Kanye West hit with class action lawsuits stemming from Sunday Services
Kanye West's seemingly imminent divorce from Kim Kardashian West isn't the only legal trouble the rapper and designer is facing. In stories published on Friday, Jan. 29, British tabloids The Sun and the Daily Mail reported (per Page Six) that Kanye's facing class action suits related to his Sunday Services and other performances. The suits were reportedly filed in Los Angeles last year and revolve around hundreds of performers and production staff who detail long delays in payment, unexpected cuts in those payments and mistreatment on the job. Performer Michael Pearson, for example, alleges he was not allowed to take food or bathroom breaks and, like other performers, was made to stand for his entire, all-day shift before walking home "when a shuttle wasn't provided." There's also a complaint from people involved in Kanye's staging of the 2019 opera "Nebuchadnezzar," over similar grievances including late payments and the denial of meal and bathroom breaks as well as overtime, according to The Sun's sources. The Daily Mail reports another lawsuit related to Kanye's Sunday Services was filed by the tech company MyChannel Inc. In that suit, workers have alleged they were never paid for six months of work. According to the Daily Mail, Kanye could end up paying some $30 million in damages as the lawsuits progress.
Keep reading for updates on Cicely Tyson's passing and more …
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Cicely Tyson's Twitter highlights her habit of supporting, encouraging fans
When trailblazing actress Cicely Tyson died on Thursday, Jan. 28, at age 96, tributes poured in from every corner of Hollywood, as stars like Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong'O and Oprah Winfrey praised not only the screen legend's pioneering work but also her capacity for love and generosity. Those characteristics shine through in "Just as I Am," the new memoir Tyson completed shortly before her passing. But they were also clear in her Twitter interactions with many of the stars who are now mourning her death. Tyson's last few birthdays, for example, sparked moving tributes on social media from Ava DuVernay, Tyler Perry, Debbie Allen, Al Roker, Shonda Rhimes and many more famous fans. Tyson, for her part, took the time to respond with a personalized message to dozens and dozens of them. A recent "happy birthday" tweet from Gabrielle Union prompted Tyson to send "blessings" to the actress and her new "bundle of joy," while Rhimes' happy birthday wish earned her a "thank you for being you" in response. Calling Davis her "wonderful TV daughter," in 2018, Tyson added, "you make me proud every single day." When "Black-ish" star Yara Shahidi wished Tyson a very HBD that same year, the film icon replied, "Thank You sweetheart. So very proud of you. You continue to blaze trails and set high standards for yourself." Similarly, after Nyong'O tweeted her excitement about reading "Just As I Am," in a praise-filled post last week, Tyson responded by thanking her for her "support" and assuring her that she, too, is "an inspiration for women everywhere."
George Clooney reveals he sews Amal, twins' clothes
One by-product of George Clooney's bachelor days seems to be serving his family pretty well, now that he's settled down. It turns out the Oscar winner developed a kind of crafty, handyman streak when he was single. Fast forward to the past year of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it sounds like George's bachelor skills have made him a pretty great guy to have around the house (OK, mansion, but who's counting). "I wood stained the entire interior, exterior, and all the furniture of the house. All of it," he recently told AARP The Magazine when asked how he's stayed busy in lockdown. "It was getting dingy, and I had buckets of stain, and I was, like, 'Well, what else am I going to do?' It made me feel better," he explained. And he didn't stop there. The outlet's February/March cover star also installed "chicken wire around the dog yard," he said, and rewired his assistant's sewing machine. "I do a lot of sewing the kids' clothes and my wife's dress that tore a couple of times," he said, referring to his wife, Amal Clooney, and their 3-year-old twins, Ella and Alexander. "I was a bachelor for a long time and didn't have any money, and you have to learn how to repair things." Of course, he also mastered the art of the prank in his bachelor days, and that's found its way into his family's life, too. Case in point: "Yesterday, I taught Alexander to take a piece of banana, chew it up and then spit it into a napkin. Then stand next to his mom, pretend to blow his nose into it and look down until Mama looks at it. Then eat it," George boasted. "It's just outrageously fun."
Jessica Simpson shares her latest adorable mother-daughter selfie with Birdie Mae Johnson
Proud mama Jessica Simpson recently told People the first word out of her daughter, Birdie Mae's mouth was "Ace," the name of Birdie's big brother and "BFF." The 22-month-old must have been trying to pronounce something a little more complicated when Jessica snapped her latest adorable selfie with her youngest, though. The pic shows Jessica snuggled up to Birdie as the curly-haired tot seemingly tries to say … something. From the looks of things, she didn't quite make it. Instead, her little tongue hangs out one side of her mouth as she grins with delight. "Tongue twister," Jess joked in the caption. In the same People chat earlier this year, Jessica said that in addition to being besties with her bro, she's super "observant" and outgoing. "She'll stare you down for a bit and then, 'Hi. Hi,'" Jessica said, mimicking Birdie's version of "hello." "She's so cute," she added. In addition to Birdie Mae and Ace, Jessica and her husband, Eric Johnson, are parents to Maxwell Drew Johnson.
