O'Brien rejects NBC's late-night shift
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LOS ANGELES — Conan O'Brien has refused to play along with NBC's plan to move "The Tonight Show" and return Jay Leno to late-night, derailing the network's effort to resolve its scheduling mess.
O'Brien said in a statement yesterday that shifting "Tonight" will "seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting," and expressed disappointment that NBC had given him less than a year to establish himself as host at 11:35 p.m.
He doesn't have an offer in hand from another network, O'Brien said. Fox, which lacks a network late-night show, has expressed its appreciation for him but said this week that no negotiations have been held.
COPPERFIELD RAPE INVESTIGATION CLOSED
SEATTLE — Federal prosecutors have closed a two-year investigation into rape allegations against magician David Copperfield without filing charges.
The notice came in a brief court document filed yesterday by federal prosecutors.
The woman who made the complaint, a former Miss Washington contestant, said in a related civil lawsuit against Copperfield, whose real name is David Kotkin, that she met him during a performance in Kennewick and was invited to visit his private island in the Bahamas in July 2007. The woman claimed that once she arrived, Copperfield sexually assaulted her.
The illusionist's lawyers said he denied the allegations and called the lawsuit "extortion for money, plain and simple."
BERTINELLI WILL RUN MARATHON FOR CHARITY
BOSTON — Valerie Bertinelli plans to run the Boston Marathon to raise money for cancer research.
The actress, who recently shed 40 pounds, says running the famed Boston race will give her a chance to test her endurance.
Bertinelli starred in the TV sitcom "One Day at a Time" three decades ago and, later, the drama "Touched by an Angel." She plans to join more than 500 runners who hope to raise nearly $4.5 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The 114th Boston Marathon is set for April 19, four days shy of Bertinelli's 50th birthday.
CYBILL SHEPHERD'S SON CHARGED WITH THEFT
PHILADELPHIA — The son of actress Cybill Shepherd has been charged with stealing from fellow airplane passengers during a cross-country flight.
Police say 22-year-old Cyrus Shepherd-Oppenheim was arrested in Philadelphia yesterday around midnight after the United Airlines plane arrived from San Francisco. Witnesses identified Shepherd-Oppenheim as the man who allegedly stole cash, a digital camera, leather makeup case and a small travel bag from two passengers' carry-on luggage, police said.
Shepherd-Oppenheim has been charged with theft and receiving stolen property. He is the son of "Moonlighting" star Cybill Shepherd and chiropractor Bruce Oppenheim, who divorced in 1989.
— Advertiser News Services