THE DARK SIDE? In Mexico, Catholic Church officials charge The Phantom Menace "parodies the holy scriptures" and pushes "New Age culture." The film opened there two weeks ago.
CRUISE CONTROL: Tom Cruise's camp demanding TV outlets interviewing him for Eyes Wide Shut destroy unused footage--and provide proof of such, if asked.
KEEP IT CLEAN: Cable's VH1 asking for changes in the steamy Eyes Wide Shut video to Chris Isaak's "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing," USA Today says.
HOW ENGAGING: Christian Slater, 29, to wed the mother of his baby son around next Valentine's Day, the actor's rep confirms.
PREGGERS? Billy Baldwin and wife Chynna Phillips reportedly expecting their first child, the New York Daily News says. No word yet from their reps.
FOR THE RECORD: The Beatles' record label denying a New York Post report that had the surviving Mop Tops reuiniting for a TV special next month.
THE REF: Wrestler-turned-governor Jesse Ventura to step back in the ring as a referee for the WWF's SummerSlam event, August 22 in Minneapolis, it was announced today.
BAD BIZKIT? Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst out on $50,000 bail after allegedly kicking a security guard in the head during a show, Monday in Minnesota.
GOOD BIZKIT: Limp's latest release, Significant Other, the nation's No. 1 pop album for the third straight week.
EVERYBODY'S DOING IT! Make that 14 U.S. states suing TV host Robin Leach over an allegedly deceptive travel promotion. Michigan's the latest to join the cause.
DRUMROLL, PLEASE: The name of the Bryant Gumbel-revamped CBS morning news is...The Early Show. It debuts November 1.
KA-CHING! The average concert ticket now costs $38.56, up $13 from 1996, trade mag Pollstar says.
SHOE BUSINESS: Rapper Busta Rhymes now designing hip-hop shoes, namely Harbor Footwear's Bushi by GBX. Retail price: $75-90. It'll debut in the fall.
COMEBACK? Liz Taylor offered a role in the Carrie Fisher-penned comedy, Those Old Broads, to costar Lauren Bacall, Shirley MacLaine and Carrie's mom Debbie Reynolds, Daily Variety says.
PARENT ISSUES: A John Lennon son mouthing off about Dad again--Julian tells U.K. mag Hello! that his father would not have liked him have a successful music career.
BROADWAY BEAT: Disney's Beauty and the Beast to close September 5 to make way for Elton John's Aida on the same stage next spring; a scaled-down version of Beauty to reopen in a different theater November 12.
UPDATE: Former President (and Hollywood leading man) Ronald Reagan, 88, "gradually declining" from Alhzeimer's disease, his doctor tells CNN's Larry King Live.
OBITUARY: Everett Greenbaum, who cowrote the Don Knotts demi-classic The Shakiest Gun in the West, died Sunday of brain cancer. He was 79.
CODA: Jimmy Newman, the 36-year-old son (and manager) of singer Gladys Knight, dead of apparent natural causes.