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Celebrity News for the Week of March 18, 2005

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BIRTHS
Double the fun! On March 1, former Good Morning America host Joan Lunden, 54, and hubby Jeff Konigsberg, 43, welcomed twins Kimberly and Jack via the same surrogate who carried their twins Kate and Max, 20 months. Lunden has three girls from a previous marriage.

PROMOTIONS
Howard Stringer, 63, was named chairman and CEO of Sony March 6. Effective June 22, the Welsh-born exec, now a U.S. citizen, will be the first foreigner to lead the Japanese conglomerate.

PREMIERE
”I did no research,” admitted Robots’ small-town metal man Ewan McGregor March 6. ”I guess maybe if I was serious about my acting, I would have trailed a robot for a few weeks or something.”

WEDDINGS?
Don’t worry, Flavor Flav, you still have a shot! Reports that Brigitte Nielsen married the rapper’s VH1 Strange Love rival, Mattia Dessi, in the Dominican Republic appear to be false. According to Nielsen’s Italian publicist, Flav’s Nordic honey has yet to finalize her divorce from fourth husband Raoul Meyer. While her rep did confirm that Nielsen and Dessi participated in some sort of ceremony, it was, he says, ”just for fun.”

ARRESTS
Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, 25, was arrested March 5 in Huntington Beach, Calif., on suspicion of DUI. Police said Carter was witnessed ”driving erratically.” No charges have been filed. His reps say, ”He is on…medication and was unaware of its interaction possibilities.”

COURTS
Pop singer Cher, 58, filed suit March 3 in L.A. against Warner/Chappell Music, alleging that the label has not properly paid royalties on songs she performed with Sonny Bono. She seeks unspecified damages….Rapper Foxy Brown (née Inga Marchand), 25, turned herself in to NYC police March 7 for allegedly assaulting her manicurist on Aug. 27. She will appear in court April 11….Survivor naked man Richard Hatch, 43, reneged on a January agreement to plead guilty to not paying taxes on his $1 million winnings. On March 4, federal prosecutors dropped the evasion counts; they plan to ask a grand jury to consider ”all possible charges.”…Limp Bizkit rocker Fred Durst, 34, filed an $80 million suit March 2 in L.A. demanding that several Internet sites, including Gawker.com, remove scenes from a 2003 sex video of Durst and an unnamed (but surely mortified) ex-girlfriend from the Web. Gawker says it had removed the video ”for bandwidth reasons prior to receiving the complaint.”…On March 8, Andrea Constand, 31, sued Bill Cosby, 67, alleging he drugged and molested her during a January ’04 visit to his home, then defamed her by portraying her as an extortionist. The suit comes weeks after Pennsylvania officials declined to press criminal charges. Cosby’s lawyers have called the accusations ”preposterous.”

AILING
Reps for a fluish Elton John, 57, say he is resting after canceling six U.S. shows….Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon, 82, spent his March 6 birthday in an L.A. hospital with a mild concussion.

DEATHS
Academy Award-winning actress Teresa Wright (Mrs. Miniver), 86, of a heart attack, March 6, in New Haven, Conn. …Chris Curtis, 63, drummer for the ’60s British band the Searchers, of complications from diabetes, Feb. 28, in Liverpool….Joe Carter, 78, of country music’s pioneering Carter Family, from liver cancer, March 2, in Hiltons, Va. …Director Morris Engel, 86, whose Little Fugitive (1953) is seen as a precursor to many indie films, of cancer, March 5, in NYC. . . .Broadway dance and vocal arranger Trude Rittmann (The King and I), 96, of respiratory failure, Feb. 22, in Lexington, Mass. . . .Debra Hill, 54, writer (Halloween) and producer (The Fisher King), of cancer, March 7, in L.A.

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