Take One

updated 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Whitney a momma? That was the hot rumor sweeping both coasts last week after Whitney Houston, 25 and single, was photographed carrying a sleepy little boy at the Los Angeles airport. According to the rumor, Whitney had decided to become a single mom and had adopted the tyke. A spokesman for the singer put the kibosh on this one quickly, explaining that the boy was Gary Houston, Whitney's 2-year-old nephew. Aunt Whitney was just baby-sitting for her older brother Michael.

Cybill Shepherd and her husband of nearly two years, chiropractor Bruce Oppenheim, are having marriage problems. The couple have separated, according to Cheryl Kagan, Cybill's publicist. A friend says the actress and her husband had a fierce argument last month and decided to seek marriage counseling, but soon after Bruce moved out of their San Fernando Valley home. The couple have 16-month-old twins, Ariel and Zachariah, and Cybill has a 9-year-old daughter, Clementine, from her first marriage, to David Ford.

While visiting a London alcohol rehabilitation center recently, Princess Diana said, "Whenever I switch on a television soap, it seems to center around pub life.... The whole thing is drink and pubs." (A Di fave, EastEnders, airs on some public TV stations here.) The next day, cabinet minister John Wakeham, who chairs the government's alcohol misuse committee, used the royal remarks to back up his call for fewer soap pub scenes. Wakeham said, "We hope her support will help us achieve our objective."

"Own a piece of Elvis' personal property," read the ad in Daily Variety. It went on to offer, for $50, square-inch bits of a white shag carpet removed from Elvis' bedroom in Graceland, "mounted and suitable for framing, complete with a certificate of authenticity." You'd also get "a personal letter from Elvis' cousin Jerry Presley assigning a special serial number to each piece to be filed in Memphis, Tenn." In tracking the great white shag, PEOPLE was told by Graceland spokesman Stacey Sheppard that the carpet in Elvis' bedroom (off-limits to tourists) is red and has been in place for at least 11 years. As for Elvis' cousin Jerry, Sheppard said, "If he's a cousin, he's not a first or second, or a cousin close to the family." Jerry was not available, but his partner, Cheyenne Crane, reached at their company, Eagle Spirit Productions in Las Vegas, claimed the carpet had gone from Graceland into the Memphis home of Elvis' father, Vernon. He later sold it to a third party, who in turn sold it to Jerry in 1987. Cheyenne says Jerry has been busy "chopping the 18-foot by 12-foot carpet into thousands of pieces." As for the "cousin" business, the Presley lineage seems as hard to trace as the carpet's origin. Cheyenne says that Jerry, who sometimes works as an Elvis impersonator, is a family member. "I think he and Elvis had grandfathers of great-grandfathers who were brothers," says Crane.

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