BIRTHS So much for a quiet retirement. On Jan. 25, chest-pounding Canadian songbird Celine Dion, 32, and manager hubby René Angelil, 59, welcomed their first child together, 6-pound 8-ounce René-Charles, in Palm Beach, Fla. (Angelil has three kids from two previous marriages.) In December, Dion said she had placed a second in-vitro-fertilized embryo on ice, hoping to someday give her newborn a ”twin.” … On Jan. 25, Oscar winner Al Pacino, 60, and actress girlfriend Beverly D’Angelo, 47, welcomed twins Anton and Olivia, each weighing just under 5 1/2 pounds. These are D’Angelo’s first; Pacino has a daughter from a previous relationship.
ENGAGED She’s the one: After a brief courtship, actor-director Edward Burns, 33, and model/antismoking crusader Christy Turlington, 32, plan a trip down the aisle, the first for each. Last year, her five-year relationship with actor Jason Patric ended and Burns split with his squeeze Heather Graham.
SPLITS As if he doesn’t have enough court dates to keep track of, Hollywood prodigal son Robert Downey Jr., 35, was handed divorce papers Jan. 18 by his wife of eight years, actress Deborah Falconer, 35 (Short Cuts). She cites irreconcilable differences and seeks custody of their son, Indio, 7. Downey’s publicist had no comment … Actress Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker), 26, and her erstwhile fiancé, Antichrist superstar Marilyn Manson, 32, won’t be playing haunted house. In a statement she said, ”There is great love, but our lifestyle difference is, unfortunately, even greater.”
DEPARTURE After 14 years with Metallica, bassist Jason Newsted, 37, has called it quits, citing ”personal reasons, and the physical damage that I have done to myself over the years.” The band plans to start working on an album this spring and hasn’t named a replacement.
COURTS On Jan. 23, ending a protracted custody battle, a U.S. district judge in Hartford ordered the estate of puppeteer Rufus Rose to hand over the original Howdy Doody doll to the Detroit Institute of Arts (where, according to a 1966 letter to NBC, Rose had proposed placing the puppet). A Rose family lawyer did not return calls … On Jan. 26, Survivor runner-up and newly anointed E! adventure guide Kelly Wiglesworth, 23, pleaded guilty in Greensboro, N.C., to misdemeanor conspiracy to commit credit-card fraud. She’ll pay $454 and perform 75 hours of community service. Her spokesman refused to comment.
CONTROVERSY MTV is under siege after a fan tried to copy a stunt from the popular show Jackass. On Jan. 26, Jason Lind, 13, of Torrington, Conn., doused his feet and legs with gas and ignited them, causing severe burns. (On the show, daredevil Johnny Knoxville wore a fire-resistant steak-covered suit and lay across a flaming barbecue as castmates squirted lighter fluid.) Calling MTV ”irresponsible,” Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) demanded the net air Jackass at a later hour, alter its tone, or cancel it. In response, MTV noted the show’s numerous ”written and verbal warnings” and wished Lind ”a full and speedy recovery.”