The real reason Regé-Jean Page won't return for Season 2 of 'Bridgerton'
If you heard some strange keening sounds on Friday, April 2, you were probably in earshot of "Bridgerton" fans who'd just learned the soapy hit's easy-on-the-eyes Duke of Hastings won't be returning for Season 2. Regé-Jean Page posted a gracious "goodbye" on Twitter and Instagram after the "Bridgerton" account revealed that while the Duke's onscreen love, Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor) will return, the show will "bid adieu" to Daphne's duke. "Pleasure and a privilege!" the British actor, 31, replied. "An honour to be a member of the family – on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fans – the love is real and will just keep growing ❤️💫." The post was soon awash in comments from heartbroken fans, including Kim Kardashian West, who joked a few days ago that she was definitely "not crying" while watching the Duke share a dance with Phoebe in one of Season 1's most romantic scenes. "Wait!!! WHAT????" she wrote in the comments on Regé-Jean's news. So why, exactly, are Shonda and Netflix letting their biggest star go? Fan threads on Twitter have pointed out that the Duke does appear in the second book of the Julia Quinn series the show is based on. That book, "The Viscount Who Loved Me," focuses on Phoebe's brother, Lord Anthony Bridgerton's search for his Mrs. Right. And while an anonymous tip posted on Instagram gossip account Deaux Moi claims Shonda and Netflix wanted their breakout star to return but he declined because of his "ego," the actor told Variety this week that the role was appealing in large part because it was just a one-season commitment. "It's going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year," he told the outlet when asked about his early conversations with Shonda's team. "[I thought] 'That's interesting,' because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the 'Bridgerton' family rolls on." According to imdb, Regé-Jean is currently filming "The Gray Man," an action thriller, with Ana de Armas, Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling.
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Armie Hammer drops out of Broadway play, announces he's focusing on his 'health' amid rape, assault allegations
Amid allegations of rape, abuse and graphic messages involving references to cannibalism from former intimate partners, Armie Hammer has announced he's dropping out of an upcoming Broadway production of "The Minutes" so he can focus on his "health." In a statement released Friday, April 2, the actor, who shares two children with ex, Elizabeth Chambers, told Deadline, "I have loved every single second of working on 'The Minutes' with the family I made from Steppenwolf. But right now I need to focus on myself and my health for the sake of my family. Consequently, I will not be returning to Broadway with the production." Armie starred in the play's original Steppenwolf Theater iteration back in 2017. Though he's denied the allegations against him, Armie has lost project after project since the scandal made headlines earlier this year. He was replaced in the Jennifer Lopez-centric "Shotgun Wedding" after announcing he needed to be close to his kids while dealing with the rape and assault claims. Deadline has since reported he'll no longer appear in "Gaslit" alongside Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. He was also reportedly axed from Cold War thriller "Billion Dollar Spy" and Paramount's "The Offer."
Jen Shah pleads not guilty to fraud, money laundering charges
"Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" star Jen Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, pleaded not guilty to charges related to their alleged telemarketing scheme on Friday. According to NBC News, the suspected co-conspirators face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering after the Justice Department accused them of selling "essentially non-existent services" in states across the country to hundreds of people, most of whom were over the age of 55 and not computer savvy, from 2012 until 2021. In the indictment, Jen's also accused of setting up shell companies and "using third parties' names" to incorporate their various businesses. Page Six, meanwhile, cites insiders at Bravo who say the background check that was run on Jen and her "Real Housewives" costars raised no "red flags." Jen is free on a $1 million personal bond.
Martha Stewart says she 'got so many proposals and propositions' after her viral thirst trap pic
Sorry, folks. Martha Stewart doesn't have time to respond to all of your post-thirst trap propositions. And there were apparently a LOT of them after the 79-year-old's pool selfie went viral last summer. While chatting with Howie Mandel on Friday's edition of "Ellen," Martha admitted, as she has in the past, that she's not totally sure what a "thirst trap" even is. "I don't even know what it means now. What does it mean? So it makes you thirsty?" she asked Howie (via ET). Howie responded that "people thirst" to see whatever picture is involved in a thirst trap. Asked if she got asked out on "Zoom dates" when the shot went viral, Martha admitted she did. "I got so many proposals and so many propositions," she recalled, "but I had to ignore all of them. I'm a very busy person."
Tristan Thompson leaves flirty comment on Khloe Kardashian's latest ring pic as engagement buzz continues
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson fanned a new flurry of engagement speculation this week when Khloe shared a photo of her rainbow-manicured nails … and the massive, three-stone sparkler she's been wearing on and off since December on her all-important finger. Though she didn't give any new updates on the ring's meaning — she just captioned the post with colorful heart emojis and a shout-out to nail artist Chaun Legend — Tristan weighed in with heart-eye and diamond emojis, leaving frustrated fans desperate to know if the on-again couple have a wedding in their future. "This ring has had more photoshoots than Vogue and no official announcement," griped one of Khloe's followers. Khloe and Tristan reportedly got back together last summer while co-parenting their daughter, True, after splitting in 2019 over his alleged infidelity with Jordyn Woods. On last week's "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Khloe said she felt "flooded" by "other people's opinions" about her relationship with Tristan, even though she was still trying to figure it out herself. "That's why when all this outside noise is not all around me, we are great," she explained, per People. "Tristan and I operate fine, we have fun together, it's enjoyable. It's easy."
