Elton John, Companion to Wed

Rock star Elton John says he and longtime partner David Furnish plan to get hitched next month, officially sealing their civil partnership under Britain's new law offering homosexuals many of the legal protections available to married heterosexuals.

"The ceremony itself will be David's parents and my parents and the two of us," John said in an interview with Attitude magazine. He said it would be held on Dec. 21, the day the legislation takes effect. "They'll be our witnesses. That's the way we want to do it. They've been so fantastic to us and so supportive. Out of respect for their support, we want to just keep it small. Not to make a ballyhoo of the ceremony."

"As far as I'm concerned, I've always considered myself committed to Elton, and he's the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with," said Furnish, 43, a Canadian-born filmmaker who has been with John, 58, for 12 years. "So in that sense I don't feel like the dynamic of our relationship is going to change.

"But from a social standpoint, I think it's hugely significant. It is a major, major change. It is one of the defining issues of our times. And I applaud Britain for embracing the diversity of our society."

John has publicly credited Furnish with helping him to overcome addictions to alcohol and drugs. The pop star was previously married to studio technician Renate Blauel; the pair wed on Valentine's Day in 1984 and divorced in 1988.

Sad Epilogue for 'Newlyweds'

We've heard the rumors for months and months and now, gasp . . . it's happened.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey announced on Wednesday in a joint statement through their publicists that they are separating.

"After three years of marriage, and careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways," Simpson and Lachey said. "This is the mutual decision of two people with an enormous amount of respect and admiration for each other. We hope that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

Wed in October 2002, the couple went on to star in their own reality show, "Newlyweds," on MTV, going from near no-names to A-list celebrities.

Following the burgeoning career of Simpson, who starred in this year's film adaptation of the "The Dukes of Hazzard," however, tabloid magazines began reporting trouble in the marriage, including tales of infidelity and much time apart.

Simpson, 25, met Lachey, 32, at a Hollywood Christmas parade.

50 Cent: Blocked at the Border?

If a Canadian official has his way, U.S. rapper 50 Cent will be prohibited from entering the country without a permit from the Canadian government to tour in December.

50 Cent, who was once shot nine times in a gang incident, is the star of the recent film "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," a fictionalized and violent portrayal of his career.

Although 50 Cent has acknowledged spending time behind bars, the current status of his criminal record is not clear. Representatives for the star did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

But Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad, said the rapper's message was inappropriate at a time when Toronto, Canada's largest city, was experiencing a surge in shooting deaths.

"I do want the laws of Canada to apply to anybody who is a criminal, an admitted criminal, as Mr. Curtis Jackson -- known as 50 Cent -- is," McTeague told CBC television. "Under our laws . . . he would be deemed criminally inadmissible."

Canadian law dictates that anyone with a criminal record needs a special permit to enter the country. McTeague has written to Immigration Minister Joe Volpe, urging him not to grant the permit.

Quoted

"We look forward to planning the rest of our lives together and continuing to embrace our differences on our way to the altar." -- Christopher Knight, aka Peter Brady of "The Brady Bunch," on his engagement to Adrianne Curry, the first winner of "America's Next Top Model." Knight is 48 and Curry is 23.

-- Clint Walker

Elton John and significant other David Furnish will tie the knot under a new British law. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are calling it quits.