Celebrity news for the week of Feb. 20, 2004
EXPECTING Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, 29, will hatch another chicklet. The singer and husband Adrian Pasdar have a son, Jackson Slade, 2.
BIRTHS Actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue), 29, and wife Lisa greeted son Michael Charles, Jan. 31.
SPLITS Natalie Cole, 54, filed for divorce from husband of two years Kenneth Dupree, Jan. 30, in L.A., citing ”irreconcilable differences.” She has a son from a previous marriage.
COURTS Miss Diana Ross (left), 59, entered a no-contest plea for driving under the influence of alcohol. Ross was sentenced to two days in jail, 36 hours of counseling, and a year’s probation for the 2002 incident in Tucson, Ariz…. The trial of actor Robert Blake, 70, for the alleged murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, was postponed indefinitely after the judge granted attorney Tom Mesereau’s request to be removed from the case Feb. 5. Mesereau is Blake’s third lawyer to depart…. Paris Hilton, 22, filed suit Feb. 4 against Internet company Kahatani Ltd., alleging ”unauthorized and illegal exploitation” from its distribution of the sex tape she made with ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon. The company could not be reached for comment.
CONTROVERSIES The Laguna Beach, Calif., school district refused MTV’s request to film a reality show on school property Feb. 4, citing Janet Jackson’s MTV-produced Super Bowl ”costume reveal” as one reason for rejecting the offer…. Jackson’s boyfriend, music producer Jermaine Dupri, 30, resigned Feb. 6 as president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences’ Atlanta chapter in response to the national organization’s ”double standard” in dealing with Jackson.
RETURNS Former head of Arista Records L.A. Reid was made the new chairman of Universal Music’s Island Def Jam Music Group Feb. 12.
DENIED Five Cuban musicians were denied visas by American authorities to enter the U.S. for Feb. 8’s Grammy Awards, despite being nominated. They are among the 151 Cuban artists denied visas by the U.S. since November 2003.
DEATHS Philly DJ Ed Sciaky, 55, who brought attention to Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, of a heart attack, Jan. 29, in NYC…. Cornelius Bumpus, 58, saxophonist for the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, of a heart attack, Feb. 3, during a flight to California…. DC Comics editor emeritus Julius Schwartz, 88, who helped introduce the Green Lantern (below), of pneumonia, Feb. 8, in Mineola, N.Y…. Jason Raize, 28, who originated the role of the adult Simba in Broadway’s The Lion King and voiced Denahi in Brother Bear, a suicide, Feb. 3, in Yass, Australia…. Roseanne producer and Diff’rent Strokes cocreator Jeff Harris, 68, of emphysema, Feb. 2, in East Hampton, N.Y…. Director Larry Elikann (I Know My First Name Is Steven), 80, Feb. 4, in L.A. Alynda Wheat, with additional reporting by Rhonda Richford
PARTY Why was Dave Grohl pumped about the return of the Grammys and BMG honcho Clive Davis’ legendary pre-Grammy feteto L.A.? ”I live 15 minutes away,” he said before hitting the stage at Davis’ Feb. 7 bash. ”So I can get hammered and go straight home.”