Celebrities’ children proved to be a major focus this week in the world of entertainment. Nicole Richie announced her pregnancy, Eddie Murphy acknowledged paternity of his former girlfriend’s child, and Britney Spears’ parenting skills were called into question once again.
The week began with the announcement that Spears’ marriage to Kevin Federline was officially over. “They are divorced,” the pop star’s attorney, Laura Wasser, said after a Superior Court hearing. Everything is finalized.”
Court Commissioner Scott Gordon signed orders for dissolution of marriage, an alimony agreement and child custody arrangements for their two sons, 22-month-old Sean Preston Federline and 10-month-old Jayden James Federline. The alimony agreement will not be made public unless there is an enforcement issue, Wasser said. The child custody order was tentatively sealed, pending an Aug. 14 hearing.
A source close to Federline told Access that K-Feds camp has been watching Spears recent bizarre behavior very closely. The insider says Spears has not met some benchmarks. In particular, Spears recent trip to Las Vegas where her bodyguard tackled a man who allegedly bumped into him and her son Sean Preston, while trying to take photographs of the singer, has been a cause for concern.
Kaplan, the source said, plans to file papers requesting Federline receive full custody of the boys.
But that isn’t the only reported fallout stemming from Britney’s ill-fated family outing to Vegas. Andrew Deetz, 24, and Kyle Henderson, 23, claimed in a statement this past Tuesday that Britney threw a baby bottle and threatened them, when they attempted to photograph her outside a spa at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino last week. The men were taking pictures of Spears as she and her children left the spa with two bodyguards, including Camera.
According to the statement released by Deetz’s lawyers, Spears threatened to “kill” Deetz, and said he should get a restraining order against her because she was going to kill him or hire someone that would.
Deetz (who also alleges that he was beaten by Spears’ bodyguard, Cesar Julio Camera) is preparing to sue, his lawyers said. Spears’ lawyer, Gary Stiffelman, declined to comment.
Wynn Las Vegas released a statement confirming that Spears stayed at the hotel and left on Thursday, but also declined to discuss the confrontation.
Las Vegas police issued a summons for a charge of battery to Camera, the only person cited. He could face up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.
Britney was also the subject of two cover stories this week, both of which called her parenting skills into question. Both US Weekly and Life & Style highlighted disturbing reports from “inside sources” who say Spears two children are at the center of what the first magazine calls Hurricane Britney.
Included in the reports are allegations about Britney’s questionable safety measures while driving, a near-miss incident in which she almost dropped Sean Preston, and the junk food she reportedly feeds her children. One source even claimed that she took the boys to the dentist to get their teeth whitened. The dentist reportedly refused.
Its tragic what these boys are exposed to on a daily basis, an insider told Life & Style. Kids thrive on routine and the feeling of safety, and Sean and Jayden have neither. Their lives are subject to Brits whims.
One person who seems to be in Britney’s corner this week is her cousin (and former assistant) Alli Sims. Following an interview with People magazine in which Sims spoke highly of Britney and her parenting skills, the two were seen out together on two separate occasions.
For weeks the formerly close cousins had been seemingly estranged, but they went out together Thursday night to LA hotspot Winston’s, and then reportedly took Britney’s new puppy to a Beverly Hills animal hospital for a “check up” the following afternoon.
In other baby news, Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown’s longstanding allegation that Eddie Murphy fathered her four month-old daughter was resolved this week, as Murphy acknowledged paternity of Angel Iris Brown on Friday.
Brown had filed a Superior Court petition on Wednesday to legally establish Murphy as the child’s parent, following months of assurances from her that he was the baby’s father. The pair reportedly dated for four months in 2006.
Melanie will seek sole custody of her daughter and reasonable child support, attorney Gloria Allred said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Allred said in a statement that a DNA test has shown that Murphy is the father. The statement said the test “established paternity but paternity has not been legally acknowledged.”
