Just as his ex-girlfriend Rihanna was prepared to take the stand, rapper Chris Brown pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of felony assault against her stemming from a February incident.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, the 20-year-old singer was sentenced to 180 days of community labor in his home state of Virginia, five years of supervised probation, and enrollment in a domestic violence counseling program. "I think it is commendable you took responsibility for your actions," Judge Patricia Schnegg said to Brown.

Brown has also been ordered to stay at least 50 yards from Rihanna over the next five years, except at industry events, when it will be reduced to 10 yards.

Rihanna, 21, who arrived at the courthouse dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, entered the court after the sentencing to learn of the "stay-away" order. "Thank you," she said, before leaving through a back door.Perez Hilton mixes it up with a Pea

A multiple-choice question: "Boom Boom Pow" is: (a) the sound made when a comic-book superhero hammers a supervillain, (b) the Black Eyed Peas' new hit single, or (c) what the Peas' front man will.i.am unleashed on gossiper-in-chief Perez Hilton yesterday at an awards-show after-party. In fact, it might be all three, if Hilton's claims are true. After 3 a.m., following the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto, Hilton, 31, tweeted he was the victim of an assault by will.i.am and his security guards.

By dawn, will.i.am, 34, had created his own Twitter version of the events, alleging that it had begun when Hilton "disrespected" will.i.am's bandmate, Fergie, following the group's performance at the award show.

Will.i.am contends that any physical violence stemmed from a nearby fan who began to "get all crazy" after the blogger called will.i.am by a derogatory term.

O'Neal, Fawcett to marry

In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, Ryan O'Neal has announced that he and Farrah Fawcett intend to marry - a full 27 years after starting their on-again, off-again relationship in 1982. Fawcett, 62, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and is "fighting for her life," according to O'Neal. He says the couple plan to wed "as soon as she can say yes . . .. Maybe we can just nod her head."

Baldwin's 'maternity' leave

Actor Stephen Baldwin, a contestant on ABC's I'm a Celebrity. . . Get Me Out of Here!, was forced to leave the program because he was carrying an insect's spawn.

Bear with us.

According to PerezHilton.com - you've got to admire the man's resilience in the face of an (alleged) Black Eyed Beatdown - Baldwin revealed to an Internet radio station that he had been bitten more than 125 times by bugs in the Costa Rican jungle, where the show is filmed.

One of those creepy crawlers took the liberty of implanting its larvae under Baldwin's skin.

The actor, 43, noticed the oddity when the bite region became "quite lumpy." He consulted a medical professional to assess the damage.

The doctor "explained that in his opinion at that point, he didn't think that it was the implantation of insect larvae into my flesh, but that - oh gosh - that's what it could be," Baldwin explained. "So they tested these things and, sure enough, Stevie B was pregnant."

According to the Cornell Department of Entomology, as many as 200 single eggs can be laid per batch by a mosquito.

They should fit right in with the Baldwin family.

Locally honored

Plays & Players Theatre Company is $1,000 richer this week after the audience at last weekend's Spark Showcase voted its Zombie! The Musical as the best of five showcase contenders. The five small theater companies participating in the event, sponsored by the Philadelphia Theatre Alliance, presented snippets of new work in progress, and the audience at Plays & Players Theatre on Delancey Place voted Friday night in the first Hotel Obligado Audience Choice Award for New Work. Hotel Obligado was a theater company that disbanded last year and left its budget surplus to the Theater Alliance. Plays & Players must use the money to bring the show to a full production.

- Howard Shapiro

All-in for a cause

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Mekhi Phifer have joined a growing list of celebrities scheduled to appear in the Ante Up for Africa charity poker tournament on July 2.

The third annual event, at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, aims to raise awareness and funds to support the victims of the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. Additional celebs such as Don Cheadle, Charles Barkley, and Sarah Silverman will be among those joining pros like Annie Duke at the tables.

Wilma's traveling man, Take 2

Jiri Zizka, co-artistic director of Philadelphia's Wilma Theater, has received a $3,500 summer travel grant from Theatre Communications Group, an organization for American nonprofit theaters, to travel to Prague, Czech Republic, to meet with playwright Václav Havel. Zizka also will consult with director Ondrej Hrab in advance of the Wilma's 2010 U.S. premiere of Havel's Leaving. An item on the grant in Saturday's SideShow column misstated the organization giving the grant, and the purpose of the trip.

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com. This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.