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Celebrity news for the week of April 1, 2005

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EXPECTING

Project Runway host Heidi Klum, 31, and her fiancé, singer Seal, 42, will greet their first child later this year. Klum has a daughter, Leni, 10 months, from a previous relationship. . . . Boston Legal‘s Monica Potter, 33, and fiancé Chris Allison expect their first child this fall. She has two sons, Daniel, 14, and Liam, 10, from a previous marriage. . . . Onetime Punky Brewster moppet Soleil Moon Frye, 28, and her hubby, Punk’d producer Jason Goldberg, 34, will welcome their first child in August.

BIRTHS

Former Saturday Night Live stalwart Molly Shannon, 40, gave birth to her second child with artist husband Fritz Chesnut, 31, March 15 in NYC. Son Nolan Shannon Chesnut joins daughter Stella, 1. . . . Desperate Housewives plumber James Denton, 42, and wife Erin O’Brien Denton welcomed daughter Malin, March 22 in L.A. She has a big brother Sheppard, 22 months.

PREMIERE

So, Will Ferrell, what was the best thing about working with the holy grail of directors, Woody Allen? ”Well, I would have to say the pay,” dead-panned the Melinda and Melinda star. ”And the food.”

DEPARTURES

Paramount Pictures announced that Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman, 47, is ”in discussions” to join the studio in a ”senior creative role.” Both the network and Berman — who assumed the Fox post in 2000 — declined to comment.

FALLOUT

Ego trip-up? Actresses Halle Berry, 38, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, 27, cut ties with the William Morris Agency. The parting of ways stemmed from a March 21 New Yorker profile of WMA president David Wirtschafter in which he is quoted as saying that Gellar was ”nothing” before the success of her horror movie The Grudge and revealed details of Berry’s finances.

FRACAS

London’s Brixton Academy concert hall was evacuated after a gunman opened fire during a March 21 show featuring rapper Nas, 31. Police, who have not apprehended the shooter, say no one was injured.

COURTS

After more than a week’s deliberation, the jury in the trial of Baretta star Robert Blake, 71, let him walk March 16 in L.A. If convicted, Blake, who was charged with murder and soliciting the May 4, 2001, murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, faced life without parole. . . . On March 17, NYC law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel filed suit against Steven Seagal, 53, claiming that the Under Siege actor contracted its services in March 2002 and paid approximately $500,000, but still owes over $700,000 plus interest. Seagal’s reps say, ”We have serious concerns about what we’ve been billed.”. . . On March 17, Rapper Lil’ Kim (née Kimberly Jones), 29, was found guilty of three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy to commit perjury by NYC jurors who determined the Queen Bee had lied about what she saw at a 2001 shooting outside the NYC hip-hop station Hot 97. The rapper, who faces up to 20 years in prison, will be sentenced June 24. In a statement, she said, ”I have always lived with adversity and will continue to have faith. . . .” Mark Bethea is seeking unspecified damages in a suit filed against Mark Burnett Productions March 14 in L.A. Bethea alleges the reality-show producer stole his idea for a show called C.E.O. — in which contestants suck up to Donald Trump — and turned it into NBC’s The Apprentice, in which contestants suck up to Donald Trump. Lawyers for the company say the suit is without merit. . . . Ruben Studdard’s ”godfather,” Ronald Edwards, filed a countersuit March 18 in Birmingham, Ala., against the American Idol champ. On Feb. 25, Studdard, 26, sued Edwards, claiming that in his capacity as business adviser, he freely used the singer’s credit cards and checking accounts without his knowledge. In his countersuit, Edwards denied the charges and claimed that he is owed $500,000 in unpaid fees.

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