The trial of Mr. T's lawsuit against a contractor was in its fourth day yesterday in a Waukegan, Ill., courtroom. The TV personality accused Kenneth J. Tomkins, owner of Kenlor Development, of charging too much to remodel his mansion in Lake Forest, north of Chicago, in late 1986 and early 1987. Tomkins has countersued T over the $168,000 project, saying he's still owed $18,000 on the deal.
Attorneys for both combatants say Paul Newman and Julius Gold will be back in court in early November to settle their dispute over whether the movie star reneged on an offer to give the deli owner a piece of the action in Newman's Own food firm. The first trial ended in a mistrial last week.
REAL REAL ESTATE
Without ever having seen it, Wayne Newton bought a house built in 1856 on a North Carolina plantation. A real estate agent who handled the deal said the mansion, set on nine acres near Elizabeth City, went for $250,000 over the telephone Saturday. The agent said Newton planned to use the place as a retreat.
Yesterday's New York Daily News reported that Christopher Hemmeter, owner of Hawaiian Airlines and a slew of hotels, bought a penthouse on Park Ave. for $6,565,000. What this means is that Donald Trump will have to relinquish his claim to a Manhattan record; he paid $5.5 million last year for his pad in Trump Towers.
Michael Jackson shows no signs of cooling off. The pop star this week became the first person to have five No. 1 songs from the same album, as ''Dirty Diana" assumed the top spot on Billboard's singles chart. The other songs from Bad making it to the top were "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Man in the Mirror."
Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter says Jackson's European tour has earned $22 million playing before more than 550,000 fans - and these figures don't include his appearances in London and Paris. In London alone, all seven concert dates at Wembley Arena are sellouts. The American leg of the Bad tour resumes Sept. 26-28, when it plays Pittsburgh's Civic Arena. The closest Jackson will get to Philly is North Jersey's Meadowlands Arena, Oct. 3-5, and the Capital Centre in Landover, Md., Oct. 17-19.
Yes, that was Jim Bakker pictured here yesterday with a collection bucket in the audience after the Tuesday telecast of The PTL Club. The thing was, the envelope he placed in it was empty. Not a buck to spare, Jim? "I thought (the envelope) was information they were passing out" before the collection, said the preacher, who was making his first visit to the program since he left the ministry last year. "But when I saw what it was, I put it back. I don't feel that I can support what PTL is doing right now." Which is doing without him.
WONDER OF WONDERS
Stevie Wonder the mayor of Detroit? Yes, if he has his way. The pop star gave away his extra-musical ambition during an interview Tuesday on a Detroit radio station. "I hope someday, and this is really going to shock you, someday I probably will think about running for mayor of this city, straight out," the singer said. "I'm very serious." However, Wonder, 38, who grew up in Detroit, said he had no intention of challenging Coleman Young, who has been mayor since 1974. Told of Wonder's comments, Young, 70, said: "I think he could do a good job, too." Wonder said he believes that there are solutions to drug abuse, teenage gangs and the breakdown of the traditional family but added that "people really have not attacked those problems head- on."
King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga has ordered all government business to cease and festivities to begin tomorrow in the five-day bash celebrating his 70th birthday, which is Monday. Among the events in the island nation of 104,000 people 1,500 miles north of New Zealand will be native dancing, a black-tie ball, rugby matches and two traditional feasts for 1,200 invitees each.
Mark Gastineau and Brigitte Nielsen. You remember them? One of 1988's fun couples? They don't want you to forget them and have sent forth the following message: "We are still together and still very much in love. In the event we ever split we have enough respect for each other that we'd issue a joint statement." So good to know.