September 2021 was a huge month for Britney Spears. Not only did she get engaged (more on that later), but on Sept. 29, a judge granted her attorney's request to remove her father, Jamie Spears, as conservator of her estate. Jamie has overseen her personal life and finances for more than 13 years. "This man does not belong in her life, your honor, for another day," Mathew S. Rosengart told the court, as reported by The New York Times. "Please hear the plea of my client." The judge agreed to remove Jamie, noting, "The current situation is not tenable." Accountant John Zabel will now serve as conservator of Britney's finances, per the pop star's request. Britney's lawyer is still seeking to terminate the conservatorship altogether; two more hearings are slated for November and December. He's also asking for the court to investigate Jamie's conduct as his daughter's conservator. Page Six reported that Britney had an emotional reaction to the news. "Britney burst into tears upon hearing the judge's decision. For the longest time, she had begun to think that she would never see the day that her father's domineering control over every single aspect of her life would end, but it finally happened," a source told the New York Post's gossip column. "She's in shock and at a loss for words but literally jumping for joy. She hasn't felt joy like this in 13 years."
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R. Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking charges on Sept. 27. The disgraced R&B singer was facing charges for nine federal crimes, and he was convicted on all counts. After a trial that lasted a little over a month, the jury deliberated for about a full day before rendering the verdict. CNN's Sonia Moghe was in the courtroom when the verdict was read and tweeted that the singer "did not move or look at anyone" as he learned his fate. The verdict comes 13 years after he was acquitted of child pornography charges in an Illinois state trial. Sentencing is set for May 4, and he could get 10 years to life in prison. In addition, he's still awaiting a second federal trial in Chicago, plus state trials in Illinois and Minnesota.
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After less than a year of dating, Scott Disick and Amelia Gray Hamlin — who's 19 years his junior — are over. The split came in early September just days after Scott sent a snarky message about ex Kourtney Kardashian, criticizing her PDA with new boyfriend Travis Barker, to another one of her other former loves, Younes Bendjima. (In the message, Scott came off as jealous.) Many of Amelia's Instagram followers bombarded her social media pages to urge her to end things with Scott. There are differing accounts of who ended things. Still, it doesn't sound like this was a surprise. "The breakup was coming, but the Younes DM was the final straw," a source told TMZ. Weeks later, Scott was allegedly trying — and failing — to win the model back.
One of he reigning kings of comedy is gone. Norm Macdonald, one of the most beloved cast members of "Saturday Night Live" in the '90s, passed away on Sept. 14 after a secret battle with cancer. Deadline reported that Norm privately fought the disease for nine years. The comic, who thrilled fans with his dry wit and deadpan delivery, kept his health issues hidden from even those closest to him. Following his death, many in the comedy world mourned and paid tribute to Norm. Several late night hosts even wept on the air. Adam Sandler tweeted, "Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man. Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal." Dave Letterman called Norm the "lifetime Cy Young winner in comedy." At the 2021 Emmys on Sept. 19, several stars paid tribute to Norm.
Duane Chapman has married for the sixth time. On Sept. 2, Dog the Bounty Hunter tied the knot with Francie Frane in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While friends and family were on hand, two notable faces were not there: his daughters Cecily and Bonnie Chapman, both of whom were not invited. The women believe they were left off the guest list because of their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Earlier in the week, Dog denied that that was a reason, claiming he supports BLM. He even said he had a "pass" for using the N-word, something that didn't go over well. Who gave him that pass? "The brothers," he said. He also added, "I have more Black friends than Eminem."
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It was a very big month for Britney Spears! On Sept. 12, both she and her boyfriend of nearly five years, Sam Asghari, announced that he'd popped the question. Britney first shared the news on Instagram while showing off her ring in a video of herself and Sam posing together. "I can't f****** believe it," she wrote. The ring was designed by New York City-based jeweler Roman Malayev. The couple later confirmed they'll sign a prenuptial agreement. Britney took an Instagram hiatus to enjoy her engagement and then returned one week later. The engagement news came less than a week after Britney's father filed documents asking the court to end his daughter's conservatorship — something the pop star and her new legal team have been pushing for. Britney is said to be ecstatic. However, TMZ noted that it might not be what it seems. Jamie asked the judge to end his control over Brit's estate without doing a mental evaluation, but he's certain that the court will insist on one, TMZ reported, adding that Jamie is also confident the court will not let Britney out of the conservatorship after an evaluation. Britney's lawyer has since formally filed to end the conservatorship too. A hearing that's expected to be explosive is set for Sept. 29.
