News, Mar. 16: Whitney Houston in Rehab, Paris and Nicole Hit the Road, Jada Pinkett Smith Tours With Britney, More…

Top Story: Whitney Houston in Rehab Center

Whitney Houston, who told Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Primetime in December 2002 that she had gotten away from her drug usage through prayer, is undergoing treatment in a drug rehabilitation clinic, The Associated Press reports. A spokesman said the singer “thanks everyone for their support and prayers” but declined to offer any further details. Houston, 40, lives in Atlanta with her husband, R&B singer Bobby Brown, and their 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Life in the Houston-Brown household, however, has always been far from humdrum. Last month, Brown was sentenced to 60 days’ jail time for violating probation. One of the violations was for allegedly hitting Houston last December, leaving her with a bruised cheek and a cut lip. Houston has also had her shares of run-ins with the law. In January 2000, she lost a bag at Hawaii’s Keahole Kona International Airport that contained less than half an ounce of marijuana and three partially smoked marijuana cigarettes. But the drug possession charges were dropped after a drug counselor said the singer did not need treatment for substance abuse.

Sheen, Richards Proud Parents

Charlie Sheen and wife Denise Richards became parents to their first child, daughter Sam Sheen, Tuesday in Los Angeles, Reuters reports. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces at birth, and both mother and daughter “are doing great,” Sheen‘s publicist said in a statement issued Monday. Sheen, 38, who currently stars on the hit CBS comedy Two and a Half Men, has a 19-year-old daughter, Cassandra, from a previous relationship. It is the first child for Richards, 33, who was last seen in the horror spoof Scary Movie 3.

Paris and Nicole Take Show on the Road

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have loaded up their pink pickup truck in Miami Beach, Fla., and are headed to Beverly Hills, Calif., in a road trip to be documented for The Simple Life 2–the follow-up to the hit Fox reality show The Simple Life. Here, the socialites-turned-TV stars are driving themselves on a 30-day cross-country trip with no money, credit cards, cell phones or boyfriends and will stay with several different families, the AP reports. Filming is expected to begin in the next few days with the eight episodes set to air in June.

Jada Pinkett Smith Tours With Britney Spears

Jada Pinkett Smith, who stars in the upcoming thriller Collateral opposite Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, is moonlighting as a singer. reports that Pinkett Smith will open for all eight of Britney Spears‘ Onyx Hotel Tour shows in the U.K. beginning on April 27 in London with her band Wicked Wisdom. Wicked Wisdom, which formed about a year ago, does not yet have an album out yet but the group frequently plays the Los Angeles club circuit. Collateral, which is set for release Aug. 6, was helmed by Michael Mann, who directed Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith in the 2001 biopic Ali.

Sugar Ray Leonard Joins The Contender

Five-time world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard will be joining Sylvester Stallone in the upcoming NBC reality show The Contender. The series, developed by Survivor creator Mark Burnett, DreamWorks SKG co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stallone, features aspiring boxers vying for $1 million in prize money and a shot at becoming America’s next boxing superstar. According to Reuters, Leonard, 47, will serve with Stallone as an on-air adviser and mentor to aspiring boxers competing on the show. The 16-part series is scheduled to debut sometime next season.

Prince Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Prince, who will launch his 38-city Musicology tour March 29 in Los Angeles, was among eight musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Monday in New York. Others honored at the 19th annual induction were the late George Harrison, Texas group ZZ Top, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, English rock-jazz fusion band Traffic, rocker Bob Seger, R & B vocal group The Dells and Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner, The Purple One kicked off the festivities with a performance of “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Sign O’ The Times,” and “Kiss,” that, according to Reuters, brought the formally dressed audience in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to its feet.

Geffen Victorious in Guns N’ Roses Album Dispute

U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer cleared the way yesterday for Geffen Records to release a greatest hits album next week from the rock band Guns N’ Roses over the objection of its lead singer, Axl Rose. Rose had argued that he did not give consent for Geffen to release a new greatest hits compilation, which consists of 14 singles including “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” from the Interview With the Vampire soundtrack, and objected to the selection of songs, the timing of its release, the album’s artwork and the remastering of the original tapes. A spokesman for Universal Music called the lawsuit meritless and said the album will be released as scheduled on March 23.

Role Call: Gurinder Chadha Takes Nine Wives

Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha will helm the romantic comedy Nine Wives for New Line. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is about a commitment-phobic guy who breaks up with his longtime girlfriend and wakes up every morning with a different wife. Chadha, who is just completing the Bollywood musical Bride and Prejudice, is also developing I Dream of Jeannie at Columbia and Tucker Ames at Fox 2000.