Celebrities & Public Figures

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-15T08:30:02+00:00
Judge rejects Harvey Weinstein's $19 million settlement
Former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein in Paris at the César Awards ceremony, February 2014
Former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein in Paris at the César Awards ceremony, February 2014 Credit: Georges Biard (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein has rejected a proposed $19 million settlement for the women who accused former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse and harassment. Hellerstein stated the offer failed to compensate many of the victims who allege they were sexually assaulted or raped by Weinstein.

Hellerstein said: "Not every woman was captured in the same way, Your settlement would create inequality among all of those people.".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-13T23:00:02+00:00
Naya Rivera's body found at Lake Piru
Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera Credit: Lloyd Klein (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the body found earlier today in Lake Piru, California, belongs to actress Naya Rivera, who has been missing since last Wednesday.

Sheriff Bill Ayub said: "We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera, there is no indication of foul play or that this was a suicide.".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-13T12:13:39+00:00
Zindzi Mandela, daugther of Nelson Mandela, dies aged 59
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 59 in a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. The cause of her death has not been revealed yet.

Zindzi Mandela had been serving as South Africa's ambassador to Denmark since 2014. She was married twice and had four children.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-13T08:59:42+00:00
Actress Kelly Preston dies at age 57
John Travolta and Kelly Preston at the Cannes film festival, for the 20th anniversary of "Pulp fiction"
John Travolta and Kelly Preston at the Cannes film festival, for the 20th anniversary of "Pulp fiction" Credit: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Kelly Preston, actress and wife of John Travolta, has died of breast cancer at the age of 57. She appeared in movies such as "Jerry Maguire", "Space Camp" and "Twins". After meeting John Travolta in 1987 on the set of "The Experts", the two got married in 1991 and had three children together.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many," Travolta wrote in a post to Instagram on Monday.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-10T07:00:02+00:00
Feds reportedly fear that Ghislaine Maxwell could commit suicide
Feds reportedly fear that Ghislaine Maxwell could commit suicide
Credit: Ghislaine Maxwell / wikimedia commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to reports, strict safety protocols have been implemented for Jeffrey Epstein's friend and confidante Ghislaine Maxwell over fear she might commit suicide. Federal officers took away Maxwell's bedsheets and clothing, the latter was replaced with paper clothes. Maxwell, who was arrested last week, will be under constant surveillance during her imprisonment in response to criticism regarding the uncertain circumstances of Epstein's death.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-09T08:17:22+00:00
Naya Rivera, 'Glee' actress, is missing
Actress Naya Rivera on the Glee panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con in San Diego, California.
Actress Naya Rivera on the Glee panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con in San Diego, California. Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Actress Naya Rivera is missing and is feared dead after Josey, her 4-year-old son, was found alone on the boat they’d rented in Lake Piru, California. According to CBS Los Angeles, Josey told the police he and his mom had gone out to go swimming.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department posted a tweet Wednesday night confirming the missing person as the former 'Glee' star, and that search operations will resume in the morning: "The missing person at Lake Puru has been identified as Naya Rivera, 33, of Los Angeles. SAR operation will continue at first light".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-08T18:00:01+00:00
"A Letter on Justice and Open Debate" – a open letter warning against "intolerance of opposing views" signed by 150 public figures, including authors Rowling and Atwood
"A Letter on Justice and Open Debate" – a open letter warning against "intolerance of opposing views" signed by 150 public figures, including authors Rowling and Atwood
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler

Around 150 public figures have signed an open letter titled "A Letter on Justice and Open Debate" warning of the spread of "censoriousness" and "intolerance of opposing views" in today's culture. Among the signatories are writer and activist Gloria Steinem and authors J.K. Rowling and Margarete Atwood.

The letter states that "powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society," but that this has also led to "a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity."

"The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. [...] But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought," the letter continues.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-06T17:16:01+00:00
Broadway actor Nick Cordero dies aged 41 from Covid-19
Photograph of Nick Cordero shared by his wife Amanda Kloots on Instagram
Photograph of Nick Cordero shared by his wife Amanda Kloots on Instagram Credit: via Instagram @amandakloots

Nick Cordero has died at age 41 after a month-long battle with Covid-19. The Broadway actor had tested positive for the novel Coronavirus in March and was hospitalised shortly after. He spent over 90 days in the intensive care unit at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he received a temporary pacemaker, had one of his legs amputated and was put into a medically induced coma.