“I am here today for one reason and one reason only; her name is Angel,” Brown told reporters at the press conference. “Angel is my baby and Eddie’s. She will always know that she was planned and wanted by both of us.”
Murphy, who had remained virtually mum on the subject up until this week, released a statement on Friday through his publicist, Arnold Robinson:
“Eddie Murphy always has and will continue to honor his responsibilities as a father,” said Robinson. “Mr. Murphy and Ms. Brown dated very briefly and never made any plans of ANY sort. He acknowledges paternity of the child Angel, and has paid child support to Ms. Brown as well as covering the expenses of her pregnancy. Mr. Murphy views this as a private matter and as such, will not be making any further comments about it.”
Last weekend it was revealed that Murphy had proposed to film producer Tracey Edmonds, who he reportedly began dating not long after his split with Brown. Edmonds was previously married to music producer and artist, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.
Murphy has five children from his marriage to Nicole Mitchell Murphy, which ended in divorce last year. Brown also has an 8-year-old daughter from her marriage to dancer Jimmy Gulzar.
On Thursday, Brown and Murphy’s ex-wife lunched together at the Ivy restaurant in LA. Melanie brought along Angel Iris on the outing, while Nicole brought her little girl, Bella Zahra.
Whether the two were just introducing the children to their half-sibling or swapping gossip on the “Dreamgirls” star, only the Ivy table they sat at knows.
Completing the baby trifecta is “Simple Life” star Nicole Richie, who confirmed the news she is pregnant with Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden’s baby during an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.
“Yes, I am. We are. I’m almost four months,” she revealed to Sawyer.
Baby bump rumors have been swirling around the celebutante for a while, but this was the first time she’s confirmed the news.
Nicole, who last week was sentenced to four days in jail and three years probation stemming from a December DUI arrest, also spoke candidly about her impending time behind bars.
“I have a responsibility and it’s something that I did wrong, and if I could personally apologize to every single person that has lost a loved one from drunk driving I would,” Nicole said. “And unfortunately I can’t, but this is my way of paying my dues and taking responsibility and being an adult.”
Nicole must complete her sentence by September 28.
Richie further commented on her sentencing and new outlook on life with OK! Magazine this week, saying, This year has been full of lessons learned and soul-searching and realizing Im an adult…Im an adult. Its time to take responsibility and not take the easy way out.
Richie reportedly said she believes the sentence she was given for the incident, which occurred while she was on probation, was fair.
It was a fair, standard sentence, she said. I expected that.
When asked if she had advice for other troubled stars including Lohan and Britney, Nicole pointed out what driving under the influence really meant to her.
Every situation is different, Nicole told OK!. I have come to a place where I never want to make a mistake like that again. I never want to possibly take another life in my hands.
Nicoles father, pop crooner Lionel Richie told US weekly that he was pleased that Nicole is owning up to her mistakes. My daughter has made some mistakes in her life and has accepted responsibility for her actions, he said. She has not blamed others for her problems and is growing up very quickly, albeit in the heat of the media spotlight.
Lionel added that Nicoles pregnant condition has helped her face the consequences. Her pregnancy has given her a new perspective on life in general, he added.
Nicole has requested that she serve her time at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, California, according to several reports. The facility housed Richie’s friend (and “Simple Life” co-star) Paris Hilton during her jail stays earlier this summer.
Nicole Richie’s attorney has indicated that she wants to do her time in county jail, LA County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told US Weekly. Lynwood is the only county jail for women in Los Angeles, so if she does go to county jail she will go to Lynwood.
Richie told OK! that Paris has been “really supportive” of her in light of Hilton’s recent incarceration, adding, I dont know if there is anything to do or prepare [for the jail sentence].
As for “The Simple Life” itself, the E! cable network has decided to pull the plug on the series.
A rep for the network told Access, “‘Simple Life’ has been a wonderful addition to the E! schedule for two years and we will always be grateful to Paris and Nicole for their hard work and graciousness.”
The series finale will air tonight at 10:00 PM ET.