News Article

Monitor

ENGAGEMENTS

She's got game -- and a fiancé. The View hostess Star Jones, 43, said yes when her boyfriend, banker Al Reynolds, proposed between the third and fourth quarters of the NBA All-Star Game in L.A. Feb. 15. It will be the first marriage for both.

EXPECTING

Soulful singer Erykah Badu, 33, is expecting her second child. Badu has a son, Seven, 6, from a previous relationship with OutKast's Andre 3000.... Actress Julia Ormond (Iron Jawed Angels), 39, and her husband, John Rubin, are expecting the first addition to their family.

BIRTHS

Matt LeBlanc (right), 36, and wife Melissa welcomed daughter Marina Feb. 8 in L.A. Melissa has a son and a daughter from a previous relationship.... It's v. v. good news for Helen Fielding, 43. The Bridget Jones's Diary author and her partner, American TV writer Kevin Curran, had a baby boy Feb. 11 in L.A. The tot, the couple's first, remained nameless at press time.

COURTS

Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, 37, is in a legal tussle for control of the kitchen. China Grill Management, which invested more than $3 million in the eatery featured in The Restaurant, alleges that mismanagement has led to $600,000 in losses, and is asking the courts to oust DiSpirito and give it control over the venture. The Restauranteur did not return calls for comment.... Art Garfunkel, 62, pleaded guilty Feb. 4 to one count of marijuana possession stemming from his arrest Jan. 17 in Hurley, N.Y. The Bridge Over Troubled Water singer paid a $100 fine and $100 in court fees.... Lou Rawls, 70, agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a $12 million lawsuit brought against him by a woman who claims to have quit her business to become the singer's mistress. Margaret Schaffer alleged that Rawls promised to support her even if the pair ended their relationship. Rawls maintains he and Schaffer never dated. Schaffer was unavailable for comment.

COUPLED

The Muppets could meet the Mouse in a deal that would bring Jim Henson's creations under the Walt Disney Co. umbrella. According to the contract, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and their plush pals will have their own Disney-produced specials and series, but characters featured solely on Sesame Street will remain the property of the Sesame Workshop.

HIRED

Former CNN News head Rick Kaplan was named president of cable news channel MSNBC Feb. 17, replacing former general manager Erik Sorenson. Sorenson is slated to move to NBC News.... DreamWorks announced Feb. 13 that its head of production, Michael De Luca, responsible for Boogie Nights, Rush Hour 2, and the upcoming Lemony Snicket, will be replaced by production executive Adam Goodman effective this June.

RECOVERING

Golden Globe winner Kiefer Sutherland, 38, needed six stitches on his face after an L.A. bar brawl Feb. 9. Production on his Fox series, 24, was not delayed and no police action was taken. Sutherland's rep maintains the actor was defending himself.

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