Names in the news

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Brooke Shields has baby girl

Brooke Shields, 40, gave birth Tuesday to a daughter named Grier Hammond Henchy. According to People mag, the baby, who was born in Los Angeles, weighed in at seven pounds and measured 20 inches.

Shields and husbandb Chris Henchy, 42, have another daughter, Rowan, who will be 3 next month.

Shields, who wrote about her postpartum depression after Rowan’s birth in “Down Came the “Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression,” suffered the wrath of Scientologist Tom Cruise, who opposes the use of all psychiatric drugs, when she said she used antidepressants at the time.

Court backs Jackson this time

A federal judge in New Orleans has thrown out a lawsuit filed against Michael Jackson by a man who says the singer molested him about 20 years ago.

Joseph Bartucci Jr., who claimed he had repressed the memory of the abuse until 2003, says Jackson lured him into his limo in 1984 and held him against his will for nine days, during which he sexually and physically assaulted the New Orleans resident, who was 18 at the time.

“We’re pleased with the results,” a Jackson rep said. “I’m basically shocked,” said Bartucci’s lawyer. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon has yet to make public his reasons for the dismissal.

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Young’s protest

Canadian-born music legend Neil Young, who in 1970 recorded “Ohio” to protest the Kent State shootings, has finished a 10-song record, “Living With War, which attacks President Bush’s foreign policy and features the song “Let’s Impeach the President.”

There’s no release info yet about the CD, which Young recorded over three days this month with three musicians and a chorus of 100 singers.

Writing on his Web site (www.neilyoung.com) Young, who came out in support of the administration and the Patriot Act in the months after Sept. 11, says of the album: “I think it is a metal version of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan … metal folk protest?”

Maternity for Etheridge’s partner

Melissa Etheridge’s partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, is pregnant with twins (due in the fall), the couple announced on the singer’s Web site (www.melissaetheridge.com): “To answer the obvious question: we used an anonymous donor from a bank.” Etheridge, 44, has two children from a previous relationship.

Sex tape deal

The New York Daily News says Colin Farrell and former girlfriend Nicole Narain have reached an “amicable settlement” in their legal battle over their sex video. Farrell will still go ahead with his suit against the video company that had planned to distribute the film.

Moving announcement

The Academy Awards will return to the last Sunday of February next year.

This year’s ABC-carried event was on the first Sunday of March to avoid competition with the Winter Olympics’ closing ceremony on NBC.

Oscar nominees will be announced Jan 23. Final ballots will be mailed Jan. 31 and will be due Feb. 20.

Stern’s cinematic circus

Satellite jockey Howard Stern, who has been scrambling to increase his Sirius audience, has announced judges for the Howard Stern Film Festival, to be held April 27 in Manhattan. The panel consists of Stern’s radio cohort Robin Quivers, film critic Richard Roeper, director Todd Phillips (“Starsky & Hutch”), and “Law & Order: SVU” actor Richard Belzer.

They’ll pick shorts by three lucky filmmakers – out of 2,137 entries – to premiere on Stern’s On Demand racket, HowardTV.

Sir Sean’s longevity

Despite rumors, Sean Connery is not retiring. The 75-year-old Edinburgh, Scotland-born actor will be honored with the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award June 8.

The beauty of ugliness

Gilbert Gottfried tops the Boston Phoenix’s list of 100 Unsexiest Men in the World (“the parrot-voiced, pickle-faced comic is to sexy what Kryptonite is to Superman,” the paper notes). Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson, Roger Ebert, Dr. Phil and Fox TV’s host Alan Colmes round out the top-five.

Lusting for truth

Though they surely did not intend to insult or ridicule their beloved public, Oprah Winfrey and bud Jennifer Aniston did indeed mock rumors (which have even been repeated on the venerable “Today” show) that Winfrey plans to throw an $8 million wedding for Anniston and fiance Vince Vaughn.

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