Plus Kevin Spacey, Jason Priestley, and more celebrities making news the week of Dec. 10, 1999

By Will Lee and Troy Patterson
Updated December 10, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

SPLITS Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jason Priestley, 30, and his wife of nine months, makeup artist Ashlee Peterson, 29, announced Nov. 30 that they’ve agreed to a trial separation.

DEALS Young Oscar buzz-ee Haley Joel Osment, 11, agreed to join American Beauty‘s Kevin Spacey, 40, in Pay It Forward, to be directed by Mimi Leder (Deep Impact). In the drama, the Sixth Sense star will play a student who inspires a succession of good deeds in his town, spurred by a teacher (Spacey). The film is scheduled to begin production in February 2000…. One month after officially leaving Courtney Love‘s band Hole, bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur, 27, is hooking up with Billy Corgan‘s Smashing Pumpkins. On Nov. 29, the Pumpkins announced that at least for the duration of the band’s upcoming tour, Auf Der Maur will be replacing bassist D’Arcy, 31, who quit the Pumpkins in September.

LAWSUITS Action star Sylvester Stallone, 53, was hit with a one-two punch by former employees within one week. On Nov. 26, in Miami, an erstwhile caretaker and two former security guards filed a discrimination suit alleging Stallone had allowed an employee to harass them because they were black and Hispanic. They seek damages in excess of $1 million. Then, on Nov. 29, five temporary housekeepers reportedly filed a wrongful termination suit against Stallone, after working for him for six days. Regarding the first suit, Stallone’s lawyer maintains that one of the plaintiffs has unsuccessfully sued the actor before, adding ”We’re extremely confident that the claim will be dismissed.” Of the second, he says, ”These claims are just pure fiction. Mr. Stallone and his wife will most likely be suing these individuals for defamation.”… The agent of actress Delta Burke, 42, filed a breach-of-contract suit against the former Designing Women star, Nov. 22, in L.A. Superior Court. Martin Hurwitz claims that Burke has failed to pay him for consulting and other services he provided her in support of Delta Blues, a clothing company partly owned by the actress. Hurwitz seeks damages in excess of $250,000. As of Nov. 30, Burke’s reps had not been served with court papers and had no comment…. The proto-new-wave group Blondie filed a breach-of-contract suit against its former label EMI, Nov. 24, in New York City. In court papers, lead singer Deborah Harry, 54, and her band allege that EMI has refused to honor a 1996 agreement to increase the band’s royalties from its old albums. The group is seeking unspecified damages. EMI had no comment.

RETURNED What’s the story, morning glory? According to British tabloids, famously churlish Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, 26, was missing from Nov. 26 to Nov. 28, frightening his wife, actress Patsy Kensit, 31, and his brother, Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, 32. By all accounts, Liam was safe at home in London by Nov. 29. The band’s label offered no comment on the matter beyond the written statement, ”Liam is not missing. He is currently undertaking his promotional work for the week in London as planned.” At press time, Oasis were scheduled to start a tour in Philadelphia Dec. 3. In August 1996, Liam abruptly, though temporarily, pulled out of the band’s North American tour 15 minutes before his plane was scheduled to take off for the States.