Plus: Michael J. Fox in Kerry ad, Nick Lachey goes solo, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 08, 2004 09:00 AM

ANNOUNCED: Melissa Etheridge, 43, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has canceled upcoming tour dates to undergo surgery and treatment, her publicist announced. “I am fortunate to be under a wonderful doctor’s care and thankful that this was caught early,” Etheridge said in a statement. “I am looking forward to a quick and full recovery.” Etheridge and actress Tammy Lynn Michaels held a commitment ceremony in September 2003. The musician shares custody of a daughter and son with former partner Julie Cypher, who had the children through artificial insemination using a sperm donation from rocker David Crosby. ABC recently announced a new sitcom project with Etheridge that has been described as a Will & Grace in reverse, with her playing a lesbian music teacher who lives with her best friend, a straight man, and the two raise an adopted child together.

CAMPAIGNED: Michael J. Fox, 43, filmed a 30-second TV ad for the Kerry-Edwards campaign Monday, following a Hampton, N.H., town hall meeting in which Sen. Kerry and the actor discussed the need for a president who supports stem cell research and called for a White House committed to finding cures that could help millions of Americans. In the ad, which was made available Thursday, Fox (who has Parkinson’s disease), says: “George Bush says we can wait. I say lives are at stake and it’s time for leadership. That’s why I support John Kerry for President.”

SIGNED: FOX TV has signed Nick Lachey to a development deal for a new series, says the Hollywood Reporter, though details such as subject matter are not being reported. Having costarred with wife Jessica Simpson on MTV’s The Newlyweds,the former 98 Degrees singer, 30, currently appears on the WB’s Charmed. He also already has a deal with ABC for the comedy project Hot Mom. The pilot was not picked up in May, but the network reportedly still has an option on the actor until year’s end.

BUSTED: Brandon Boyd, 28, lead singer of the rock band Incubus, was arrested at New York’s La Guardia Airport for carrying a switchblade in his bag while trying to board a plane on his way to a concert in North Carolina, reports the Associated Press. Boyd was charged with criminal possession of a weapon but was able to continue on to Raleigh, N.C., in time for the concert, said a spokeswoman for the band’s label, Epic Records. Boyd admitted he accidentally left the knife in his bag and called the incident “my bad,” spokeswoman Lois Najarian said.

SCHEDULED: A low-key Courtney Love, 40, made a brief appearance in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday and was told to return on Oct. 27 for a preliminary hearing to determine if she must stand trial for a felony assault charge after allegedly attacking a woman with a liquor bottle, reports AP. Love has pleaded not guilty and is free on $150,000 bail. Love also faces a Nov. 3 trial on felony charges for illegal possession of painkillers. And in New York City, she faces charges for allegedly striking a fan with a microphone stand at a club in March.

HONORED: Friday Night Lights star Billy Bob Thornton, 48, received his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Thursday – as well on a special greeting on the pages of Variety from ex-wife Angelina Jolie. “Billy, I love your brilliant mind. … Congratulations! With love and respect always, Angie,” the full-page trade ad read. As Thornton joked to the AP: “You know, it’s funny. … I’ve only met Angie Dickinson once.”