Usher's divorce, Madonna's adoption, and Carrie Prejean's firing made news the week of June 19, 2009

By Adam Markovitz
Updated June 19, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Overturning a previous decision, the Malawi government ruled on June 12 to allow Madonna, 50, to adopt 3-year-old Mercy James, the singer’s fourth child, and her second from the African country. In a statement, Madonna said, ”I am ecstatic…. My family and I look forward to sharing our lives with her.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jacqueline Laurita, 39, and husband Chris welcomed son Nicholas Francis on June 11…. Carnie Wilson, 41, and her husband, musician Rob Bonfiglio, greeted daughter Luciana Bella on June 12 in L.A.

Sopranos star Drea de Matteo, 37, and singer Shooter Jennings, 30, are headed to the altar after the actress accepted Jennings’ proposal during his June 11 concert in Utica, N.Y.

Singer Susan Boyle, 48, returned to the stage June 15 in Glasgow, Scotland, after canceling two appearances on the Britain’s Got Talent U.K. tour over the weekend. A rep for the tour says Boyle was advised by tour execs to skip the matinee and evening shows on June 14, and that Boyle will continue to take rest days ”sporadically through the tour.”

Lucy Liu, Tom Selleck, and Jane Seymour were among the friends and family at the funeral for actor David Carradine on June 13 in L.A. The 72-year-old Kill Bill star was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room on June 4.

On June 11, Chastity Bono, 40, daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, announced that she has begun the process of changing her sex to male. A rep says Bono, now known as Chaz, hopes to ”open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue.”

On June 13, Nick Jonas, 16, announced via Twitter that he had received his high school diploma, adding, ”Congrats to everyone else who has also graduated this year!”

Alaska governor Sarah Palin, 45, accepted an apology from David Letterman, 62, for a joke he made about Palin’s daughter last week. The Late Show host asked forgiveness on his June 15 show. Palin responded the next day with a statement: ”Of course it’s accepted…. Letterman certainly has the right to ‘joke’ about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction.”… On June 12, Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, 35, released a statement to E! News after photos surfaced that appear to depict Black having unprotected sex: ”I apologize and cannot emphasize enough the importance of responsible sexual practices.”

Scotland Yard is investigating the disappearance of $400,000 worth of jewelry worn by Lindsay Lohan, 22, during a June 6 photo shoot in a London suburb. A rep for Lohan told that the actress is ”happy to cooperate” in the investigation.

Carrie Prejean, 22, lost her Miss California USA crown on June 10 after pageant execs accused her of violating her contract. In a statement, a pageant spokesman said that the decision was based on her ”unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA organization.” Prejean responded with a statement of her own: ”I have done everything possible to honor my contract.”
Additional reporting by Jeff Labrecque

Usher: Headed for Divorce After a Two-Year Marriage
When Usher told EW in May 2008 that a track off his album Here I Stand was about ”the feeling when you’re in real love — it could be about…my wife,” no one would have guessed that love might be in trouble. But according to divorce papers filed by the 30-year-old singer on June 12 in Atlanta, he and his wife, Tameka Foster Raymond, 38, began living in a ”state of separation” just a few months later, in July 2008. (A rep for Usher had no comment.) By all accounts, it was a rocky road from the start for the couple, who first met in 2001 when Foster Raymond, a fashion stylist, began working with the musician, who had previously been linked to supermodel Naomi Campbell and TLC singer Rozonda ”Chilli” Thomas. In July 2007, Usher and Foster Raymond were expecting their first child and planning to wed at record mogul L.A. Reid’s estate in the Hamptons — until Usher called off the ceremony just hours before it was scheduled to take place. The duo subsequently married six days later in a private civil ceremony. (Their first son, Usher Raymond V, was born in November 2007; their second, Naviyd Ely Raymond, in December 2008. In the divorce petition, Usher is requesting joint custody of the children.) ”They’ve been going their own way for a while,” a friend of Foster Raymond’s told PEOPLE. ”Their problems aren’t new. He just finally made it official.”
John Young, with additional reporting by Margeaux Watson