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Celebrity News for the week of October 27, 2006

Celebrity News for the week of October 27, 2006 — Brief updates on births, divorces, court dates, and more

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Madonna, 48, and husband Guy Ritchie, 38, have temporary custody of a 1-year-old boy from Malawi, Africa. But where Madge goes, controversy follows: Malawi-based human rights groups have voiced concerns about the speed of this adoption process.

On Oct. 12, singer Sara Evans, 35, quit ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and filed for divorce from her husband of 13 years, Republican fund-raiser Craig Schelske, 43.

Mel Gibson, 50, gave his first interview since his July 28 DUI arrest and much-publicized verbal tirade to Good Morning America on Oct. 12 and 13. The actor-director apologized for his anti-Semitic remarks, calling them ”outrageous, drunken statement[s].”

An enthusiastic thumbs-up! Movie critic Roger Ebert, 64, on the mend in Chicago after battling salivary-gland cancer, has announced his plans to cover this year’s Oscars for ABC…. Dynasty star John Forsythe, 88, is being treated for colon cancer at an L.A. hospital and is expected to make a full recovery….Rapper Fabolous (né John Jackson), 28, was shot in the thigh by an unidentified man on Oct. 17 in New York City. The injured rapper and three other men fled the scene by car — but were stopped by the NYPD, who say they discovered two loaded guns in the vehicle. Fabolous was taken to a hospital and is in stable condition. No weapons-possession charges have been filed. Fabolous’ rep did not return calls for comment.

The liberal Air America radio network filed for Chapter 11 on Oct. 13. AA, which will continue to broadcast despite the setback, has lost $42 million since it launched in 2004.

Steve Lyons, 46, struck out with Fox Sports when he made a joke directed at a Spanish-speaking colleague during an Oct. 13 broadcast. Fox fired the baseball analyst for his ”inappropriate” remarks, which Lyons said were not racially motivated.

On Oct. 13, a Florida judge issued a warrant for Wesley Snipes, 44. The actor, charged with eight counts of tax fraud, allegedly claimed $12 million in false refunds and failed to file six returns. He also signed an ”Affidavit of Incompetence,” which said he did not know if he had to pay taxes. Snipes couldn’t be reached for comment….The trial of record producer Phil Spector, 65, has been postponed until March 2007. Spector is a suspect in the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson….On Sept. 26, a California court awarded Lucasfilm $20 million in their suit against Shepperton Design Studios. The company allegedly sold unlicensed Star Wars costumes.

Jerry Belson, 68, Emmy-winning comedy writer for The Tracey Ullman Show, of cancer, Oct. 10, in L.A….New York Times editor and correspondent R.W. Apple, 71, of thoracic cancer, Oct. 4, in Washington, D.C…. Grammy-winning country- and Latin- music singer Freddy Fender, 69, of lung cancer, Oct. 14, in Corpus Christi, Tex.

CBGB 1973-2006
A giant of punk rock culture, New York City’s landmark CBGB staged its final concert — headlined by Patti Smith — on Oct. 15. The dank, graffitied hole-in-the-wall that cultivated music legends like Blondie, Talking Heads, and the Ramones lost its lease in August 2005 and will close for good at the end of the month. ”CBGBs represents youth and independence,” says Smith. ”What made it great is the collective energy of the people.”

The Noble Nobel Winner
Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk — whose 2004 novel Snow deftly explored the commingling of Islam and the West in his country — was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Oct. 12. (It should be noted that this is his second prestigious award in a year: EW named his memoir Istanbul as one of the top books of 2005.) Pamuk made headlines last year when a national court indicted him for ”insulting Turkishness” after he spoke candidly about his country’s participation in early-20th century genocide (the charges were later dropped). Despite this, Pamuk praised his homeland upon receiving the prize: ”This is first of all an honor bestowed upon the Turkish language, Turkish culture, and Turkey itself, as well as on my writings.”