Plus Raquel Welch, Alec Baldwin, and more celebrities making news the week of July 31, 1998

BIRTHS Actress Jodie Foster, 35, welcomed her first child, 7-pound, 8-ounce Charles, on July 20, in L.A. Foster has not revealed the identity of the baby’s father.

ENGAGED Actress Raquel Welch, 57, and restaurateur Richard Palmer, 44, announced plans to marry next year. It will be her fourth marriage and his second.

LAWSUITS On July 20, a Van Nuys, Calif., jury ordered actor Alec Baldwin, 40, to pay photographer Alan Zanger, 53, $4,500 in civil damages, while at the same time ruling that Zanger had acted negligently. In October 1995, Baldwin allegedly roughed up Zanger after he tried to snap pics of Baldwin’s wife, Kim Basinger, and their newborn daughter, Ireland, as they came home from the hospital. Although Baldwin was acquitted of criminal charges, Zanger filed a $200,000 assault suit against Baldwin; in response, the star filed an invasion-of-privacy countersuit. “I am very satisfied with the verdict,” said Baldwin in a statement. Says Zanger: “I clearly won the right to take my pictures, and that’s what this was all about.” … Steven Seagal, 47, filed a $750,000 breach-of-contract suit against producer David Kirkpatrick (The Opposite of Sex) and the production company New Angel, Inc., July 16, in L.A. Seagal alleges Kirkpatrick reneged on a $250,000 deal to cast the actor in Shirley MacLaine’s directorial debut, Bruno. Kirkpatrick declines to comment.

RECOVERING Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, 46, from second-degree burns on his arm when his Ferrari caught fire while it was being filled with gas, July 15, in Scituate, Mass. Investigators reportedly said that Kramer, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, had left the engine running while the car was being fueled. Kramer was treated at and released from South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass. The injury will not affect the Aug. 14 start date of Aerosmith’s U.S. tour.

DEATHS Actor Joseph Maher, 64, of a brain tumor, July 17, in L.A. Best known for Broadway performances in Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw and Loot, Maher also appeared in numerous features and TV shows, including a memorable turn on a 1991 episode of Seinfeld as an inebriated airline passenger who saddles Jerry with his dog, Farfel.