British church leaders condemned a Nativity tableau depicting soccer star David Beckham as Joseph and his pop singer wife, Victoria, as the Virgin Mary. Anglicans, Catholics and Presbyterians called the exhibit at Madame Tussaud's waxwork museum in London a new low in the cult of celebrity worship.
Meanwhile, on New York's Long Island, a drunken man a ttacked a Nativity scene outside a Knights of Columbus hall, hurling plaster figurines of two Magi, two sheep and Joseph onto a busy turnpike. Police said they were able to stop him before he destroyed the baby Jesus or Mary.
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And back in jolly old England, police used riot gas and batons to break up a mass street brawl that erupted after 4,000 runners dressed as Santa Claus competed in an annual charity run in Newtown. Police, who arrested five people, blamed excessive drinking.
Yes, that was actor Brian Dennehy having a chummy three-hour dinner at the Palm last week with shock jock Doug "The Greaseman" Tracht. "He's a friend of mine from quite a while back," Tracht tells us. "We have a loose group called 'The Dennehy Players.' Me, Michael Talbott from 'Miami Vice,' and Lenny DePaul, a U.S. marshal." The three have appeared in Dennehy-directed TV movies in which the star plays a Chicago cop named Jack Reed. "My specialty is mayhem," Tracht says. As for the occasional reunions, "We have a couple of cigars and brandies and a general howling of laughter."
It's more than a holiday party for John Walsh and his "America's Most Wanted" crew at Ortanique tonight -- it's also a thank-you from singer Antone "Chubby" Tavares. His son Jason was killed two years ago, and the show helped find his killer. Tavares and his band -- whose song "More Than a Woman" was made famous by "Saturday Night Fever" -- will provide entertainment for the evening.
This Date In Gossip
Ninety-eight years ago:
Arthur Brown, a former senator from Utah, dies of wounds he suffered when shot in a Washington hotel room by his mistress, Anne Bradley. His affair with Bradley, a much-younger, married mother of two, had begun years earlier, after he left office in 1897. His mistress abandoned her family and he promised to do the same -- but never did.
Brown's philandering was oft-gossiped about: His wife, Isabel, had her wayward husband arrested for adultery twice and even tried to kill his mistress, with whom he had fathered two children. Having witnessed the full force of his wife's fury, Brown, 63, gave Bradley a revolver for her protection. On Dec. 8, 1906, she turned it against him when she discovered love letters to him from yet another woman; he succumbed on Dec. 12. Pleading temporary insanity, Bradley was acquitted of his murder.
With Anne Schroeder