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Monitor

Rivers Cuomo, Diane Sawyer, and Alexa Ray Joel were in the news the week of December 11

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TRANSITION
Good Morning America coanchor Diane Sawyer, 63, announced on air Dec. 7 that she’d be leaving ABC’s morning show at the end of the week. ”I’ve calculated: 2,881 shows,” said Sawyer, who joined GMA in 1999. Starting Dec. 21, Sawyer will replace the retiring Charles Gibson as the evening anchor of ABC’s World News. The network’s chief Washington correspondent, George Stephanopoulos, 48, will take over Sawyer’s spot on GMA.

BIRTHS
Former SNL star Maya Rudolph, 37, and director Paul Thomas Anderson, 39, just announced that they greeted their second child, daughter Lucille, on Nov. 6 in L.A…. Scrubs star Judy Reyes, 42, and boyfriend George Valencia welcomed their first child, daughter Leila Rey, on Nov. 27 in L.A.

EXPECTING
Julie & Julia‘s Amy Adams, 35, and her fiancé, actor Darren Le Gallo — who got engaged last year — are expecting their first child.

CANCELED
CBS soap opera As the World Turns, which debuted in 1956 and has aired more than 13,000 episodes, will end its run next September after 54 years, the network announced Dec. 8.

REVEALED
On Dec. 2, Meredith Baxter, 62, who played matriarch Elyse Keaton on Family Ties, revealed to People that she is gay. ”I’m happy for the first time in my life,” says Baxter, who lives with her partner of four years, building contractor Nancy Locke. Baxter has been married three times and has five kids.

SPLIT
Uma Thurman, 39, and hedge-fund financier Arpad Busson, 47, have called off their engagement, the actress’ rep confirmed Dec. 8. The couple got engaged in June 2008 and broke up two months ago.

ENGAGED
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, 44, reportedly popped the question to model Jill McCormick, 32, on Dec. 4 in Washington, D.C. They have two daughters.

COURTS
On Dec. 2, two people were arrested in Gwinn, Mich., for an alleged extortion attempt on actor John Stamos, 46. They allegedly demanded $680,000 in exchange for not selling photos of Stamos from a 2004 party in Florida. Stamos’ rep says the photos only show ”John posing with fans.” The two suspects were released on bond the next day, and arraignment is set for Dec. 17…. Nicolas Cage‘s financial woes continue: The 45-year-old is being sued for $13 million by ex- girlfriend Christina Fulton, 42, according to papers filed Dec. 8 in L.A. Fulton, the mother of Cage’s eldest child, Weston, 18, alleges that Cage is evicting her from the house he promised to buy her in exchange for being Weston’s ”sole caregiver.” She also blames Cage and his former accountant, Samuel Levin — who are themselves embroiled in nasty lawsuits against each other — for her massive debt; for instance, she says she owes the IRS more than $1 million. Cage’s lawyer has called her claims ”absurd.”… Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, 62, was arrested Dec. 2 in Esher, England, on suspicion of domestic assault. The recently divorced musician — who’s been linked to waitress Ekaterina Ivanova, 21 — was released on bail the next day, and faces further investigation next month. British police would not identify Wood’s accuser…. Brian Bonsall, 28, who played Michael J. Fox’s little brother Andy on Family Ties, was arrested Dec. 5 in Boulder, Colo., for allegedly attacking a man with a broken stool, according to police. Bonsall, who was also wanted for probation violations stemming from a 2007 assault conviction, was charged with misdemeanor assault and remained in jail at press time.

RECOVERING
Former Today show host Bryant Gumbel, 61, revealed Dec. 8 that he has lung cancer and recently underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor in his chest.

DEATHS
Irish actor Richard Todd, 90, star of the 1962 film The Longest Day, died Dec. 3 of pancreatic cancer in Little Humby, England.
With additional reporting by Stewart Allen


Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo Injured in Bus Crash
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo is recovering after a terrifying tour-bus crash landed him in the hospital. The singer was traveling to a band gig in Boston when his tour bus hit a patch of black ice Dec. 6 and plunged 8 to 10 feet into a ditch about 40 miles west of Albany, N.Y. According to Karl Koch, the band’s webmaster, who arrived on the scene shortly after the accident — and who posted pictures on Weezer.com showing rescue workers using the Jaws of Life to free Cuomo from the bus — the 39-year-old lead singer suffered a cut to his spleen and a small puncture to his lung. ”I couldn’t believe what was happening in front of me, as Rivers lay helpless, shivering in the center of the chaos,” Koch wrote on the site. ”I don’t know how to describe the wave of awfulness that gripped me as I watched.” Also on board were Cuomo’s wife and daughter — both of whom were unharmed in the crash — as well as the singer’s assistant, who was released from the hospital Dec. 7 after undergoing treatment for fractured ribs. Cuomo remained hospitalized as of press time. (Koch wrote on Dec. 7 that the rocker could be released soon if ”his vital signs remain stable and improving.”) In the meantime, the band has canceled the remainder of their 2009 tour; they plan to reschedule in the new year.
Kate Ward


Alexa Ray Joel’s ”Cry for Help”
Alexa Ray Joel — the daughter of singer-songwriter Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley — was rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City on Dec. 5 after swallowing eight tablets of Traumeel, a homeopathic alternative to ibuprofen. A source close to the 23-year-old singer says she had ”moments of being despondent” after a recent breakup, and characterizes the incident as ”a cry for help.” (The source says Alexa told the 911 dispatcher, ”Having trouble breathing. Want to die,” but later added, ”Want to live.”) Alexa, who canceled her Dec. 10 performance at the New York Stock Exchange, has been released and is currently under a doctor’s care.
Nicole Sperling

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