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Martha Stewart: America's Favorite Homemaker

Aired May 4, 2002 - 11:00   ET




MARTHA STEWART: This is an amazing hand tool.


ANNOUNCER: She's America's favorite homemaker who had all the ingredients to build her financial empire.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're buying her life. We're buying her personality. We're buying her charm.


ANNOUNCER: A New Jersey native who started from scratch and became one of television's biggest stars. Now, a new biographer that portrays her as not such a good thing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She takes them by the heels every time and shakes them until all their money falls out.

STEWART: I think that I'm demanding. I think that I am a perfectionist. I think that I am fair.


ANNOUNCER: Crafty kitchen queen, Martha Stewart.

Also, you don't need your Spidey senses to know, he's the star of one of the summer's biggest blockbusters.




ANNOUNCER: At just 26, he's ruled the big screen in both drama and comedy with his own unique flare.


TOBEY MAGUIRE, ACTOR: My power is in the choice of what I do and do not do.


ANNOUNCER: Meet the controversial choice to play the man behind the mask, Tobey Maguire.

Then, she's the young pianist gaining new fans across the country with all that jazz.


NORAH JONES, MUSICIAN: I think the reason that people like my music is because it's simple.


ANNOUNCER: A student of the new school of blues, Norah Jones. Their stories and more now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paul Zahn. Everywhere you look there she is, Martha Stewart, a smile on her face, a glue gun in her hand and a multi-media empire at her fingertips. Yes, the world is Martha's oyster served on the perfect place setting, at least, that's the mystique. But a new biography, making its way up the best-seller list, paints a darker portrait of America's domestic diva. Here's Sharon Collins.


SHARON COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): October 19, 1999 was a high energy, high profit day for Martha Stewart. At the sound of the bell, her company, Martha Stewart Living Omni Media went public. Shares doubled and by the end of the trading day, Martha Stewart was a billionaire on paper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's selling at 38 right now.

COLLINS: She celebrated by serving orange juice and breosh (ph) to money-thirsty traders. It was a very Martha moment. When asked about her material rise, millions of her fans knew just what the domestic diva would say.

STEWART: It's a good thing.

COLLINS: Stewart would never dub this New York gathering a good thing. Veteran financial writer, Christopher Byron, is celebrating the release of his new work, an unauthorized biography of Stewart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you sign one for me and one for my mom and dad?

COLLINS: Byron has cataloged some good things and a lot more down right unpleasant things about his Connecticut neighbor.

CHRISTOPHER BYRON, AUTHOR: She is very, very short tempered with people and as she's gotten older, it's gotten more so. Countless sources have told us the same thing that she's extremely difficult to deal with.

DIANE BRADY, "BUSINESS WEEK": In essence, the book reads like a litany of horrors. This is a woman whose path to success is strewn with carcasses and Byron has basically followed along behind her and picked everyone up and interviewed them. That's how this book reads to me.

For all her faults, she has a fairly loyal following around her and it would be nice to hear what they had to say.

COLLINS: Byron says those people wouldn't talk to him once Martha closed froze him out. Stewart also declined CNN's request for an interview for this program.

Despite Martha's chill, Bryon's book is hot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's fascinating character, good mind, good motivation, knows who she is, knows the direction she wants to go in and that will take the high most, which is perfectly fine.

COLLINS: The Martha Stewart brand is seen in merchandising, magazines, the Internet, on radio and television. The world's most famous homemaker is on a first name basis with America. It's just Martha to her many fan clubs.

STEWART: Oh, yes, there are lots of clubs and lot of children named Martha now. I don't know if you know that, but I get lots of pictures of little babies, Martha this and Martha that.

Use it three times a year.

COLLINS: And Martha on an American express commercial showing she can take a joke.

STEWART: But don't just throw away your old credit cards, recycle them. I'm retiling my swimming pool.

STEWART: Baby lamb chops. Just saying the words makes my mouth water.

COLLINS: Stewart the perfectionist is an easy target for parity...

STEWART: I'm Martha Stewart.

COLLINS: ... as seen here on "Saturday Night Live."

