updated 09/03/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/03/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Laura Linney, 43, plans to wed longtime love Marc Schauer. The Nanny Diaries star was previously married to actor David Adkins.... After keeping the secret for eight months, Backstreet Boys' Howie Dorough, 34, and real estate broker Leigh Boniello, 33, revealed to PEOPLE Aug. 16 that they will marry this year. Dorough had proposed at a New Year's Eve party in front of 40 loved ones. "I was more nervous about [that] than about performing in front of 40,000 people," says the singer.

Two years after separating, actor Lou Diamond Phillips, 45, and wife Kelly, 39, finalized their divorce on July 30 in L.A., according to papers made public Aug. 14. Wed in 1994, the pair will share custody of their three daughters.

An attorney for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, 27, said Aug. 20 that the player will plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges—an admission that could mean up to 18 months in prison. Vick and three other men were indicted July 17 for engaging in the illegal activity on Vick's Virginia property. In their pleas, his alleged accomplices testified that Vick had helped hang and drown at least eight losing pit bulls. "Mr. Vick has agreed to ... accept full responsibility for his actions," said his lawyer. "Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter." ... Rutgers women's basketball team member Kia Vaughn, 20, sued Don Imus, 67, Aug. 14 for slander and defamation of character, citing on-air racial and sexual slurs Imus made in April. Seeking unspecified damages from Imus, his former cohost Bernard McGuirk and his now-canceled show's broadcaster, CBS Corp., the suit claims the remarks damaged Vaughn's reputation. Said her lawyer: "She would do anything to return to her more normal life ... before Imus opened his mouth." ... Rapper Foxy Brown, 28, could do jail time for allegedly attacking a woman with a wireless e-mail device, authorities said Aug. 15. Brown (born Inga Marchand) is charged with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon—her Black-Berry—for allegedly striking her Brooklyn neighbor Arlene Raymond after the two argued over the volume of Brown's car stereo on July 30. Brown could serve at least a year if convicted of violating the terms of her probation for a 2004 assault charge involving two nail salon workers.

Opera icon Luciano Pavarotti, 71, is on the mend after being hospitalized in Modena, Italy, with a fever Aug. 8. "He is doing better," said his wife, Nicoletta Mantovani. "He talks and jokes." The star tenor underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in July 2006.

Leona Helmsley, 87, New York City hotelier and wife of real estate billionaire Harry Helmsley, called "The Queen of Mean," died of heart failure at home in Greenwich, Conn., Aug. 20. Credited with saying "only the little people pay taxes" (a quip she denied making), Helmsley served 18 months in prison for tax evasion in 1992-3. Fellow mogul Donald Trump shares this memory of her reaction to his mid-1980s purchase of the Helmsleys' St. Moritz Hotel with its toy-filled ice cream shop: "When I took it over, I went in and all the teddy bears were missing. Over a hundred teddy bears! They said, 'Leona Helmsley came in early and ripped them out.' That's the way she was: A very spiteful woman, a very tough woman. Despite that, I'll miss her. She was truly a character."

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