September 23, 2002 12:00 PM

The SopranosJamie-Lynn Sigler, who plays feisty Meadow Soprano on the hit HBO series, will soon swear allegiance to another. The mafia princess just got engaged to her boyfriend of one year, A.J. Discala, 31, who proposed during a Mexican cruise over the Labor Day weekend. Discala, who also manages Sigler, waited for the 21-year-old actress to step out of the shower, then recited a poem and popped the question. Discala gave Sigler a square-cut diamond ring with two smaller diamonds on either side. (“Very expensive,” says a source close to the couple.) Sigler wore the ring to the Sept. 5 New York City Sopranos premiere party (see page 194), but put it on her right hand so no one would ask her about it. Capeesh?

Kelly Clarkson wasn’t the only big winner on American Idol. I hear that tart-tongued British judge Simon Cowell also hit it big: According to a source close to the negotiations, Cowell will receive $2 million–not $1 million as has been widely reported–to appear on the next installment of the show, scheduled to begin early next year. That’s a 700 percent raise over the $250,000 he received for the show’s first run. As for Cowell’s colleagues, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, it’s still not certain that they’ll return. If they do, it’s likely that they’ll get raises too, but not anything near what Cowell got.

Some would find it fitting that Adam Sandler, who has been accused of having a juvenile sense of humor, has a soft spot for children. At the very least it’s touching. After hearing of children in Israel who had been injured in suicide bombings, the comedian contacted one of his Malibu neighbors, Steve Berman, the owner of Jakks Pacific toy company, and persuaded him to send more than 500 toys to hospitals in Tel Aviv. Included with each package was a handwritten note from Sandler wishing the kids health and peace.

Pop star Pink is seeing red. After People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) informed her that a suit filed by the city of San Francisco against Petco for cruelty to animals reflects a problem at Petcos nationwide, the singer faxed an angry letter to company CEO Brian Devine saying she was disturbed by the lack of “regard for the well-being of the animals it peddles.” (Among other charges, the suit claims that Petco places sick and dying creatures in freezers.) Pink, who owns two rats and a dog, will ask her fans to boycott the pet store chain if Devine doesn’t “act on this disgraceful situation.” A spokesman for Petco says their employees love animals and are well trained. “Any specific issues brought to our attention are dealt with immediately,” he says.

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