STEWART: Today on "Living," we'll celebrate what I feel is the real essence of Valentine's Day, loneliness and shame. I'll show you some innovative ways to enjoy this holiday solo, by yourself, in the deafening silence of your own home. COLLINS: Either you love her or you hate her.

LARRY KING, "LARRY KING LIVE": So many people seem after you.

STEWART: It's a really...

KING: But everybody...

STEWART: ... it's the kind of thing that I sort of try to blank out now because I don't have anytime to deal with this kind of C-R-A- P. I don't have time.

COLLINS: Any book about Martha Stewart is bound to be a page- turner, but her life story neither begins nor ends with the printed word.

Martha's story begins the way millions of American stories have begun with a voyage of courage a century ago. Martha's Polish grandparents sailed by the Statue of Liberty into New York Harbor in 1905. The new immigrants set up home first in Newark, later, Edward Kostyra, Martha's father, would move to Nutley, New Jersey, just 20 minutes from Manhattan.

Martha and her five siblings grew up in a modest three-bedroom home. Martha and everyone else knew who was in charge at 86 Elm Street, her father, Eddie Kostyra.

BYRON: He clearly had a severe drinking problem. He was unable to hold a job for any particular length of time. Martha's friends did not want to go into the Kostyra house because there was constant yelling in there.

Martha's ex-husband, Andrew Stewart, referred to him as a Willie Loman figure, who just sort of stumbled downhill through life until he finally wound up at the ultimate dead-end job.

COLLINS: Stewart has said it's very painful, but claims to see every performance of "Death of A Salesman" she can. She says her father was indeed Willie Loman bent over with life's disappointments. Like Willie, Edward Kostyra was a salesman. He had dreamed about being a doctor, but ended up commuting to New York City selling pharmaceuticals.

A financial failure, Edward Kostyra was a stern father, demanding perfection from his children even in the garden.

STEWART: I remember the first day that I was put out there on the garden path. We had this cobblestone path in our garden and it had weeds in it. And he said, "Take out all the grass." I think I was three. So I sat out there all day, you know, and I became his pet because of that.

COLLINS: With her faith's drive for perfection, Martha also became every teacher's pet at her elementary school and in high school, it was more of the same, an A student. Her yearbook reads, "I do what I please and I do it with ease." Clearly, Martha Kostyra was not cut out of the same mold as the other girls in Nutley, New Jersey.


COLLINS: Coming up next, a nation gets its first look at Martha.


BYRON: This was unquestionably one of the major turning points in her life because it lifted her onto a national stage.


COLLINS: Martha, the glamour girl, when we come back.




COLLINS: In the 1960s, Martha Kostyra was deep into her studies at Barnard, an elite college in New York City. Just 20 minutes from her childhood home, it was a world away in sophistication. To help pay school bills, Martha applied and was chosen to appear in "Glamour" magazine's best-dressed college girls of 1961.

Biographer Chris Byron says it was a huge break for the small town girl.

BYRON: This was unquestionably one of the major turning points in her life because it lifted her onto a national stage.

COLLINS: She modeled for Tareyton cigarettes, was a Breck girl and made a Lifeboy soap commercial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, you can odor proof your body.

BYRON: She didn't do her own voice on Lifeboy though because she still had a Jersey accent so they did a voice dub for her.

COLLINS: The much-photographed girl from Jersey was about to make a serious change in her life. She tells "Glamour" magazine, life pleases her, in particular a young man named Andy.

Years later, when Martha published her "Weddings" book, she shared with the world a snapshot of her Andy, the man she married in 1961. Andrew Stewart was a law student and Martha was 19 years old. She carried simple daisies. It must have seemed a very good thing.

After marriage, Martha stepped off the model runway and onto in floor of the New York Exchange. It was the late '60s. The market was strong and Martha's father-in-law, a broker, encouraged her to try her luck.

BYRON: You are listening to "High Noon" on Wall Street with Chris Byron. COLLINS: Writer, Byron, says Stewart was one of the first females on the floor.

