Katharine McPhee teases fans with blue and pink-themed baby bump pics
Blue coat … blue hearts … blue stork news? Or is that pink … or maybe one of each? After months of quietly ignoring pregnancy rumors, Katharine McPhee shared two photos on Instagram this week that have fans convinced the singer and her husband, David Foster are expecting twins, a boy and a girl, to be precise. On Tuesday, Dec. 15, Katharine, 36, posted a selfie that showed her looking pensive in a pink outfit with an empire waist above her growing baby bump. The caption was simply three little pink bows. That set off a storm of comments from fans who predicted her firstborn would be a girl. But one day later, Katharine was on Instagram again, showing off another seemingly telling color. This time, she laid a hand on her bump, which was covered by a long blue coat, in the pic. Again, the accompanying caption had no words. Just a blue heart, followed by a butterfly and another blue heart. "Gorgeous! Love it" one fan wrote before asking, "is the blue color telling us anything?" Another follower chimed in to tell the user Katharine had posted a pink-heavy pic the day before. "Twins? Boy and girl?" the fan guessed, hoping for confirmation … to no avail. Katharine and David, 71, tied the knot last year.
Keep reading for the latest on Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn, Tom Cruise and more …
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Taylor Swift's beau Joe Alwyn is 'her rock'
The latest round of wedding buzz about Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn may or may not be true, but one thing's for sure — the couple's romance of four-plus years is as strong as ever. "He is her rock," a source tells People in the outlet's latest issue. "Their relationship is mature and wonderful." Part of that maturity can likely be credited to the work Taylor and Joe did together while in quarantine this year. As the singer revealed in her surprise Disney+ doc, "Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions," Joe ended up helping write a number of Taylor's new songs. "I heard Joe singing the entire fully formed chorus of 'Betty' from another room, and I just was like, 'Hello,'" she recalled. "I came in and I was like, 'Hey, this could be really weird and we could hate this, [but] because we're in quarantine and there's nothing else going on, could we just try to see what it's like if we write this song together?'" They ended up working together on three of the songs from Taylor's new albums, "folklore" and "evermore," with Joe using the penname "William Bowery" in the credits. According to People's source, work's not really on their radar as the year comes to an end. For now, the insider says, the two are just excited about "celebrating Christmas together."
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Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen jokingly spar over whose son deserves the 'Cutest Baby Alive' title
When Anderson Cooper announced he'd welcomed a son, Wyatt, via surrogate, this spring, his best friend, Andy Cohen, who also welcomed a son with the help of a surrogate, told little Wyatt on Instagram that he knew someone who couldn't "wait to meet" Wyatt. Fast forward a few months and Wyatt Cooper is becoming friends with Benjamin Cohen — in spite of their dads' competitive streaks. Speaking to Stephen Colbert in a joint segment on Tuesday, Anderson and Andy joked that there's some tension around People's recent pronouncement that Wyatt, 7 months, is the "Cutest Baby Alive," an honor the magazine bestowed on Benjamin, now 1, last year. Asked if there would "be a peaceful transition of power" from cute baby to cute baby, Andy wasted no time with his reply. "Ben, of course, is the 'Cutest Baby Alive,'" he said (via E! News). "We got the offer from People magazine and I thought that it would be very selfish, especially in a year of turmoil, for us to take that award. So we said, let's give it to Wyatt Cooper this year. Because hasn't Anderson been through enough, quite frankly?" Feigning skepticism, Anderson asked his friend, "You gave a hard pass to being the Cutest Baby Alive for two years in a row?" Andy corrected Anderson, saying Benjamin "gave a charitable pass" on the title. Later, when Stephen asked if the boys get along, Andy says he and Benjamin "hang out" at Anderson's house "every weekend." He said Ben and Wyatt, "have just kind of gotten to the point where they're acknowledging each other," adding, "Ben hugs Wyatt and gives him a little kiss … Wyatt reached for him the other day." Anderson then acknowledged the reach was a big moment. "Benjamin, though, has yet to accept his loss," he joked.
