The cost of a conservatorship
Britney Spears reportedly paid the lawyer who fought to end her 13-year conservatorship more than $4 million since November 2021 and he's now working pro bono to tie up ongoing disputes between the singer and her estranged father and former business manager. That's according to TMZ, which reported on Friday (May 12) that Brit's forked over $4,201,856 to Mathew Rosengart's firm for work that was mostly completed after the conservatorship was terminated in November 2021 through March 2023. Sources tell the outlet Britney's team "became agitated" about the climbing legal fees as she continues fighting Jamie Spears and Lou Taylor, leading Mathew to "provide free legal services for the immediate future."
TMZ's sources also say the $4.2 million figure is only a portion of what Britney's paid the attorney's firm, a number that allegedly is now nearly $6 million. Mathew's reportedly handling legal matters including Britney's music and book, among other things, as well as conservatorship-related disputes. To put Mathew's fees in perspective, however, court documents he filed while fighting the conservatorship indicate "dozens of lawyers" were paid "more than $30 million" from Britney's estate, according to TMZ. In a statement, Mathew told Page Six, "We are very proud of our work of nearly two years and Britney's appreciation of it and we will continue to fiercely fight for her."
Toxic workplace claims
Kelly Clarkson's viewers wants answers. On Friday (May 12), Rolling Stone reported claims alleging the set of the singer's eponymous talk show was a toxic workplace, quoting one current and 10 former staffers as saying they were "bullied and intimidated," "overworked," "underpaid" and "traumatized," among other things, while working for Kelly's producers. The outlet also noted the staffers, past and present, thought Kelly was unaware of what was going on behind the scenes. "NBC is protecting the show because it's their new money maker, but Kelly has no clue how unhappy her staff is," one person said. Still, the show host garnered criticism for failing to immediately address the report, choosing instead to promote new music on her social media.
However, later the same night the allegations were published, Kelly took to Instagram to respond, writing, "In my 20 years in the entertainment industry, I've always led with my heart and what I believed to be right. I love my team at 'The Kelly Clarkson Show,' and to find out that anyone is feeling unheard and or disrespected on this show is unacceptable. I have always been, and will continue to be, committed to creating a safe and healthy environment at 'The Kelly Clarkson Show.'"
She continued, "As we prepare for a move to the east coast, I am more committed than ever to not only ensure that our team that is moving, but also our new team in NY, is comprised of the best and kindest in the business. Part of that build will include leadership training for all of the senior staff, including myself. There is always room to grow and ensure we are all being/becoming the best version of ourselves in any business, especially when it comes to leadership, to ensure that any notion of toxicity is eradicated."
Writers strike divides 'Jeopardy!' hosts
"Jeopardy!" co-host Ken Jennings is on his own after his co-star, Mayim Bialik, walked off the set in solidarity with striking members of the Writers Guild of America on Thursday (May 11). Deadline reports Mayim was due to handle hosting duties for the final week of Season 39's filming but decided to stand with TV and movie writers instead as they push back against the industry for better compensation in the new age of streaming content and more fair working conditions. While union members did contribute to the remainder of the game show, the questions were reportedly written before the season and strike began. Ken, who's shared hosting duties with Mayim in the wake of Alex Trebek's death in 2020, will now take over to close out the final episodes, which are set to be filmed next week. Stars who've joined the picket lines include Tina Fey, former head writer on "Saturday Night Live," as well as Susan Sarandon, Rob Lowe, Natasha Lyonne and many more. The strike began on May 2.
Troll much? Ryan Reynolds openly enjoys trolling his wife, Blake Lively, and their famous friends on social media, so when his Instagram Story featured a selfie with his longtime pal Taylor Swift's rumored new love interest's band playing in the background this week, fans promptly took the post to be a sweet jab at Taylor — and her apparent new romance with the 1975's Matty Healy. The song in question was "Chocolate," which fans have since noted Matty once said reminded him of Taylor — presumably, before the new crop of pics showing them holding hands and cuddling up together. To be fair, Ryan captioned the post with a simple (and context-free) "Zoom Zoom." But that hasn't stopped Insta users from drawing their own conclusions.
The would-be tease comes after news of Taylor's split from longtime partner, actor Joe Alwyn, quickly segued into headlines proclaiming she'd moved on with Matty. Though she and Matty have yet to confirm or deny the claims — Taylor's famously mum on her personal life — Matty was spotted at all three of Taylor's recent shows in Nashville, Tennessee. This week, the two were photographed holding hands in New York City.
ACM Awards host love
Dolly Parton's co-hosting gig at the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards officially stole the show in Frisco, Texas on Thursday (May 11), thanks to her hilarious wit, impeccable style and and emotional tribute to two other queens of country, the late Naomi Judd and Loretta Lynn. After cracking jokes about a possible hook-up with her co-host Garth Brooks and his superstar wife, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly, 77, performed an a cappella version of the hymn, "Precious Memories." She went on to dub Loretta, who died in October 2022, "a hero and one of the most important, but still down-to-earth singer-songwriters in history," and point out a few characteristics she shares with Naomi, who died in May of the same year.
Noting that they're "both real G.O.A.T.s, Capricorns and we loved big hair," Dolly quipped, "I still do … and we loved that makeup. But above all else we loved each other." Despite the jokes, she was visibly emotional during her performance, though she wasn't done singing quite yet. After winners including Entertainer of the Year Chris Stapleton accepted their trophies, Dolly closed out the show by treating the audience to a rendition of "World on Fire," from her rock-focused, celeb-guest packed album, "Rockstar."
NFL return rumors
After his split from Gisele Bundchen and on-off relationship with the NFL, retired quarterback Tom Brady could be returning to the league. This time, he'd be an owner. On Friday (May 12), ESPN reported the seven-time Super Bowl champion has been "in deep discussions to become a limited partner of the Las Vegas Raiders," adding that after "weeks" of discussions, they "could soon be reaching a resolution." A source told the outlet Tom "would not have any operational control or authority" over the team, which might make fans feel more comfortable given that he just announced his retirement from football for the second time in February.
Earlier this year, Gisele addressed rumors she and Tom split because of his so-called "un-retirement" from the NFL. "What's been said is one piece of a much bigger puzzle. It's not so black and white," she told Vanity Fair in the outlet's April 2023 cover story. "Listen, I have always cheered for him, and I would continue forever," she added. "If there's one person I want to be the happiest in the world, it's him, believe me. I want him to achieve and to conquer. I want all his dreams to come true. That's what I want, really, from the bottom of my heart."