Celine Dion addresses Pepe Munoz romance rumors: 'He's my best friend'
The last time Celine Dion staged a world tour, her husband, Rene, was still alive to support her. She announced this week she plans to get back on the road with her "Courage" tour, telling "Extra" that while Rene is no longer with her physically, she has been leaning on another special someone, Pepe Munoz. She also told the outlet the two are not dating despite rumors to the contrary. "At first, I felt for him quite a bit … Pepe is gay, and at first I think some people did not know that," she said. "The thing is that he's my best friend and we dance together and he did so much for me and even just holding my hand… it's something that I haven't had for a long time… A hug from a 6′ 3″ man, it was wonderful… and people really thought there was a romance going on." She went on to praise Pepe for his support, saying, "He did so much for me, for my mental health, my spirituality, my strength … my inner strength." As for her late husband, who died in 2016, Celine says she knows "Rene's with" her and her sons when they all go to bed at night. He'll be with her on tour in a sense, too, courtesy of the venture's "Courage" title. "It was a challenge to go back onstage," Celine admits. "I didn't know if I was going to have the strength and the courage to sing again because Rene always sang with me. Rene was my second half."
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Britney Spears' boyfriend, sons and ex can visit her in treatment
As Britney Spears works on her mental and emotional health at a treatment center, the singer's family is supporting her as much as possible in the hopes she'll soon be "back to her old self, being the happy-go-lucky girl they know and love." That's according to Us Weekly, which quotes a source as saying it was the decline of Britney's dad's health that sent her into a rough patch. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, reports Jamie Spears, who seems to have become more ill since his colon ruptured a few months back, has been Britney's rock, emotionally, as well as legally, given her conservatorship. "Her boyfriend, Sam [Asghari], has been extremely supportive and is behind her all the way. He's so proud of her for wanting to better herself and for taking this step." While she's in treatment, Sam, as wekk Britney's sons and their dad, Kevin Federline, are allowed to visit. "They are all behind her and want her to succeed," says the source. "They don't want her to suffer like she has been anymore," the first source tells Us. When Britney announced she was taking some "me" time to deal with her pain, Sam replied on Instagram, writing, "It isn't weakness, it's a sign of absolute strength, people should only be inspired by this, at least I am."
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Alec Baldwin's parking spot fight has inspired some new street art
Look at those anger management skills in action! Two months after Alec Baldwin pleaded guilty to a harassment charge for railing at a neighbor over a parking spot, a street artist has apparently found inspiration in the incident. On Friday, April 5, Donald Trump's "SNL" alter ego shared a photo on Instagram of block-style letters painted on the street to read, "RESERVED | ALEC BALDWIN." "Outside my building," he captioned the shot. "Not funny. It IS funny, but not funny. You catch me?" His famous family and friends were quick to go with, "IS funny." "No… not funny," Alec's brother, Billy Baldwin, wrote in the comments, adding, "Not funny at all… hilarious!!!🔥" The "30 Rock" star's daughter, Ireland Baldwin, agreed, noting, "It's pretty damn funny." Angie Harmon, meanwhile, seemed to have been left speechless, sharing only a row of Emojis: "😂😂😂😂😂👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼." Alec, who was hit with a $120 fine for the argument with his neighbor, was also ordered to attend anger management classes (again).
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Kathie Lee Gifford gets some love from former nemesis Howard Stern
"This is why pigs are flying all over the place." So said a stunned Kathie Lee Gifford on her final appearance as the fourth-hour co-host of "Today," on Friday, April 5. She was referring to the surprise gift she received this week from Howard Stern, who made a decades-long habit out of trashing her publicly, criticizing her family, her intelligence and more. "I came home yesterday … and this hugest, hugest bouquet of red roses, you can barely get in my house. And I'm going, 'Oh, who did that?' …," the 11-year "Today" veteran marveled on the show, according to the New York Post. Then she shared what was writen on the attached card. "It said: To your auspicious, or your illustrious, or something, career. All the best — take a deep breath — Howard and Beth Stern," she said. "How nice is that? That man hated my guts for 30 years and I prayed for him every single day." Kathie and Howard reportedly made up sometime around 2012 after Kathie introduced herself to the shock jock. He later called her to apologize for the things he'd said.
Amal Clooney appointed Special Envoy on Media Freedom
George Clooney has one more reason to admire his wife (as if he needed another). This week, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced his appointment of Amal Clooney, 41, to a new post in which she'll work to protect and expand freedom of the press, according to E! News. "I am honored to have been appointed as the Foreign Secretary's Special Envoy on Media Freedom and to have been invited to chair the High Level Panel of Legal Experts," Amal said in a statement. "Through my legal work defending journalists, I have seen first-hand the ways in which reporters are being targeted and imprisoned in an effort to silence them and prevent a free media. I welcome the UK Government's focus on this issue at a time when journalists are being killed and imprisoned at record levels all over the world and I look forward to working on new legal initiatives that can help to ensure a more effective international response." E! reports the campaign "aims to shine a spotlight on media abuses and reverse the trend of violence against journalists," according to the statement. "Amal Clooney's leading work on human rights means she is ideally placed to ensure this campaign has real impact for journalists and the free societies who depend on their work," the foreign secretary added. "She will use her expertise to chair a panel comprising the world's best legal minds to develop and promote legal mechanisms to prevent and reverse media abuses."
