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Monitor

Melissa Etheridge’s engagement and Howard Stern’s wedding made news the week of October 6, 2008

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ENGAGED
Singer Melissa Etheridge, 47, plans to wed her partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels (The L Word), 32. The couple exchanged vows in Malibu in 2003 — before California recognized same-sex unions…. Rocker Eddie Van Halen, 53, proposed to Janie Liszewski, 38, in Hawaii on Aug. 4. The big day will be in June 2009. It’s the second marriage for Van Halen; he and ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, 48, split in 2005.

MARRIED
Shock jock Howard Stern, 54, wed longtime girlfriend Beth Ostrosky, 36, on Oct. 3 in New York City. The ceremony was officiated by actor Mark Consuelos (All My Children), 37…. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia costars Rob McElhenney, 31, and Kaitlin Olson, 33, tied the knot in sunny Malibu on Sept. 27.

BIRTH
Country singer Dierks Bentley, 32, will be crooning lullabies: Evalyn Day Bentley — his daughter with wife Cassidy, 33 — arrived Oct. 4 in Nashville.

RECOVERING
Natalie Cole, 58, is resting at her L.A. home. The singer — who has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for hepatitis C — was admitted to a New York City hospital on Sept. 12…. Californication star David Duchovny, 48, ”has successfully completed his rehabilitation” for sex addiction, said his attorney in a statement. (He checked in voluntarily last month.) Duchovny had already finished filming the second season of the Showtime drama.

INJURED
Olympic gold-medal-winning beach volleyball player and Dancing With the Stars contestant Misty May-Treanor, 32, ruptured her Achilles tendon during rehearsal Oct. 3. She officially withdrew from the competition on Oct. 6.

COURTS
In other DWTS news, season 5 winner Hélio Castroneves, 33, was indicted on charges of tax evasion in Miami. The race-car driver is accused of using offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes on more than $5 million in income between 1999 and 2004. Castroneves pleaded not guilty in court Oct. 3. The following statement was issued on his website: ”Hélio doesn’t know much about the tax laws in the United States…he has faith that he will win this case, since he knows he is not guilty.”… On Sept. 30, Sienna Miller, 26, received more than $26,000 in damages — and an apology — from the U.K.’s Daily Star in an out-of-court settlement. The actress alleged the newspaper ran a photo that violated her privacy. Said the Daily Star in a statement, ”We apologise to Sienna for publishing this photograph.”… The ex-headmistress at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa filed a defamation lawsuit against the talk-show maven, 54, on Oct. 3. Nomvuyo Mzamane, 39, claims that Winfrey implied she did not care for the academy students and that she tried to cover up alleged sexual abuse at the school. Representatives for Winfrey say they have not seen the complaint.

DEATHS
Doo-wop singer George ”Wydell” Jones, 71 — who wrote the hit ”Rama Lama Ding Dong” — passed away from cancer Sept. 27 in Youngstown, Ohio…. Kingston Trio founding member Nick Reynolds, 75, died Oct. 1 in San Diego of natural causes…. Japanese actor Ken Ogata, famous for his role in 1983’s Ballad of Narayama, died Oct. 5 of liver cancer. He was 71. — with additional reporting by Stewart Allen and Adam Markovitz


Strange Bedfellows
Which is weirder: That 78-year-old billionaire investor Warren Buffett played ukulele and sang the ’20s ditty ”Ain’t She Sweet” during son Peter’s Oct. 3 concert in L.A. — or that ”Smack That” star Akon joined the Buffetts on beatbox duty? ”I should be able to get a job as an ambassador, if I can bring that disparate a pairing together!” laughs singer-songwriter Peter, who has previously recorded with Akon. — Simon Vozick-Levinson


Idol Pursuits
It was a good week to be an American Idol alum. Season 6’s LaKisha Jones exchanged vows with fiancé Larry Davis on Oct. 5 in L.A. — just one day before season 5’s Paris Bennett delivered a daughter named Egypt. As for the contestants not honeymooning or bringing home baby: Season 3’s Jennifer Hudson stopped by ABC’s Dancing With the Stars on Oct. 7 to plug her self-titled debut album. Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks announced that indie label Artist to Market will distribute his second studio disc on Feb. 10 (he was dropped by J Records in January). And the Davids are holding strong on Billboard‘s Hot 100. Season 7 runner-up David Archuleta currently sits at No. 20 with ”Crush,” his August debut single, while champ David Cook comes in at No. 49 with ”Time of My Life,” which hasn’t dropped off the chart since its May release. Oddly, still no word from Sanjaya. — KW