A Tennis Power Calls It Quits

Known for consistency, not for surprises, German tennis star Steffi Graf shocked everyone last week when she abruptly announced her retirement from the sport. Explaining her decision to quit just weeks before the U.S. Open, the 30-year-old Graf said simply that in recent weeks, "for the first time, I wasn't feeling pleasure or joy." But it was never an easy life. Plagued by injuries throughout her 17-year career, Graf also had her share of personal troubles. Most recently, her father, who was also her manager, served at least two years in jail for tax evasion. But the woman who was as famous for her icy demeanor as she was for her powerful forehand never talked about that--or much else. Her sole responsibility, she once said, was to play tennis. With 22 Grand Slam titles under her belt and a No. 1 ranking for a record 377 weeks, she did that as well as anyone ever has.

Yakety-Yak Attack

Talk shows are the cockroaches of TV: no matter how many you kill, there's always some pesky new ones to take their place. Next month Martin Short, Queen Latifah and radio psychologist Joy Browne will launch their own shows despite recent talk casualties like Howie Mandel and sagging ratings for Rosie, Jerry and Roseanne. Maya Angelou, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Martin Luther King III and even former porn star Traci Lords are all reportedly in negotiations to join the gabfest. Why push into such loquacious territory? "I have all these people who slop makeup on me and make me look adorable," says Dr. Browne. So that's what motivated Howie.

It's All a Plot

"X-Files" star David Duchovny doesn't just play a conspiracy theorist on TV. Now he's suing 20th Century Fox, parent company of the network that broadcasts his hit show. The star, who plays an FBI agent obsessed with paranoid plots, claims the company has cheated him out of a reported $25 million in profit sharing by giving its own stations cut-rate deals for the show. He also says Fox conspired with series producer and creator Chris Carter--who's not named as a defendant in the lawsuit-- to cover up the deal. Ladies and gentle-men of the jury, the truth is out there.

The Skinny on Carnie

Unlike the patient, there was a lot less to Carnie Wilson's online stomach stapling than met the eye. The Web site that broadcast the live operation, www.adoctorinyourhouse.com, was so overloaded by curiosity seekers that thousands of people couldn't access it. Not that it mattered. The grainy, shadowy video made the patient look more like an angry cloud formation. In fact, viewers never actually saw Carnie's procedure. While a camera showed doctors hovering in her operating room, the surgery shots were recorded footage of another patient spliced into the "live" broadcast. "Carnie didn't want it to be about her internal organs," says a Web-site spokesman. Fat chance.

A Tennis Power Calls It Quits | News