PTL is out of operating funds and must have $2 million by Monday and another $11.5 million before Oct. 1 to survive, the Rev. Jerry Falwell said yesterday on the "PTL Club" television program. "We are at zero balance in our checking account," Falwell said, adding that the controversial ministry must raise more than $4.5 million a month "to prove to the court, our creditors and everyone looking in that we are viable." On Monday, Falwell had asked PTL's regular contributors to each give $100 this month.
PTL officials have filed a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to seek protection from the ministry's creditors while it reorganizes and looks for a way to pay off its $72 million debt.
Meanwhile, former PTL leaders Jim and Tammy Bakker remain in their Gatlinburg, Tenn., vacation home and apparently have no immediate plans to return to their former lakeside "parsonage" at Tega Cay, S.C. Both PTL and the Bakkers claim ownership of the South Carolina home.
In the Penn
It looks as though actor Sean Penn will be doing his time Hollywood style. Beginning Aug. 1, the rambunctious actor, who violated his parole last month after driving recklessly and punching a movie extra on the set of his upcoming movie "Colors," will report to a private, undisclosed jail facility for five days and then take two weeks off to film a movie.
Los Angeles Municipal Court Commissioner Juelann Cathey said yesterday that Penn will most likely get away with serving 32 days of the 60-day jail sentence if he behaves. Penn's attorney, Howard Weitzman, said, "We just presume he's going to be good." To add further comfort, Penn will pay fees of $75 to $80 a day for a single or double occupancy cell where he can avoid "real violent criminals," said Deputy City Attorney Alice Hand.
Hand said Penn was not getting special treatment, except that as a "high-visibility figure," he has added security problems that prevent him from serving time in the overcrowded county jail system.
Penn, who will be on a two-year probation after his release, will have to undergo court-ordered counseling for violent behavior.
Rostenkowski in Good Condition
Rep. Dan Rostenkowski was listed in good condition yesterday at Chicago's Mercy Hospital and Medical Center after undergoing a routine appendectomy, a hospital official said. The 59-year-old chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is expected to remain hospitalized a few more days and return to Washington next week.
Martin Sheen's Arrest
Actor Martin Sheen scored his seventh arrest of the year yesterday when he and 20 other peace activists, including priest Daniel Berrigan, were arrested at New York's Riverside Research Institute, where they sang "We Shall Overcome" and "Riverside Shall Be Closed" to the same tune.
Claiming that "Star Wars" research is being conducted at the center, Sheen said, "They plan for the end of the world here." Sheen, the father of actors Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, will face a trespass charge for the arrest, but said he was "glad to be arrested. We're still spending $200 million a day on our military armaments and the poor die at the rate of 45 human beings every 60 seconds."
Sotheby's South Africa Pullout
Sotheby's, the international auctioneering house, has sold its small South African operation to local management in what an official termed a "preemptive disinvestment." Stephan Welz, Sotheby's South Africa managing director, said the sale was arranged after Sotheby's American owners became uncomfortable about the country's political situation.
The company has operated in South Africa since 1968 with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and boasts a current annual turnover of $5 million. The South African operation will keep the Sotheby's name for about one year before changing it to a still undecided new one, Welz said.