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Celebrity news for the week of August 18, 2006

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Skating With Celebrities champs Kristy Swanson (Big Daddy), 36, and Lloyd Eisler, 43, an Olympic medalist in the sport, are expecting a child. When? Valentine’s Day, of course.

MTV’s reality-matrimony curse continues! Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, 30, filed for divorce from his actress wife and Meet the Barkers costar Shanna Moakler, 31, Aug. 8 in L.A.

Madonna, 47, courted scandal again on Aug. 6 after staging that now-infamous mock crucifixion during her show in Rome. Despite pre-emptive protests from the Roman Catholic Church, the concert went on without a hitch, and Her Madgesty was raised onto a glittery cross while wearing a fake crown of thorns…. On Aug. 2, Philadelphia’s art commission once again rebuffed an attempt by Sylvester Stallone‘s lawyer to have an 8½-foot statue of Rocky Balboa — donated by Stallone, 60?placed permanently in front of the city’s art museum. (The museum sits atop those famous stairs from the first Rocky film.) ”It is not art,” insists commission member Moe Brooker. ”It was a prop.”

Season 6 auditions started this week, but before you line up, consider the following. Katharine McPhee, who’s already battled bronchitis and laryngitis, fractured her foot before an ”Idols Live!” concert on Aug. 1…. And while Taylor Hicks is living large — he’s being paid $750,000 for his memoir, due next fall — Clay Aiken was sued Aug. 4 for $260,000 by Jeannie Holleman, who penned the ”unauthorized tribute,” Out of the Blue: ‘Clay’ It Forward. Holleman claims Aiken conspired to stifle the book’s sales; Aiken has instructed his attorneys to ”vigorously dispute” the claims. Us? We’d just like to ”vigorously dispute” that title.

Crooner Barry Manilow, 63, will undergo hip surgery after performing at the Aug. 27 Emmy Awards ceremony. He plans to reschedule 20 concerts in Las Vegas to accommodate the eight-week rehabilitation.

CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier, 39, was discharged from a Maryland hospital on Aug. 2 — two months after being critically wounded in an Iraq car-bomb attack that claimed the lives of two of her colleagues.

Rapper Dr. Dre (né Andre Young), 41, and Interscope record-label impresario Jimmy Iovine, 53, filed a suit for $1 million on July 28 against Jibe Audio and SLS International. The music titans claim the companies broke a verbal agreement by producing Dre-designed headphones without permission. Jibe could not be reached for comment.

Harold Scott, 70, an Obie-winning actor-producer-director who broke racial barriers in theater productions like Arthur Miller’s After the Fall, of natural causes, July 16, in Newark.

ARTHUR LEE 1945-2006
The creative force behind Love, the psychedelic rock group best known for its landmark 1967 album Forever Changes, singer-guitarist Lee died Aug. 3 after a battle with leukemia in Memphis. ”He showed us that music, like life, could be a melting pot of ideas,” says E Street Band axman Nils Lofgren, one of the many rockers (including the Doors and Pink Floyd) who cite Lee as an influence. ”He gave us permission to explore those possibilities.”