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Baltimore Insider
Baltimore celebrity news and notes on Maryland personalities and politics
Reports: Cameron Diaz is engaged to Waldorf native Benji Madden

Christmas has apparently come early for Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden. 

Multiple sources confirm to Us Weekly that the actress, 42, is engaged to the Good Charlotte rocker, 35, a Waldorf native.

The couple has been together for seven months. 

"Everyone thinks it's wild but are so happy for them," one source told Us. "Benji always tends to fall in love easily, but this time it's for real and he landed a great girl."

Diaz's famous exes include Justin Timberlake and Alex Rodriguez. Benji Madden's twin brother, Joel Madden, is married to Nicole Richie. The brothers attended La Plata High School. Benji Madden has been linked romantically to Paris Hilton and Sophie Monk. 

Here's hoping for a Maryland wedding!

Read Us' report here.

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Watch this amazing Christmas dance party video by two Federal Hill roommates

The invitation was simple: Come for a Christmas party and be prepared to dance.

Federal Hill roommates Justin Chen and Jimmy Pope invited about 30 friends — all amateur or professional dancers to a party at their house earlier this month.

They came in reindeer suits, and Santa hats, elf costumes and sparkly evening dresses. And did they dance.

They Lindyhopped in the bathroom. They sidled seductively down the hall. They waved their arms in unison in the hallway.

The video — set to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" — has been viewed more than 40,000 times on Facebook.

The guys said it only took about five hours to shoot the video. They used the first full continuous take, Chen said.

Pope and Chen, who grew up in Columbia, met through a mutual friend a few years ago and recently moved to Federal Hill with a third roommate. They are both breakdancers, and many of their friends are also dancers.

This is the second viral video the pair has made.

Chen shot one earlier this...

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What they're saying about the 'Serial' finale

The first season of the Internet's most popular podcast, "Serial," concluded on Thursday with its 12th episode.

Since debuting in October online, host and former Sun reporter Sarah Koenig has broken down a different element in the 1999 Baltimore murder case of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old Woodlawn High School student whose body was discovered in Leakin Park. Her ex-boyfriend at the time, Adnan Syed, was later convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence in a Western Maryland state prison.

The series centers on Syed — who comes off as lucid, intelligent and thoughtful in the many recent phone interviews we hear — and Koenig, the inquisitive host who finds the story surrounding the murder suspicious. Like many listeners, she is often charmed by Syed, which leaves her only more confused.

The show has been an increasingly hot topic, online and off, but it also has its critics. While part of the show's appeal is Koenig's heart-on-her-sleeve approach to the case, detractors...

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Rabia Chaudry fights for Muslims — and Adnan

Rabia Chaudry teaches law enforcement officers about the Muslim faith, fights radical extremism and serves as a national security expert.

But for fans of "Serial," she's best known as the person who planted the seed for the hit podcast with producer Sarah Koenig — and discusses the case in-depth on her blog.

"People think I'm obnoxious. They think I'm aggressive," said Chaudry, a lawyer and Greenbelt resident. "That goes against the grain of stereotypes of Muslim women."

Chaudry contacted "This American Life" producer Koenig with the story of Adnan Syed, her younger brother's best friend, who is serving life plus 30 years for the killing in 1999 of his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

Koenig, struck by the intricacies of the case, launched a yearlong investigation at the heart of the podcast, which wraps up Thursday with the release of its 12th and final episode.

The two speak often about the case, and the conversation can spark conflict.

"We've certainly had our differences, and...

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Here's one take on what the finale of 'Serial' could be (but probably won't)

Can’t stand the suspense, waiting for tomorrow’s last installment of the podcast "Serial"?

Well, here’s at least one take on what could be on that final installment.

Courtesy of the wits at Funny or Die, this parody of both the style and the substance of "Serial" captures listener unease over how the story will resolve itself (or won’t resolve itself, if many listeners’ fears are realized).

"Saturday Night Live" alum Michaela Watkins puts herself in the shoes (and voice) of series host Sarah Koenig, wrestling with her own doubts over who killed Hae Min Lee, as well as with the expectations of sponsors and fans, who desperately want to see the real-life murder mystery solved.

You can check it out here, then check out the “Serial” finale tomorrow to see if all our (and perhaps Koenig’s) worst fears are realized.

“Serial” – the most popular podcast of all time, with more than 5 million downloads – deals with the 1999 killing of Baltimore high school student Lee and the case against Lee's...

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Friends throw surprise party for Ray and Janay Rice to celebrate anniversary of move to Baltimore

Ray and Janay Rice are feeling the love from Baltimore friends this week.

The couple's pals stormed their Owings Mills home for a surprise party to celebrate the seventh anniversary of their arrival in Baltimore.

"We thought we were having a normal Monday night then the doorbell rang...little did we know there they were with drinks, food, games and most of all love & support!" Janay Rice wrote on Instagram. 

The former Ravens running back and his wife were given a cake decorated with the word "RICE," surrounded by the words "Family," "Hope," "Love," "Courage," "Strength," "Support."

The group had some drinks, played "Cards Against Humanity," and had lots of laughs, based on the photos Janay Rice posted.

"We can't even describe how amazing this makes us feel!" she wrote. 

As anyone who has been following the couple's story knows, it has been a year of ups and downs for them.

In February, TMZ posted initial footage of Rice dragging his then-fiancee's...

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