Celebs defend Tom Cruise after his tirade over COVID-19 safety violations
George Clooney, Whoopi Goldberg and more stars defended Tom Cruise as the actor's foul-mouthed rant at crew members on the set of "Mission: Impossible 7" over a breach of COVID-19 safety rules went viral this week. "He didn't overreact because it is a problem," George told Howard Stern of Tom's behavior (via E! News). "I have a friend who's an AD on another TV show who just had the almost exact same thing happen with not quite as far out a response." On "The View," meanwhile, Whoopi mused, "… some people don't understand why he would get so angry … I get it." Most of her co-hosts said they did, too. The audio was published Tuesday by The Sun. Tom, 58, was reportedly sent into a rage on the London set after spotting two people standing next to each other at a computer screen, rather than maintaining six feet of distance between them, according to the New York Times. "We are creating thousands of jobs," the franchise star hollered at one point in the clip. "I don't ever want to see it again! Ever! And if you don't do it, you're fired!" Per The Sun's sources, Tom has taken to enforcing safety rules on the set himself since the pandemic forced production to shut down earlier this year. In the clip, Tom can also be heard saying he's not interested in apologies for the rule-breaking. "You can tell it to the people that are losing their homes because our industry is shut down," he snapped. "It's not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education." Tom's facts aren't wrong, of course. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that entertainment industry "job declines" in California alone from February through August, "cost an estimated $58.4 billion in lost labor income and shrank the state's total economic output by $160.7 billion." As of mid-December, COVID-19 has killed more than 304,000 people in America, including scores of actors, musicians and TV personalities.
'Insecure' star Kendrick Sampson assaulted by police officer in Colombia
Kendrick Sampson, who recently played Issa Rae's love interest on "Insecure," is speaking out about racially fueled police brutality in Colombia. On Tuesday, the HBO actor shared a video, apparently shot by a stranger, that shows him being assaulted by police officer in Cartagena. According to the post, Kendrick was stopped by police six times in five days during his visit. In the stop that was caught on video, an officer can clearly be seen punching Kendrick, who staggers backwards, appearing to fall to the ground. "It happens to Black Colombians often," Kendrick wrote of the police stops. "I'm told stopping is policy but what is NOT is they reached down my underwear aggressively, slap my arms 5 times hard, punch me in my jaw and pull his gun on me. He then cuffed me and dragged me through the streets. I did not resist any legal procedure." The actor then thanked his friend, Colombia actress Natalia Reyes, for sharing the video "and helping me through this." Variety later published a statement from the head of the Cartagena police that was first published by Colombia national outlet, El Tiempo. In it, the commander called the use of force against Kendrick "legitimate," claiming the actor resisted arrest and "reached into a bag" during the interaction. Kendrick has been an avid supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, as his friend Natalia noted in her post about the incident.
Did Disney block Johnny Depp from returning to 'Pirates of the Caribbean'?
Over the past week, there's been talk of whether Margot Robbie wants her character to be queer when she steps into the lead of Disney's upcoming, female-driven installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. That buzz appears to have reignited interest in a key detail from the extensive feature THR published about Johnny Depp and his fall from Hollywood grace earlier this month. The tidbit in question? According to THR, Disney "blocked" Johnny from returning to the "Pirates" franchise he's long helmed. The outlet alleges the studio soured on its relationship with Johnny before the actor's reputation took its latest hit following his loss of a libel case over a tabloid that branded him a "wife beater.""[Producer Jerry] Bruckheimer, who has been one of Depp's biggest champions … was hoping to at least bring the Captain Jack Sparrow character back briefly in the next outing — said to be a female-centric incarnation fronted by Margot Robbie," THR's report states, adding that, "Disney balked," ending Jerry's campaign on the star's behalf. Johnny was also recently ousted from his lead in the "Fantastic Beasts" series.
Britney Spears' father says he and Britney haven't spoken since August
As Britney Spears continue to battle her father in court over his role in her conservatorship, the two have apparently stopped speaking. "I love my daughter and I miss her very much," Jamie Spears told CNN in an interview published this week. "When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally. I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family." Britney, 39, has been under the control of the conservatorship for more than 12 years. Jamie has been the key conservator during most of that period. He was recently given a small demotion, though, when he was made co-conservator. Meanwhile, Britney is still pushing to have removed altogether, and has allegedly told her attorney (who in turn told a judge) that she is "afraid" of her dad. Jamie's lawyer maintains Britney and Jamie previously communicated "often and regularly throughout the entire conservatorship."
