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Looking at local celebrity behavior in 2013


They sold or bought mansions, welcomed the birth of a love child, got hitched and even got shot at.

It was 2013 in the world of local celebs.

The year started with a bang, literally. Hip-hop star Rick Ross’ Rolls-Royce was riddled with bullets downtown Fort Lauderdale. Neither the rapper nor his lady friend were injured.

In June, Justin Bieber’s bodyguards roughed up a paparazzo outside a North Miami recording studio, and the pap sued Bieber.

Away from the violence, the TV business got confusing.

Sexy WSVN-Channel 7 morning weather siren Julie Durda quit abruptly, then landed at rival WPLG-Channel 10. WFOR-CBS4 anchors Shannon Hori left town, and Josh Benson got canned, and hurricane guru David Bernard walked away. Eliott Rodriguez was moved to other newscasts, and Fox News Channel’s Rick Folbaum took over prime-time newscasts.

With the price of homes inching up, the celebrity real estate market got busy.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio put his West Miami house on the market for $675,000; actor Matt Damon’s Miami Beach house is on the market for $19 million. Shakira’s place down the street is still for sale for $14.95 million.

Baseball star Alex Rodriguez sold his Miami Beach crib for $30 million; rocker Billy Joel unloaded his LaGorce house for $14 million, and TV talker Rosie O’Donnell got rid of her Star Island hideaway for $16 million.

Jailed O.J Simpson lost his Kendall digs in foreclosure.

Internet newsman Matt Drudge went on a $2.1 million-land shopping spree at the edge of The Everglades, where he now owns a 10-acre compound.

Love children were the rage in 2013.

In the days leading to Super Bowl XLVII, Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino admitted that his perfect marriage to wife Claire, the mother of their six children, wasn’t so perfect when he confirmed he had a 7-year-old daughter with a former CBS Sports employee.

This week, Dwyane Wade confessed to having a son born to a long-time friend just days after he proposed marriage to actress Gabrielle Union.

Hip-hop star Flo Rida saw two women claim they were impregnanted by him in 2013. One appeared to be a fraud, and the second sued him for paternity despite the fact the baby has yet to be born.

And American Idol creator Simon Cowell impregnated his former best friend’s then-wife, Miami Beacher Lauren Silverman.

There were some high-profile weddings.

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James was married in San Diego, in September. Fontainebleau Miami Beach owners Don Soffer and his son Jeffrey were married in separate ceremonies. Jeff was hitched to former supermodel Elle McPherson while Don, 80, was married for the fifth time to 40-year-old socialite Michele King.

Real Housewives of Miami’s Joanna Krupa said “I do” to Miami Beach nightclub owner Romain Zago.

In society, Market America owners Jim and Loren Ridinger were the victims of an extortion attempt when dozens of their friends received an anonymous letter badmouthing the couple.

Local restaurateurs Jonathan Eismann and Barton G. Weiss had a tough year. Eismann was charged with vehicular homicide after he crashed his car into a pedestrian, killing him. And Barton G. owner Weiss fell awkwardly and suffered a spinal cord injury. He was paralyzed for weeks, but therapy helped him regain some motion in his legs.

As for me, 2013 will go down as a good year because through this column, I got to meet, correspond with and talk to many of you, dear readers. And I wish to all an even better 2014.

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