Celebrity news for the week of January 26, 2007 -- Brief updates on births, divorces, court dates, and more
Rock Star: Supernova host Brooke Burke, 35, and her fiancé David Charvet (Baywatch), 34, greeted a baby girl, Heaven Rain, on Jan. 8. Burke has two daughters, Neriah, 6, and Sierra Sky, 4, from her first marriage.
Courtney Thorne-Smith (According to Jim), 39, married media exec Roger Fishman, 46, on New Year’s Day.
Confirming the wave of speculation, Justin Timberlake, 25, and Cameron Diaz, 34, announced on Jan. 11, ”We have, in fact, ended our romantic relationship.”
Naomi Campbell, 36, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault on Jan. 16 for striking her housekeeper with a cell phone during an argument last March. The temperamental model will attend anger-management classes and do five days of community service as penance…. Country musician Stonewall Jackson, 74, reportedly filed a $10 million age-discrimination lawsuit Jan. 11, claiming the manager of the Grand Ole Opry told Jackson he was ”too old and too country” to appear on the show. The vice president of Gaylord Entertainment, which owns the Opry, has said the allegations are without merit…. On Jan. 10, George Michael, 43, pleaded innocent to a charge that he was unfit to drive. London police said they found the singer asleep in his car, which was blocking an intersection, on Oct. 1, 2006. He was later issued a warning for suspected marijuana possession. Michael’s lawyer refused to comment.
The latest allegation in the scandal surrounding Hollywood PI Anthony Pellicano, 62: a recording in which Lisa Kerkorian, 40, reportedly expresses a wish to kill her ex-husband, former MGM owner Kirk Kerkorian, 89. Kirk’s lawyer, Terry Christensen, and Pellicano — who allegedly bugged Lisa’s phone during the couple’s custody battle — have both pleaded not guilty to wiretapping and conspiracy charges. Meanwhile, an attorney for Lisa denies she ever threatened Kirk, who himself has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross, 44, who is expecting twins in April, has been placed on bed rest by her doctor. But the show will go on: Cross, who had two episodes left before her scheduled maternity leave, filmed her remaining scenes at her L.A. home. Says Housewives creator Marc Cherry: ”Marcia will [now] have to leave for a few episodes. Her character will go on a trip.”
Nicole Kidman’s husband of 7 months, Keith Urban, 39, is out of rehab. The country singer entered a treatment center for alcohol abuse in October.
It was a bad week for Hollywood suits. Paramount Pictures president Gail Berman, who helped bring films such as World Trade Center to the big screen, stepped down Jan. 11 after 19 months on the job. Chairman and CEO Brad Grey said that the position will be eliminated as part of an effort to streamline management…. In another Viacom changeover, MTV Networks president and COO Michael Wolf announced his resignation on Jan. 11. MTV has not yet named a replacement for Wolf, who took the newly created post in November 2005…. And EMI gave walking papers to Alain Levy, chief of recorded music, on Jan. 12. The British music label that counts Radiohead among its talent suffered poor sales during the holidays.
Alice Coltrane, 69, jazz pianist and widow of John Coltrane, of respiratory failure, Jan. 12, in L.A…. Michael Brecker, 57, saxophonist who won 11 Grammys, of leukemia, Jan. 13, in NYC…. Emmy-winning composer Harvey R. Cohen (The Adventures of Batman & Robin), 55, after a heart attack, Jan. 14, in Agoura Hills, Calif…. Producer Carlo Ponti (Doctor Zhivago), 94, husband of Sophia Loren, after being hospitalized for pulmonary complications, Jan. 9, in Geneva…. TV writer Jack Winter (The Dick Van Dyke Show), 64, of lung failure, Dec. 29, in Victoria, British Columbia…. Producer and writer Steve Krantz (Fritz the Cat), 83, of complications from pneumonia, Jan. 4, in L.A…. Darlene Conley, 72, best known as The Bold and the Beautiful‘s resident fashionista Sally Spectra, of cancer, Jan. 14, in L.A.
YVONNE DE CARLO 1922-2007
She starred in many big-screen dramas — including The Ten Commandments, opposite Charlton Heston — but the glamorous De Carlo, who died of heart failure Jan. 8 in L.A., was best known as wife Lily on the 1960s CBS comedy The Munsters. ”She had a full life — she got her money’s worth,” says Butch Patrick, who played Lily’s wolf-boy son, Eddie. ”She was like a mom looking after her brood [on the set], but she was very professional…and a bona fide movie star.”
A ‘Lost’ End in Sight?
In the wake of declining ratings and increasingly puzzling plot twists, the producers of Lost revealed Jan. 14 that they are in discussions with ABC about choosing a series finale date so they can, in the words of exec producer Damon Lindelof, ”take care of a lot of anxiety and questions.” (The drama, now in its third season, returns from its winter hiatus Feb. 7.) ”None of us wants to be on a stalling show.” ABC has confirmed the talks, but says no date has been finalized. So who knows? This decision could ultimately prove as elusive as that smoky jungle monster. — Lynette Rice
Update: Hell on Middle-Earth
Ding! It’s round 2 in Peter Jackson vs. New Line. On Jan. 5, studio chief Bob Shaye declared to the online outlet Sci Fi Wire that Jackson will not be directing the LOTR prequel The Hobbit. Referring to a lawsuit Jackson filed against New Line in 2005 over revenue from 2001’s The Fellowship of the Ring, Shaye said, ”There’s a kind of arrogance. I don’t want to work with the guy anymore…. He will never make any movie with New Line Cinema while I’m still [there].” Shaye’s stinging comments were the latest blow in an ongoing battle between the studio and the Oscar-winning LOTR director, who last November told Rings fans that he would not discuss the prequel until the legal dispute was settled. Jackson, New Line, and MGM (which also owns a portion of the Hobbit rights) all declined to comment to EW, but the director did tell Sci Fi Wire, ”It’s regrettable that Bob has chosen to make it personal.” And as we know from Jaws 4, when it gets personal, it gets ugly. — Missy Schwartz