Vanessa Hudgens' lawsuit and Howard Minsky's death made news the week of August 11, 2008
Kiss singer Paul Stanley, 56, and his wife, Erin, 36, will round out their family with another little rocker this winter. Baby No. 2 will join their son, Colin, 2; Stanley also has a 14-year-old son from a previous marriage.
Clay Aiken, 29, is a new dad: His friend and producer, Jaymes Foster, 50, gave birth to their son, Parker Foster Aiken, on Aug. 8 in North Carolina…. It’s also a boy for fellow American Idol alum Bo Bice, 32, and wife Caroline, 27. Caleb James joined big brother Aidan, 2, on Aug. 5 in Nashville…. Country singer Clay Walker, 38, and wife Jessica are new parents: Son William Clayton arrived Aug. 5 in Texas.
Usher, 29, is working again with a familiar manager: mom Jonnetta Patton, 51. The singer stopped working with his mother in May ’07, before seeing disappointing sales for his latest album, this year’s Here I Stand.
Dixie Chicks singer and multi-instrumentalist Emily Robison, 35, finalized her divorce from singer Charlie Robison, 43, on Aug. 6 in Texas. The couple, who wed in 1999, have three children together…. Former tennis pro Pam Shriver, 46, filed divorce papers against George Lazenby, 68, in L.A. on Aug. 6. Both Shriver and the onetime James Bond are seeking custody of their three children…. Morgan Freeman, 71, is ending his 24-year marriage to Myrna Colley-Lee, 67. Divorce proceedings were under way before Freeman’s Aug. 3 car accident. The Dark Knight star was released from the hospital on Aug. 7; he’ll be wearing a neck brace for six to eight weeks…. Kevin Pollak (Shark), 50, filed for divorce from Lucy Webb, 50, on Aug. 7 in L.A. The couple separated in 2005 after nine years of marriage.
Producer Johnny Vieira sued High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens, 19, for over $5 million on Aug. 11 in L.A. Vieira claims the Disney actress owes him money from a 2005 profit-sharing agreement, plus damages…. Hancock director Peter Berg, 46, was sued on Aug. 6 in L.A. by the parents of a crew member who died during the filming of 2007’s The Kingdom. Assistant prop master Nick Papac died at age 25 from injuries sustained in an August ’06 accident involving an SUV in which Berg was a passenger; parents Mike Papac and Michele Bell are seeking reimbursement for funeral and medical costs, plus damages…. On Aug. 8 in L.A., Richard Dreyfuss, 60, sued his father, Norman, and uncle Gilbert. The actor claims that he lent his relatives $870,000 in 1984 and was never repaid.
Howard Minsky, 94, who was nominated for an Oscar for producing 1970’s Love Story, of natural causes, Aug. 10, in Palm Beach, Fla…. Playwright Simon Gray, 71, whose celebrated works include Quartermaine’s Terms and Butley, of an aneurysm, Aug. 7, in London…. Archie Comic Publications chairman Michael Silberkleit, 76, of cancer, Aug. 5, in NYC. Silberkleit worked at the kids’ comics house for six decades…. Writer and actor George Furth, 75, of undisclosed causes, on Aug. 11, in Santa Monica. Furth co-wrote the musical Company with Stephen Sondheim, and had memorable small roles in such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Blazing Saddles. — with additional reporting by Beth Johnson
A NEW SUIT FOR SUGARLAND
The country duo climbed to No. 1 this month with their third album, Love on the Inside, but the view from the top wasn’t all sweet. Cofounding singer Kristen Hall, 45, claims in a lawsuit filed on July 29 that frontwoman Jennifer Nettles, 33, and guitarist Kristian Bush, 38, have reneged on their agreement to share profits with her after she left the band in late 2005. Hall is asking for more than $1.5 million. In a statement, Sugarland’s lawyer called the suit ”totally baseless and without merit.” — SVL
Bernie Brillstein (1931-2008)
In his 53-year career, Brillstein, who died Aug. 7 of pulmonary disease in L.A., managed John Belushi, Lorne Michaels, and Gilda Radner, among others — and never had a contract with any of them. ”It was always a handshake,” says Saturday Night Live creator Michaels. ”He had an unshakable faith in the people he chose to represent.” Brillstein got his start in 1955, working in the William Morris Agency mailroom by day and attending secretarial school at night. ”We had to learn shorthand and typing because when the assistants were sick, we used to fill in,” explains fellow mail clerk George Shapiro, now manager to Jerry Seinfeld. It’s no surprise, then, that Brillstein was promoted to agent at WMA and later, in 1969, formed the Brillstein Company, where he helped launch The Muppet Show and SNL. In 1991, he and protégé the Brad Grey formed Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, which produced shows like The Sopranos and Real Time With Bill Maher. ”He was an innovator and a wonderful guy, and it is absolutely the end of an era,” says Grey, who now heads Paramount. ”I’m going to miss the laughs.” In his 1999 memoir, Where Did I Go Right?, Brillstein joked that his tombstone should read: ”Bernie Brillstein: From Hee-Haw to Dangerous Liaisons.” — Vanessa Juarez