The Year That Was

November-December 2004

Nov 9

THE YEAR IN LAWSUITS

DOWN BY LAW Life is hardly a cabaret for Liza Minnelli,who files a $250,000 breach-of-contract claim against M'Hammed Soumayah, her former personal assistant — the same day his $100 million suit is unsealed, detailing claims of battery and sexual harassment. Not complicated enough? Minnelli then accuses him of being in cahoots with her ex David Gest, who has accused her of domestic violence.... Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil is sued on April 12 by a former prostitute at Nevada's Moonlite BunnyRanch. She claims he assaulted her during their, um, time together.... Lil' Kim is charged on April 14 with conspiracy to commit perjury after allegedly lying to a grand jury about a 2001 shoot-out involving her entourage. An NYC judge later throws out three counts of making false statements but keeps the perjury charge. Kim is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 28.... What would Mel Gibson do? In the case of two theater chains that allegedly failed to pay a promised 55 percent share of box office receipts for The Passion of the Christ, the actor-director's Icon Distribution Inc. opts to litigate in June, suing for at least $40 million.... The family of John Ritter files a wrongful death suit on Sept. 3 against L.A.'s Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, where Ritter died on Sept. 11, 2003.... No stranger to lawsuits, Catherine Zeta-Jones sues Reno's Spice House on Oct. 21 for using her photo on its website last year.... On Nov. 2, Jim Belushi sues his neighbor, former Catwoman Julie Newmar. He seeks $1 million in damages, accusing her of verbally assaulting him and his family, and ''peering over the fence'' in an effort to drive them from the hood. Maybe she just hates According to Jim. The case goes to trial Feb. 14.... And on Nov. 12, two lensmen sue Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, alleging the couple verbally abused them and stole a camera. Celebs not wanting to be photographed? What gives?

Nov 13

THE YEAR IN WEDDINGS

VOW-IE ZOWIE The View cohost Star Jones and banker Al Reynolds tie the knot in NYC. Dubbed Bridezilla by the tabloids, the enthusiastic bride-to-be ultimately opts for an intimate ceremony — ''sponsored'' by the likes of Continental (the wedding's official airline), witnessed by 450 guests, and featured prominently in PEOPLE magazine the following week.

Among the year's other celeb nuptials: Selma Blair, to musician Ahmet Zappa, on Jan. 24.... Rosie O'Donnell, to longtime partner Kelli Carpenter, on Feb. 26. (A California court annuls their union, along with nearly 4,000 other gay and lesbian nuptials, on Aug. 12.)...Beck, to actress-screenwriter Marissa Ribisi (Giovanni's sib), on April 4.... Salman Rushdie, to model-actress Padma Lakshmi, on April 17.... Saved by the Bell alum Mario Lopez, to Eve's Ali Landry, on April 24 (Landry filed for divorce June 10).... Kate Beckinsale, to her Underworld director, Len Wiseman, on May 9.... Molly Shannon, to artist Fritz Chesnut, on May 29.... Mira Sorvino, to actor Chris Backus, on June 11 (they welcomed a daughter Nov. 3).... Tori Spelling, to actor-writer Charlie Shanian, on July 3.... Dennis Quaid, to real estate agent Kimberly Buffington, on July 4.... Nicolas Cage, to former sushi waitress Alice Kim, on July 30.... Diane Lane, to Josh Brolin, on Aug. 15.... Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay, to costar Peter Hermann, on Aug. 28.... Kevin Costner, to longtime girlfriend, handbag designer Christine Baumgartner, on Sept. 25.... And on Oct. 2, Billy Joel weds culinary expert Katie Lee.

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