Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Bono's brood burgeoning

U2 frontman Bono is a father for the fourth time. His wife, Ali, gave birth Monday in a Dublin hospital to a boy, weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces.

The 41-year-old Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, took time off from U2's "Elevation" tour, which began in the United States in March, to be with his wife for the birth. The hospital said mother and baby were doing well.

The couple's three other children are daughters Jordan, 11, and Eve, 8. Son Elijah is nearly 2.

'Producers' swamps awards

If votes of New York drama critics are any indication, Mel Brooks' "The Producers" should blow away the competition at the Tony Awards on June 3. The show took a record 11 Drama Desk Awards on Sunday: best musical, best actor in a musical (Nathan Lane); director (Susan Stroman); choreographer (also Stroman); featured actor and actress (Gary Beach and Cady Huffman); best lyrics (Brooks himself); best book (Brooks and Thomas Meehan); best orchestrations (Doug Besterman); best sets for a musical (Robin Wagner); and best costumes (William Ivey Long).

Stars come out for AIDS benefit

"We need you. And your cash," urged Elizabeth Taylor. "It's just money � and if not to make the world a little better, then what is it for?" And attendees at the 10th annual Cinema Against AIDS benefit black-tie dinner and auction during the Cannes Film Festival took La Liz's exhortation to heart. Jerry Hall presented Mick Jagger's fire-engine-red Fender guitar, which sold for $52,000. Taylor herself donated a ball gown that sold for $10,000 and offered $100,000 for Shirley Bassey to belt out "Goldfinger."

Other notable sales included $40,000 for a three-karat yellow diamond; lunch with Mikhail Gorbachev, which took a capitalistic $28,000; and a $12,000 breakfast with Elizabeth Hurley. The $10,000 paid out for one of Julia Roberts' "Erin Brockovich" outfits seemed like a steal, considering it came with a date to accompany Roberts to the premiere of "America's Sweethearts."

Nicole opens up to Oprah

Though she's told reporters that her private life with estranged husband Tom Cruise needs to be kept private for the sake of the family, Nicole Kidman, 33, confided in Oprah Winfrey on the media queen's talk show Friday, reports People magazine.

"I think that divorce is hard for anyone. It's a nightmare, it just is, and you can pretend you're fine. And days you're great and days you're not great," Kidman said, fidgeting in her chair.

Asked whether she hoped to get back together with Cruise, Kidman replied, "Shush!" Regaining her composure, she said, "I've had a blessed life, and yet I've always thought something bad is going to happen. But then something really bad happened. A number of really bad things happened." She refused to elaborate on the "bad things."