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Monitor

The ''Octomom'' drama and Britney Spears' dad made news the week of February 23, 2009

ENGAGED
After being rumored for weeks, it’s official: Former star of The O.C. Rachel Bilson and Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen, both 27, are engaged.

SPLITS
Hollywood’s hottest gal — TransformersMegan Fox, 22 — may be back on the market. She and Brian Austin Green (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), 35, reportedly broke off their engagement…. The Office’s Angela Kinsey, 37, separated from her husband of eight years, writer Warren Lieberstein, 40, on Feb. 18. The pair have one daughter, 8-month-old Ruby.

BIRTHS
Say hello to another Spice baby: Melanie Chisholm (a.k.a. Sporty Spice), 35, and partner Thomas Starr had their first daughter, Scarlet, on Feb. 22 in London. Chisholm is the last Spice Girl to become a mother.

EXPECTING
Nicole Richie, 27, and rocker boyfriend Joel Madden, 29, are headed for round 2: The couple are expecting a second child to join their 1-year-old daughter, Harlow…. On Howard Stern’s radio show Feb. 23, model-actress Angie Everhart, 39, finally revealed that she is indeed pregnant and will give birth in July. Everhart is single and has declined to name the baby’s father, though she did say, ”It’s unexpected but not unwanted…. I was looking at the [pregnancy test] stick going, ‘S —.”’

RECOVERING
Charlie Sheen, 43, had a little scare after his pregnant wife, Brooke, 31, was admitted to an L.A. hospital with premature contractions on Feb. 17. She was released two days later and is doing ”fine.” They are expecting twin boys in April.

REUNION
New Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien, 45, is digging into his vault: Andy Richter, 42, who starred alongside O’Brien on Late Night for its first seven years, will be the new announcer for The Tonight Show when it relaunches June 1.

COURTS
Rock band the Killers sued their former manager Braden Merrick Feb. 20 in Las Vegas for breach of contract. (It’s a countersuit to one that Merrick filed against them in 2006 demanding unpaid management fees.) According to a statement from the band, they are seeking ”multimillion-dollar damages.” Merrick’s lawyer calls the suit ”ridiculous” and ”desperate.”… This can’t be good for Charles Barkley’s potential run for governor of Alabama: The 46-year-old former NBA star-turned-TNT analyst pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence for a Dec. 31 incident in Scottsdale, Ariz. Barkley was sentenced to 10 days in jail (which will begin March 21) but can reduce that to just 5 days if he completes an alcohol-education program. He was also fined $2,000.

AWARDS
The Oscars weren’t the only awards show in town last week. The 2009 Independent Spirit Awards were held in Santa Monica on Feb. 21. Winners included Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River), who won the top acting prizes, and Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and James Franco (Milk), who collected the supporting awards. Best Feature went to The Wrestler…. Meanwhile, the Razzies, which recognize the worst movies of the year, awarded Golden Raspberries to Mike Myers (The Love Guru), Paris Hilton (The Hottie & the Nottie, Repo! The Genetic Opera), and Pierce Brosnan (Mamma Mia!).

PETS
The loyal companions stars adore had a rough go of it in the past weeks: Loki, the cherished Chihuahua of Mickey Rourke, 56, died Feb. 16 in the actor’s arms. Rourke said at the Oscars six days later that he’d already had a tuxedo made for the 17-year-old pooch…. Socks, former First Cat to the Clintons, died Feb. 20 after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 20…. The pet shark and piranha of Tracy Morgan, 40, escaped death after a faulty light in the tank caught fire in the 30 Rock star’s Trump Plaza apartment. The sprinkler system was activated and flooded the floor below his, including the apartment of The View cohost Sherri Shepherd, 41 — who coincidentally plays Morgan’s wife on 30 Rock.

DEATHS
Dorothy Bridges, 93, widow of actor Lloyd and mother of actors Beau and Jeff, passed away Feb. 16 in L.A. of age-related causes…. Director Howard Zieff (Private Benjamin, My Girl), 81, died of complications from Parkinson’s disease Feb. 21 in L.A. — With additional reporting by Stewart Allen

”Octomom” Media Circus
As a mother with eight newborn babies — not to mention six kids already at home — you’d think Nadya Suleman, 33, would keep a low profile. But ”Octomom” once again ignited a media firestorm when Radar Online posted a video of Nadya and her mother, Angela Suleman, heatedly debating her decision to keep eight more children. ”How are you going to be able to provide for them?” asked Angela. Nadya’s former publicist, Joann Killeen, who quit after receiving multiple death threats, says she would have advised against the sit-down: ”I think it best that those issues remain private, and [they] have a dialogue in private about how they’re going to work together to help raise those children.” But the Suleman women weren’t the only ones speaking out in the media. Good Morning America landed a Feb. 23 interview with Denis Beaudoin, a man claiming he could be the sperm donor for the octuplets (Nadya has denied his claims). Then, Nadya’s father, Ed Doud, appeared on Feb. 24’s Oprah Winfrey Show. He posited that his daughter was under duress during the infamous Dateline NBC interview, and told Winfrey he was unsure of Nadya’s mental well-being. ”I question her mental situation,” Doud said. ”I need her to be evaluated. Can you help with that?” — Tim Stack

Britney’s Dad Takes On Her Exes
Britney Spears, 27, is slated to start her anticipated Circus tour March 3, but the legal entanglement with former manager Sam Lutfi remains a three-ring mess. At a restraining-order hearing Feb. 23 in L.A., Britney’s legal guardian, dad Jamie Spears, reportedly cited a series of threatening text messages and testified: ”When [Lutfi] was in so-called control, she’d lost everything…. We just want the man to go away.” In court documents, Lutfi, who has countersued for defamation, contends that Britney ”initiated and willingly participated in communication.” Also, on Feb. 24, one of Britney’s exes, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, was charged with felony assault against a man allegedly serving him with a restraining order from Papa Spears. — Leah Greenblatt