His wife, Amanda Kloots, confirmed his passing on Instagram, writing: "God has another angel in heaven now. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. I will love you forever and always my sweet man."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-06T08:00:01+00:00
Italian composer Ennio Morricone dies aged 91
Ennio Morricone at the Festhalle Frankfurt in 2015
Ennio Morricone at the Festhalle Frankfurt in 2015 Credit: Sven-Sebastian Sajak / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Ennio Morricone has died at age 91. The Italian composer composed over 400 scores for television and cinema, including a score for the 1966 movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly which is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in movie history. Morricone was nominated for 6 Academy Awards and received an Oscar for his score to Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. His work influenced many artists, including Hans Zimmer, Dire Straits and Metallica.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-06T04:30:02+00:00
British actor Earl Cameron dies aged 102
British actor Earl Cameron dies aged 102
Credit: Peter J Dunn- in my role as Director of Press and Media at the University of Warwick / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Earl Cameron has died at the age of 102 on Friday. His death was confirmed by his agent who said that Cameron "passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and family."

Cameron was one of the first Black actors who achieved a prominent role in British film. After working in theatre, he made his film debut in Pool of London, a 1951 crime drama. He later appeared in movies such as Safari and Thunderball. Cameron also played the first black astronaut on screen in an episode of Doctor Who.

"When I arrived in London, I had no qualifications for anything. It was a period when it was almost impossible for a black person to get any kind of job," so Cameron in a 2018 interview.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-02T15:10:02+00:00
Ghislaine Maxwell arrested on sex trafficking charges
A profile photo of Ghislaine Maxwell, 2007
A profile photo of Ghislaine Maxwell, 2007 Credit: Ghislaine Maxwell / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Ghislaine Maxwell, a close friend and confidante of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested on six sex trafficking charges. Maxwell has been accused by multiple women of being involved in recruiting for Epstein but has so far denied having had knowledge of Epstein's sexual misconduct.

Maxwell is being charged with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-07-01T13:30:02+00:00
$19 million settlement reached in Harvey Weinstein lawsuits
Former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein in Paris at the César Awards ceremony, February 2014
Former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein in Paris at the César Awards ceremony, February 2014 Credit: Georges Biard / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On Tuesday, the New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that a $19 million settlement had been reached in a 2018 civil rights lawsuit on behalf of multiple women against former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein.

"Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company failed their female employees. After all the harassment, threats, and discrimination, their victims are finally receiving some justice," so James in a statement. The sum of $18,875,000 will be distributed among "women who experienced a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination while working at The Weinstein Company, as well as sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein."

Douglas H. Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, two attorneys for several of Weinstein's victims called the settlement a "complete sellout" and said they were surprised "that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-29T09:46:01+00:00
Beyoncé receives BET Humanitarian Award, urges people to "dismantle the racist and unequal system"
Beyoncé performing at Coachella
Beyoncé performing at Coachella Credit: Thephilipmicah / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

During Sunday's Black Entertainment Television Awards, Beyoncé received the prestigious Humanitarian Award of the Year and dedicated it to "all those who have been marching in support of racial equality." The award was presented by Michelle Obama, who praised the singer for her passion, accomplishments and activism. "To my girl, I just want to say you inspire me," Obama continued. "You inspire all of us."

In a pre-recorded acceptance speech, Beyoncé urges people to vote "like your life depends on it, because it does," and encourages voters "to change and dismantle the racist and unequal system."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-27T07:46:01+00:00
Milton Glaser, designer of "I ❤ NY" and Co-Founder of New York Magazine, dies age 91
Milton Glaser, designer of "I ❤ NY" and Co-Founder of New York Magazine, dies age 91
Credit: Milton Glaser (Public Domain)

Milton Glaser has died at age 91 of a stroke and renal failure on Friday. He was one of the most celebrated and recognisable graphic designers in the United States.

His popular artworks include the iconic "I ❤ NY" logo, the 1967 illustration of Bob Dylan as well as several logos for DC Comics. In 1954, he co-founded the New York Magazine with Clay Felker and New York-based graphic design and illustration studio Push Pin Studios with several Cooper Union graduates. Glaser's work has been featured in many museums and exhibits across the world and received many awards, including the National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama in 2009.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-22T20:30:01+00:00
Director Joel Schumacher dies aged 80
Director Joel Schumacher at Taormina Film Fest 2003
Director Joel Schumacher at Taormina Film Fest 2003 Credit: Kasper2006

