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Monitor

Celine Dion’s operations and Tommy Lee’s jailing made news the week of June 9, 2000

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BIRTHS Providence‘s Melina Kanakaredes, 33, and husband, Peter Constantinides, 34, welcomed a 7-pound 12-ounce baby girl May 23. They haven’t released the child’s name.

ENGAGED After dating for three years, former Ally McBeal pixie Courtney Thorne-Smith, 32, announced she’ll wed genetic scientist Andrew Conrad, 35, this October in L.A. It will be the first marriage for both.

WEDDINGS Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, 32, married model Mary Forsberg, 26, May 21 in L.A. The couple, who are expecting a child, met in 1991 when he held a job chauffeuring models. It’s his second marriage, her first.

HIRED After running through six entertainment presidents in 11 years, Fox is calling in a ratings slayer. The ailing net has hired Gail Berman, 43, an exec producer of The WB’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ex-president of Regency Television (Malcolm in the Middle and Roswell). She replaces Doug Herzog, 41, who lasted just 15 months.

CONTROVERSY A firestorm erupted over reports that antigun talker Rosie O’Donnell, 38, allowed 5-year-old son Parker’s bodyguard to apply for a concealed weapons permit in Connecticut. But O’Donnell, a staunch NRA foe who helped organize the recent pro-gun control Million Mom March in Washington, D.C., insists the guard has never been armed — though she’s reconsidering due to publicity and death threats. ”As a result of these events, his working without a weapon has become an issue in regard to my children’s safety,” she said. The guard — hired by her production company six months ago — cannot carry a weapon on school grounds.

AILING Pop chanteuse Celine Dion, 31, reportedly underwent two operations of an undisclosed nature, the first on May 25, the second three days later. She will remain in bed for several weeks, thus scuttling plans to sing at the May 31 funeral of French-Canadian hockey hero Maurice Richard…. Raspy-voiced rocker Rod Stewart, 55, underwent throat surgery May 12 at an L.A. hospital to remove a nonmalignant tumor from his thyroid. His spokesman says his voice was unaffected.

LAWSUITS Dishy Ashley Judd, 32, may be in legal jeopardy. Freelance writer Larry Birkhead, 27, filed a libel suit May 22 in Louisville, Ky., over the actress’ response to a USA Today profile he wrote last year about her country-crooning mom, Naomi. Birkhead wrote the elder Judd ”won’t comment” on her daughter’s part in the R-rated Double Jeopardy; but, according to court papers, Ashley told TV’s Entertainment Tonight last August that Mom was ”enthusiastic” about her role and called the article a ”complete fabrication.” Birkhead is seeking undisclosed damages and an apology. Judd’s spokeswoman declined to comment…. Rap impresario Sean ”Puffy” Combs, 30, agreed May 24 to pay an undisclosed sum to Nicole Levy, 25, an administrative assistant who was injured during a December ’91 stampede at a Combs-organized celebrity basketball game in Manhattan that killed nine and injured 27. In the last civil suit stemming from the incident, Levy claimed she contracted Graves’ disease (a hyperthyroid condition sometimes triggered by stress) after watching her best friend, Sonia Williams, fatally suffocate. The rapper’s lawyer says the claim ”is without merit but [we] opted for settlement to avoid a protracted trial.”… SNL alum Dana Carvey, 45, reached a settlement May 30 for an undisclosed sum with San Francisco surgeon Elias Hanna, 64. In a $7.5 million lawsuit filed last year, Carvey alleged Hanna botched his double bypass, operating on the wrong artery. Carvey’s spokesman says the award will go to various charities, mostly for cardiac research.