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Yanni’s Divorce and Bret Michael’s lawsuit made news the week of February 6, 1998

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ENGAGED
Actress Illeana Douglas (Grace of My Heart), 32, to TV producer Jonathan Axelrod (Dave’s World), 41, Jan. 26, in L.A. The nuptials will take place in New York City May 16…. Resurrected Hollywood legend and recent Golden Globe winner Burt Reynolds, 61, to former waitress Pam Seals, 39. No immediate marriage plans were announced.

SPLITS
Hirsute New Age avatar Yanni, 43, and former Dynasty star Linda Evans, 55. In a statement, the couple, who had been dating for nine years, said, “Though we feel our lives moving in different directions, we expect our friendship will always endure.”

LAWSUITS
Seems we’re stuck with the Tommy Lee tape. Bret Michaels, 34, Poison singer and onetime boyfriend of Pamela Lee, 30, filed suit Jan. 25 in L.A. against Seattle-based Internet Entertainment Group, which plans to air a pornographic video of him and Lee. Michaels is seeking more than $90 million in damages and an injunction to stop IEG, which got the video from a confidential third party with plans to put it on its website and distribute it internationally. On Jan. 23, a temporary restraining order was granted by an L.A. federal judge; a preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 4. “We’re comfortable with our position,” says IEG president Seth Warshavsky.

LOSERS
Diminutive R&B diva Toni Braxton, 29, filed for bankruptcy Jan. 23 in L.A. According to a spokesperson, the singer’s financial insolvency is related to the royalty-rate agreement granted by her record company, LaFace Records, the Atlanta-based subsidiary of Arista co-run by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. “After years of earning only a fraction of what artists of her stature usually earn…she came to the conclusion that a Chapter 7 filing was the only sensible option,” Braxton’s representatives said in a statement. Her earlier suit against Arista/LaFace, filing for back royalties, was withdrawn because of her bankruptcy. A spokesman from LaFace declined to comment.

DEATHS
Jay Monahan, 42, husband of Today show host Katie Couric, 41, and a legal analyst for NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, of colon cancer, Jan. 24, in New York City. During his two years with NBC News and its cable affiliates, Monahan provided analysis on the O.J. Simpson and Timothy McVeigh trials. Couric took a leave of absence from Today to be with the couple’s two daughters, Elinor, 6, and Caroline, 2.