BIRTHS Rosie O’Donnell’s girlfriend, former Nickelodeon exec Kelli Carpenter, 35, gave birth to 6-pound 6-ounce Vivienne Rose O’Donnell on Nov. 29. Information on the dad and the method of conception wasn’t made public. The baby joins their three adopted kids…. Backstreet Boys singer Brian Littrell, 27, and actress wife Leighanne, 33, welcomed their first child, 6-pound 7-ounce Baylee Thomas Wylee Littrell, on Nov. 26…. Malcolm in the Middle mom Jane Kaczmarek, 46, and The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford, 43, greeted their third child, 10-pound 3-ounce Mary Louisa Whitford, on Nov. 25. Daughter Frances is 5, and son George is 2.
SPLITS Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, 47, and former Pogues bassist Cait O’Riordan, 37, are divorcing after 16 years of marriage…. On Nov. 27, restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff, 49, filed for divorce from star chef Wolfgang Puck, 53, seeking to end their 19-year marriage. She’s asking for custody of their two sons.
COURTS On Nov. 26, a North Carolina judge reduced an award against Sean ”P. Diddy” Combs, 33, by $2 million, ruling that the rap mogul owes only $450,000 in compensatory damages to Winston-Salem limo driver Cedrick Bobby Lemon, 32. Lemon says that bodyguards hired by Combs beat him up in 1995. The decision updates a September ruling prompted by Combs’ failure to respond to the suit. Lemon’s lawyer says he’ll seek to have the initial award reinstated, while Combs’ publicist said he ”had nothing to do with this” and will try to have the judgment dismissed…. They didn’t want it that way. On Nov. 25, the Backstreet Boys sued Zomba for $75 million, accusing the recording company of promoting member Nick Carter’s solo career at the expense of the pop quintet. All five Boys (including Carter) claim Zomba delayed approving producers and songs for a forthcoming album, which prevented the group from making an April 30, 2002, deadline and receiving a $5 million advance. A company rep declined to comment. BSB remain with Zomba’s Jive label; the unfinished record does not have a release date…. On Nov. 26, a federal judge ruled that Girls Gone Wild producers didn’t violate the privacy of an Orange County, Fla., woman by using footage of her flashing her breasts to a cameraman in 1999. Veronica Lane, then a minor, sued MRA Video for unspecified damages when she was included in the lascivious video and TV commercials.
SETTLEMENTS Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, 31, settled a 2001 suit filed by lighting tech Connie Paulson, 41, who claimed the singer broke her nose with a microphone in Birmingham, Ala., during the band’s Anger Management tour. Terms weren’t disclosed. She had sought $5 million.
RECOVERY After years of rumors, pop diva Whitney Houston, 39, admitted using alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs during her career. In an interview that aired Dec. 4, she told ABC’s Diane Sawyer, ”That was a moment in time that happened to me…I’m beyond it. It’s past.” She also denied that she has an eating disorder: ”I am not sick…I’ve always been a thin girl.”