Scott Disick was banned from family vacations in 2017
Kourtney Kardashian has no plans to start inviting Scott Disick on any Kardashian family vacations in the foreseeable future. At least that's how it sounded when the krewe shot the next edition of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." A sneak peek on E! News this week reveals that before the family traveled to Bali for their annual getaway, Kourtney had to have a chat with her mom, Kris Jenner, about why Scott's persona non grata on their major trips. In the clip, Kris suggests having Scott along would be "fun." "Do you remember Costa Rica?" Kourtney asks , referencing their 2017 vacation. "I haven't invited Scott on the trip. I feel hesitant to invite him because after the last family trip he was on, he flew out a girl on the trip and I'm just not looking to have that again. … That was the last family trip and then I banned him." According to E!, Scott said he invited the random woman to join them because he was suffering from a sex addiction. He later told Kourtney on camera that neither he nor she were "in the best place," according to People. "You were living your life the way you should be and I just wasn't ready to handle it," he said at the time. "I feel like the biggest thing that you and I have always talked about — that you wanted from me, if there was anything — was just to see me consistent with you and my family. It's been over a year of consistency and I feel like we're good. Our parenting's been better, the kids are better."
Seth Rogen was tripping on mushrooms while scouting Cirque du Soleil shows for 'Knocked Up'
Ah, the joys of method acting. When Seth Rogen stopped by "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" this week, he revealed a fun fact about how he prepared for the Cirque du Soleil-on-mushrooms scene from 2007 comedy, "Knocked Up." Seems Judd Apatow told Seth and another producer to go find a real version of Cirque they could get away with using in the movie, which has Seth and Paul Rudd's characters tripping on Psilocybin while watching the acrobats perform in Las Vegas. "As responsible producers, we thought the only appropriate way to really know which one would be the best would be to do 'shrooms for two days straight and see every single Cirque du Soleil show that was on the strip at the time, which we did, and it was amazing," Seth admitted. Some shows were less amazing than others, though. In particular, Seth said he found the water-themed version "terrifying," according to E! News, and the "sexy one" "just not right." Ahem. Ultimately, "Mystère" won the drug-induced contest. When they approached the creator about using footage from the show, they had to tell him about the mushrooms. Quipped Seth: "He was like, 'How do you think we come up with this stuff?' That's how it was intended to be viewed.'"
Mick Jagger tweets out a health update
Mick Jagger may not be well enough to perform, but he's well enough to tweet. After undergoing heart surgery that forced the Rolling Stones to postpone their tour this week, the 75-year-old singer announced he was doing just fine. "Thank you everyone for all your messages of support, I'm feeling much better now and on the mend – and also a huge thank you to all the hospital staff for doing a superb job," he posted following his procedure. Page Six reports Mick had a stent put in his heart for "an undisclosed illness." His rep said, "He is doing very well and is expected to make a full recovery."
Gigi Hadid honored at Variety's Power of Women event: 'Be a voice for someone'
When she's not on the runway, Gigi Hadid has been steadily committing herself to UNICEF. She's served as an ambassador for the organization for the past two years, efforts Variety recognized in New York City on Friday, April 5, by honoring her at its Power of Women event. In her speech, the 23-year-old model shared her takeaways from a recent trip to meet Rohingya refugees living in a camp in Bangladesh. "Even with their lives in limbo, these women and girls had such desire to do more, to be more, and to get educated to better their lives," she told the audience "When we asked them how UNICEF could help in different ways, and most importantly, what they wanted us to tell the world about them, what it really boiled down to was that they want an identity." She went on to discuss the "gift of identity" so many of take for granted. "What they would do for a citizenship, for an identity, to be able to scroll and type and have a voice in that sense," she said, choking up with tears. "We can get so stuck in our own heads, and our own worlds can feel very overwhelming at times, but most of us have the true gift of identity, and the power to express ourselves, the power to speak out for those who cannot for themselves, and the power to uplift one another," Gigi continued. "I feel resentment towards social media at times, but as I documented my trip with UNICEF, I understood the true value — someone is listening," she said. "Be a voice for someone, support someone, encourage someone, tell someone how they inspire you. We cannot let the negative comments, the bad energy, and false assumptions of us keep us from doing the good we know we can do with our platforms.".
Bill Cosby defamation suit settled; comic still plans to pursue counterclaims
A defamation suit brought against Bill Cosby by seven women who claimed the former TV personality sexually assaulted them then publicly branded them liars has been settled. Page Six reports a lawyer representing the women filed papers on Friday, April 5, saying the claims had been settled. Cosby's social media, however, suggests their court battle isn't over just yet. "Mr. Cosby did not settle any cases with anyone," a statement on the pages announces. "Mr. Cosby vehemently denies the allegations brought against him in these defamation suits and he maintains his innocence." The statement goes on to say Cosby still plans to "pursue counterclaims against the women for harming his reputation." He's currently serving three to ten years in prison for aggravated indecent assault.