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Celebrity news for the week of June 27, 2007

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Boxing champ and Dancing With the Stars finalist Laila Ali, 29, wed ex-NFL player Curtis Conway, 36, on July 22 in L.A.

Game-show impresario Merv Griffin, 82, was hospitalized last week at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for a recurrence of prostate cancer. ”He’s getting great care,” son Tony Griffin said in a statement.

Country crooner Mindy McCready, 31, was charged with domestic battery and resisting arrest following a dispute at her mother’s home in Fort Myers, Fla., on July 21. The singer allegedly assaulted her mom after coming home intoxicated. She was released the same day on $1,000 bail, and is expected to appear in court Aug. 14. McCready could not be reached for comment…. An unidentified TMZ.com cameraman filed a complaint with the LAPD against CSI star Gary Dourdan, 40, who allegedly attacked him outside an L.A. club on July 17. According to TMZ, Dourdan repeatedly demanded the shutterbug turn his video equipment off, and then assaulted him and broke the camera. ”This is a minor incident exaggerated by an eager paparazzo…to create a story,” Dourdan’s rep has said in a statement…. On July 22 in NYC, Ja Rule (né Jeff Atkins), 31, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Police say they found the gun when the car the rapper was in was stopped for speeding. Ja Rule has pleaded not guilty…. The same day in NYC, rapper Lil’ Wayne (né Dwayne Carter), 24, was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Police allegedly found a pistol while investigating the smell of marijuana from his tour bus. Lil’ Wayne has pleaded not guilty…. Actor Esai Morales (NYPD Blue), 44, was sued by former girlfriend Elizabeth Mazzocchi on July 19 in L.A. Mazzocchi claims Morales assaulted her, intentionally gave her herpes, and owes her $25,000. She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages. ”The charges are without merit,” Morales wrote on his MySpace page…. On July 18, John Travolta sued James and Christine Garemore, owners of Greystone Airport in Ocala, Fla. Travolta, 53, an avid pilot who has used the airport before, said he was assured he would be able to land his Boeing 707 at Greystone when he bought land in the area in 2001. He claims the Garemores then falsified the airport’s master report in 2006 to show that the landing field could not support larger, heavier aircraft like Travolta’s plane. The Hairspray star is demanding the Garemores refile the report, so he can resume landing his planes there. The Garemores’ lawyer says they deny filing a false report.

Cinematographer Lászió Kovács (Easy Rider), 74, of undetermined causes, July 22, in L.A…. Tammy Faye Messner, 65, former wife of televangelist Jim Bakker, of lung cancer, July 20, in Kansas City, Mo…. Blues guitarist Bill Perry, 49, of an apparent heart attack, July 17, in Sugar Loaf, N.Y…. Songwriter Ron Miller (”For Once in My Life”), 74, of emphysema and cancer, July 23, in Santa Monica. — Additional reporting by Stewart Allen

Come On Down! You’re the Next Host of The Price Is Right!
On July 23, comedian Drew Carey, 49, was tapped by CBS to take over the skinny mic as the new host of The Price Is Right, replacing 83-year-old Bob Barker, who stepped down in June. (Rosie O’Donnell and John O’Hurley were among those said to be in the running.) It’s unclear when Carey, who’s also hosting CBS’ Power of 10, will begin his new gig, or how he feels about the pet population. — Lynette Rice

Clarkson to Clive: My Bad
Following weeks of reports of a beef with BMG label chief Clive Davis, Kelly Clarkson wants to stop the madness. In a July 23 statement, the ex-Idol wrote: ”Clive is one of the great record men of all time…. I apologize to those whom I have done disservice.” The mea culpa comes after a recent rash of articles — in which Clarkson recalled telling the 75-year-old Davis, ”You’re 80; you’re not supposed to like my album,” and said, ”We don’t braid each other’s hair” — made it seem like the feud was ongoing. In fact, Clarkson, 25, hasn’t done any press since My December‘s June release; these older interviews are just now coming out to haunt her. Davis had no comment, but we say: Let the braiding begin! — Chris Willman