Mets' Mike Piazza Marries Baywatch Star
Plus: Javier Bardem sued, Maroon 5 hits Grammys, and more
WED: New York Mets baseball star Mike Piazza, 36, married former Playboy Playmate and Baywatch costar Alicia Rickter, 32, before 120 people at a candlelight church ceremony in Miami on Saturday, the Associated Press reports. With former Mets pitcher Al Leiter and Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez among the baseball stars in attendance, Piazza and Rickter took their vows at St. Jude’s Catholic Church before boarding a yacht to a lavish reception at nearby Fisher Island. Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius Catanello of the Diocese of Brooklyn performed the ceremony and said the Mets catcher was nervous “like a regular groom, but he’s OK.” Rickter wore a white satin Vera Wang gown and was joined by five bridesmaids, including maid of honor Angelica Bridges, a Baywatch costar, and Playboy Playmates Brande Roderick and Lisa Dergan.
SUED: Javier Bardem, star of Oscar-nominated The Sea Inside, is being sued by a woman who says the Spanish actor hit her in the face while drunk and dancing at a New York nightclub, reports Reuters. Attorney Sanford Rubenstein says his client Jill Marshall, a former model, suffered a broken nose and would require surgery because she still has breathing problems since the incident in the early hours of Dec. 10. Bardem’s attorney Martin Singer said Bardem denies any liability for the woman’s injuries.
WON: Taking top honors at the Sundance Film Festival awards on Saturday were a dark drama, Forty Shades of Blue, which tells of a Russian woman who marries a man twice her age to immigrate to America, and a documentary about the U.S. defense industry, Why We Fight, in which director Eugene Jarecki examines the U.S. military industrial complex to show audiences that the system’s survival depends on constant world war.
ENGAGED: Tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, 23, proposed to his girlfriend, actress Rebecca Cartwright, 21, following his defeat (to Marat Safin) in the Australian Open final Sunday – and she accepted. The two met five years ago at a charity tennis event “and rekindled their relationship late last year,” they said Monday in a statement. Both Hewitt and Cartwright, who appears on the Australian soap opera Home and Away, recently ended long-term relationships, reports AP. He was engaged to Belgian tennis player Kim Clijsters before that four-year relationship ended last October. Cartwright split with actor Beau Brady late last year.
INKED: Retired NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw has signed a two-book deal with Random House, the Associated Press reports. The newsman, who authored the bestsellers The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks, said writing the tomes has been “one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.” Neither the subject of his upcoming books nor their release dates were announced. Random House publicist Tom Perry says that Brokaw is considering “various projects.” Brokaw retired as NBC’s news anchor last December after 23 years at the helm.
SCHEDULED: Neo-soul rock band Maroon 5 will perform the opening musical number at the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards, reports AP. “It’s going to be awesome,” said lead singer Adam Levine. “We’re going to do ‘This Love’ unless they change it up on us and say, OK, ‘Superfreak.'” Maroon 5 has earned two Grammy nominations for its debut album, Songs About Jane, which has sold more than eight million copies since its June 2002 release and was the seventh best-selling album of 2004.
HONORED: Celebrating the 35th anniversary of the ABC daytime soap All My Children, on which she plays conniving Erica Kane, Susan Lucci, 57, received her Walk of Fame star on Hollywood Boulevard Friday as rain dampened the scene. “When I was a kid, I used to dance around the house and sing songs like, ‘Nobody is going to rain on my parade,'” she said at the ceremony. “And today is a sunshiny day! … Thank you for welcoming this New York girl to your wonderful community of Hollywood.”
PITTED: Family Feud is gearing up for two special theme weeks with some reality TV show favorites, reports USA Today. The week of Feb. 14 will see Survivor veterans Richard Hatch, Susan Hawk, Rupert Boneham, Ethan Zohn, Rudy Boesch, Jon "Johnny Fairplay" Dalton, Jenna Morasca, Shii Ann Huang, Tijuana Bradley and Christa Hastie on the show. (Original winner Hatch, 43, was charged on Jan. 18 with failing to report his $1 million victory, as well as other income, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.) The week of May 2 will find former American Idol singers feuding, including Diana DeGarmo, Kimberley Locke, A.J. Gil, Julia DeMato, Rickey Smith, Amy Adams, Jon Peter Lewis, George Huff, Vanessa Olivarez and Matt Rogers.
CAST: Actor Sam Huntington will play Daily Planet cub reporter Jimmy Olsen in Bryan Singer’s upcoming Superman, as negotiations continue for Kate Bosworth to play Lois Lane, says the Hollywood Reporter. The cast already includes Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel and mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, Kevin Spacey as villain Lex Luthor, Hugh Laurie as newspaper editor Perry White, and James Marsden as the character Richard White.