The 10 hottest topics for the week of April 14, 2006

By Tim Stack
Updated April 07, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

DIVORCE
Matt LeBlanc (Joey), 38, and wife Melissa are splitting after three years of marriage…. Def Jam founder and Phat Farm clothing mogul Russell Simmons, 48, and wife, Baby Phat CEO Kimora Lee Simmons, 30, announced on March 31 that they’re separating after seven years of wedlock.

MARRIED
NBC Weekend Today cohost Campbell Brown, 37, and Fox News analyst Dan Senor, 34, wed on April 2 in Colorado.

HIRED
Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia, whose lives keep getting curiouser and curiouser, will write and produce one track for Paris Hilton‘s perenially ”upcoming” CD.

CONTROVERSY
Due to pressure from rattled customers, AMC has yanked the trailer for United 93 from one of its movie theaters in Manhattan. The April 28 film tells the story of the hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11.

SOLD
After rumors of deals with Bono and Martha Stewart, Courtney Love has agreed to sell 25 percent of her share of Nirvana’s publishing catalog to…Larry Mestel? Mestel, of Primary Wave Music Publishing, pledged to use the band’s music tastefully, so forget about any ”Where Did You Sleep Last Night? On a Sealy mattress!” ad campaigns.

APOLOGY
Jessica Alba, 25, has dropped legal action against Playboy after Hugh Hefner, 79, sent her a letter of apology. Alba was upset that the mag used press photos of her on the cover of its March issue, which she felt falsely implied she’d appear nude inside. Playboy also donated money to two of Alba’s favorite charities.

RECOVERING
Country-music legend George Jones, 74, was hospitalized on March 30 in Nashville with pneumonia. He was released two days later…. Talk-show host Charlie Rose, 64, is recovering from the heart surgery he underwent on March 29 in Paris. Rose had experienced shortness of breath while on assignment in Syria for his PBS program.

COURTS
Marion ”Suge” Knight, 40, owner of Tha Row records, filed for bankruptcy on April 4. In March ’05, an L.A. judge ordered Knight to pay former associate Lydia Harris $107 million in damages after she claimed he unfairly fired her. His lawyer could not be reached for comment…. Special-effects technician Steven Wheatley, who was burned during the making of Mission: Impossible III, filed suit on March 29 in L.A. against Paramount Pictures and Tom Cruise’s production company. A studio rep did not return calls, and Cruise’s rep had no comment…. The Game (né Jayceon Taylor) filed a copyright-infringement suit on March 17 against Koch Entertainment, claiming the company is illegally selling recordings the rapper made prior to his record deal with Aftermath.

DEATH
Henry Farrell, 85, author of the book What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? — the basis for the 1962 Bette Davis-Joan Crawford movie — of renal failure on March 29 in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

SCANDAL
Pellicano Update
As an action-film director, there’s one thing you should know: Never (allegedly) lie to the po-po. Die Hard helmer John McTiernan, 55, was charged April 3 in L.A. with one count of making a false statement after he denied to the FBI that he hired PI Anthony Pellicano to wiretap Rollerball producer Charles Roven’s phone. McTiernan, who couldn’t be reached for comment, faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

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