In a year when the Academy doled out a record five Oscar nominations to black actors, partygoers at Ebony magazine's Hollywood in Harlem bash Feb. 24 at Beverly Hills restaurant Crustacean had reason to celebrate. "Whatever happens Sunday, we kicked them in the mouth this year," said Best Actor nominee Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda), who joined Samuel L. Jackson, Wyclef Jean, Macy Gray and Star Jones Reynolds on a night when Hollywood's black community seemed to be partying all over town. Things got started around 6 p.m., when Chris Rock's wife, Malaak, threw a surprise party for his 40th birthday at Central. About 100 friends and family gathered, including Rock's mother, Rose, Eddie Murphy and his wife, Nicole, a party-hopping Oprah Winfrey and a very pregnant Holly Robinson Peete. Peete's due date was March 6, but just a few hours later, at Crustacean, her water broke. Jackson helped her to an ambulance, and at 6:18 the next morning, Peete gave birth to her fourth child, a son named Roman Matthew. Mother and child are doing great, as is her stunned husband, NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, who was home with the kids. "Star called me from Crustacean," says Rodney, adding with a laugh, "I'm worried they might charge me for the booth she ruined. And no, my baby's middle name is not going to be Lobster or Crab."
FAT & HAPPY
Kirstie Alley was in a frisky mood Feb. 23 at the L.A. premiere party for her new comedy Fat Actress (starting March 7 on Showtime). Proud of her 20-plus-lb. weight loss, Alley said on her way into the party, "We'll see if any-one hits on me. If they do, I'm going to put out. It's going to be an exciting night!" Determined to keep slimming down, she recently threw out most of her old clothes. "Even the things I look fabulous in," Alley says. And once she's "skinny"—by August, she insists—the actress will head to Italy for a shopping spree. "My main thing is I don't want attention on [my weight] anymore. I want to get back to when you throw on clothes, you look fine, and you go."
Skipping the pre-awards show ritual of spa-and suite-hopping, presenter Charlize Theron spent most of Oscar week in Minnesota's remote Iron Range shooting a film based on the book Class Action, about a woman who wins a sexual harassment suit. Theron has become a regular at the funky Whistling Bird Cafe in Gilbert. Restaurant owners JoPat and Toney Curtis are fond of the actress, who loves their coconut shrimp. "Charlize will cuddle right into you to take pictures," says JoPat. "It's really fun."
SPIDER CLUB, L.A. Feb. 22 At the All-in Poker Party, actor David Moscow tells us he and his fiancée, Ray's Kerry Washington, have booked a cool singer for their upcoming nups: Jamie Foxx.... SOHO HOUSE, L.A. Feb. 23 Nip/Tuck star Julian McMahon stops for gem therapy at the Diamond Aquifer suite, where $6 million in colored diamonds are laid on the body's chakra points, to "bring body, mind and spirit into balance." Says McMahon: "It was incredible. It was like tripping!" Other celebs who indulged: Anne Heche, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Charlotte Ross, Amber Tamblyn and Tyra Banks.... A.O.C., L.A. Feb. 23 Kristin Davis celebrates her 40th birthday over a quiet tapas dinner with about 25 friends.