That's a wrap for Kaley Cuoco's second marriage. On Sept. 3, People magazine published a joint statement from Kaley and Karl Cook in which they announced they're going their separate ways after three years of marriage. "Despite a deep love and respect for one another, we have realized that our current paths have taken us in opposite directions," they said. "We have both shared so much of our journey publicly so while we would prefer to keep this aspect of our personal life private, we wanted to be forthcoming in our truth together. There is no anger or animosity, quite the contrary. We have made this decision together through an immense amount of respect and consideration for one another and request that you do the same in understanding that we will not be sharing any additional details or commenting further." The couple's romance often confused fans, as they tied the knot in 2018 but didn't live with each other full-time for the first two years of their marriage.
Viral vaccine stance
Nicki Minaj trended in mid-September because of her position on the COVID-19 vaccine, and it had to do with, among other things, her cousin's friend's testicles and a canceled wedding. Nicki first caused a stir after indicating she would not be attending the Met Gala on Sept. 13 because it required vaccination. "They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won't for the Met. It'll be once I feel I've done enough research. I'm working on that now," she tweeted. She then told a story that raised eyebrows: "My cousin in Trinidad won't get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent," she wrote. "His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you're comfortable with ur decision, not bullied." It was widely debunked as vaccine misinformation — including by officials in her native Trinidad as well as the United States. The rapper — who also revealed she'd recently caught COVID-19 while shooting a video — later said she was invited to the White House to discuss her stance, but government officials pushed back and said the music star was only offered a phone call with a White House doctor.
Olivia Munn has a baby on board. On Sept. 7, her beau, John Mulaney, broke the news while appearing on Seth Meyers' late night show. "We're having a baby together," he told Seth. "I was nervous when I was about to say the news. … I'm gonna be a dad!" Olivia and John were first linked in the spring as he made headlines for the demise of his marriage to Anna Marie Tendler. During his chat with Seth, John spoke about his substance abuse struggles and rehab stints and detailed how the late night host and other friends helped stage an intervention. "I love you, Seth. You know, you guys saved me from drugs. And Olivia and this baby have helped save me from myself, and this early journey out of recovery," he said.
Acclaimed actor Michael K. Williams was found dead in his New York City home on Sept. 6. The medical examiner later confirmed he died of an accident drug overdose of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine. He was 54. Police reportedly launched a criminal investigation in hopes of determining who supplied the drugs to the Emmy-nominated actor.
Baby on the way
Jennifer Lawrence is eating for two. The "Hunger Games" star is expecting a child with husband Cooke Maroney, the actress's rep confirmed in early September. The Oscar winner married the art gallery director in October 2019.
Kate Hudson and her longtime boyfriend, Danny Fujikawa, are engaged, she announced on Sept. 13. "Let's go!" she captioned an Instagram announcement featuring a photo of herself kissing the musician after his proposal. The actress's news came just hours before she attended the Met Gala, where she showed off her Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring. Kate and Danny welcomed daughter Rani Rose together in 2018.
California state prisoner
Allison Mack is going by a new name: California inmate No. 90838-053. On Sept. 13, the former "Smallville" actress reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, to begin serving her three-year prison sentence for her role in recruiting people to NXIVM, which has been described as a sex cult masquerading as a self-help group. (Allison was accused of forcing women to have sex with the group's leader, Keith Raniere.) Several women were also branded with Allison and Keith's initials. The actress, who pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and one count of racketeering conspiracy, actually began her prison stint two weeks ahead of schedule. After she gets out, Allison will be on supervised release for three more years. In 2020, Keith was sentenced to 120 years in prison for his crimes.
Famed podcaster Joe Rogan contracted COVID-19 and treated himself with a livestock dewormer drug, one the FDA has warned against. In an Instagram video shared on Sept. 1, the former "Fear Factor" host said he felt sick after being out on the road doing shows and had tested positive for COVID-19. Joe, who has railed against vaccine mandates and, to an extent, the vaccine itself, said he "threw the kitchen sink" at the virus, rattling off a laundry list of medications he was taking, including Ivermectin. NBC News reported that Ivermectin is not an antiviral drug and is generally used to treat or prevent parasites in animals such as horses. During much of August and September, the Internet was overrun with theories that Ivermectin could cure COVID, but those ideas have been widely discredited by medical professionals and scientists. Joe thanked "modern medicine" for helping him feel better.
Gregg Leakes, the husband of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" alum NeNe Leakes, passed away on Sept. 1 following a long battle with colon cancer. He was 66. NeNe had recently hinted that Gregg was in his last days when she told a crowd at her Atlanta lounge that he was "dying" and "transitioning to the other side." After the family announced the sad news, many Bravo personalities and major stars flooded NeNe with support. Nicki Minaj said she was "broken hearted" and called Gregg a "loving, funny, dynamic person to be around." Kim Zolciak-Biermann said he was "always the voice of reason."