Celebrity news for the week of May 29, 1998

By Kipp Cheng
Updated May 29, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Today show anchor Matt Lauer, 40, to Dutch model Annette Roque, 32. This will be Lauer’s second marriage and Roque’s first…. Singer Melanie Brown, a.k.a. Scary Spice, 23, to dancer Jim Gulzar, 25. Gulzar performs as Scary Boy on the Spice Girls’ current world tour. Both are nuptial novices.

Singer George Michael, 34, who pleaded no contest to lewd behavior on May 14, was fined $910, ordered to perform 80 hours of community service, and attend sexual counseling. On April 7, the ex-Wham!ster was caught performing an unspecified obscene act in a Beverly Hills park.

On May 17, seven weeks after German media group Bertelsmann AG acquired Random House, British publishing giant Pearson agreed to purchase most of the Simon & Schuster book imprint from media conglomerate Viacom (parent to MTV and Paramount Pictures). As a result of the $4.6 billion deal, Pearson will get Simon & Schuster’s educational and reference holdings, while Viacom retains the consumer, interactive, and audio divisions.

Movie critic Gene Siskel, 52, after brain surgery to remove a growth, May 11, in New York City. He is expected to resume taping Siskel & Ebert later this month…. Rocker emeritus Keith Richards, 54, injured his chest and ribs after falling from a chair while reaching for a book in the library of his Connecticut home, May 16. The injury forced the Rolling Stones to postpone the first four dates of their European tour, scheduled to kick off in Berlin on May 22…. On May 14, actress Diahann Carroll, 62, underwent surgery to remove a small cancerous lump in her breast, in L.A. Carroll, who starred on TV’s Julia (1968-71) and Dynasty (from 1984 to 1987), is expected to make a full recovery.

Director Gene Fowler Jr., 80, of natural causes, May 11, in L.A. Fowler won an Academy Award in 1946 for the WWII documentary Seeds of Destiny but is best known for helming such horror classics as 1957’s I Was a Teen-age Werewolf, starring Michael Landon…. Novelist John Hawkes, 72, of a stroke, May 15, in Providence. One of the key figures of postmodern experimental fiction, Hawkes’ most important works were a trio of novels published in the ’70s: The Blood Oranges; Death, Sleep and the Traveler; and Travesty.