NOT GUILTY: A jury on Monday found Michael Jackson not guilty on charges that he molested a then-13-year-old cancer patient and plied him with wine at Neverland Ranch in 2003. Jackson, 46, also was cleared on charges that he conspired to hold the accuser’s family captive to get them to rebut a damaging TV documentary, in which Jackson appeared with the boy and said he frequently welcomed children to sleep with him in his bed. Jackson walked out of the Santa Maria, Calif., courtroom Monday afternoon with an emotionless expression on his face and has yet to make a public statement. His lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, later said Jackson would no longer allow children in his bed.
KATIE CRUISE: After a brief and very public romance, Tom Cruise has proposed to girlfriend Katie Holmes, he announced at a Paris press conference Friday morning, with Holmes – flashing a large diamond ring on her left hand – at his side. “Today is a magnificent day for me, I’m engaged to a magnificent woman,” Cruise said. Asked why he chose the famed Paris landmark, Cruise answered: “I’ve never been to the Eiffel Tower. It’s Paris, it’s a beautiful city, it’s very romantic.” Asked by PEOPLE privately if they plan to have children, Holmes paused and said, “Yes,” as both she and Cruise broke into smiles. (Holmes, however, did not speak during the press conference.) As for a wedding date, “We have to discuss that,” he said. “We’re taking it one step at time.”
DESTINY FULFILLED: Destiny’s Child members Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams will go their separate ways for good this fall after wrapping up their current Destiny Fulfilled … And Lovin’ It Tour. “We have been working together as Destiny’s Child since we were 9, and touring together since we were 14,” the trio, which was formed 15 years ago, said in a collective statement to MTV. “After a lot of discussion and some deep soul searching, we realized that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny’s Child on a high note, united in our friendship and filled with an overwhelming gratitude for our music, our fans, and each other.” Their final concert is slated for Sept. 10 in Vancouver, Canada.
PARIS’S PAIR: Paris Hilton joked to friends that she’s tried on so many rings in anticipation of her marriage to Paris Latsis that her finger has a blister. Ms. Paris and Mr. Paris have actually chosen two rings to celebrate their love, PEOPLE reported. The bride-to-be picked out a 21-carat canary diamond as an “I Love You” ring and a white diamond engagement ring of at least 23 carats. No big retail jewelry names were involved; the stones were purchased from a private dealer and will be set by a private designer – and the rings were expected to be adorning Hilton’s fingers by late in the week.
ARUBA MYSTERY: Tuesday’s stepped-up search for missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway by Aruba police and FBI bloodhounds apparently yielded no new clues, despite the thorough examination of the beachfront area where the honors student was last seen before disappearing on May 30. Police had cordoned off several blocks in front of the Marriott Hotel and a patch of swampy tropical vegetation beside it. Government spokesman Ruben Trapenberg confirmed the scene had been set for another search for the missing teen, who vanished on the island hours before she was due at the airport to return home after a five-day trip with 124 classmates and seven chaperones celebrating their graduation from Alabama’s Mountain Brook High School.