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updated 09/03/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/03/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Curious Credit
Suspecting an ex-aide ran up bills, Kate Hudson itemizes—and sues

Focus
Buying your boss a Christmas present on her own credit card? Now that's low. Nonetheless Kate Hudson, 22, says her ex-assistant Margaret Miller, 25, did that and more. After finding that her American Express card apparently had often left home without her, Hudson filed a lawsuit listing more than $63,000 in unauthorized charges that she believes Miller had made before getting sacked in March. Among the questioned items: $72.50 worth of vitamins. Kate "doesn't take vitamins," states the suit. Hogwash, says Miller attorney Arthur Barens, who is planning on countersuing and disputing all the charges. "Anyone who knows Kate knows that she has every kind of vitamin known to man."

THE CHARGES

•Nike shoes, $92.01
•Massage, $100
•Parking ticket, $37
•Dental visit, $80
•Sushi, $28.90
•Dog food, $98.64
•Limo rental, $137.40
•Air fare, $4,347.50
•Car wash, $12.95
•Lunch, $7
•CDs, $236.93

The Boys Are Back in Town
With A.J. McLean scheduled to return to the stage on Aug. 24 after a 28-day stay in a rehab facility, Backstreet's back. The boy band is set to resume their summer tour in Milwaukee, having rescheduled all 36 concerts postponed by McLean's battle with alcohol and depression. But will sold-out crowds await them? Maybe not, says Gary Bongiovanni of the concert trade magazine Pollstar. Backstreet's audiences were respectable, but, he adds, the band still faced thousands of empty seats at June gigs in Pittsburgh, Nashville and Atlanta. "They and teen pop have cooled off," he says. One reason? Many parents won't give their kids ticket money to see an act they probably already saw last year, Bongiovanni says.

Public Press, Private Prince
News flash: The Brits are agog again. The cause? A report in Britain's conservative magazine The Spectator saying that Prince Charles, 52, will eventually marry longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, 54. The respected publication stated that it had been "reliably informed that the Queen has come around—somewhat grudgingly—to this view." Still, the paper says, nothing will happen until 2003, after Queen Elizabeth completes a jubilee celebration of her half-century on the throne. Then, it predicts, Charles and Camilla will exchange vows in a civil ceremony at a registry office (England's version of City Hall).

But don't check the wedding registry at Harrods just yet. "The piece is totally speculative," says a spokesman for the Prince. "We've dismissed it as rubbish." Meanwhile the public seems to favor status quo. When a British TV show polled 70,000 viewers last week, 71 percent did not favor a Royal Wedding II.

Claws Encounter for Evert Clan
Uninvited guests are often inconvenient. When they're huge, naked and raiding your garbage, it can be simply unbearable. That's how tennis great Chris Evert and family felt recently when they found a large black bear rummaging through the kitchen of their Aspen, Colo., vacation home. Retreating to a guest house with her three sons, Evert, 46, sent her husband, Andy Mill, 48, to investigate. "I'm a Floridian," she says. "I would have panicked. He's from here, so he wasn't fazed." When he came face-to-snout with the ursine invader, "we both just stood there looking at each other," says Mill, who kept quiet as the animal slowly backed out of the room, and then whistled to frighten it out the door.

For Shania Twain, an Eja Minor
Only two years ago Shania Twain told PEOPLE, "I'd like to have kids, but we're not planning at this point. Right now I'm dedicated and committed to my career." How quickly plans change! Last week Twain announced the birth of a son, Eja, on Aug. 12. The singer, 36, and her producer husband, Robert "Mutt" Lange, 52, have spent much of their time recently in Switzerland, at a 19th-century manor house they bought in 1998. The couple did not release further details, except to give guidance for pronouncing their newborn's name: Say "Asia."

