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THE VIEW‘S SHERRI SHEPHERD: INSIDE THE NASTY, SHOCKING SPLIT

When The View cohost Sherri Shepherd hit the air on May 12, there was one hot topic she declined to discuss: her surprise split from husband Lamar Sally and the custody fight over their unborn child, due via surrogate in July. A source close to Shepherd, 47, says the couple, who wed in 2011, were ill-matched from the start. “I don’t think any of us thought this was the right guy for her. He’s a very nice man, but he can’t keep up with her. She is a force of nature. The girl works morning to night,” the source says of Shepherd, who has juggled The View with long-term side gigs on How I Met Your Mother and 30 Rock. “She needs somebody that’s her equal emotionally, intellectually and financially – and that’s hard to find.”

The fight is getting ugly fast: Court documents show Sally, 43, wants full custody of the unborn child, who the papers say will be named Lamar Sally Jr., and he’s also seeking spousal support and the invalidation of their prenup. (According to a report, Shepherd countered with her own filing, asking to enforce the prenup but not addressing custody.) “I really can’t say anything,” Sally told PEOPLE, adding that he has lost 50 lbs. “on the divorce diet.”

It’s not the first time Shepherd has been through a messy split: Her 2001 marriage to Jeff Tarpley ended when she caught him in an affair just after their son Jeffrey, now 9, was born 15 weeks premature – and learned the other woman was pregnant with Tarpley’s child. Still, she told PEOPLE in 2007, “out of this ugliness, a little boy was born who is as special as my son.”

Privately, Shepherd had often shared her desire to have another child via surrogate. “She was open that this would be the only way she’d be able to have another baby,” says the source close to her.

How will the court battle play out? Sally “has an equal right to claim custody of a surrogate unborn child,” says family law expert Warren Farrell, adding that it could backfire: “The child is supposed to go with the parent who is most likely to keep both parents involved.” With Sally in L.A., Shepherd is in New York focusing on her career. “She puts on a really brave face when she’s working,” says the source, “but she’s heartbroken by this.”

They Also Split While Expectıng …

Bridget Moynahan & Tom Brady

Son Jack arrived months after the split.

Mary-Louise Parker & Billy Crudup

They split before their son William was born.

Denise Richards & Charlie Sheen

Split while expecting daughter Lola.

David Tutera & Ryan Jurica

Split before their twins were born.

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MONICA LEWINSKY

LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW – BUT WHY?

When she turned 40 last July, Monica Lewinsky celebrated with a long beach walk in Carmel, Calif. The day was quiet but came with a clear realization. It was, says a close friend of the former White House intern’s, “a life changer – she realized she couldn’t keep putting her life on hold.” So, after a decade of silence, Lewinsky decided to write about the long public shaming that followed her two-year affair with President Bill Clinton, an event that had defined her. “It’s time to burn the beret,” wrote Lewinsky in the June issue of Vanity Fair, “and bury the blue dress.” Why now? A crude name-check in a recent Beyoncé song had something to do with it. But more than that, says her friend, Monica “was always waiting, not wanting to affect someone else’s future.” With a possible 2016 presidential run by Hillary Clinton, the time had come – though her friend adds, “Nobody put her up to this, and there’s no political agenda.”

Sixteen years ago, the affair between the intern and the President led to an investigation that revealed explicit details of Lewinsky’s and Clinton’s sex life and culminated in the President’s impeachment trial. Afterward, a shattered Lewinsky, labeled “a stalker” in White House leaks, struggled to repair her life. She described being “reclusive” and avoided events where she might be photographed, especially in election years. She had trouble getting a job, despite earning a master’s in social psychology at the London School of Economics. These days she lives in Los Angeles, and spends time volunteering for kids’ charities and taking classes in writing and psychology. The 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after being bullied online, “hit her in a profound way,” says a second friend, and Lewinsky would now like to help victims of Internet bullying. Says someone else who knows her: “She desperately wants to redefine herself.”

Meanwhile, dating remains a challenge. “She hasn’t met the right guy yet,” says the friend. Adds her close pal: “She’s a normal person. That’s what people forget.” Her reemergence may change that. “She didn’t know how she would be received,” says the same friend. “But she’s really happy it sparked a good conversation. And she’s ready to do more.”

Christina Hendricks

How I Got Here

THE MAD MEN AND GOD’S POCKET ACTRESS MAPS OUT HER PATH TO FAME

[The following text appears within a diagram. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual diagram.]

Ca. 1981

“This was in Portland, Ore., when I was in first or second grade. I started doing community theater when I was 8 or 9.”

Modeling, 1994

“I was so blonde. This is back when they still did Polaroids. That’s funny!”

Video Star, 1999

“I still remember what I was wearing when I auditioned for Everclear’s ‘One Hit Wonder’ – a T-shirt with a skull and jeans. It was my outfit from the night before.”

The Big Time, 2002

“Next to Mad Men, it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done. I freaked out over Molly Ringwald.”

Kevin Hill, 2004

“We only did 24 episodes, but I love every single one of these people. They’re all incredibly good friends of mine.”

Mad Men, 2007

“When people ask me about my favorite episode of the show, I always go back to season 1. No one had seen it yet, and we were living in this bubble. But we knew it was special.”

Company, 2011

“I was terrified to do professional musical theater, but I got this opportunity to do Sondheim at Lincoln Center. I knew if I didn’t do it, I would regret it forever.”

Drive, 2011

“I had a small role, but I’m so proud to have been part of it. I met Ryan Gosling and just did another film he directed.”

I Don’t Know How She Does It, 2011

Sarah Jessica Parker was fabulous. We talked fashion!”

“You work with someone for seven years and they ask you to be in their first film—it’s about the biggest compliment you could ever get,” says Hendricks, 39, of starring in God’s Pocket, her Mad Men costar John Slattery’s directorial debut. “But I don’t know if people will recognize me with brown hair!”

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