BYRON: She was a stock broker in a mini skirt and drop dead blonde looks and did really well.

COLLINS: The next stop for the Stewarts, suburban Connecticut. They flapped down $34,000 for an old house in Westport, renovated it themselves and dubbed it "Turkey Hill Farm." From this meager beginning grew a domestic multimedia corporation.

The company's foundation was scrumptious food, headquarters with the kitchen at "Turkey Hill Farm." Martha, the former model and stock trader had a new career in mind, catering. She baked breads, whipped up chocolate moose and set pretty tables. The former straight A student learned to present the perfect party.

In 1982, Stewart's first book, "Entertaining," the first ever full color cookbook was published by Westport's Hostess Extraordinaire. More than a million copies of the book have sold. Stewart dedicated the book to her father for instilling in her a love for all things beautiful and to Alexis, her daughter, for her patience.

"Business Week" writer, Diane Brady says Alexis tolerated quite a lot at "Turkey Hill Farm."

BRADY: Her daughter essentially has told me that there's not 10 seconds when her mother has not thought about the business.

COLLINS: Martha has said Alexis and others have grown accustomed to her jam-packed calendar.

STEWART: They're used to my workaholic schedule. And my life is my work and my work is my life.

COLLINS: In 1987, Martha's work and life collided head on. Her marriage was over. Andrew Stewart left "Turkey Hill Farm."

Six years later, Andy married Robin Fairclaw (ph), once a flower consultant to Martha.

Martha has said that for years she blamed herself for the divorce and she wondered, what did I do wrong? The only answer was to keep on working, writing more books and with Time Warner, created a new magazine, "Martha Stewart Living".

On the cover, Martha. Inside, more Martha. Martha was everywhere. The big question -- would anyone want to buy that much Martha? The answer, a big yes. The proof? A sudden demand for small boxes mentioned in the magazine. Eric Thorkilsen now president of This Old House Ventures took a frantic call from the box maker.

ERIC THORKILSEN, PRESIDENT, THIS OLD HOUSE VENTURES: He said do you realize that our switchboard has been completely jammed all afternoon with people calling, trying to find out where they can find our boxes. You've got to stop this, whatever is causing this, you know, we can't operate down here. And we, of course, you know, were incredibly sympathetic and apologetic and hung up and jumped around the room because we really had a hit on our hands.

COLLINS: There were millions of people eager to live in Martha's world.

BRADY: She sort of hits a common nerve in a lot of people. A friend of mine calls it homemaker porn. Essentially, it's aspiring to a lifestyle that you can't have and it's a fantasy world.

STEWART: Just like people, roses need to be fed and watered.

COLLINS: Almost immediately, Stewart branched out to TV, landing a deal with NBC's "Today" show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Martha is here this morning with an assortment of beautiful roses and some tips on how to make arrangements for the home, from her new magazine, "Martha Stewart Living".

COLLINS: Within the first year, Time Warner and Stewart had a weekly show in syndication. The little girl who learned perfection from her stern father was now bringing that perfection to America in every manner possible.


COLLINS: A decade later, this type of synergy is Martha Stewart's blue print.

STEWART: I am very proud to have this solid shank with the fork head available at Kmart by Martha Stewart Every Day Garden. This is like incredible for us.

BRADY: The beauty of Martha Stewart for me is that she isn't really a merchandiser nor is she a publisher. What she essentially is a purveyor of content. Take something as simple as the humble carrot, she will manage to take that carrot, turn into it a carrot cake for her "Weddings" issue, maybe right above gardening, organic carrots, in her magazine.

All of the sudden that will become an episode on her daily TV show. It'll be repackaged in terms of a food segment for the Food Network. She'll have various products designed around carrots that will be sold on the Internet.

ANNOUNCER: This is Martha Stewart dot-com.

BRADY: She takes every single piece of information that she has. She repackages and re-purposes as many times as she can.

COLLINS: Millions of Martha smiles later and "Time" magazine declared Stewart one of the most influential people of 1996, she now had all the trappings of fame, including sneering critics.

Writer, Chris Byron, a neighbor of Martha's says his book has the locals talking loudly.

