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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of March 17, 2000

EXPECTING
Actor Dean Cain, 33, and his ex-girlfriend, model Samantha Torres, 26, await the spring birth of a child. They split last year, before Torres learned she was pregnant, and do not plan to reunite.

ENGAGED
Country singer Vince Gill, 42, and pop-gospel star Amy Grant, 39, confirmed they plan to marry March 10. It will be the second marriage for both. Grant was previously wed to singer-songwriter Gary Chapman, 42, with whom she has three children; Gill and ex-wife, singer Janis Gill, 46, have one child…. Singer Carnie Wilson, 31, eldest daughter of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, and rock guitarist Rob Bonfiglio, 32, will wed in June. It’s the first marriage for both.

MARRIED
Actor Christian Bale (American Psycho), 26, and Sibi Blazic revealed they had wed Jan. 29 at an undisclosed location. Neither has been married before.

SPLITS
Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, 50, and actor Frank Langella, 60, have ended their five-year relationship. The couple met as costars of the ‘96 comedy Eddie and lived together in New York and L.A.

AILING
Founding Earth, Wind & Fire member Maurice White, 59, with Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosed in 1992, White postponed going public; ”He’s no longer in denial,” says a spokesman for the ’70s soul band, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 6.

RECOVERING
Celeb killer whale Keiko (Free Willy), 24, took the first plunge toward freedom with a March 3 release into an enclosed part of Iceland’s Klettsvik Bay. The bay will serve as a halfway home until he becomes the first captive whale ever reintroduced into the wild, possibly later this year. The five-tonner lived in a cramped Mexico City amusement park until his 1993 film role raised concern from activists about his physical condition.

CRIMES
Socorro Del Carmen Membrano, 48, former housekeeper for actress Sharon Stone, 42, pleaded not guilty March 2 to grand theft. Police say Membrano pilfered $300,000 in jewelry and other items from Stone’s L.A. home sometime before February. She was being held on $300,000 bail and couldn’t be reached for comment…. Derek Longmuir, 48, former drummer of the ’70s boy band the Bay City Rollers, pleaded guilty March 3 to possession of child pornography in Edinburgh, Scotland. Now a nurse at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, he’ll be sentenced March 24. Longmuir reportedly told the court he hadn’t viewed the films, which he said belonged to a friend.

LOST
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed that 4,200 Oscar ballots mailed to its California voters had disappeared after they were deposited March 1 at the Beverly Hills Post Office. An Academy spokesman said fresh ballots were sent March 7. The deadline for votes is March 21.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Two NBC affiliates, Pocatello, Idaho’s KPVI and Salt Lake City’s KSL, said March 6 they would not air the network’s new animated prime-time sitcom, God, the Devil and Bob. KSL’s Al Henderson said the series, featuring the Almighty as a Jerry Garcia look-alike voiced by James Garner, ”does not meet our standards of taste or quality during family viewing times.” Four other small-market stations said they would air it at a later hour. Responds Matthew Carlson, a God exec producer, ”I like to think we’re laughing with God, not at him.”… Comedian Bill Cosby, 62, announced March 6 his intent to file a $250 million lawsuit against the National Enquirer if the tab does not retract a March story claiming that actress Lachele Covington, 20, had accused him of sexual misconduct. ”The story is not true. It never happened,” says Cosby’s publicist. Covington could not be reached for comment; an Enquirer spokesman says the tab stands by its story.