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Old 08-10-2004, 01:57 AM   #1
Family Ties Forever!
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Smile After A Fashion, Justine Bateman Returns To TV

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After a fashion, Justine Bateman returns to TV

Sunday, August 08, 2004

By Luaine Lee, Scripps Howard News Service
Pasaden, Calif. -- Justine Bateman is back in show business. Not that she ever really left. But the brown-haired sibling everyone remembers from "Family Ties," is making it official with "The Hollywood Mom's Mystery," airing at 9 tonight on the Hallmark Channel.
"A few years ago I left the business for a while and started a clothing company, and that was a tremendous experience -- really fantastic -- to have my own business and employees and design and all that," she said during an interview at a diner."A year and a half ago I decided to get back into the business. I had no plans to come back, but decided to ... see if I could do both at the same time. And I did a series called 'Out of Order' for Showtime. And then I just started feeling like it was too much to do both at the same time. I thought I'd just do the acting and put the clothing business on hold."She was five months pregnant when she made "Hollywood Mom's Mystery," and has since had her daughter, Gianetta, who is now 6 months old. She and her husband, Mark Fluent, also have a 2-year-old son, Duke. "I really enjoy working," says Bateman, who at 38 is three years older than her actor brother, Jason ("Arrested Development")."I wouldn't enjoy ONLY taking care of the kids. I know people who are really happy with that, but it's just not for me. I like to be involved in things outside of my circle of errand running and play dates. I like to be out there doing something."She admits her schedule is hectic. But it's not as hard as running your own company, which she did for three years. After "Family Ties" ended, she transposed her passion for design and knitting into a full-time enterprise complete with employees, invoices, withholding taxes and contractors. It started with a pair of knitting needles.Friends encouraged her to sell her products, and when she persuaded a local store to buy some of her designs, she was on her way. "So I dropped my agents and manager and business manager and entertainment lawyer. I got a trademark copyright lawyer and got an accountant and a business license and resale license and started to set up a business.In three years of running that company, "it really was me, totally me: my effort, my money, my making the samples, my going to the contractors and making the sales. As I went along I had to get more people to help me. It was really interesting to me. "Now I'm much more interested in the business part of the entertainment business too, and am very interested in producing now. I've optioned a couple of scripts. I can't call myself a producer because I haven't produced anything yet, but it's something that's very interesting to me now." She decided to marry with the same deliberate confidence. She had known Mark Fluent since high school, but only as a friend. Her husband has helped her to come out of her shell. "He's very social, so he has a lot of friends. I was very accustomed to going to a party and after five minutes, if I'm done, I want to leave. But he doesn't want to leave." Caught in the limelight at such a young age (she was 16 when she began "Family Ties") can be debilitating, she says. "I think becoming yourself requires a time away from that freneticness, that fame."

Daughter Gianetta Fluent was born in January 2004.
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