Monitor

Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of February 9, 2007 -- Brief updates on births, divorces, court dates, and more

EXPECTING
Baby Spice is becoming a Baby Mama. Emma Bunton, 31, and her musician boyfriend, Jade Jones, 27, will welcome their first child this summer.

BIRTH
Kevin Nealon (Weeds), 53, and his wife, actress Susan Yeagley (Almost Famous), 35, greeted their first child together, son Gable Ness, on Jan. 29.

SPLITS
Anne Heche (Men in Trees), 37, and her cameraman husband of five years, Coley Laffoon, 33, separated Jan. 22. The couple has a son, 4-year-old Homer.... Former 'N Syncer Lance Bass, 27, and The Amazing Race contestant Reichen Lehmkuhl, 33, have ended their relationship.

RECOVERING
On Jan. 25, B.B. King, 81, was admitted to a Galveston, Tex., hospital for two days. The blues legend, who was forced to cancel four shows, was treated for flu-like symptoms. His rep says King is now ''back to his old self.''... Jennifer Aniston, 37, had surgery on Jan. 20 to fix a deviated septum. Her publicist says the procedure was intended to correct an operation she underwent more than 12 years ago.

CONTROVERSY
On Jan. 25, Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey, 49, was denied Oscar eligibility as a producer on The Departed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The exec has argued that he was integral in developing the Warner Bros. film, a Best Picture nominee, before taking his current post.

COMMENDED
In a surprising move, the Special Olympics has lauded American Idol's judges for not giving preferential treatment to their former athlete Jonathan Jayne, 21, during his audition. Simon Cowell, 47, who didn't realize Jayne was disabled, ignited controversy after joking about his weight. In a statement, the Special Olympics said, ''People with intellectual disabilities don't want to be pitied.''

CONFIRMED
The Police will reunite for a performance at the Grammy Awards on CBS Feb. 11. Despite rampant speculation, no tour dates have been announced.

COURTS
A YouTube user who uploaded the first four episodes of 24's season 6 is wanted by someone just as powerful as Jack Bauer: Rupert Murdoch. On Jan. 19, Fox (which is owned by Murdoch's News Corp.) subpoenaed the file-sharing site to reveal the identity of the subscriber, who also posted entire episodes of Fox's The Simpsons. A YouTube rep said they've removed the copyrighted material and ''will comply with U.S. legal process.''... Rapper Snoop Dogg (né Calvin Broadus), 35, pleaded not guilty Jan. 24 to a charge of possessing a deadly weapon. The rapper was apprehended in September 2006 after security screeners at a Santa Ana, Calif., airport said they found a collapsible police baton in his carry-on bag.... Model Niki Taylor, 31, filed a slander suit Jan. 26, demanding that E! Entertainment Television pay her $1 million for emotional distress. The model claims she agreed to an interview with the network about her current life and business endeavors, only to see that footage used in an episode of Blvd. of Broken Dreams, a series about down-on-their-luck celebrities.

NEW DEAL
Law & Order: SVU stars Mariska Hargitay, 43, and Christopher Meloni, 45, have signed on for two more seasons of the NBC drama. The new deals are said to each be worth more than $6.5 million a year, making Hargitay one of television's highest-paid actresses.

DEATHS
David ''Disco D'' Shayman, 26, a hip-hop producer who worked with 50 Cent and Trick Daddy, of an apparent suicide, Jan. 22, in Washington, D.C.... Bob Carroll Jr., 88, a writer for I Love Lucy, of undisclosed causes, Jan. 27, in L.A.... Doug Blasdell, 44, a trainer on Bravo's Work Out, of kidney failure, Jan. 22, in L.A.... Set dresser David Ritchie, 56, who was fatally injured on the set of the Samuel L. Jackson action movie Jumper, Jan. 25, in Toronto. (Another worker was treated for a head injury and is expected to recover fully.)... Model-actress Marcheline Bertrand, 56, mother to Angelina Jolie and ex-wife of Jon Voight, of cancer, Jan. 27, in L.A.


LEGACY
Sidney Sheldon 1917-2007
A best-selling author who also won a Tony (Redhead) and an Oscar (The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer), and was nominated for an Emmy (I Dream of Jeannie), Sheldon, 89, died from complications of pneumonia on Jan. 30. The novelist, whose books included Rage of Angels and If Tomorrow Comes, once said, ''I write about beautiful, resourceful women and handsome, strong men set in glamorous locales so that my readers can...live vicariously through my characters.'' — Tim Stack

As Seattle Grace Turns...
Last week on Grey's Anatomy (or at least in the drama surrounding the ABC hit), publicists did more damage control, smacking down rumors that T.R. Knight — the target of costar Isaiah Washington's on-set antigay epithet — was considering leaving the show. ABC insists that's ''irrefutably untrue''; Knight's rep called it ''the silliest nonstory.'' As for Washington (or ''the other one over in rehab,'' as castmate Chandra Wilson referred to him in her SAG award acceptance speech)? His publicist would not comment on the status of his treatment, but an ABC rep said he was slated to appear in February sweeps episodes, which began shooting this week. — Jennifer Armstrong

Brandy's Car Crash
As if being in a deadly automobile accident weren't bad enough, now R&B songstress Brandy, 27, could be facing a criminal charge and jail time. On Dec. 30, the former Moesha star was traveling 65 mph on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles when her Land Rover struck the back of a 2005 Toyota, setting off a chain-reaction collision that killed the Toyota's driver, 38-year-old Awatef Aboudihaj. After conducting an investigation, the California Highway Patrol recommended Jan. 29 that the Grammy winner and America's Got Talent judge be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, which could result in up to a year in jail. (The case is currently sitting with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office for review.) In a statement issued Jan. 24, a rep for Brandy said: ''She wishes to publicly express her condolences to the family of the deceased.'' Aboudihaj's family filed a civil suit Jan. 30 asking for up to $50 million in damages. — Tim Stack

Originally posted Feb 02, 2007 Published in issue #920 Feb 09, 2007 Order article reprints
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