After dating for five years, newscaster Katie Couric, 54, and her businessman boyfriend Brooks Perlin, 37, have ended their relationship. Couric-whose husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer in 1998-met Perlin at a fund-raiser in 2006, but a friend commented that "the split was inevitable" since the two were now "at different stages in their careers."
A Los Angeles judge granted Kirsten Dunst's request on Dec. 9 for a temporary restraining order against a French stalker, Jean Christophe Prudhon, 51. In one of his letters Prudhon told Dunst, 29, that he had sold his home and crossed "the ocean five times to try and meet you, always frustrated by fate who took you away each time." • Filmmaker James Cameron, 57, was sued on Dec. 8 in Los Angeles by a writer who believes the hit movie Avatar was based on his original work. Eric Ryder says that in 1999, while employed by Cameron's production company, he wrote a story containing the basic plot elements of the film. Ryder is seeking unspecified damages and a share of the film's profits. A rep for the movie's studio called the suit "baseless." • Hulk Hogan, 58, filed suit against his ex-wife Linda Bollea, 52, on Dec. 8 in Clearwater, Fla., claiming she told lies and defamed him. The wrestling icon charges that in Bollea's book Wrestling the Hulk: My Life Against the Ropes, she said Hogan abused her during their marriage and had a homosexual relationship. Hogan's lawyer said his client "is being accused of all sorts of vile conduct that he did not commit." The couple's divorce was finalized in 2009.
The Office and Bridesmaids actress Ellie Kemper, (inset) 31, told Conan O'Brien on his Dec. 7 show that she is engaged to marry her beau, television writer Michael Koman.
After five days of deliberation, a jury condemned Joshua Komisarjevsky, 31, to death on Dec. 9 for killing three women in Cheshire, Conn., in 2007. During a home invasion, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, were tied up, molested, doused in gasoline and left to die in a fire. Komisarjevsky joins his accomplice Steven Hayes, 48, on death row.
Brooke Mueller, 34, has enrolled in an outpatient rehab program where she'll receive treatment in a facility during the day and remain under "expert supervision" at all other times, according to her rep. Mueller will retain custody of her twin sons with ex-husband Charlie Sheen, Bob and Max, 2.
14 YEARS FOR BLAGOJEVICH
Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, 55, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Dec. 7 in Chicago, following his conviction this summer on corruption charges. Among the mop-topped executive's crimes was his attempt to sell Barack Obama's senate seat after he was elected President in 2008. After proclaiming his innocence for years, Blagojevich apologized in court to his family and to "the people of Illinois," saying, "I caused it all ... I'm not blaming anyone." The lifelong politician and Celebrity Apprentice star went on to say, "My life is in ruins. My political career is over." Blagojevich, who must report to prison on Feb. 16, is expected to appeal his conviction.