Wahlberg Sued, Del Toro to Be Honored
FILED: "Planet of the Apes" star Mark Wahlberg, 30, is being sued for $2 million by his former bodyguard, Leonard Taylor, who alleges that he was assaulted and beaten by the actor outside a lower Manhattan restaurant on Nov. 16. A spokesman for Wahlberg's Los Angeles agent, Steven Levinson, declined comment . . . ANNOUNCED: "Traffic" Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro, 34, will receive the Piper-Heidsieck Tribute to Independent Vision award, which honors a film artist who has made a significant and unique contribution to independent film, at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 13. Previous recipients include Julianne Moore, Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Frances McDormand and Tim Robbins . . . LINKED: 'N Sync has teamed up with Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet to raise money for children orphaned by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The 50 men's watches and 150 women's watches have been engraved with the signatures of 'N Sync's five members and will be priced at $8,500 and $5,900, respectively . . . NAMED: Kevin Spacey and Drew Barrymore received Star of the Year honors Sunday at the 61st annual Golden Apple Awards luncheon, hosted by the Hollywood Women's Press Club. Although Barrymore was unable to attend the Beverly Hilton event, Spacey was saluted by Sean Penn, who showed up unannounced to help honor his pal. (Sour Apple awardee Jerry Springer was a no-show.) In another poll, Julia Robertsand Madonna were ranked Nos. 3 and 42, respectively, on the "Hollywood Reporter's" list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Hollywood. No. 1 was Stacey Snider, chairman of production for Universal Pictures . . . BORN: R&B singer Toni Braxton, 33, gave birth to 5-pound, 12-ounce boy at an Atlanta-area hospital, her spokesman said. The baby, born Sunday, was named Denim Cole Braxton Lewis and is the first child for Braxton and her husband Keri Lewis, 28, of Minneapolis-based band Mint Condition.
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