American director and filmmaker Joel Schumacher has died at age 80. According to his publicist, Schumacher lost his year-long battle with cancer early Monday morning. Schumacher directed almost two dozen movies, including The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire and two Batman movies, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-22T11:00:02+00:00
Justin Bieber accused of sexual assault, denies allegations
Justin Bieber in concert with Soother Braun in Rosemont, Illinois (2015)
Justin Bieber in concert with Soother Braun in Rosemont, Illinois (2015) Credit: Lou Stejskal / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Friday, a Twitter user by the name "Danielle" claimed she was "sexually assaulted by Justin Bieber" in Houston, Texas on March 9, 2014. She describes meeting Bieber during an event at a bar in Houston where she and her friends "took some pictures and chatted for about 20 minutes" with the singer who later invited them to the Four Seasons Hotel. In the hotel, she was separated from her friends, who were taken into another room by one of Bieber's friends. Bieber then allegedly kissed her and later "forced himself inside" her after she told him "to get off".

Bieber responded to the allegations on Twitter, stating that "this story is factually impossible" and that he "will be working with twitter and authorities to take legal action". He added that, even though he was at the mentioned event location, he didn't stay at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 9, posting receipts from his stay at an AirBnB and the Westin Hotel on the nights of March 9 and 10, 2014, where he said he had stayed with his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez and their friends.

The Twitter user "Danielle" (handle @danielleglvn) has since deleted both the tweet and her account.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-21T18:30:02+00:00
Actor Ansel Elgort accused of sexual assault, denies allegations
Ansel Elgort in 2014
Ansel Elgort in 2014 Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/drlovell / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

On Friday, a Twitter user by the name "Gabby" claimed she was "sexually assaulted a couple days after" turning 17 by actor Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, The Goldfinch). She described getting in touch with Elgort online and eventually meeting up with him. "Instead of asking me if I wanted to stop having sex knowing it was my first time and I was sobbing in pain and I didn’t want to do it," she stated in her account of the events, and adding that "the only words that came out of his mouth were, 'We need to break you in.'"

Ansel Elgort has posted a response on his Instagram account on Sunday, stating he was distressed by the allegations and that he "cannot claim to understand Gabby’s feelings but her description of events is simply not what happened." He went on to say that he had a "brief, legal and entirely consensual relationship" with Gabby in 2014 and apologised for breaking up with her by stopping to respond to her.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-20T05:00:01+00:00
Malala Yousafzai graduates from Oxford University
Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe in 2019
Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe in 2019 Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. In 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman due to her activism for female education.

In a Tweet, Yousafzai shared images of her graduation celebration and wrote: "Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford. I don’t know what’s ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-10T17:00:01+00:00
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, celebrates 99th birthday
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland in 2007
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland in 2007 Credit: Photo Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers / Public domain

Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, celebrates his 99th birthday on June 10.

Both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been self-isolating in Windsor Castle where they will also be celebrating Prince Philip's birthday in private.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-09T10:00:01+00:00
Adam Rapoport resigns as editor in chief of Bon Appétit, staff speaks out against publisher Condé Nast
Screenshots of Sohla El-Waylly's Instagram story, addressing Rapoport and unequal pay at BA
Screenshots of Sohla El-Waylly's Instagram story, addressing Rapoport and unequal pay at BA Credit: Sohla El-Waylly via Instagram Stories

Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport has resigned after a photograph of him dressed in "brownface" from the early 2000s surfaced on Instagram. Rapoport announced his resignation on Instagram, writing: "I am stepping down as editor in chief of Bon Appétit to reflect on the work that I need to do as a human being and to allow Bon Appétit to get to a better place".

After the photograph surfaced, BA Test Kitchen Sohla El-Waylly took to Instagram to speak out against publisher Bon Appétit and publisher Condé Nast, saying: "I've been pushed in front of video as a display of diversity. In reality, only white editors are paid for their video appearances. None of the people of color have been compensated". Many of BA's staff members, including Claire Saffitz, Brad Leone, Alex Delany and others, have announced on Instagram that they will not appear in any new BA video material until all their colleagues receive equal pay.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-08T11:46:01+00:00
J.K. Rowling accused of making transphobic comment on Twitter
J. K. Rowling Tweet
J. K. Rowling Tweet Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Author J.K. Rowling was accused of making transphobic on Twitter over the weekend. The author of the Harry Potter series enraged several people with the comment on an article that stated that 1.8 billion people — girls, women, and gender non-binary people — menstruate. "People who menstruate. I am sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" wrote Rowling.

