Jesse Owens' Daughter Guilty In Bribe

Posted: June 21, 1990

Beverly Owens Prather, daughter of Olympic legend Jesse Owens, was fined $5,000 and placed on three years probation Tuesday in Chicago after pleading guilty to taking $550 in bribes in her job as an aide in the city controller's office. Prather, 52, took the money from a city vendor in exchange for speeding up $20,000 worth of city payments to the company. Said federal judge George Marovich: "You have not brought honor to (your name). That is something you will have to live with."

MORE FAMOUS CHILDREN

Newlyweds Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo will set up housekeeping in renovated digs in Douglaston, N.Y., a posh section of Queens. The house has a grand view of Little Neck Bay. Cuomo grew up in nearby Holliswood.

John F. Kennedy Jr. has taken an unpaid leave of absence from his assistant district attorney job in Manhattan to bone up for the New York bar exam next month. If he flunks a third time he'll be bounced. Go Hunque!

Newly ordained Baptist minister Bernice Albertine King, 27, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., says she wants to start a prison ministry. "My father was more concerned with sociology," said the only one of the four King children to enter the ministry. "I am more interested in the psychological."

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Julia Child, star speaker at last weekend's Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo., took the opportunity to counterattack accusations that she's a big-time cholesterol pusher. "Everybody is overreacting," said the cooking star in a New York Times story. "If fear of food continues, it will be the death of gastronomy in the United States. We should enjoy food and have fun. It is one of the simplest and nicest pleasures in life. . . . The dinner table is becoming a trap rather than a pleasure." Expressing her dislike for dressingless salads and sauceless salmon, Child, 77, said she checks her weight daily, eats lots of fruits and veggies, few desserts and generally small portions. "I like marbled steaks," she noted, "and I like butter. I am very careful to eat two tablespoons of saturated fat a day with greatest pleasure."

THE POP SCENE

The new New Kids on the Block album, Step by Step, debuted on Billboard's album chart at No. 14, the highest intro since Madonna's Like a Prayer in 1989. The title single is No. 2 on the Hot 100 list. Meanwhile, the Kids are still enmeshed in legal battles to protect their fame and ensuing bucks. They got an injunction against an unauthorized 900 fan line, but failed to get one against Rock N' Roll comics, which is distributing an edition spoofing the guys. A federal judge ruled that satire is protected by the First Amendment. But now they're attacking it on copyright infringement grounds.

Elton John's "Sacrifice" has hit No. 1 on the British charts, giving him his first top-rated solo single. "It has taken me 19 years but it was worth it," the pop star said. His "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" made it all the way, but he was joined on that record by Kiki Dee. And what ever happened to her?

THE MONEY GAME

If you want Henry Kissinger to speak at your next Rotary meeting, you're going to have to come up with $30,000. That's his current rate, according to the July issue of Manhattan,inc. magazine, which also pegged Howard Baker's fee at $25,000 and those of Jeane Kirkpatrick and Ed Koch at $20,000. The best part of Kirkpatrick's haul is that she's already got 70 dates lined up for 1991. Yep, that's $1.4 million in one year to give the same talk.

Sen. Strom Thurmond has dunned the town of Lexington, S.C., for a $25 water deposit he made in 1938. The South Carolina Republican, who last year sold the property on which he had made the deposit, enclosed his original receipt with the request to the treasurer of Lexington, about 13 miles west of Columbia. ''I was real amused," said Lexington Mayor Eli Mack Tuesday. "How in the hell can anyone save a receipt for 52 years? I think it's rather cute." It seems water deposits are nonrefundable.

MARKINGS

Michele Kline, Miss Pennsylvania of 1989, will hold a news conference Monday at Benjamin Franklin Parkway's Palace/Radisson Hotel to announce the gathering of all 50 Miss America 1991 contestants in Philadelphia for what's being billed as Franklin's Philadelphia Pageant Weekend, Aug. 25 to 27. It'll be the first time all Miss America hopefuls have been in Philly together since 1939. Event proceeds will benefit St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

Buckingham Palace confirmed yesterday that Prince Edward will start his own theatrical production company with five co-workers in the Really Useful Theater Group when they all leave Andrew Lloyd Webber's company at the end of July. Edward, 26, is the junior member of the sextet and supposedly will be a principal bankroller of the project. A Webber representative said that the prince's leaving had taken the composer by surprise but that Webber wished Edward well.

SICK-BAY REPORT

Elizabeth Taylor, recovering at home from a viral infection that almost killed her 2 1/2 months ago, made her first public appearance since the illness at a San Francisco gathering announcing AIDS education grants Tuesday. The actress, in a loose, ankle-length dress and large golden brooch, ascended the podium slowly, gasped slightly and held firm to Mervyn Silverman, who introduced her. "Throughout the long, dark days of my hospitalization I was always confident that I would ultimately get well and I realized how lucky I was," she said.

Carroll Shelby, 67, who built the only American car to win the Le Mans 24- hour race, was reported Tuesday to be making "an outstanding recovery" at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a June 8 heart transplant. The former auto racing champion is expected to be released next week.

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