Celebrity news for the date of March 5, 1999

By Rob Brunner
Updated March 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST
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BIRTHS
Scary Spice (now Mel G. but better known as Mel B.), 23, and her husband, dancer Jim Gulzar, 32, welcomed Phoenix Chi, a 5-pound 8-ounce baby girl, Feb. 19, in London. It’s the first child for both.

ENGAGED
Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, 30, to actress Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker), 23, Feb. 12, in L.A. No wedding date is set. It’s the first marriage for both…. British DJ Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook), 35, and BBC radio host Zoe Ball, 28, on Feb. 14. It will be his second marriage, her first.

SPLITS
Screenwriter Valerie Rhames, 34, filed for divorce from actor Ving Rhames, 39, Feb. 9, in L.A., after 4 1/2 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences…. Janet Jackson, 32, and her boyfriend, dancer Rene Elizondo Jr., 36, announced Feb. 12 that they have ended their 13-year relationship.

ARRESTED
Now for the weekly ODB news. The rapper, a.k.a. Russell Jones, 30, had a run-in with police Feb. 16 — the second time in 32 days — after the LAPD pulled his car over for a routine traffic stop and noticed he was wearing a bulletproof vest, which is illegal in California if you’ve been convicted of a violent felony. However, Jones’ lawyer, Peter Frankel, claims his client has never been convicted of such a crime: ”He was wearing [the vest] for his own protection. He’s been shot twice…. He doesn’t just wear it because it’s comfortable.” Jones was released the same day after posting $18,000 bail. (Charges in the earlier incident, including attempted murder, have been dropped.)

LAWSUITS
Wholesome-as-milk Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson, 65, filed an invasion-of-privacy suit against two California companies, Feb. 19, in L.A. According to the suit, an El Segundo, Calif., clothing company called Serial Killer Inc. has been selling a shirt with the words ”Porn Queen” printed under a photo of Henderson, while a Cotati, Calif., gift shop called Gravenstones used her photo in an ad without permission. The actress is seeking an injunction and unspecified damages. Both companies decline to comment.

ACCIDENTS
A private jet carrying director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black), 45, crashed into five empty planes following a rough landing, Feb. 16, in Van Nuys, Calif. There were no injuries. The accident is under investigation.

DEATHS
Film critic Gene Siskel, 53, Feb. 20, nine months after having brain surgery, in Evanston, Ill. … Actress Shirley Stoler, 69, of heart failure, Feb. 17, in New York City. Stoler’s credits include Klute (1971) and Seven Beauties (1975)…. Songwriter/actor Bobby Troup, 80, of congestive heart failure, Feb. 7, in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Best known for writing the song ”(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” Troup played Dr. Joe Early on the ’70s drama Emergency…. Oscar Scaggs, 21, son of musician Boz Scaggs, of an accidental heroin overdose, Dec. 31, in San Francisco. Oscar was a soundman at a rock club owned by his father.

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