BYRON: The opinions are so extreme and so polarized. How dare you attack Martha Stewart? She's the living embodiment of all that's wonderful and an American woman, that she gives hope for us all. And the other extreme -- why are you celebrating a witch? Don't you understand she hasn't paid a bill in this town in 20 years?

Now, you're coming into the center of Westport, which gets described locally here as Rodeo Drive East.

Remember the thing in the book where we're talking about the guy who lent her pot and he never got it back? He owns that place, Oscar's Delicatessen. And when I went in and talked to him last summer, he said, "I'll tell you a story about Martha. She never returned my pot." People in this town remember things like that.

COLLINS: For many years, Martha used her home in Westport as her TV studio until neighbors rebelled.

BYRON: It went crazy. You were getting 16-wheeler tractor- trailer trucks coming up here. And sometimes, there were traffic jams. That's her house, right there.

COLLINS: Eventually, the neighborhood became hostile.

BYRON: This is like the DMZ in Beirut. These walls just arose.

That next beach over is where we're going to go. People in this area, plenty of them would tell you, yeah, she comes out here and walks around here at four in the morning with her dogs.

BRADY: It's poignant. It's well known that she has all of these homes that she lives in alone with her many dogs and pets. And she may have all of these houses, but I doubt she spends much quality time in them because she's too busy.


COLLINS: Coming up next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS...


STEVE KAISER, HINCKLEY'S BOAT COMPANY: She basically said if the dogs liked the trip, she was going to buy a boat.


COLLINS: Martha takes her TV show on the road. From dog-loving boats to sea-tossed bracelets, Martha makes good things happen along the coast of Maine.

ZAHN: Before Martha began serving up all things domestic; Julia was the name in the kitchen. She's also the main ingredient in this week's "Where Are They Now?"

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JULIA CHILD, CHEF: This is such fun. You can get the whole family in on the act.

ANNOUNCER: She was the original queen of television cuisine. Julia Child came into America's kitchens and living rooms in 1963 with her PBS cooking show "The French Chef."

Her "Mastering The Art of French Cooking" is one of the best selling cookbooks of all time and gave inspiration to a young Martha Stewart. So where is Julia Child now?

Now 89, Child now lives in southern California after moving from her famous Cambridge, Massachusetts address in 2001. She's still busy in the world of food, though. She's an honorary chairperson and presided over the opening of Copia, the American center for food, wine and the arts in Napa valley.

Although you may never be able to sample food from Julia's kitchen, you can see it for yourself in Washington. It's on display at the Smithsonian Institute.


ANNOUNCER: Still ahead on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, hanging around with "Spider-Man"'s Tobey Maguire.

And later, the new jazz singer.


JONES: My life is a lot different right now than it was a year ago.


ANNOUNCER: On the road with Norah Jones when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues.



COLLINS: Lisa Hall lives on an island off the coast of Maine and makes one of a kind sea glass jewelry. Her life intersected with the very famous Martha Stewart two years ago.

LISA HILL, JEWELER: One of her editors saw my work in a little gift shop and she thought it would make a nice story and she proposed it to Martha and it snowballed from there.

COLLINS: Today, we're going to show you how Lisa fashions these gems of the beach.

COLLINS: Millions saw Hall's work on Stewart's TV show and in her magazine.

HALL: And so, I usually start by finding ones that look nice together.

COLLINS: Almost immediately, dozens of visitors began arriving daily by boat to the isolated island, eager to buy a Hall original. They'd trek the mile up her path, knock on the studio door and say...

HALL: "I saw you in Martha," is what they'd say or "on Martha." It's great. Martha is very far reaching. In the sense, she touches a lot of people.

BYRON: Martha really is the living embodiment of queen Midas. Everything she touches turns to gold.

COLLINS: The Hinckley Boat Company has felt the queen's touch. A year ago, Stewart and her beloved chow dogs showed up and took a fancy boat out for a spin.

KAISER: She basically said if the dogs liked the trip, she was going to buy a boat and sooner or later, she did.