David Schwimmer hints 'Friends' cast will briefly revisit their characters in long-awaited reunion special
David Schwimmer has revealed some new info about the "Friends" reunion that's been in the works at HBO Max for the past year. Delayed repeatedly due to the coronavirus pandemic, the reunion special still has no release date. But according to David, who played Ross on the long-running show, the format will primarily be a sit-down interview featuring the original cast members, including Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc. He also hinted that at one point, the stars are set to revisit their now iconic characters. "Nothing is scripted, and we are not in character," David told Graham Norton on the Friday edition of his show, according to the Daily Mail. "We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don't want to give away, but we all read something." "Friends" aired from 1994 until 2004, when Ross and Jen's character, Rachel, finally made their romance vibes official and Ross' sister, Monica (played by Courteney) moved to the 'burbs with Chandler (Matthew). In January, Lisa told Rob Lowe on his podcast that the plan was to shoot the special in "early spring." Deadline is now reporting the special starts shooting next week.
Taraji P. Henson pranked Octavia Spencer, Gabrielle Union and Gabourey Sidibe on April Fool's Day
It sounds like Taraji P. Henson pranked all her favorite women this year on April Fool's Day… with the same joke. The fakeout involved one little question — "did you mean to post" au naturel pics "on your story?" — and it successfully scared the daylights out of Taraji's famous friends, including her "Hidden Figures" co-star, Octavia Spencer, who shared a screenshot of the message on Instagram. "April Fools! Just kidding, in case your heart dropped!" Taraji had written at the bottom of the note. "Girl my heart dropped," Octavia assured her pal. While Octavia said in her caption that she "nearly fainted" when she saw Taraji's note, Gabrielle Union replied in the comments, "She got me too!!!!! I was shaking!!!" Gabourey Sidibe also got the jokey heads up, according to Insider.
Jeannie Mai and Jeezy launch wedding registry fundraiser for Stop Asian Hate
In the wake of their recent, at-home wedding, Jeannie Mai and Jeezy are asking friends and loved ones to skip the traditional wedding gift and instead consider donating to a fundraiser they've established with help from The Knot for Stop Asian Hate. The couple's charity of choice is an umbrella organization working to track the rising incidents of violence and discrimination targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during the pandemic. "For the past year, Asian Americans have tweeted, posted, and cried out for help. It's no longer enough to say, 'I'm not racist.' We need to be anti-racist, and that's harder," Jeannie and Jeezy said in a statement this week. They elaborate on their interest in supporting Stop Asian Hate on their GoFundMe. "The foundation of our relationship is based on a constant discovery of our respective experiences and individual identities," the couple explains. "We want our wedding guests and loved ones to not only feel a connection to our unique backgrounds, but also to give back to a cause that is near and dear to our hearts as individuals and, together, as a couple. The funds collected through our charity registry are distributed to verified fundraisers to help uplift and protect individual families and businesses across the AAPI community." "The Real" co-host and rapper said "I do" in an intimate ceremony at their home in Atlanta on March 27.
Ozzy Osbourne is on '#TeamSharon' after Sharon Osbourne's departure from 'The Talk'
Ozzy Osbourne is publicly supporting his wife, Sharon Osbourne, as she navigates her next move after exiting "The Talk." The Black Sabbath singer shared a photo on Instagram this week that showed him cupping his ear while standing beside Sharon. "I can't f—— hear you! #TeamSharon," the defiant caption read. Sharon's departure from "The Talk" after 11 years was sparked by an on-air discussion between her and Sheryl Underwood earlier this month in which Sharon defended her friend, Piers Morgan, amid backlash over his assertion Duchess Meghan fabricated her claims about the royal family's alleged racism and refusal to let her seek psychiatric care when she was dangerously depressed. After Sharon blew up at Sheryl, she apologized on social media, saying she "panicked" because she was horrified by the notion of "being accused of being racist," given her defense of Piers' remarks. While the network scrambled to deal with the fallout, former co-hosts Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini, and others, claimed Sharon had a history of using racial slurs and making disparaging remarks about Holly, who is Black, Julie Chen, who is of Asian-American descent, and Sara Gilbert, who is gay. Sharon denied the allegations, but still left the show. "As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon's behavior toward her co-hosts during the 10 March episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace," CBS said in a statement announcing that Sharon had "decided to leave" the show. Page Six recently reported she's likely to walk away with "a $5 to $10 million minimum payout."