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Monitor

Anne Heche’s pregnancy and Sunny Von Bulow’s death made news the week of December 8, 2008

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EXPECTING
Anne Heche, 39, and James Tupper, 42, will have their first child next year. The Men in Trees costars have been together since 2007. Heche has one child with ex-husband Coley Laffoon…. Lost‘s Josh Holloway, 39, and wife Yessica are expecting their first child, due next year.

BIRTHS
Eli Stone‘s Jonny Lee Miller, 36, and his wife, actress Michele Hicks, 35, welcomed their first child, Buster Timothy, Dec. 3 in Los Angeles…. Ugly Betty‘s Eric Mabius, 37, and wife Ivy Sherman had their second son, Rylan Jaxson, Dec. 7 in New York City…. Amy Jo Johnson (Felicity), 38, gave birth to her first child, Francesca Christine, with fiancé Olivier Giner, Dec. 1…. America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker, 36, had a second child, Jasmine Ines, with wife Christen Chin, Dec. 7 in NYC.

MARRIED
Country singer John Rich, 34, of duo Big & Rich, tied the knot with Joan Bush Dec. 6 in Nashville.

HIRED
NBC correspondent David Gregory, 38, was named the 10th Meet the Press moderator Dec. 7, inheriting the post from Tim Russert, who passed away in June, and interim host Tom Brokaw.

HONORED
Nominees for the 2009 Writers Guild Awards were announced Dec. 8. Mad Men and 30 Rock were among the series selected; the Feb. 7 ceremony will take place in L.A. and NYC.

HOSPITALIZED
Pinup icon Bettie Page, 85, suffered a heart attack Dec. 2 while recovering from pneumonia in an L.A. hospital. She is currently in critical condition.

ARRESTS
DMX, 38, was taken into FBI custody Dec. 9 following a warrant issued for his arrest Dec. 5 in Phoenix. (The rapper failed to show up for a court hearing to address 13 felony charges, including animal cruelty, drug possession, and identity theft.) He is currently being held in Miami-Dade County jail. Says his lawyer: ”We’re trying to get him back to Arizona as soon as possible to get these things resolved.”

COURTS
Rock guitarist Joe Satriani, 52, filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Coldplay’s Chris Martin, 31, and his bandmates Dec. 4 in L.A., claiming the group plagiarized his 2004 song ”If I Could Fly” with their hit ”Viva la Vida.” The band responded: ”If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him.”… On Dec. 5 in London, Boy George, 47, was found guilty of falsely imprisoning a male escort, who claimed the singer had handcuffed him to a wall in April 2007. George was released on bail. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 16…. All three members of the Dixie Chicks were slapped with a defamation lawsuit filed Nov. 25 in Little Rock, Ark., by Terry Hobbs, who claims frontwoman Natalie Maines, 34, suggested at a 2007 rally that he played a role in the 1993 murder of his 8-year-old stepson and two other boys.

DEATHS
Folksinger Odetta, 77, whose music helped drive the civil rights movement, died Dec. 2 in NYC of heart disease and pulmonary fibrosis. ”She took our scattered and elsewhere lives to a sacred place which existed somewhere between ourselves and God,” says fellow folksinger Joan Baez…. Antwone Fisher actor De’Angelo Wilson, 29, was found dead Nov. 26 in L.A. by suicide…. Actress Nina Foch (The Ten Commandments), 84, passed away Dec. 5 in L.A. from a blood disorder…. Actress Beverly Garland (My Three Sons), 82, died Dec. 5 in Hollywood of complications related to cancer…. Paul Benedict, 70, best known as neighbor Harry Bentley on The Jeffersons, was found dead Dec. 1 at his Martha’s Vineyard home…. Editor/writer Forrest Ackerman, 92, who coined the term sci-fi, died Dec. 4 in L.A. of heart failure…. Stage and screen actor Robert Prosky, 77, passed away Dec. 8 at a Washington, D.C., hospital of complications from a heart procedure.

Sunny Von Bülow (1932 – 2008) In a sad ending to a tragic story, the Manhattan socialite passed away Dec. 6 after 28 years in a coma. Her death came 23 years after the high-profile trial that saw her husband, Claus von Bülow, acquitted (after a 1982 conviction) of attempting to murder his hypoglycemic wife with an insulin shot. The scandal was brought to the big screen, with Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons playing the couple, in 1990’s Reversal of Fortune.

Lonely Guy
Viewers who caught the raunchy digital short ”J— in My Pants” on Dec. 6’s SNL might have noticed a new face trading verses with Andy Samberg: Jorma Taccone, 31. Taccone, Samberg, and childhood pal Akiva Schaffer, collectively known as the Lonely Island, have created musical clips like ”Lazy Sunday” and ”D— in a Box” for SNL since 2005. The best will appear along with new tracks featuring Norah Jones and T-Pain on the trio’s CD Incredibad, due Feb. 10. ”We grew up listening to hip-hop in the Bay Area, so this is something we’ve wanted to do forever,” Taccone tells EW. He’s also making a name for himself outside SNL, with a karaoke cameo in Role Models (”I learned [‘Rock You Like a Hurricane’] just enough to suck at it”) and a role in next summer’s Will Ferrell flick, Land of the Lost. But SNL remains Taccone’s priority: ”I’m auditioning occasionally, but the show takes up so much time. It consumes your whole life!” — Simon Vozick-Levinson