Bride and Prejudice star Aishwarya Rai will walk down the aisle for real later this year. After denying their romance for months, Rai, 33, who earned the Miss World title in 1994, and actor Abhishek Bachchan, 30, exchanged rings Jan. 14 in Mumbai, her rep told the Associated Press.
Naomi Campbell pleaded guilty Jan. 16 in Manhattan Criminal Court to misdemeanor assault stemming from an incident last March when the model threw a cell phone at her maid Ana Scolavino. Campbell, 36, was ordered to complete five days of community service and two days of anger management counseling and to pay Scolavino’s $363 medical expenses…. Toni Braxton, 40, sued a former consultant, Barry Hankerson, Jan. 12. The singer claims Hankerson owes her at least $10 million for allegedly using deception to persuade her to end a lucrative relationship with her previous record company, Arista, to join his label, Blackground, in ’03. Says Hankerson’s attorney: “The law suit appears to be absolutely devoid of merit.”
Annabeth Gish, 35, of the Showtime drama Brotherhood, and husband Wade Allen, 34, a Krav Maga instructor, welcomed their first child, son Cash Alexander, on Jan. 12.
Ashley Harder, 20, who was crowned Miss New Jersey USA 2007 last October, told the Philadelphia Daily News on Jan. 14 that she is voluntarily giving up her title due to a pageant rule excluding pregnant women from the Miss USA competition. Harder is expecting a baby this summer with her entrepreneur boyfriend Gregg D’Antonio, 28. First runner-up Erin Abrahamson, 23, will take over and compete in the Miss USA pageant March 23 in Los Angeles.
Carlo Ponti, 94, filmmaker and husband of Sophia Loren, died in Geneva Jan. 9. Credited with discovering Loren, now 72, when she was a teen model, the Italian-born Ponti produced more than 100 films during his 50-year career, including 1965’s Doctor Zhivago, for which he was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. The couple had two sons, Carlo Jr., 38, and Edoardo, 34…. Businessman Larry Stewart, 58, a.k.a. Secret Santa, died of esophageal cancer Jan. 12 in Kansas City, Mo. A millionaire, Stewart earned his nickname by handing out crisp $100 bills to the needy each year at Christmastime.
FIRST TEST-TUBE BABY GIVES BIRTH
Louise Brown, 28, welcomed her first child, son Cameron John Mullinder, on Dec. 20 in Bristol, England. Unlike his mom—whose conception via in vitro fertilization, then a groundbreaking procedure, made her arrival on July 25, 1978, a global news event—the 5 lb. 6 oz. Cameron was conceived naturally. “My mum says he looks like me at that age,” says Brown, an administrative assistant married to security guard Wesley Mullinder, 37. “He’s got my feet—they’re horrible!” Yet Brown, who gave birth via cesarean section, couldn’t be happier. “They say I was a miracle,” she says. “But for me, so is Cameron.”