Celebrity news for the week of February 24, 2006 -- Brief updates on births, divorces, court dates, and more
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EXPECTING This just in: ABC World News Tonight coanchor Elizabeth Vargas, 43, and her husband, singer Marc Cohn, 46, will welcome a second child in late summer. A rep for ABC News says they have yet to determine a replacement for Vargas when she’s on maternity leave.

ENGAGED The Company star Neve Campbell, 32, is engaged to British actor John Light (Heights), 31. Here’s hoping this marriage goes more smoothly than Julia and Griffin’s on Party of Five. While we’re on the subject, where is Jeremy London?

SPLITS The Constant Gardener‘s Ralph Fiennes, 42, and his longtime girlfriend, British actress Francesca Annis (The Libertine), 61, announced on Feb. 7 that they were separating…. After almost four tumultuous years of marriage, Christian Slater (Alone in the Dark), 36, has filed for divorce from wife Ryan Haddon, 34, citing irreconcilable differences.

AWARDS NBC host Conan O’Brien, 43, won a Telvis award (the Finnish equivalent of an Emmy — they ever think of calling it a Fimmy?) on Feb. 14. O’Brien and his Late Night crew took a particular interest in Finland after learning that not only is his show a huge success there, but he also bears an uncanny resemblance to its female president, Tarja Halonen.

FOUND Hello, hello. MIA adoptee Annyong Bluth (Justin Lee) reappeared on the season — series? — finale of Fox’s Arrested Development on Feb. 10 and revealed himself to be an FBI mole who ratted out Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter).

COURTS Lucyna Turyk-Wawrynowicz, former maid to Robert De Niro, 62, and wife Grace Hightower, 52, pleaded guilty to larceny, identity theft, and forgery on Feb. 8 in New York City…. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment filed suit on Feb. 6 in L.A. against producer Holly Wiersma (Happy Endings) and her production company over distribution rights to the upcoming Edie Sedgwick biopic, Factory Girl, starring Sienna Miller. Sony is seeking $6 million in damages plus all North American distribution rights to the film. Wiersma’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the claim ”absurd” and said it has ”no merit.”

ACCIDENTS Shannen Doherty, 34, was involved in a car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu on Feb. 13, when her Range Rover hit a Mustang. She suffered minor injuries, while the other driver was taken to the hospital.

DEATHS J Dilla, 32, né James Yancey — the Slum Village rapper-turned-producer who worked with Common and Kanye West — after a long struggle with lupus, Feb. 10, in L.A…. Phil Brown, 89, who played Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen in the original Star Wars, of unknown causes, Feb. 9, in Woodland Hills, Calif…. Franklin Cover, 77, who played The Jeffersons‘ Tom Willis, the husband in one of TV’s first interracial marriages, of pneumonia, Feb. 5, in Englewood, N.J.

LEGACY Jaws author Peter Benchley, 65, passed away from pulmonary fibrosis on Feb. 11 in Princeton, N.J. His 1974 killer-shark bestseller, made a year later into the blockbuster, stoked the ire of Jacques Cousteau. Ultimately, Benchley would become a great-white conservationist.

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