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Why is Andy Dick in rehab?

Plus Claudia Schiffer, David Copperfield, and more celebrities making news the week of Sept. 10, 1999

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SPLITS Supermodel Claudia Schiffer, 28, and her longtime squeeze, magician David Copperfield, 42, have parted ways. Spokespeople for the couple have no comment on the breakup.

RECOVERING Actor Martin Lawrence, 34, was admitted to the Los Robles Regional Medical Center in California, Aug. 22, after collapsing near his home in Thousand Oaks. Lawrence had been jogging in heavy clothing in near 90-degree weather; when he arrived at the hospital, he had a 107-degree temperature and was in a coma, which he came out of three days later. He has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. ”We are very encouraged about his progress,” says the hospital’s spokeswoman, Kris Carraway-Bowman. ”He’s still in our critical care unit, but he’s progressing.” The comic — whose latest film, Blue Streak, opens Sept. 17 — was reportedly trying to lose weight for an upcoming role in Twentieth Century Fox’s Big Momma’s House, which was to begin shooting Oct. 11. A studio spokesperson declined to say whether the start date has been changed.

SENTENCED On Aug. 26, an L.A. Municipal Court judge placed actor Andy Dick, 34, in a two-year drug treatment program. Dick pleaded guilty to three drug counts, and no contest to charges of driving under the influence and hit-and-run, following a May 15 car accident. In a statement, Dick said, ”It’s all about me staying sober right now. I won’t break any more laws for the rest of my life.”

EXITS Embattled ABC exec Jamie Tarses, 35, resigned as the president of ABC Entertainment, Aug. 26. Although she was responsible for such hits as Dharma & Greg and Sports Night, ABC slipped during her three-year reign, falling behind NBC and Fox with younger viewers. In a statement, Tarses acknowledged that her departure was prompted by Disney’s recent decision to merge its studio production unit with ABC’s, a move that considerably weakened her power. ”I feel that the time is right to move on,” she said. Her future plans were not announced.

DEATHS Pioneering newswoman Martha Rountree, 87, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, Aug. 23, in Washington, D.C. In 1945, Rountree cocreated NBC’s Meet the Press as a radio program and was the first moderator of its TV incarnation two years later … Screenwriter-playwright Norman Wexler, 73, of heart failure, Aug. 23, in Washington, D.C. Wexler, whose biggest commercial hit was 1977’s Saturday Night Fever, was nominated for Oscars for writing 1970’s Joe and cowriting 1973’s Serpico … Publishing trailblazer Evelyn Shrifte, 98, of natural causes, Aug. 8, in New York. As the longtime president of the independent Vanguard Press, Shrifte published the first books of authors such as Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, and Dr. Seuss.