E! Entertainment Television host Melissa Rivers, 30, the daughter of comedian Joan Rivers, married horse trainer John Endicott, 32, on Dec. 12 in New York City. The elder Rivers festooned the Plaza Hotel ceremony with 30,000 white flowers and a hundred white-painted trees to mimic the look of a winter garden from Doctor Zhivago….
Actress Vivica A. Fox, 34, wed 6’9″ R&B singer Christopher Harvest (known as Sixx-Nine), 29, in a candlelight ceremony Dec. 19 in Los Angeles. The couple were serenaded by singers Nancy Wilson and Tisha Campbell.
On Dec. 16, Michael Carneal, 15, was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison for killing three of his Paducah, Ky., high school classmates during a shooting rampage at a school prayer meeting on Dec. 1, 1997. Carneal had told police, “I guess I just got mad ’cause everybody kept making fun of me.”…
Former Mouseketeer Darlene Gillespie, 57, was convicted Dec. 11 on a dozen counts relating to a scheme to use phony checks to purchase $827,000 of stock. Gillespie’s lawyers, who plan to appeal the verdict, claimed that their client was duped into participating in the swindle by her boyfriend, Jerry Fraschilla, 61, who was sentenced in November to 18 months in prison for his part in the plan….
Celebrity siren Charlize Theron, 23, filed suit Dec. 9 against photographer Guido Argentini, 32, charging breach of contract and invasion of privacy for allegedly selling intimate photos he took of her to magazines. Theron, who seeks to block publication of the snaps, is asking for unspecified damages, claiming that Argentini has caused her “great distress, anxiety, depression and humiliation.”…
Theron can take heart from the victory of Charmed star Alyssa Milano, 26, who on Dec. 22 won a $230,000 default judgement against John Lindgren, 21, a Website operator who posted nude shots of the actress without her consent. The L.A. court also ordered Lindgren, who did not respond to the suit, not to use any more pictures of Milano on his site and to pay her lawyer’s fees….
On Dec. 15, a Virginia court dismissed a lawsuit claiming that mystery author Patricia Cornwell, 42, used confidential autopsy reports as fodder for her 1992 book All That Remains. The judge said that there “is no reasonable way” to conclude that Corn-well’s grisly yarn was based on the real-life 1989 murders of Daniel Lauer and Annamaria Phelps, whose parents brought the suit. Corn-well worked in the coroner’s office that examined the bodies of Lauer and Phelps….
Fred Rogers, 70, soft-spoken host of the perennial PBS children’s classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, is suing Gadzooks novelty-store chain, which is selling T-shirts depicting a cardigan-clad Rogers packing a handgun, with the caption, “Welcome to My ‘Hood.” The lawsuit, filed Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh, asks that the shirts be destroyed.
Terminator hero Linda Hamilton, 42, filed for divorce from Titanic director and self-proclaimed “king of the world” James Cameron, 44, on Dec. 14 after 17 months of marriage. The couple, who together have a daughter, Josephine, 5, have been separated since the spring.
Interview with the Vampire scribe Anne Rice, 57, had a scare Dec. 13 when she was hospitalized in New Orleans for complications relating to high blood sugar. After being treated for a week, she was released before Christmas….
Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, 58, underwent a liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 17. Lesh, who was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1992 after years of hard partying, is reportedly making a good recovery….
Singer Rick James, 50, who suffered a stroke in November, was released from an L.A. hospital before Christmas and is now recovering at his Woodland Hills, Calif., home.
The Artist (formerly known as Prince), 40, announced that he is annulling his marriage to Mayte Garcia, 25. It’s not what you think: The Artist declares he still loves his wife, a dancer, but that he believes marriage contracts “guarantee the possibility of divorce.” The couple plan to renew their vows in an unofficial ceremony on their third anniversary next month.
Paul Burrell, 40, Princess Diana’s former butler, whom she once described as “my rock,” was fired on Dec. 18 from his job raising money for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Burrell had earlier refused an offer from the organization to become a roving ambassador.
Virginia Graham, 86, the irreverent doyenne of the TV talk shows Food for Thought (1956-61), Girl Talk (1963-69) and The Virginia Graham Show (1970-72), died Dec. 22 of complications from a heart attack in New York City. In the 1940s she worked as a writer for radio soap operas and later hosted NBC Radio’s Weekday with Mike Wallace before moving into TV….
Vannie Starr, 91, mother of redoubtable Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, died of cardiovascular disease Dec. 27 in San Antonio….
A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., 70, the noted jurist and legal scholar, died Dec. 14 in Boston after suffering a series of strokes. Just two weeks earlier the longtime civil rights activist testified against the impeachment of President Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee….
Adelaide Hawley Cumming, 93, who played the perky home-maker Betty Crocker on TV as a spokeswoman for General Mills from 1950 to 1964, died of kidney failure Dec. 21 in Bremerton, Wash. A feminist underneath that apron, Cumming once advised her daughter to tell pesky fans that she was just “the current incarnation of a corporate image. That’ll shut them up.”