Foster is away shooting a remake of The King and I in Thailand, an entourage consisting of nannies, a doctor, Foster's own mother and a small army of assistants will attend to Foster junior.

The actress and director gave birth in July this year.

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