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Celebrity news for the week of September 8, 2006

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Matthew Broderick, 44, broke his collarbone after falling off a horse on Aug. 27 while vacationing in Ireland with wife Sarah Jessica Parker, 41…. Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton, 54, will undergo seven weeks of radiation treatment for throat cancer. He is expected to rejoin the band’s tour in October.

Supermodel/actress Amber Valletta (Hitch), 32, has completed a stint in an Arizona rehab facility. While the exact nature of her stay wasn’t revealed, Valletta stresses it was not related to alcohol or substance abuse. She has been sober for seven years…. Singer Linda Ronstadt, 60, canceled 12 performances after undergoing surgery Aug. 22. Her rep emphasizes that the procedure wasn’t cancer-related, but would not reveal any other specifics.

Taylor Hicks, 29, has settled his suit against ex-producer William Smith. Hicks claimed Smith, who’s been releasing some of the American Idol champ’s 2001 recordings on his website, never owned the rights to the songs…. Newly sprung jailbird Lil’ Kim (née Kimberly Jones), 31, was sued on Aug. 23 for plagiarism. The suit contends that reggae artist Tanya Stephens’ lyrics appear in Kim’s 2005 song ”Durty.” Lil’ Kim’s reps did not return calls for comment…. 50 Cent (né Curtis Jackson), 31, was sued on Aug. 16 by two women who say the rapper injured them during a concert in May 2004. 50 Cent allegedly jumped into the crowd searching for an audience member who’d sprayed him with water, and the women were standing in his path. His reps did not return calls for comment.

Rolling Stone Keith Richards, 62, is reportedly off the hook after lighting up a cigarette during the band’s Aug. 25 concert in Glasgow. Under the city’s smoking ban, the guitarist would have to pay a $95 fine, but the city council decided that ”the stage for the concert was not… covered by the smoking ban legislation.”

On Aug. 25, sixty acres of Michael Jackson‘s Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara were scorched by a wildfire that came within 200 yards of the main residence. The King of Pop was away in Bahrain, and none of Neverland’s staff members or myriad exotic animals were harmed. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Bruce Gary, 55, drummer for the Knack (”My Sharona”) who also did session work for artists like Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow, of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Aug. 22, in Tarzana, Calif…. Independent movie producer Sig Shore (Superfly), 87, of complications from chronic pneumonia, Aug. 17, in Stamford, Conn…. Art director/photographer Ed Thrasher, 74, who designed album covers for everyone from Frank Sinatra to Jimi Hendrix, of cancer, Aug. 5, in Big Bear Lake, Calif…. Tony Malara, 69, a president at CBS Television from 1982 to 1995, of a heart attack, Aug. 24, in Syracuse, N.Y…. Robert K. Hoffman, 59, a cofounder of National Lampoon magazine and noted philanthropist, of leukemia, Aug. 20, in Dallas.

The gifted jazz trumpeter and bandleader, who died of kidney and liver failure Aug. 23 in Ventura, Calif., was known to purists for his soaring high notes and 60-plus-year career. To Rocky fans, however, Ferguson was the man behind the popular rendition of its theme song, ”Gonna Fly Now.” ”He’s the last of the big-band leaders?an era is closed,” says manager Steve Schankman. ”[He knew] what music means to the soul.”