Local playwright settles lawsuit in Philip Seymour Hoffman scandal

Temple grad Brice Johnston will be on the beauty team as "Survivor" kicks off another season tonight on CBS.
Temple grad Brice Johnston will be on the beauty team as "Survivor" kicks off another season tonight on CBS.
Posted: February 27, 2014

D AVID BAR KATZ has settled a lawsuit with the National Enquirer after the paper alleged that he and his friend Philip Seymour Hoffman were gay lovers. Katz discovered Hoffman's body in his Manhattan apartment earlier this month.

Katz's father, Harry Jay Katz, even reported paparazzi camping outside his home as recently as last week.

But there's a silver lining in the emotional torrent Katz faced. As part of a settlement from the Enquirer, Katz will set up the American Playwriting Foundation, which will dole out $45,000 annually for an unproduced play, Katz told the New York Times. The award itself will be called the Relentless Award in honor of Hoffman.

The total settlement was not disclosed, but Katz's lawyer told the Times, "It's enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come."

Hoffman directed Katz's plays "Oh, the Power" in 2010 and "Ask/Tell" in 2011, through Labyrinth's Barn Series.

Katz could not be reached for comment.

Philly 'Survivor'

Brice Johnston is not just a pretty face. On this season of "Survivor," which premieres at 8 tonight on CBS, the teams were separated by brains, beauty and brawn. Johnston is on the beauty team, but he's got hidden talents.

"People want to typecast me as a flamboyant gay guy but I'm so much more than. I'm smart, I'm funny," the Temple grad told me. "Yes, I'm very easy on the eyes, but I'm a chameleon."

One of Johnston's hidden talents? Bringing into play his experience as a social worker with abused and neglected kids in Montgomery County.

"I treated my tribe like a case family," Johnston said. "I had to figure out who was the immediate threat."

Johnston was inspired to audition after watching contestant Cirie Fields. "It was like watching my aunt. I thought, 'What is this chubby woman going to do?' " Johnston said. "But she really played a social game."

Johnston has been using his experience to inspire the kids he works with. "If I can survive on an island, you can go to school, you can go to college," Johnston said.

Marlton's 'Voice'

Marlton, N.J.'s own Christina Grimmie opened up the sixth season of "The Voice" on Monday night with a killer rendition of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." The 19-year-old got all four judges - Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Shakira and Usher - to turn their chairs around, and quite quickly at that.

Grimmie ultimately went with Team Adam, who has been the winning coach of two of the previous seasons. Levine bud Shelton took home the other three crowns.

Grimmie attended Cherokee High School, before leaving to be homeschooled. She's now pursuing her singing career in L.A.

"The Voice" airs on NBC on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

'Broad' renewed

While sitting on the couch of the inaugural episode of "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Amy Poehler announced that Comedy Central has renewed "Broad City," which the "Parks and Recreation" star produces, featuring Wayne's Abbi Jacobson and comedic partner Ilana Glazer. "Broad City" airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m.


Karly Cleary, who hails from Southampton, has made it onto the final round of Oxygen's "Best Ink," the tattooing reality show hosted by Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz. Cleary, who hangs her hat at Davidian Tattoo Studio (13 E. Montgomery Ave., Hatboro), will compete for $100,000 and a cover story in Tattoo magazine tonight at 10.

Student perks

Neumann Goretti students best head to John's Roast Pork (14 Snyder Ave.) on Saturday. Owner John Bucci, a big booster of his alma mater, told me students with ID will get all sandwiches for $6 to celebrate the school's Catholic League championship win.

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