This is not the first time Rowling is involved in controversy as last year she was criticised for showing support for Maya Forstater, a researcher who stated that people cannot change their biological sex.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-07T08:06:01+00:00
Snoop Dogg admits to vote for the first time in 2020
Snoop Dogg at Hovefestivalen in 2012
Snoop Dogg at Hovefestivalen in 2012 Credit: Jørund Føreland Pedersen / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Rapper Snoop Dogg admitted in an interview with Big Boy's Neighborhood on Thursday that he has never voted before as he falsely believed he wasn't allowed to vote due to two felony convictions. Snoop Dogg said "For many years they had me brainwashed thinking that you couldn’t vote because you had a criminal record," and added: "I didn't know that. My record's been expunged so now I can vote."

He furthermore stated that he would vote in 2020 for the first time in his life as he didn't want Donald Trump in office for another term, saying: "I'm going to get out and vote because I can't stand to see this punk in office one more year."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-05T05:16:02+00:00
YouTuber Jake Paul charged by police over alleged looting

The YouTuber Jake Paul, who has over 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, has been charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly. He was previously spotted in the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall after it was closed and officials have said that Jake Paul "was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by police". The YouTuber himself has nobody of his group has engaged in any looting or vandalism.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-06-05T03:40:02+00:00
Duchess of Sussex pays tribute to George Floyd in commencement speech
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 2018
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 2018 Credit: Office of the Governor-General / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

In a virtual commencement speech to the students at her former L.A. Catholic high school Immaculate Heart, the Duchess of Sussex asked the young students to use their voices to "lead with love, lead with compassion". Meghan called George Floyd's death "absolutely devastating" and shared her own experience of the 1992 race riots.

"George Floyd's life mattered, and Breonna Taylor's life mattered, and Philando Castile's life mattered, and Tamir Rice's life mattered and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know", so Meghan.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-05-25T11:26:07+00:00
Queen guitarist Brian May suffered heart attack
Brian May at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland
Brian May at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls / Public domain

Brian May, 72-year old lead guitarist of Queen, said in an Instagram post that he recently suffered a heart attack after he had ripped his buttock muscles. The attack caused him 40 minutes of chest pain and, after being driven to the hospital, his doctors found three blocked arteries, which May described as being "very near death". Instead of heart surgery, May decided to have three stents inserted into his blocked arteries.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-05-23T15:28:23+00:00
Cameroon Pastor and Faith Healer Dies of Covid-19

39-year old Cameroon pastor and faith healer Frankline Ndifor has died of Covid-19. Ndifor previously alleged he had cured people of the novel coronavirus by laying his hands on them. His followers, who were praying for his resurrection, blocked entry to his home and authorities had to enter Ndifor's home by force. The pastor died within 10 minutes after medical personnel arrived.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-05-20T09:49:18+00:00
Captain Tom Moore to be awarded knighthood

Captain Tom Moore, the veteran who has raised millions for NHS charities, will be receiving knighthood, making him Captain Sir Tom Moore. Boris Johnson recommended the veteran for the honour which has been approved by the Queen and is set to be formally announced on Wednesday. Johnson added: "On behalf of everyone who has been moved by his incredible story, I want to say a huge thank you. He's a true national treasure."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-05-18T18:31:47+00:00
Director Lynn Shelton dies of blood disorder at age 54

Director and filmmaker Lynn Shelton has died of a previously undiagnosed blood disorder on Friday. Shelton, who recently directed the book adaption of Little Fires Everywhere, passed away on March 15 at age 54 in Los Angeles. According to her partner Marc Maron, her death was not Covid-19 related.

Reese Witherspoon shared her condolences on Twitter: "I’m so devastated to hear about Lynn Shelton’s passing yesterday. I’m in complete shock that this vibrant, talented, and soulful filmmaker is no longer with us. Lynn was so passionate about our show, Little Fires Everywhere."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-05-18T15:51:43+00:00
Corey Taylor raised over $150,000 for Direct Relief's Covid-19 efforts

Corey Taylor, vocalist of Slipknot and Stone Sour, raised over $150,000 for the Covid-19 response effort of humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief. Taylor auctioned off 13 of his guitars and basses, including a Gold Top Gibson Classic Les Paul and a gold metallic Gibson Memphis Dave Grohl DG-335, on eBay for a total of $75,000. eBay matched the raised sum, bringing the donation to $150,000.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
2020-05-12T15:22:39+00:00
Hackers have breached law firm of stars including Drake and Madonna

Criminals have released a screenshot of an alleged Madonna contract together with a demand for payment. In addition, the website of the law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, based in New York, is down. The firm has announced that clients have been notified and a cybersecurity company has been called in for help.