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Entertainment: News In Brief

Thursday, August 19, 1999 Published at 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK

Jackson wins court battle

Pop superstar Michael Jackson has won a court action taken out against him by a man who claims he molested his son.

The man alleged the 40-year-old singer broke the terms of a court settlement by appearing on US television to deny allegations of sexual abuse.

He took Jackson to court in 1994 claiming the singer had molested his son. The entertainer settled out of court, and there was an agreement that the case would never be discussed in public again by either party.

The father sued after Jackson appeared on ABC's Prime Time Live show to brand accusations of sexual abuse "lies". He also alleged he and his son were portrayed as extremists.

But an arbitrator in a Santa Maria, California court decided in Jackson's favour, and a single-page judgement was entered into court records on 26 July - although details have only now become public.

Jackson's attorney Steve Cochran told Santa Barbara-based Website Newspress: "We are very satisfied with the judgement, because it indicates the claims asserted in the complaint he filed in Santa Maria were groundless."

At Jackson's request, the case was sent to arbitration, which meant a legal expert ruled on the case without the jury and the public had no access to last month's proceedings.

Most of the court documents on the matter remain sealed.

Geri set for Latin number one

Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell looks set to get her first solo number one according to unoffical midweek figures that show her selling double the current holders, WestLife.

While the sales pattern could yet change, Halliwell set a commanding pace by selling around 29,000 copies of her single, Mi Chico Latino, on Monday alone.

A spokesman for retailers HMV said: "I think it's a case of perfect timing for Geri because Britain's going Latino crazy at the moment."

Boyzone denied her a number one with her debut single Look At Me in May. The Irish boy band also beat the former Spice Girl to the top of the album chart. WestLife are co-managed by Boyzone's Ronan Keating.

Moore TV action for 007 star Roger

Former James Bond star Roger Moore is reported to be returning to action adventure tales with a new series called The Dream Team, about to be launched in America.

Moore, 71, is to play the leader of an elite squadron of intelligence agents battling evil. The group will include Angie Everhart and Traci Bingham, reports industry newspaper Variety.

It will be Moore's first major role in a continuing TV series since 1972, when he starred alongside Tony Curtis in The Persuaders.

His most famous role before Bond was arguably as The Saint from 1962 to 1968.

S Club 7 to film ITV special

S Club 7 are switching to ITV for a one-hour special in September, but the BBC denies the band have left their CBBC series Miami 7 for an ITV contract.

"We are currently in negotiations for series two," said a BBC spokesperson. "The programme they are doing with ITV is a special, their main commitment looks to be with the BBC."

However, Julian Henry, spokesman for the band, says manager Simon Fuller, the man who launched the Spice Girls, now wants to move the group on to a peak-time audience.

Death of Merseybeat era star Johnny Guitar

British rock'n'roll pioneer Johnny Guitar, who with Ringo Starr brought the musical style to Liverpool's famous Cavern Club, has died after a long illness.

The legend of the Merseybeat era was a founding member of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was in the band's original line-up.

The band enjoyed local acclaim and even outshone The Beatles prior to the defection of Starr.

Guitar, whose real name was Johnny Byrne, had been suffering from motor neurone disease. He was 59.

War of the Worlds star dies

Actor Ross Elliott, who featured in the 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, has died aged 82.

Elliot was more famous for his appearances on I Love Lucy, when he played the commercial director in the classic "Vitameatavegamin" scene.

He also played Sheriff Abbott in The Virginian and was a regular on the soap opera General Hospital. He died at a residential home last week.

Blade Runner baddie James dies

Actor Brion James, who played the villain in a succession of thrillers, has died aged 54.

Friends have said James, one of the blood-thirsty replicant chased by Harrison Ford in Blade Runner and a studio boss in The Player, suffered a heart attack.

James appeared in more than 100 movies since the 1970s, often playing "the bad guy".

Away from the camera, James was also known for helping young actors with drug and alcohol problems.

Moors Murders mums to talk

The mothers of four victims of the Moors Murderers are to talk about their experiences in a new C5 documentary.

The Moors Murders examines the 1960s killings that shocked the nation and is among the highlights of C5's autumn season.

"We have the parents of every single murdered child talking together for the first time ever on television," said Dawn Airey, C5 programmes director. "It is in no way salacious, it gives you a better understanding."

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