Stephen M. Silverman
March 11, 2005 01:00 PM

SHEEN STATEMENT: What went wrong in the two-a-half year marriage of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child and filed for divorce? Sources close to the situation say that Richards, 34, made the bold move out of concern that Sheen, 39, had reverted to some of his old bad boy ways. Sheen strongly denies this. In a statement, he said: “I did not cheat on my wife. These stories and allegations are unconscionable. The reason for our separation is a private matter between us.”

CLINTON SURGERY: Bill Clinton, 58, was “awake and resting comfortably” after four hours of successful surgery to remove fluid and scar tissue from his chest cavity Thursday morning, said Herbert Pardes, president of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. The former president’s wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and daughter Chelsea were both with him. The procedure was required to clean up minor complications from Clinton’s heart bypass operation six months ago. His recovery period is expected to be 3-10 days.

MARTHA’S HOMECOMING: Martha Stewart returned to her company headquarters in Manhattan on Monday afternoon after serving a five-month prison sentence for obstruction of justice. Thanking her staff, Stewart said, “I missed you, as you could imagine, I thought of you every single day. I m so overwhelmed to see you all gathered in one place.” Stewart, 63, sniffling and getting choked up, also said: “I love all of you from the bottom of my heart, and I m really glad to be home.”

JACKSON DRAMA: Judge Rodney Melville threatened to have Michael Jackson arrested and make him forfeit his $3 million bail if he did not appear in court on Thursday. A distressed-looking Jackson, complaining of having fallen and hurt his back, finally made it a few minutes past the judge’s one-hour deadline – wearing pajama pants and slippers. Once court reconvened, Jackson, 46, was forced to listen to his young accuser testify that the pop star masturbated him twice in early 2003.

SHANNON SPLITS: American Pie actress Shannon Elizabeth, 31, and her husband, actor Joseph Reitman, 36, separated after 10 years together. The decision is mutual, according to a statement released to PEOPLE by their publicist. “The couple will remain friends.” Their rep says Elizabeth and Reitman also continue to share a Los Angeles home. They have no kids, but they did have several pets and co-founded Animal Avengers, a nonprofit animal rescue organization.

CROWE’S CLAIM: Russell Crowe, 40, told GQ magazine that Osama bin Laden‘s terrorist network wanted to kidnap him in early 2001 as a means to “culturally destabilize” the U.S. He said the FBI had to protect him throughout the filming of A Beautiful Mind and during a portion of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Lending credence to Crowe’s claim, CNN quoted an unnamed federal law official as confirming the actor’s name on a list of potential kidnap victims, though a former FBI agent told the Today show that the story seemed implausible.

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