COLLINS: Steve Kaiser ended up selling Martha a 36-foot Hinckley picnic boat, but being Martha, it wasn't a simple sale.

KAISER: And I got a call from a producer and they said they would like to film the boat being built and being the conservative down east boat builder, my immediate reaction was how do we get out of this? I think somebody finally shook me a little bit and said, you know, this could be a good thing, to have a film of the boat being built.

COLLINS: Not surprisingly, Martha got her way and millions of her viewers saw her one of a kind egg-colored boat being built.

KAISER: Please do the honors.

COLLINS: When it came time to christen the boat, Martha gave it a good whack.


COLLINS: For the Hinckley Boat Company, it was a noise heard around the world.

KAISER: Absolutely, the phone just rang continuously, but that was a nice problem to have.

COLLINS: Stewart uses her boat while at Skylands, her summer retreat on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Skylands is a 61-acre estate. Made of paint granite, it sits high atop a hill far above the common man. To visit, one must drive up a narrow, winding, pine-laced road. It is very, very private.

The moss near her estate made it into a magazine article and Skylands; a new paint line was developed. This pale yellow, Cadillac Sunrise, was named for a nearby mountain where Martha has greeted the dawn.

During the day, Stewart can walk century old carriage roads designed and built by John D. Rockefeller, an earlier island resident. Stewart has found the road to fortune wherever she has traveled.

BRADY: I think the temptation for any successful entrepreneur is to always go global.

COLLINS: Martha Stewart's homespun brand is now found in over 200 Japanese retail stores. A version of her magazine and TV show floods Japan's market.

STEWART: This is an amazing hand tool.

COLLINS: Martha's new world vision comes at a time when her big profit base at home, Kmart, is struggling through bankruptcy.

STEWART: OK, girls.

COLLINS: Stewart's been associated with Kmart since 1987 and she's been very successful. Her goal has been to bring affordable style to the masses.

STEWART: It's good. It's useful. It appealing. It's attractive and it's cheap.

COLLINS: Those cheap Kmart sales are very important to Stewart's empire. Here's why -- this delicious strawberry cheesecake represents all the money coming into Stewart's company last year, her total revenues. This small slice, about 12 percent of the cake is overall sales from Kmart.

But there's different cake to consider. This chocolate truffle cake is all about profits. Here, the Kmart slice is huge, close to it 90 percent of total profits. If the Kmart slice disappears, there's little profit left for Martha's corporation to dine on.

BYRON: Martha Stewart Living Omni Media has never faced a more serious challenge to its business structure and its fundamental financials than it now faces in the Kmart bankruptcy. And the issue is directly before her. Her company is under threat.

COLLINS: So far, Stewart is standing with Kmart.

STEWART: It's sturdy.

COLLINS: Legally, she's free to sign with another retailer, but she's not on the move yet.

STEWART: It's pretty hard to run out on a partner that's down. You know, that's not our style. And we are very close to the company, and we are working with them to help them, actually.

COLLINS: Even if Kmart does survive, there's still a huge problem looming: What happens to the brand when Martha Stewart dies?

BLUE COLLAR SHIRT GUY: She said to me once that my life is the "Truman Show." And what she meant by that is, I'm always on. And from the time I get up in the morning until the time I go to bed, the whole world is watching. Well, when she's not there, there's nothing to watch.

COLLINS: Martha Stewart remains very much the hardworking little girl in her father's garden.

STEWART: I had a dinner party the other night, and guess what? I washed all the dishes.

COLLINS: Seeking perfection.

STEWART: You can't really teach taste, but you can teach good taste.

COLLINS: Determined to succeed.

STEWART: I'm going to make things, I'm going to do things, I'm going to cook and I'm going to clean.

COLLINS: Martha Stewart, now 60 years old, is not yet ready to play.

STEWART: I have no intention of retiring.

There's so many things to do. I wish I had more time. All I want is a few more hours in a day.


ZAHN: Right now Martha Stewart is looking ahead to putting the record straight in her own words. Her autobiography, "Martha: Really and Truly," is expected out sometime next year.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up: Spider-Man leaps from the comics to the big screen.