Christopher Walken reveals he's never had a cellphone or computer
Bill Murray isn't the only Hollywood A-lister without a phone. During a Zoom chat with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday's "Late Show," Christopher Walken revealed that like Bill, he has no cellphone. While Bill famously ditched his phone because of its annoying habits of ringing and putting people in touch with him, however, Chris simply never saw a good reason to embrace the technology … or any modern technology, to speak of. "Somebody had to come and set this up because I don't have a cellphone or a computer," he said via Zoom on "The Late Show" (per EW). Asked if he was anti-tech for moral reasons, the "Wild Mountain Thyme" star, 77, assured Stephen that wasn't the case. "No, no," he said. "I just got to it too late. I think I'm right at a certain age where it just passed me by. And I never got involved in it because it would be strange to have any 10-year-old be much better at it than I am." Besides, Chris added — cellphones are kinda like watches. "If you need one, somebody else has got it," he reasoned. He went on to confirm he has never sent an email, never used text messaging and never been on Twitter. "Sometimes on a movie they'll give me a cellphone, but it's more so that they can find me… like a tracking collar," Chris explained. "If I want to use it, someone has to dial it for me, that kind of thing."
'RHONYC' stars join demonstration against restaurant shut-down
Leah McSweeney was among the many angry New Yorkers who rallied on Tuesday to protest Gov. Andrew Cuomo's move to shut down indoor dining in New York City and demand federal assistance for restaurants and bars amid the pandemic. Posting photos from the Times Square event, staged ahead of an impending snowstorm, the "Real Housewives of New York City" star urged the governor to reconsider his recent action. "This isn't about dining out. Open your eyes. This is about hard working people, small business owners and NYC," she captioned the pics. "There is no NYC without restaurants, our sous chefs, bus boys and bartenders, wait staff etc. They need help," Leah continued. "1.4% transmission rate in indoor dining does not warrant plummeting all these people into poverty. Please pay attention!!! These photos say it all. 💔." Leah's castmate, Ramona Singer, also appears to have been at the protest. Like Leah, she referenced a new study that showed the majority of new COVID-19 cases in New York City were traced not to bars or restaurants but to gatherings in private homes. "As a New Yorker I am appalled to see what is happening to the restaurant/hospitality industry! How do @nygovcuomo & @nycmayor expect these businesses to survive!!?" she asked in her post. "The CDC states indoor restaurant dining only represents 1.43% of covid cases 73% come from household gatherings….and what about subways, buses and planes?" Ramona then went on the attack: It is my opinion @nygovcuomo wants to bring New York City to its knees economically he wants to destroy it, the reason is because he needs a federal bail out. Prior to Covid New York State was already in serious debt. It is time we stand up and save our small businesses!!" According to Page Six, "RHONYC" is "currently in production for" the new season.
Alison Roman won't return to NYT following Chrissy Teigen controversy
Food writer Alison Roman's New York Times hiatus has turned out to be a permanent parting of ways. Alison's column for the Times' cooking section was put on hold after she made negative comments about Chrissy Teigen's cooking website and TV organizing consultant Marie Kondo in May. A semi-scandal ensued on social media before Alison apologized to both women and Chrissy voiced her support for Alison and her work, saying she was unhappy about the Times' decision to temporarily stop working with Alison. On Wednesday, however, Alison shared a long Instagram post in which she announced she will not be returning to the outlet. After thanking readers for sharing her shallot pasta recipe so often that it became NYT Cooking's No. 1 most popular recipe this year, Alison told followers, "Feels like a good time to formally mention I won't be returning to NYT Cooking." Referencing her regular subscriber newsletter, she continued: "I'm proud of the work we made together but excited for this new chapter which includes more recipes, videos and writing over on A Newsletter and beyond."