BIRTHS Actor William Baldwin (Backdraft), 37, and ’90s pop singer Chynna Phillips, 32, welcomed a 7-pound, 2-ounce daughter, Jameson Leon, Feb. 27, in New York. She’s the couple’s first child.
EXPECTING Titanic star Kate Winslet, 24, and her husband, assistant director James Threapleton, 26, are expecting their first child in September. The couple met in 1997 on the set of Hideous Kinky and wed in November of 1998.
INDICTMENT Hours before attending the Grammys Feb. 23, Sean ”Puffy” Combs, 30, was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for allegedly trying to bribe a witness in connection with a Dec. 27 nightclub shooting that injured three bystanders. Prosecutors contend that Combs — who already faces weapons charges from the incident — offered his driver, Wardel Fenderson, 41, $50,000 to claim ownership of a gun they say was discovered in Combs’ car. The rap mogul’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, calls the bribery indictment a ”terrible abuse of prosecutorial discretion” and denies all charges.
TROUBLE Actress Halle Berry, 31, was named by police Feb. 29 as a suspect in a hit-and-run. The Feb. 23 accident at a West Hollywood intersection sent her to a local emergency room for stitches to her forehead, and left another, unidentified driver with a broken wrist. At press time, the Beverly Hills DA had not decided whether to file charges. Berry’s publicist declines to comment until official action is taken.
SPLITS Actor Nicolas Cage, 35, filed for divorce on Feb. 24 from actress Patricia Arquette, 31. According to court papers, the couple legally separated in January 1996 — nine months after they wed. But they continued to appear together on the L.A. scene and costarred in last year’s Bringing Out the Dead. It was the first marriage for both; each has a child from a previous relationship.
LAWSUITS Superstar siren Celine Dion, 31, filed a $20 million suit against the National Enquirer Feb. 28, claiming it falsely reported she was pregnant with twins. The singer said a Feb. 1 story caused ”significant emotional distress, embarrassment, and depression.” In a statement, the Enquirer said its account was ”based on credible sources.”
DEATHS Israeli pop diva Ofra Haza, 41, reportedly from an AIDS-related organ failure, Feb. 23, in Tel Aviv. A Yemenite Jew, the mezzo-soprano sang as Moses’ mother in The Prince of Egypt and scored several international club hits with her blend of Jewish devotional poetry and techno. Posthumous reports that Haza had AIDS have sparked debate in Israel about journalistic ethics and the disease’s lingering stigma….Director Newt Arnold, 72, of leukemia, Feb. 12, in Encino, Calif. Arnold directed 1988’s kickboxing flick Bloodsport and the 1962 thriller Hands of a Stranger.