Erik Meers
November 16, 1998 12:00 PM

In Court

Melissa Drexler, 20, the “prom mom” who pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter for suffocating her newborn son and throwing his body in a trash can at her June 1997 high school prom, was sentenced Oct. 29 to 15 years in prison by a Freehold, N.J. judge. Drexler, who could go free after serving just three years, told the judge: “I’d like to tell you I’m really, truly sorry for what I’ve done, okay?”…

Patrizia Reggiani, 50, was sentenced Nov. 3 by a Milan court to 29 years in prison for arranging the murder of her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci. Gucci, 46, an heir to the Gucci fashion fortune, was gunned down in front of his Milan office in 1995. Prosecutors claimed that Reggiani, who received an estimated $860,000 a year in alimony, was afraid Gucci would marry his girlfriend and squander his $120 million fortune. “He gave me the bones but not the chicken,” Reggiani told the court. Though she claimed that she didn’t arrange for the hit, Reggiani conceded that she paid the assassins when they later demanded money from her because her ex-husband’s death “was something I’d always wanted.”…

An L.A. judge sentenced producer-director James Orr, 45, to three years’ probation for choking then-girlfriend, actress Farrah Fawcett, 51, and smashing her head against a concrete driveway during an altercation last January. Orr also must perform 100 hours of community service and contribute $500 to a domestic violence fund.


Tough hombre Tommy Lee Jones, 52, was thrown and stepped on by his horse during a charity polo match Oct. 30 at a private club outside Houston. Jones, a veteran polo player, briefly lost consciousness and was airlifted to a hospital in Houston. The actor was released the next day after tests revealed no serious injuries.


British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, 68, who was once married to American poet Sylvia Plath, died of cancer Oct. 28 in London. Some Plath scholars blame Hughes’s callousness—he abandoned her and their two children—for Plath’s 1963 suicide.


Vili Fualaau, 15, the ninth grader who fathered two children by his former grade school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, 36, was suspended for 90 days from his Des Moines, Wash., high school for allegedly smoking pot. Letourneau is now serving a 7½-year prison sentence for child rape.


Actress and writer Carrie Fisher, 42, has checked herself into a detox program for an addiction to prescription painkillers. Fisher’s earlier bout with drugs became fodder for her book Postcards from the Edge, which was turned into the 1990 film starring Meryl Streep….

Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio, 83, is feeling much better since checking in Oct. 12 to a Hollywood, Fla., hospital with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. Joltin’ Joe is expected to be released by Thanksgiving….

Silky-voiced singer Peggy Lee, 78, best known for her hits “Fever” and “Is That All There Is?” suffered a stroke on Oct. 27. She is now recovering at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif.


Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Brad Garrett, 38, and his fiancée, Jill Diven, 34, welcomed their first child, Maxwell Bradley (8 lbs. 11 ozs.), Oct. 14 in L.A. The couple plan to wed in May.

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