Bouncing baby Romeo

London � "Posh Spice" Victoria Beckham and soccer star hubby David Beckham are the parents of a second son, whose Shakespearean name was a surprise after much speculation.

Romeo was born by Caesarean section and weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces, said David Beckham, adding that the pop singer mother and son were doing fine.

The Beckhams are one of Britain's most famous couples, and bookmakers had been taking bets on the name of the new baby. Their 3-year-old son, Brooklyn, reportedly was named after the New York borough where he was conceived. That spawned speculation that his sibling might be named Paris or Trafford, the home of Manchester United's stadium.

Rising slowly from a flop

Venice, Italy � The cult favorite but critically panned film "Showgirls" helped make Elizabeth Berkley's career. It also took her a while to get over it.

Berkley, at the Venice Film Festival to promote her new picture, "Roger Dodger," said that after her 1995 movie about Las Vegas strippers she had some tough times � "above all creatively," Venice's daily Gazzettino reported Sunday. "For that reason, I decided to choose independent productions, less important roles, and I tried theater, too," the actress said.

Her latest movie is about an ad man, played by Campbell Scott, who teaches his teenage nephew how to seduce women. The film also stars Isabella Rossellini and Jennifer Beals.

Senator previews TV show

Washington � During his eight years on Capitol Hill, retiring Sen. Fred Thompson has rarely been one to mince words. The character he plays this fall on "Law & Order" may be an even tougher talker.

In a clip from the NBC legal drama, Thompson's character, Arthur Branch, says: "With all the money we spend on the so-called war on drugs, we could buy all the poppy fields in the world and burn them to a crisp. But do we do it? No. And why? Because without a war on something, people in Washington wouldn't get elected."

After the clip was aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Thompson joked: "And you thought I wouldn't find work."

The award that wasn't

New York � Michael Jackson has received so many awards during his career, he apparently mistook a birthday gift from MTV as another accolade.

Britney Spears presented Jackson with a birthday cake at Thursday's Video Music Awards. Before introducing him, Spears gushed that she considered Jackson to be the "artist of the millennium."

When Jackson came out, he was presented with a cake and a statuette in the shape of a treble clef. He said he never dreamed he'd be getting an "Artist of the Millennium" award, and he went on to thank several people.

Well, turns out, he didn't get one. The statuette was just a token of appreciation for Jackson's 44th birthday, which coincided with the awards show, MTV spokesman Graham James said.


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