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Celebrity news for the week of Mar. 11 2005

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EXPECTING

Meet the baby! Actor Ben Stiller, 39, and actress wife Christine Taylor, 33, will greet a second child in late summer to join daughter, Ella, 21/2. . . . Singer Michelle Branch, 21, and bass-player husband Teddy Landau, 40, expect their first child later this year.

BIRTHS

Actress Holly Robinson Peete, 40, and her husband, Carolina Panthers ex-QB Rodney Peete, 38, welcomed son Roman, Feb. 25, in L.A. He joins sister Ryan and brothers Rodney Jr. and Robinson.

PREMIERE

Keira Knightley learned to drive for The Jacket — in Scotland. ”But we shot in Montreal,” she said Feb. 28. ”And it was on the other side of the road. So I was completely crap again.”

REPLACEMENTS

While Alison Sweeney, who plays the conniving Sami Brady on NBC’s Days of Our Lives, is on maternity leave, she’ll be replaced by. . .a man. In the Feb. 28 ep, Sami taped down her chest, glued on facial hair, and went undercover as Stan (Dan Wells). Says NBC’s Sheraton Kalouria, the soap ”has a long and rich history of some rather outlandish plot points.” Just please don’t tell us it’s all a Dallas dream.

SPLITS

The divorce of actor John Stamos (Jake in Progress), 41, and actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (X-Men, 32, was finalized in an L.A. court March 1.

COURTS

Opening arguments for the Michael Jackson child-molestation suit began Feb. 28 in a Santa Maria, Calif., court. Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to allegations of molesting and providing alcohol to a teenage cancer patient at his Neverland Ranch. . . . Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper Krayzie Bone (né Anthony Henderson), 31, plans to plead guilty March 2 to misdemeanor child-support charges stemming from a missed court appearance in Hamilton, Ohio. Henderson said he believed his $40,000 support payment had made further court appearances unnecessary. . . . Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s production company, Wingnut Films, filed suit Feb. 28 against New Line Cinema, claiming that the company withheld millions in profits from The Fellowship of the Ring. Jackson is seeking unspecified damages. . . . VJ ”Downtown” Julie Brown, 39, filed suit Feb. 23 in L.A. claiming that producers of the ABC reality show I’m a Celebrity. . . Get Me Out of Here! neglected to inform her that entering a tub full of leeches could result in scarring. She is seeking $500,000 in damages. . . . Disney Enterprises and ABC filed suit Feb. 24 in L.A. against Vel Headley for copyright infringement, alleging that, in January, Headley sold a fake walk-on role in ABC’s Desperate Housewives for $8,700 on eBay. They are seeking unspecified damages. Headley was unavailable for comment. . . . An employee of publicist Lizzie Grubman, 33, filed suit Feb. 25 in NYC. Brenda Loughery claims Grubman promised to make her an associate producer on an unnamed MTV reality show. She seeks $6 million in damages. Grubman says, ”I completely deny everything she is saying.”

AILING

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