QUIT: Gwyneth Paltrow, 30, has dropped out of “I Love Huckabee’s,” the second film she has left to spend more time coping with the loss of her father, says the Hollywood Reporter. (The previous project she abandoned was the movie “Happy Endings.”) Her father, Bruce Paltrow, died in October. Actress Naomi Watts (“The Ring”), 34, will replace Paltrow in the role, joining a cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Lily Tomlin, Dustin Hoffman and Catherine Deneuve.
MARRIED: E! host Jules Asner, 35, has left her job at the entertainment network and married film director Steven Soderbergh, the New York Post reports. She and Soderbergh (“Traffic,” “Ocean’s 11”), 40, wed Saturday in his Manhattan apartment. Asner was previously married, from 1992-96, to Matthew Asner, while Soderbergh was previously married to actress Betsy Brantley (“Double Jeopardy”), with whom he has a daughter, Sarah, 13. Asner, meanwhile, is said to be developing her own syndicated talk show in the vein of “Oprah.” For its part, E! termed her departure “amicable.”
QUOTED: “The New York Times reported that one of its reporters made up interviews, Well, hell — I do that every night.” — David Letterman, 56, on Monday’s “Late Show.” Meanwhile Katie Couric, 46, nervously told jokes on the “Tonight Show” as part of her Jay Leno job swap, about which she declared, “I haven’t been this nervous since my first NBC Christmas party and I was French-kissed by Willard Scott.”
DIED: Noel Redding, 57, the onetime bass player for rock legend Jimi Hendrix, died on Sunday, his manager Ian Grant has posted on Redding’s Web site. “Noel reunites with Jimi and his mother Margaret who died only a few weeks ago,” Grant wrote. He provided no further details, but a close friend of the musician tells PEOPLE.com that friends found Redding collapsed in his home in England. Redding, along with drummer Mitch Mitchell, backed Hendrix on the 1967 breakthrough debut album “Are You Experienced?”
EXTENDED: Carson Daly, 29, has renewed contracts with NBC (for his “Last Call with Carson Daly”) for the next year and with MTV (“Total Request Live”) for the next two years, reports AP. He’ll also host and sometimes produce special events for MTV, such as “Spring Break” and “Spankin’ New Music Week.”
ANNOUNCED: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” actor Jeffrey Jones, 55, said Monday he is close to reaching a plea deal to resolve child pornography charges filed against him last year, reports Reuters. Last November, Jones was charged with hiring a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photographs between September 2000 and May 2002. His attorney, Leonard Levine, said Monday he was confident that a settlement would be announced at a June 12 hearing. No details of the negotiations were revealed.