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NEWS LITE : MARTHA STEWART GOES WHOLE-HOG.

There's something about . . . seeing Martha Stewart in a hog barn at the Iowa State Fair.

The hogs didn't care, but 13-year-old Andrea Kemp, who was showing a Yorkshire hog in a 4-H competition this week, found it a bit distracting.

``She came over and watched,'' said a clearly shaken Kemp, an admitted fan of Stewart's lifestyle books and TV show.

Andrea's hog finished sixth.

The diva of domestic perfection was filming for her show on the Iowa State Fair, to air this fall, her public relations firm said. The piece will include footage of the bubble gum-blowing contest, the yodeling contest and the butter cow.

No word on where Martha finished.

Lady Santa is suing retailer over firing

A woman who lost her role as Santa Claus at Wal-Mart when a customer complained it was a man's job is seeking $67,000 from the nation's biggest retailer for lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights heard arguments Friday in the sex-discrimination complaint of Marta Brown against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

``Mrs. Brown proved she could play the role of Santa, but she was rejected based on her female status,'' said her lawyer, Alteata McWilliams. ``Mrs. Brown was totally humiliated.''

Wal-Mart stands by its decision to replace Brown based on her gender, company spokesman Mike Maher said from Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

``The bottom line is we do believe Santa Claus is a man; he has always been portrayed as a man,'' Maher said.

Brown, 46, had volunteered in December 1995 to play Santa at the store where she worked in the western Kentucky town of Morganfield.

She was replaced after her first day when a child pinched her breast and complained to his mother that Santa was a woman. The mother complained to store managers.

Wal-Mart attorney Kathryn Quesenberry said the company feared Christmas sales, which account for half the Morganfield store's annual revenue, could suffer if children didn't beg their parents to take them there to see Santa.

Brown disagreed.

``Little kids just like Santa Claus,'' she said. ``They don't care if Santa is a man, woman or donkey.''

Actress puts herself in picture

Diane Keaton thought at first she would prefer to remain off-camera for her latest film, a story she directed about three sisters and their ailing father.

Then she thought, what if the other actors in ``Hanging Up,'' Meg Ryan, Walter Matthau and Lisa Kudrow, gave her hassles?

``I was completely terrified of Meg and Walter and Lisa,'' Keaton said in a telephone interview Friday.

Keaton decided to jump in and play the older sister herself, figuring ``if I'm in there, I knew I wouldn't have problems with one of the players.'' In the end, Keaton said, the whole ensemble was a dream to work with.

``Hanging Up,'' due in theaters this Christmas, centers on Ryan, the middle sister who's tired of her role as family caretaker. Kudrow plays the whiny younger sister and Keaton is the dominating eldest, with Matthau as the pesky father.

Righting a wrong; Quiz show errs; money secure

A graduate student got the $64,000 question right, but a game show called it wrong.

Now ABC's new quiz show is making up for its prime-time goof by giving David Honea another shot at becoming a millionaire.

Honea, a 31-year-old doctoral student in computer engineering from Raleigh, N.C., had won $32,000 on the new show ``Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.'' But his bid for $1 million, taped Wednesday and broadcast Thursday night, ended with a question asking which of the five Great Lakes is the second largest in area after Lake Superior.

A correct answer would have given him $64,000 and put him only four questions away from the big prize. Honea said Lake Huron. The show said Lake Michigan.

Honea accepted the results from show host Regis Philbin, but decided later to voice his doubts. ``A couple of other contestants said, you've got to talk to them because you were right,'' Honea said Friday.

After several hours of fact-checking, the show's executive producer, Michael Davies, returned with the news: Honea was correct and the show was wrong.

``He said, `You don't have to worry. I can tell you right now you've won $64,000 and you are going to get a chance to win from here,' '' Honea said.

``I felt awful,'' Davies told The New York Times. He said the confusion stemmed from the fact that Lake Michigan is second-largest in volume but Lake Huron is second-largest in surface area.

``Every game show makes mistakes,'' he said.

At the end of Thursday's broadcast, the show explained that it had erred and that Honea would be back to play again.

He is scheduled to appear in the final show, to be taped Aug. 28 and broadcast Aug. 29. ABC is running the show nightly for two weeks with a day off for ``Monday Night Football.''

If Honea answers another question correctly, he wins $125,000 and a chance to keep playing. If he answers incorrectly, it's back to $32,000. He also can choose not to answer after hearing the question and keep the $64,000.

``I don't think I'll take too many risks with that amount of money,'' Honea said. ``After that, I might be scared to answer even if they were asking your mother's name.''

OVERHEAD

``You're great friends with somebody, and all of a sudden you're ripping their clothes off, and in the next five minutes you're having a Coke with them between set-ups. Then you're back to ripping their clothes off, and you look over and see a grip eating a doughnut while you're supposedly making love.''

- KATIE HOLMES

on E! Online, about her love scene with Barry Watson in ``Teaching Mrs. Tingle''

News Lite is compiled by Karen Duffy from Daily News staff and wire reports.

CAPTION(S):

2 Photos

Photo: (1) Martha Stewart, left, watches Andrea Kemp, right, of Sibley, Iowa, show her hogs.

(2) David Honea, 31, sits with quiz show host Regis Philbin in New York.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 22, 1999
Words:1011
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