Celebrity news for the week of March 14, 2008
It’s a girl for Shark costar Jeri Ryan, 40, and her husband, French-born chef Christophe Émé, 38. Daughter Giséle, their first child together, arrived on March 2 in L.A.
London police said on Feb. 28 that Amy Winehouse, 24, is no longer a suspect in the alleged witness-tampering case against her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, 25. Winehouse was arrested and briefly detained in December as part of the investigation, but was never charged. Meanwhile, her publicist confirmed on March 3 that the singer was recently diagnosed with impetigo and is taking antibiotics to treat the bacterial skin infection.
Boy George (né George O’Dowd), 46, pleaded not guilty to false-imprisonment charges in London on Feb. 28. The singer was arrested last spring for allegedly chaining a male model to a wall in his home…. The Game (né Jayceon Taylor), 28, began a 60-day sentence at an L.A. jail on March 2. The rapper was sentenced last month after pleading no contest to gun-possession charges stemming from a February 2007 altercation at an L.A. community center…. Kid Rock (né Robert Ritchie), 37, pleaded not guilty to battery charges on March 3 in Atlanta. The rocker was arrested last October after allegedly taking part in a fistfight in the parking lot of a Waffle House…. Jackass sidekick Steve-O (né Stephen Glover), 33, was arrested for alleged vandalism early in the morning of March 3, after his L.A. neighbor reportedly called the police claiming Glover was bashing holes in the wall of their apartment building. Glover’s manager did not return calls for comment…. On March 4, businessman Lou Pearlman, 53, agreed to change his plea to guilty in the federal conspiracy case against him. The former Svengali behind pop acts like ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys admitted that he had defrauded investors out of more than $300 million over 20 years. Pearlman will now face up to 25 years in prison without parole…. On Feb. 27, Bobby Brown, 39, accepted prosecutors’ offer of community service in lieu of facing drug charges in Brockton, Mass. Last December, police say they found a small amount of a controlled substance in the R&B singer’s possession.
On March 3, Van Halen canceled four March tour dates due to undetermined health problems suffered by guitarist Eddie Van Halen, 53. The reunited rockers have rescheduled the shows (including dates in Dallas and Baltimore) for April.
Drummer Buddy Miles, 60, who played in Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys in the late 1960s and sang lead in the animated ”California Raisins” TV ads in the 1980s, of heart disease, Feb. 26, in Austin…. Richard Baer, 79, who wrote for TV shows including Bewitched and Leave It to Beaver, of complications from a heart attack, Feb. 22, in Santa Monica…. Gary Gygax, 69, the fantasy novelist who co-created the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons in 1974, of an abdominal aneurysm, March 4, in Lake Geneva, Wis…. William F. Buckley, 82, the conservative pundit, TV host (Firing Line), and best-selling spy novelist (Saving the Queen), of undisclosed causes, Feb. 27, in Stamford, Conn. On his PBS show, friend Charlie Rose called Buckley ”a man of television: How many debates on Firing Line did he lose? Not many.”… British Invasion rocker Mike Smith, 64, who sang lead in the Dave Clark Five (”Glad All Over”), of pneumonia, Feb. 28, in Aylesbury, England. Smith had planned to attend his band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in NYC on March 10. ”He was extremely excited and honored to have been inducted,” said Smith’s agent in a statement. ”And I am glad that he will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, because he was in so many ways.” — Additional reporting by Stewart Allen
LEGACY: JEFF HEALEY (1966-2008)
Cancer may have taken the prodigiously talented guitarist’s sight at age 1 — and it would eventually take his life at age 41 on March 2 in Toronto — but for the decades in between, the disease never curtailed his talent. Though he was best known for his 1988 rock ballad ”Angel Eyes” and his appearance in the 1989 Patrick Swayze film Road House, Healey’s greatest love remained jazz and blues. ”His life was cut short,” B.B. King tells EW. ”Jeff’s passing is a tragic loss to the world of blues.” — Leah Greenblatt
Some things are just too good to be true, and Margaret B. Jones’ memoir about growing up in South Central L.A. is one of them. After glowing press for Love and Consequences (including a review in EW by yours truly), Jones MDASH] née Margaret Seltzer — was outed by her sister and came clean March 4 to The New York Times. In the book, Seltzer, 33, claims she was raised by a black foster mom, joined the Bloods, and received a handgun for her 14th birthday; in actuality, she attended the same L.A. private school as the Olsen twins. Riverhead, which published L&C, is recalling all copies and adds that it’s ”saddened by this turn of events.” (Seltzer and her sister could not be reached for comment.)