And later, jazz sensation Norah Jones, surprised by success.


NORAH JONES, MUSICIAN:: I'm very surprised that as many people like my album.




ANNOUNCER: PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues with Paula Zahn.

ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.

For anyone who has seen "The Cider House Rules" or "The Wonder Boys," it's pretty easy to picture actor Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man's bookish alter-ego, Peter Parker. The question is: Could he transform himself into the wise-cracking webslinger? Well, believe it or not, it is a dual role that Maguire, well, jumped into. As "Spider-Man" the movie swings into theaters nationwide, a look behind the mask in this week's "Screen Scene."


MAGUIRE: There's a certain draw to Spider-Man which are like the super hero aspects, with the colors and the exciting things that he does. He's one of us. And I think that he's someone that kids can relate to. He's not an alien or a multi-millionaire - someone that we can imagine ourselves in that position.

Within the event of Spider-Man and the Spider-Man movie, and the action, I think there is a complicated character with a very interesting journey.

My first union job was called "The Opening of Rodney's Place (sic)". It was a Rodney Dangerfield special where he has comics. And then between the comic acts he had sketches. And I was one of, like, three little kids who ran up to him, and we were fans, asking him if he did the Triple Lindy, the dive in "Back to School." And he said, you know, yes I did. And then it goes to the clip of him doing the dive and coming out of the pool.

It was a blast because, you know, me and my mom, we didn't have much money; and they flew us out to Vegas and put us up in the hotel and gave us per diem -- like cash to spend -- as well as getting paid, as well as getting in the union. I couldn't believe it.

When I was a little kid, I don't think it really affected me. And, you know, there were times when it was a little lean and we would get groceries from neighbors or, you know, we found ourselves in tough situations wondering if we were going to pull out. But after a point, you learn to have faith that it's going to on OK.

I feel like it must have been tough on my parents because at times I would be embarrassed by, like, rolling up in the $400 beat-up orange truck. As an adult looking back on it, I realized there was really nothing to complain about.

I wanted to be a cook. And I was going to take a home economics class, which includes cooking. And my mother offered me $100 to take drama - a drama class as an elective instead. 100 bucks, a lot of money. I took the cash, went to the drama class, a lot more cute girls in drama class anyways. I started pursuing it the following year, about a year later. And it was something that I really, really love doing, and decided I could do it for a long time.

"Pleasantville," I had a blast. I felt a little bit of pressure because it was my first fairly sizable budget that I was the lead of. And at that time I was a little nervous, and was a little bit in my shell.


MICHAEL CAINE, ACTOR: Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MAGUIRE: When I saw "The Cider House Rules" for, I think, the second time, I had seen it at the Venice Film Festival, and people responded so strongly, we stood up and got like a couple minutes' standing ovation. And just from that reception I was, like, so moved. And it really made me, you know, see that it -- the film was appreciated.

I was happy for Lasse and everybody - Michael Cane and John Irving for the recognition they got. I feel like I'm laying the foundation and learning, and I want to learn from good people. So I try to choose wisely. And also most of my power is in the choice of what I do and do not do. So I only do things, like I said, that I feel like I can't pass up doing.


MAGUIRE: Who am I? I'm Spider-Man.


MAGUIRE: This is obviously something unlike I've ever done, which was part of the draw for me, that I would get to have new experience. And also what really piqued my interest in the beginning was Sam Raimi's involvement. I met with Sam, talked about his vision for the film, how he was going to shoot it, the tone of the film. And he talked about it being really based in reality.




UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Are you all right?

MAGUIRE: Uh, I'm fine.


MAGUIRE: The things that were the most difficult for me were just when I was hanging, because you'd have to hold your body and move with ease - make it seem like it wasn't strenuous at all, because it wouldn't be for Spider-Man.


KIRSTEN DUNST, ACTRESS: Don't I get to say thank you this time?


MAGUIRE: It was challenging, but I did derive some secret pleasure from it. I would have moments with my friends sometimes when my friends would turn to me and, you know, go, wow, you're Spider-Man. And that's pretty cool. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SPIDER-MAN")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: You do too much. You're not Superman, you know.



