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NAMES & FACES

Saturday, May 10, 2008

DMX Arrested, Again

Rapper DMX was arrested on drug and animal-cruelty charges after an early-morning raid on his Phoenix home yesterday, Reuters reports.

Authorities say the 37-year-old, whose real name is Earl Simmons, initially tried to barricade himself in his bedroom when a SWAT team entered his residence at 3 a.m. The raid followed two searches of Simmons's home last August, which allegedly turned up weapons, drugs, dog carcasses and abused pit bulls.

Simmons's attorney, Murray Richman, told the Associated Press that his efforts to make DMX available to law enforcement prior to the raid were rebuffed, and that the animal-cruelty charges are not supported by evidence.

The arrest is the second in a week for DMX, who was taken into custody Tuesday after speed-enforcement cameras caught him going 114 mph on a suburban Phoenix freeway, AP reports.

R. Kelly Jury Selection

After a six-year delay, jury selection began yesterday in the child-pornography trial of R&B singer R. Kelly, who stands accused of having sex with a girl as young as 13 on videotape.

Kelly, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers had contended the jury pool was "irrevocably poisoned" by a Chicago Sun-Times article that claimed a potential witness was allegedly paid by an aide to the singer in order to get back an incriminating sex video. But Cook County Circuit Court Judge Vincent Gaughan denied their motion to again postpone the trial, AP reports.

Chief among the challenges prosecutors face is that the alleged victim, now 23, says it wasn't her in the videotape, which is the trial's centerpiece and may be shown in open court. Furthermore, Kelly's lawyers have not admitted it's Kelly who appears in the video.

Prosecutors claim the videotape was made sometime between Jan. 1, 1998, and Nov. 1, 2000, and that the girl was born in September 1984. Kelly was indicted on pornography charges June 5, 2002, after the tape surfaced.

And Baby Makes 20

Just in time for Mother's Day, the Arkansas woman who gave birth to her 17th child last summer is expecting yet again.

Michelle Duggar, 41, and her husband, Jim Bob, 42, broke the news while gathered with their brood on yesterday's "Today" show.

"We're expecting! Number 18," Michelle said, much to the surprise of her kids. ("Wow, that's a huge shock," said the oldest, 20-year-old Joshua. "It's been nine months, so yeah, I guess that's about right.")

Jim Bob told Meredith Vieira that he and Michelle do not plan pregnancies but instead "have let the Lord decide" how many children they will have. For her part, Michelle said, they would love to have more.

The Duggar family, which includes two sets of twins, is featured on a Discovery Health network series about life inside their 7,000-square-foot home. All the children are home-schooled and each has a name beginning with the letter J -- like Jana, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah and John-David.

End Notes

Separated: Actress Liv Tyler and her husband, Brit rocker Royston Langdon, are separating, People magazine reports. Tyler, 30, and Langdon, 36, wed in 2003; their son, Milo, was born in December 2004.

Spotted: James Gandolfini took three friends to Camelot Show Bar on Wednesday night. Onlookers say the "Sopranos" star, in town to research an upcoming role, was "very much in character."

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff and wire reports

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