California water district OKs Tom Selleck’s settlement offer

17 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Calif. district accepts Tom Selleck’s settlement offer over alleged water theft.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California water district voted Wednesday night to accept Tom Selleck’s offer of more than $21,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing the “Magnum, P.I.” star of taking water he wasn’t entitled to for his 60-acre ranch. Before his recent trouble with Ventura County over alleged water theft, the actor became a national superstar 35 years ago when the Hawaii-based procedural topped the Nielsens for CBS. The district, which provides water to Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and several other Ventura County cities, sued Selleck and his wife earlier this month after officials said a private investigator discovered a tanker truck bound for their ranch was regularly filling up at a Calleguas fire hydrant. “Underpinning these laws is the concept of basic fairness,” Slosson said after the closed-door vote. “That is, residents and businesses within the district – the rightful users of district water — paid for the construction, maintenance and operation of the public works necessary to meet their water needs, not those of other landowners outside Calleguas’ legal boundaries.” District officials said water was taken from the hydrant more than a dozen times over two years and that they sued after a cease-and-desist order was ignored. Before getting in hot water over water in Ventura County (the local water utility investigated possible theft), perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to Tom Selleck was losing twice on The Dating Game. (“I was so nervous and my mouth was so dry, my top lip was stuck to my gum,” he once recalled.) The quick and quiet settlement reached July 10 regarding claims that he had a truck siphon water from a public fire hydrant for use on his 60-acre Hidden Valley property is just another sign of what a remarkably unbruised life — at least for an actor — Selleck, 70, has led. Calleguas’ general manager, Susan Mulligan, said Wednesday night that didn’t matter because it is illegal to take water outside the district, paid for or otherwise.

While still in college, he began a prosperous career doing commercials (a classic is an early ’70s Safeguard deodorant soap spot in which a dreamy-eyed Teri Garr says to Penny Marshall, “He smells just the way a man should smell — clean”). Landing the lead in 1980’s Magnum, P.I. did Selleck, along with CBS, a world of good: The show immediately won the week for the network, which averaged a 20.9 rating, and earned Selleck a lead actor Emmy in 1984.

Says CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves of Selleck, now starring on the network’s Blue Bloods: “Two different shows, two very different roles, but he’s just as important to our CBS family today as he was back in the ’80s.” Blood is thicker than water, after all.

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