ANNOUNCER: Coming up: jazz's new nightingale: Norah Jones, when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS returns.


ZAHN: She's the new face with the classic sound. Coming up on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Singer Norah Jones jazzes up the charts.

But first, this week's "Passages."


ANNOUNCER: The group that brought you "Arms Wide Open" is making their tour Doors Closed Tight. Top rockers Creed were forced to cancel the remainder of their shows after lead singer Scott Stapp was involved in a car accident in Orlando. It's not known what Stapp's condition is, but a spokesman for the band says he expects a full recovery. The tour that was My Sacrifice was to run until the end of the month.

Sexy sports goddess Anna Kournikova may find herself in a court she's not used to. Tennis' winless wonder is suing skin mag "Penthouse" over topless photos they allege are her. The Russian claims the racy pics aren't of her, and are just a way to exploit her to make a profit. "Penthouse," however, stands by the photo's authenticity. You can almost hear men across America volunteering to compare and contrast.

Is there another cutie patootie on the way? According to friends, soon-to-be retired talker Rosie O'Donnell and her companion Kelly Carpenter are expecting a baby. There's no word on the father of the child that Carpenter has been carrying for several weeks. O'Donnell came out of the closet publicly in a television interview for the promotion of her book "Find Me." Rosie has three adopted children already, and has been a champion for the cause of child adoption by gay couples.

It's aviation history repeating itself. Eric Lindbergh touched down in Paris Thursday, 75 years after grandfather Charles became the first person to make the cross-Atlantic flight. Lucky Lindy II completed the mission in half the time his famed grandpa did. While Eric may not get the ticker tape parade, he did help raise money for rheumatoid arthritis, a condition he had been suffering from.

For more high-flying celebrity news, including the 2002 list for the 50 most beautiful people, pick up a special copy of "People" magazine this week. We'll be right back.



ANNOUNCER: Now back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS with Paula Zahn.

ZAHN: Norah Jones is taking the jazz world by storm, charming critics and audiences alike. At just 22, she is already being compared to Billie Holiday and Etta James. We caught up with Jones on tour in support of her new hit CD, "Come Away With Me."


JONES: I grew up listening to a lot of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Joe Beam (ph), lots of Brazilian music, Willie Nelson. I got into jazz in high school. So then I was listening to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday.

I started doing gigs when I was 16 -- coffee houses, things like that.

I'm really new at songwriting, and I've just been doing it really for the past few years. I was mostly inspired by friends who are songwriters. And I also started listening to the songwriters more than I ever had before.

I love Billie Holiday and Nina Simone; they're big influences for me. But when people compare me to them, I don't think I am even anywhere close to being -- sounding that good. But it's OK. It feels good.

I think the reason that people like my music is because it's simple. We do draw in a lot of different influences. We all love country music, jazz, old R&B, blues.

I'm very surprised that as many people like my album. I think it's cool that people can like it, because it's not very commercial. It's not very pop music. We just tried to make a good record, and maybe people relate to that.

I've been really lucky. I've been surrounded by really cool people. I have a really cool label. They're a real music label. So I haven't had too many people try to push me in a direction that I wouldn't go in naturally -- like a pop direction or, you know, doing dance videos or something -- because everybody around me pretty much knows that that wouldn't really be good. I can't dance.

It's fun to be on the road. I grew up going -- doing car trips with my mom. So I love just driving around in the state.


JONES: This is the most people we've ever played for without opening. (END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: In Atlanta, there were 800 people there to see me. Maybe they went there to see the opening act, I don't know. But I think they were there to see me. And that was, by far, the most people that have ever come to see me. I couldn't believe it.

I feel really lucky. My life is a lot different right now than it was a year ago. But it's great because I'm busy, I'm working; I'm playing a lot, which is the most important thing. So that's good.


ZAHN: And that is it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. Thanks so much for joining us, and remember to join me every weekday for "AMERICAN MORNING" right here on CNN. Have a good weekend.




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