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Friday, May 2, 2003

- HAIRSTYLIST SUES CO-HOST: A hairstylist on Fox Sports Network's "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against co-host and former NBA player John Salley and others involved with the show.

Lisa Brescher began working for the sports talk program in August 2001, and from the first day "was subjected to an environment of unrestrained sexual harassment," according to a Superior Court lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Fox Sports Network said in a statement Thursday that an internal investigation could corroborate none of Brescher's claims.

Brescher, 29, left on a disability claim in February, the lawsuit says.

It alleges that Salley, who won basketball championships with the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, made unwelcome sexual advances.

The lawsuit also names News Corp., Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Sports Net and producer and co-host Tom Arnold.

- CREATOR LEAVING "WEST WING:" Aaron Sorkin, creator of the Emmy-winning White House drama "The West Wing," is leaving the series after this season, he said Thursday.

Sorkin, who was involved in writing most of the scripts for the NBC series, also served as executive producer. Thomas Schlamme, another executive producer and the principal director, also is leaving.

The show will continue with John Wells, the series' other executive producer, in charge. Wells also produces NBC's "ER" and "Third Watch."

There had been reports of tension between Sorkin and the studio that produces the show, Warner Bros. Television. He reportedly had been cautioned about budgets and production delays.

- LENO APOLOGIZES OVER JOKE: "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno has apologized to an eastern Kentucky doctor for insinuating that he looked like Adolf Hitler.

In a recent bit in which Leno goofed on newspaper ads, he showed an ad announcing that Dr. Ricky Collins would be joining the staff of a local medical clinic. The ad included a photograph of Collins, who has dark hair and a small mustache, with the words: "A familiar face in a new place."

"There's Ricky Collins," Leno said in the routine. "He's no longer the chancellor of Germany. He's now a doctor."

Leno said he didn't intend to offend Collins or his wife, who called to complain, but he insisted the photograph was funny.

Collins said he accepted the apology. Leno also donated $500 to a charity that builds homes for the poor in the Appalachian region after he learned that Collins serves on the group's board of directors.

- FILMING AT WIMBLEDOM: A British tennis player winning Wimbledon? If Tim Henman can't accomplish the feat, it still might happen — on film.

Tennis' oldest championship will be the backdrop of a romantic comedy called "Wimbledon," the story of a lowly British tennis star trying to win against the odds.

The movie will star Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany, and Richard Loncraine will direct.

Wimbledon organizers have allowed the film's production company, Working Title Films, access to the grounds to shoot scenes at this year's tournament, set for June 23-July 6.

Henman has reached the Wimbledon semifinals four times in the past five years but has yet to make the final. Britain hasn't had a male Wimbledon winner since Fred Perry in 1936. The last British woman to win the title was Virginia Wade in 1977.

- NATIONAL ANTHEM: Daniel Rodriguez, the New York City policeman who became known for his stirring renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, will sing the national anthem before the start of the Indianapolis 500.

Rodriguez, who's on leave from the police department, has performed at the World Series, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the White House, the PBS Memorial Day concert in Washington and Disneyland's 47th birthday.

He recently released a second album, "From My Heart," following last year's "The Spirit of America," which went to No. 1 on Billboard's classical crossover chart.

"I am proud to be singing at one of the most prestigious races in the world on a day dedicated to men and women who have helped make our country great," Rodriguez said Wednesday. "It is especially rewarding at a time when we welcome home our nation's heroes."

The Indianapolis 500, a Memorial Day weekend fixture since 1911, is scheduled for May 25.

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