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People in the News

July 19, 1995 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) _ It wasn’t just any old kiss. It was a full-court press by Richard Gere. In front of a crowd.

Gere set tongues wagging Monday at the Moscow International Film Festival when he called out, ``Masha, come here!″

A young woman in baggy pants and deck shoes appeared on stage at a Moscow hotel and Gere, a festival judge, kissed her, then turned to the audience. His few words were translated thusly: ``This is Masha Valentinova. We met in 1988.″

The kiss put Masha Valentinova on the front page of several major Russian newspapers Wednesday. So who is the mysterious Masha? And why did she merit the precious public peck?

``Some lover?″ asked the irreverent Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.

``Who is this Masha?″ Komsomolskaya Pravda demanded. ``And how did they meet in 1988? And why did Gere shout heart-rendingly to her _ and then kiss her on the lips? This is the biggest intrigue of the festival.″

A call to Gere’s public relation’s agency in Los Angeles wasn’t immediately returned.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ It’s quitsville for Bianca Jagger and Rep. Bob Torricelli after a two-year romance.

The New Jersey Democrat and the former wife of Mick Jagger blamed their breakup on busy schedules and separate homes.

``Bianca Jagger has been an extremely important part of Bob Torricelli’s life during the past two years,″ said Jamie Fox, Torricelli’s chief of staff.

``Unfortunately, with homes in three different cities and individual time-consuming political commitments, they were kept apart for significant periods of time,″ Fox said Wednesday, confirming reports of the breakup.

The decision was mutual, and the two ``remain close friends and important allies,″ Fox said.

Torricelli and Jagger, a Nicaraguan, shared an interest in human rights and Latin America. They met when he helped her bring a sick boy from Bosnia to the United States for treatment.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The high-rent district at New York Knicks games just got a lot pricier, and Spike Lee isn’t happy.

Lee, along with Woody Allen, John McEnroe, Ahmad Rashad, Darryl Hannah and about 50 other fans with dough, will pay $1,000-a-game for their courtside seats next season.

That’s up from $500 and amounts to $86,000 for a pair of season tickets.

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And that doesn’t include the playoffs.

``These owners are greedy. Just plain greedy,″ Lee said, referring to ITT-Cablevision and other owners.

All ticket prices are going up, but others at a far lower percentage than the exclusive courtside seats. Knicks spokesman John Cirillo said the Garden’s president, Dave Checketts, recommended the hike.

Still, Lee figures higher prices will bring in the wrong kind of fans.

``Now you’re going to have all these Wall Street guys and pseudo movie-star wanna-bes ... who don’t know jack about the games,″ Lee said.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Kevin Costner defended ``Waterworld″ against a flood of stories saying the most expensive movie ever made will also be the biggest belly-flop in Hollywood history.

``I’ve taken a lot of slings and a lot of arrows,″ he said on NBC’s ``Dateline″ Wednesday night. ``I’m kind of like the shield in front of everybody. You know _ bam bam, and there’s some dents and there’s even some holes. But you know, I’m proud of the work that we did.″

``Waterworld″ cost a reported $175 million. Some have dubbed it ``Fishtar″ and ``Kevin’s Gate,″ comparing it to past flops ``Ishtar″ and ``Heaven’s Gate.″

The movie opens July 28.

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CINCINNATI (AP) _ David Yow, lead singer of the rock band Jesus Lizard, was arrested after exposing himself on stage and urging a crowd of 10,000 to take off their clothes in ``Censor-natti.″

Yow dropped his drawers, then did a little bump-and-grind with the microphone before zipping back up Tuesday night. He was arrested on a misdemeanor public indecency charge after the band finished up.

The 34-year-old Yow was taken to jail and released on bond pending a hearing Aug. 25. He left the city for a show Wednesday night in Detroit.

Jesus Lizard was performing at the outdoor Riverbend Music Center as part of the traveling Lollapalooza show. Yow yelled at the crowd to get naked and railed about the city’s reputation for censorship.

It wasn’t the first time Yow has dropped his pants on stage, but it was the first time he was arrested for it, said the band’s publicist, Scott Giampino.

``He has a penchant for doing what he feels like,″ Giampino said.

Jesse James Dupree, leader of the heavy-metal band Jackyl, was charged with public indecency in 1993 for exposing his buttocks during a concert in Cincinnati. He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and paid a $100 fine.