star Tori Spelling
and writer-actor Charlie Shanian finalized their divorce, according to papers filed April 10 in L.A. The couple called it quits 14 months after their $1 million wedding (PEOPLE, Oct. 3, 2005). Spelling is now engaged to actor Dean McDermott.
In London, Paul McCartney's wife, Heather Mills McCartney, is recovering from her April 3 surgery to alleviate pain in her partly amputated left leg. The former model sustained the original leg injury after being hit by a police motorcycle in 1993. "Heather's going to be on crutches and in a wheelchair for a few weeks, but she's fine," says her rep.
On April 7, a British judge dismissed a lawsuit by writers Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh that claimed The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown stole his plot from their 1983 nonfiction work Holy Blood, Holy Grail. The copyright-infringement suit alleged that Brown lifted key plot points—including Jesus' marrying Mary Magdalene and having children with her—from Baigent and Leigh's book (PEOPLE, March 13, 2006).
The Tarrant Apparel Group filed a breach-of-contract suit against Jessica Simpson
April 6 in New York City, claiming she failed to adequately promote her own clothing lines, Princy (her father Joe's nickname for her) and JS by Jessica Simpson
. According to the Smoking Gun Web site, the singer, 25, signed a multimillion-dollar licensing deal in 2004, but she allegedly declined to wear the clothes at events and mentioned jean brands other than her own as being her favorite. Tarrant is seeking $100 million in damages. Simpson's rep declined to comment.
On April 6 in Compton, Calif., accused gang member Robert Edward Maxfield, 25, was sentenced to 15 years in jail after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Yetunde Price, the older half sister of tennis champs Venus and Serena Williams, in 2003 (PEOPLE, Sept. 29, 2003). At the sentencing, Serena said she wanted him to "know that this was unfair to our family." ... A Burbank, Calif., judge denied Robert Blake's motion for a new trial April 10 in the wrongful-death suit regarding his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Last year the former Baretta star, 72, was acquitted of murder charges (PEOPLE, April 4, 2005), but a civil court ruled last November that Blake caused Bakley's death, awarding her children $30 million in damages. "I intend to appeal as fast as I can," says Blake's lawyer.
TARZAN'S CHIMP TURNS 74!
How does a 142-lb. ape ring in his birthday? Any way he wants—as long as the cake is sugar-free. In Palm Springs, Calif., April 9, Cheeta the chimp (one of four who co-starred in 12 Tarzan films starting in 1932) drank diet cola—he's diabetic—and displayed his "ape-stract" paintings.