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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of June 28

Lawsuits When do Michael Jackson’s lawyers find time for lunch? On May 7, Evan Chandler, father of the boy who accused Jackson of sexual molestation in 1993, filed a $60 million breach-of-contract suit against Jackson and soon-to-be-ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Chandler says the couple violated a confidentiality clause in a 1994 out-of-court settlement by discussing the case with Diane Sawyer in last year’s PrimeTime Live interview. Jackson called the charges ”false,” adding ”I am especially hurt that Mr. Chandler chose to involve my dear Lisa Marie in this meritless dispute.”

Expecting Announcing 007: The Next Generation. Pierce Brosnan, 43, and Unsolved Mysteries correspondent Keely Shaye Smith, 32, are expecting their first child early next year. The couple, together for two years, have ”no plans to marry,” says the actor’s spokeswoman. Brosnan has three children from his marriage to actress Cassandra Harris, who died of ovarian cancer in 1991.

Deaths Pop and jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, 79, of complications from diabetes, June 15, at her home in Beverly Hills. Fitzgerald reigned as the ”first lady of song” for more than half a century. No other jazz singer approached her popularity with both critics and mainstream audiences, from her first hit as a 21-year-old with the Chick Webb orchestra in 1938, ”A-Tisket A-Tasket,” through the landmark ”Songbook” albums in the ’50s and ’60s to her continuing concert appearances in the early ’90s. (A special tribute to Fitzgerald will appear in the next issue of EW.)…

German silent-screen star Brigitte Helm, 88, of undisclosed causes, June 11, in Ascona, Switzerland. She starred in more than 35 German films but was most famous as the robotic vamp in 1927’s Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s groundbreaking futuristic epic. Helm epitomized the model of the unapproachable diva; she was director Josef von Sternberg’s first choice for The Blue Angel, a role that went to Marlene Dietrich.