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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of December 14, 2007

ENGAGED
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer), 28, will wed Scottish actor Ross McCall (Band of Brothers), 31.

BIRTHS
Drea de Matteo (Joey), 35, and her musician beau, Shooter Jennings, 27, are new parents. Daughter Alabama Gypsyrose arrived on Nov. 28.

RELOCATED
Four Afghan stars of the Dec. 14 drama The Kite Runner were moved to the United Arab Emirates on Nov. 30. Paramount Pictures organized the emigration of the boys, ages 11 to 14, in response to reports that their participation in the movie — which depicts sexual abuse of minors — could make them targets of conservative groups in their native country. ”The children are doing well,” says a studio rep.

COURTS
Dennis Quaid, 53, and wife Kimberly, 35, sued Baxter Healthcare Corp., makers of the blood thinner heparin, for an unspecified amount on Dec. 4 in Chicago. They claim their newborn twins suffered serious injuries last month when accidentally given a life-threatening dose of the medication at an L.A. hospital. According to court documents, the Illinois-based company’s practice of packaging different doses of heparin in nearly identical vials has led to overdoses. At press time, a rep for Baxter said the company had not been served with the suit…. Cosmetics maker Hydroderm sued actress Teri Hatcher, 43, for breach of contract on Dec. 4 in L.A. The company, which seeks nearly $3 million, says Hatcher violated her deal to endorse its lip-plumping products by promoting competing brands. Her rep says the claim is ”without merit.”… R&B/hip-hop performer Akon (né Aliaune Thiam), 34, pleaded not guilty to a charge of endangering the welfare of a minor on Dec. 3 in Fishkill, N.Y. In June, the star allegedly lifted and threw a 15-year-old fan off the stage during a show, injuring a concertgoer below…. The creators of 2006’s Borat, including star Sacha Baron Cohen, 36, have been sued again. On Dec. 3, a driving instructor filed a $400,000 suit, claiming the filmmakers tricked him into appearing in the movie. A rep for Twentieth Century Fox maintains that the man gave his consent.

DEATHS
Writer Richard Leigh, 64, who unsuccessfully sued Da Vinci Code publisher Random House in 2004 for similarities to the 1983 best-seller he co-authored, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, of a heart condition, Nov. 21, in London…. Pioneering gay novelist Jane Rule (Desert of the Heart), 76, of complications from liver cancer, Nov. 27, on Galiano Island, Canada. — Additional reporting by Stewart Allen


LEGACY: Evel Knievel (1938-2007)
He boasted a badass name, wore a cape, and jumped great distances over imposing objects on his motorcycle. Robert ”Evel” Knievel — who passed away on Nov. 30 after a long illness — often paid a price, breaking nearly 40 bones over his 16-year career, but his daredevilry was rewarded. His enduring image has been referenced in everything from Happy Days to Kanye West’s ”Touch the Sky” video. Through it all, Knievel was as fearless as he was celebrated. ”I’m not afraid of dying,” he told EW in 2000. ”God put me here to be the best I could be, and when he’s ready, he’ll take me.” — Dan Snierson