Plus: Jackson hospitalized, Courtney Love housing debts, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
June 03, 2005 08:40 AM

BORN: ABC This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos and his wife, actress-comedian Ali Wentworth, welcomed a new daughter, Harper Andrea, Thursday morning in a Washington, D.C.-area hospital, reports The Washington Post. The arrival weighed 6 lbs. 9 oz. and measured 19″ long – the same arrival weight and length of Harper’s older sister, Elliott, who is 2, says the paper, which adds that the expectant dad helped fuel the delivery process by picking up a burrito from a local Tex-Mex restaurant called Austin Grill. “People should just save the trouble of inducing labor and eat there,” said Stephanopoulous.

TREATED: Michael Jackson, 46, was briefly hospitalized for dehydration Thursday after leaving court, his reps tell NBC News. Jackson, who is on trial facing child molestation charges, was released from the hospital and is due to return to court Friday to hear closing arguments. On Thursday, prosecutors launched an attack on the star as both sides started to sum up their cases. Prosecutor Ron Zonen told jurors: “This case is about the exploitation and abuse of a 13-year-old cancer survivor at the hands of an international celebrity.” But closing for the defense, Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau said of the accuser’s family: “This is a family where children have been taught to lie. This is a family where children have been taught to con.” Mesereau also said of his client: “He has the reputation for being a very child-like person, very naive, idealistic, a musical genius, a person that likes to sit in trees and compose. The issue in this case is the life, the reputation, the future of Michael Jackson.”

FILED: The board of managers for Courtney Love’s New York residence has filed a $122,594 lien against the rocker for money allegedly owed in common charges and assessment for her Manhattan apartment, the New York Post reports. The debts began piling up last July and are current through this past May 10, says the paper. Love, who now reportedly spends most of her time in Los Angeles with daughter Frances Bean, bought the 4,100-sq.-ft. loft in 2001 for $2.4 million and placed it on the market last March.

DENIED: A Philadelphia federal judge on Thursday denied a bid for a gag order by Bill Cosby’s lawyers in a lawsuit alleging that the entertainer drugged and sexually molested a woman, the Associated Press reports. Judge Eduardo Robreno also denied a motion by the plaintiff’s attorneys to keep secret the names of other women alleging similar assaults who might be called as witnesses. Robreno said those women could, however, seek confidentiality on an individual basis and he gave them 10 days to do so. Attorneys for Cosby, 67, and his accuser did not return calls seeking comment.

DIED: George Mikan, the 6’10” “gentle giant” who a half-century ago brought fame and stability to the fledgling world of pro basketball and literally transformed the game, died Wednesday – 18 days shy of his 81st birthday – at a Scottsdale, Ariz., rehabilitation center following a long fight with diabetes and kidney ailments. His right leg was amputated below the knee in 2000, and he had undergone kidney dialysis treatment three times a week for five years, son Terry said. An NBA superstar decades before the term even existed, Mikan was the first big man to dominate the sport.

WON: Anurag Kashyap, an 8th grader from Poway, Calif. (after he and his family moved to the U.S. from India a decade ago), won first place the 78th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington Thursday. Last year he tied for 74th place. This year, he outpaced 273 competitors. His winning word: “appoggiatura” (a musical term which, according to our dictionary, is “an ornamental dissonant note resolving, usually downward by a step, into a principal note”). Said the 13-year-old victor: “I knew I had the capability of winning, but I didn’t think it would really happen. I did, and here I am now.”