SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Court TV anchor Nancy Grace savagely attacked a Michael Jackson fan outside the Santa Maria courthouse today, as jury selection for Jackson's child molestation trial began. Grace, 45, was conducting sidewalk interviews among legions of Jackson faithful when a man in the crowd yelled, "Who let you out of your cage, Tweety Bird?"
Before the man could escape-which would have been difficult, as he was in a wheelchair-Grace slung him to the ground, leapt on top of him, and bit his right ear, severing the earlobe. "I'm damn sick and tired of people calling me that," Grace screamed. She kicked the man repeatedly in the groin before she was finally subdued by police.
As Grace's star has risen at CNN, where she has just been given her own prime time talk show, she has become increasingly more sensitive about her uncanny resemblance to Tweety Bird. Last week she announced that she had filed a $300-million lawsuit against the creators of the lovable cartoon character. Grace alleges that as she has become a recognizable celebrity, the creators of Tweety Bird have drawn him to look more like her "because they hate what I stand for."
Most people who witnessed Grace's demonic outburst at the courthouse were not surprised. The diminutive attorney earns her living by bullying guests on talk shows. She is known for her lack of subtlety, manners, and fair play-as well as her grating voice and rampant sexual hostility toward men. She once bit the head off an O.J. Simpson doll on camera during the short lived television show she co-hosted with Johnnie Cochran in the mid-1990s.
Grace, who professes a love for Shakespeare, particularly the character of Lady Macbeth, originally planned on teaching English in prisons. In 1980 while she was an English-lit major at Valdosta State in Georgia, her fiancé was fatally shot in a random mugging near his construction job. Grace vowed to become a lawyer, and ever since she graduated from law school, she has conducted a one-woman vigilante crusade against male defendants. She has been condemned by groups as varied as the American Civil Liberties Union and Drunks Against Mad Mothers.
In related news, a spokesperson at Warner Bros. said that Tweety Bird, 62, a co-defendant in the suit against his creators, would have no comment as long as the suit is pending. The reclusive Bird has rarely spoken with the press since 1950, when his original pink color was changed to his present yellow because motion picture censors thought he "looked naked."