On April 21 in Manhattan, a judge granted an uncontested divorce to 53-year-old socialite Jocelyne Wildenstein, dubbed "the Bride of Wildenstein" by New York City tabloids because of her eyebrow-raising cosmetic surgery. She had been locked in a bitter two-year battle with her ex-husband Alec Wildenstein, 58, a billionaire art dealer who allegedly threatened Jocelyne with a gun when she caught him with another woman in 1997. Criminal charges are still pending against him. The terms of the couple's divorce settlement are confidential....
Another tabloid favorite, Amy Fisher, the 24-year-old once known as the Long Island Lolita, got some sympathy from her victim, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, 43, during a court hearing for Fisher on April 22 in Mineola, N.Y. Buttafuoco, who still has a bullet in her neck from Fisher's 1992 armed assault while she was having an adulterous affair with Mary Jo's husband, Joey Buttafuoco, acknowledged that Fisher "has shown true remorse and sorrow for what she did." She asked the judge to reduce Fisher's sentence of 5 to 15 years. Having already served 6½ years in prison, Fisher is now eligible for parole and could be freed shortly.
Actress Caroline Rhea, 35, who is often perched on the Hollywood Squares game board when she's not using her magicalpowers as Aunt Hilda on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, became engaged on April 13 to her boyfriend of a year, Bob Kelty, 36, an events coordinator. The couple has yet to conjure up a wedding date.
On April 19 in L.A., an ambulance rushed actor and part-time pugilist Mickey Rourke, 42, to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after the Barfly actor called 911. His rep says Rourke had an allergic reaction to a cough syrup he was taking for the flu. He was released after a few hours.
Ukrainian-born actress Milla Jovovich, 23, the exotic-looking heroine who costarred with Bruce Willis in the 1997 sci-fi flick The Fifth Element, has separated from Luc Besson, 40, the French-born director of the film. Jovovich said the distance between the couple's two residences—hers in L.A., his in la belle France—was more than their 16-month marriage could endure.
Trumpeter Al Hirt, who got his first horn at age 6, blew the bugle in the Army and went on to win some 20 Grammy nominations for his recordings, died in his native New Orleans of liver failure on April 27. He was 76. The one Grammy the renowned musician, who honed his robust technique in the clubs of the French Quarter, did win was for the 1963 instrumental "Java."...
Actor and bandleader Charles Buddy Rogers, best known for his gutsy performance as a World War I airman in Wings, the 1927 silent film that won the first Academy Award for Best Picture, died on April 21 in Ran-cho Mirage, Calif. He was 94. In addition to fronting an orchestra on Broadway in the '30s, he was married to "America's Sweetheart," Mary Pickford, and continued to take film roles until 1957....
Announcer Bill Wendell, 75, noted for his annunciations of nonsensical Late Show sign-ons ("From New York, mountain fortress of the ancient Incas, it's...Da-aa-vid Letterman!"), died of complications from cancer on April 14 in Boca Raton, Fla.