Ewan da Man!
"I learned to swear here as a child," said Ewan McGregor, growing perhaps just a little misty as he gazed about his hometown of Crieff, Scotland. The actor, flashing a bit of calf in his McGregor clan kilt, acted as honorary chief at the annual Highland Games, where he handed out prizes and, emphatically, did not compete. "I couldn't lift a caber, never mind attempt to toss one," said McGregor, 30, of the phone-pole-shaped logs, weighing approximately 150 pounds, which competitors toss for style, not distance. Nor would he join in the traditional hammer throw. "I would throw a hammer into the crowd, and it would not be pleasant," he said. The fun, he added, was watching "the faces I grew up with" before he moved to London. "There's a great spirit out there," he said. "My fondest memories are of that."

Finding Mr. Write
Famously she ripped the Pope. Later she was ordained as some kind of priest. Then she came out as a lesbian. So it's no surprise that Sinead O'Connor, 34, got married, a few weeks back, to a guy. "We are both very happy," groom Nick Sommerlad, 27, recently told Britain's Press Association, for whom he works as a reporter. O'Connor appears to have a thing for the journalists. John Waters, father of her daughter Róisin, 5, is a writer for The Irish Times. (Her first husband, John Reynolds, with whom she had son Jake, 14, is a musician.) The newlyweds honeymooned after Sommerlad had covered Pierce Brosnan's wedding.

More Milli Vanilli (really)
He may not win a Grammy this time around, but at least he's using his own voice. On a national tour called Malibu Shower Palooza, Fabrice Morvan, the surviving half of Milli Vanilli (partner Rob Pilatus died in 1998 of a drug overdose), is holding karaoke contests in a portable shower he hauls to neighborhood pubs. "Everyone knows that they sound better in the shower," says the French native, who hopes to release an album that will revive a career nosedive that occurred after he was exposed for not actually singing on Milli Vanilii's recordings in 1990. That's behind him now. "They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," says Morvan, 35. "I'm still here."

POP QUIZ

with Pat Benatar & Haley Giraldo

Rocker Pat Benatar returned to the road this summer singing "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" and performing in Cool Women on the Women's Entertainment channel. Her opening act: Glo, a pop group that features her teenage daughter Haley Giraldo. (Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo, 45, her lead guitarist, are also parents of Hana, 7.) So how does a 48-year-old rock-and-roll mom coexist with her 16-year-old rock-and-roll child? Scoop inquired.

What's it like with your teenager around all the time?

Pat: (screams) Aaahhh!

Can you elaborate?

Pat: It's a challenge. We have opposite interests.

In what?

Pat: In everything. She's a teenager.

Haley, how do your mom's fans react to your music?

Haley: I can't say they enjoy it. The audience is, uh, older. This is the kind of music their kids are listening to, and they hate it. But they are respectful. They know that I'm her daughter, so they're not going to boo us offstage.

If you never heard "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" again, would you die happy?

Haley: I'm not going to disagree with you.

Do you sound alike?

Pat: Her voice is much lower than mine. Mine is like a big, belting train wreck, and hers is much subtler.

Haley must be attracting young male fans. How do you advise her to handle them?

Pat: I just basically tell her to keep her head straight because this is all pretend. Just like Julia Roberts once said: Don't forget, you're an ordinary person doing an extraordinary job. Don't believe anything you read, anything that they tell you.

Haley: My dad's protective. When we wear our stage outfits, he says, "Put some clothes on!"

How did having children affect your career?

Pat: I took steps backward in order to do this. I never regretted it for a moment.

Does Haley see you as a rock star or as a mom?

Pat: I'm still her mother, first and foremost, and that takes any aspects of coolness away.

ON THE BLOCK

RING-A-DING-DOMICILE

Start spreading the news. A 9,000-sq.-ft, five-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion, once home to Frank Sinatra, is on the market for $12.5 million. The estate includes 6½ bathrooms, a gym, spa, kennel and heated pool with waterfall. Although Ol' Blue Eyes hosted a weekly card game here for his celebrity cronies, daughter Tina Sinatra says he preferred to spend time in his other home in Palm Springs. Sinatra died at age 82 in 1998; his widow Barbara has since purchased a penthouse in the Westwood section of Los Angeles.

MORE ON: Kate Hudson

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