The Weeknd says his three Grammys 'mean nothing' to him after unexpected snub
Ahead of his Super Bowl Halftime Show in Tampa on Feb. 7, The Weeknd and his XO Records team sat down with Billboard to discuss his plans for the show — which his manager says got a $7 million budget bump courtesy of the singer — and his thoughts on the Recording Academy, which snubbed The Weeknd this year by failing to nominate his critically acclaimed, chart-topping album, "After Hours," for any Grammy Awards. "I use a sucker punch as an analogy," he said. "Because it just kind of hit me out of nowhere. I definitely felt … I felt things. I don't know if it was sadness or anger. I think it was just confusion. I just wanted answers." He said he and his team, "did everything right," as far as he knows, adding that his vocal frustration isn't about arrogance. "People told me I was going to get nominated. The world told me. Like, 'This is it; this is your year.' We were all very confused." That confusion inspired The Weeknd to tweet, "the Grammys remain corrupt," after the nominations were announced, and to demand industry-wide "transparency." Now, though, he sounds focused on trying to move on. "Look, I personally don't care anymore," he said. "I have three Grammys, which mean nothing to me now, obviously. It's not like, 'Oh, I want the Grammy!' It's just that this happened, and I'm down to get in front of the fire, as long as it never happens again."
Alleged robber who targeted Kim Kardashian in Paris pens tell-all about the crime
As one of the men who allegedly robbed Kim Kardashian West at a hotel in Paris in 2016 awaits trial, he's published a tell-all called, "I Sequestered Kim Kardashian," according to France's Closer magazine (via Page Six). In the book, Yunice Abbas cracks jokes at Kim's expense as he describes the heist in which he and a group of others broke into Kim's Paris hotel room, tied her up and stole about $10 million worth of jewelry from her at gunpoint. "Our two beauties stubbornly tried to call 911 … the emergency call number for the US. Not very efficient when you are in Paris," he writes. At another point, he claims that after taking Kim's phone, he saw a call come in from singer Tracy Chapman. He also claims to have talked accomplices into helping "scout" the venue before the robbery commenced. Closer apparently did not why he decided to confess in print before going to trial. The book is due out Feb. 4.
Evangeline Lily shouts-out Gary Oldman, avoids mentioning Armie Hammer while promoting their new film, 'Crisis'
Armie Hammer and his team are still battling the fallout from leaked DMs and, more recently, statements from exes that seem to suggest the actor has a fetish involving cannibalism. So where does that leave Evangeline Lily and Gary Oldman, the costars of his new film, "Crisis," due out next month? For Evangeline, the answer seems to lie in letting what she doesn't say while promoting the movie … say it all. Sharing a poster for "Crisis" on Thursday, Jan. 28, the actress wrote on Instagram: "I am proud to be a part of a hard-hitting thriller that tackles the issues that surround an industry that profits from addiction (and proud to be in this poster with#GaryOldman. 😍)." Armie has denied the allegations as "vicious and spurious online attacks," though he also dropped out of a film with Jennifer Lopez after the scandal began making headlines this month. "Crisis" hits theaters Feb. 26.
Carey Mulligan on why she spoke out about offensive 'Promising Young Woman' review
With her thriller, "Promising Young Female" now streaming, Carey Mulligan is doubling down on her complaints about a December review of the film she found dismissive and offensively focused on her looks. "I feel it's important that criticism is constructive. I think it's important that we are looking at the right things when it comes to work, and we're looking at the art and we're looking at the performance," she said this week in a video series for Variety. "And I don't think that goes to the appearance of the actor or your personal preference for what an actor does or doesn't look like – which it felt that that article did," she added. The review, written by Dennis Harvey for Variety, took issue with the casting of Carey as a woman who gets revenge on men after a trauma by pretending to be too drunk for consensual sex, then attacking them. "Mulligan, a fine actress, seems a bit of an odd choice as this admittedly many-layered apparent femme fatale – Margot Robbie is a producer here, and one can (perhaps too easily) imagine the role might once have been intended for her. Whereas with this star, Cassie wears her pickup-bait gear like bad drag; even her long blonde hair seems a put-on," the reviewer wrote. "It didn't wound my ego, but it made me concerned that in such a big publication an actress's appearance could be criticized and it could be accepted as completely reasonable criticism," said Carey, who previously discussed the piece in an interview with the New York Times in December. "It's important to call out those things, because they seem small and they seem insignificant. People around me at the time said, 'Oh, get over it. People love the film.' But it stuck with me, because I think it's these kind of everyday moments that add up," she said. Variety added an editor's apology after Carey's Times story ran, though the outlet kept the review up.
Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart team up to host the 2021 Puppy Bowl
Modern "Odd Couple" pals Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are set to reunite next weekend in honor of a time-honored Super Bowl tradition — the Puppy Bowl. According to TooFab, hosts Snoop and Martha will back Team Ruff (Martha) and Team Fluff (Snoop) as they cheer for the adoptable four-legged Puppy Bowl players heading to the 2021 TV event. The pair will also be bringing their own French Bulldogs — Martha's Creme Brulee and Bete Noire and Snoop's Juelz Broadus and Chalk — out for the festivities. In total, 70 furbabies will compete for the coveted Lombarky trophy. The Puppy Bowl airs Sunday, Feb. 7, on Animal Planet and Discovery+.