Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez got engaged on March 9 in the Bahamas after two years of dating. They shared their magical moment with their social media followers a few days later when they posted proposal pictures. After she said "yes," a report revealed that Alex knew very early on that he would eventually pop the question to J.Lo, and that he was meticulous when it came to picking her 16-carat sparkler. A source told Page Six that the former baseball star spent seven months finding the perfect ring. "He wanted to get it right. The proposal has been a long time coming, Alex knew she was the one and has been painstakingly planning everything," the source said. Her ring is reportedly valued at $1.8 million.
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College admissions cheating scandal
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 50 people indicted for their alleged involvement in a college admissions scam. In early March, all three were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. According to prosecutors, Felicity allegedly paid $15,000 to have a shady proctor correct daughter Sofia's SAT test answers (husband William H. Macy was not arrested). Lori and designer husband Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 in order to have their two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade, falsely designated as crew team recruits so they could get into the University of Southern California even though neither was an athlete. The fallout, especially for Lori, was swift, as the Hallmark Channel fired her and reports revealed she wouldn't be asked back for the final season of Netflix's "Fuller House." Olivia, an Instagram influencer and YouTube vlogger, lost her partnerships with Sephora and TRESemmé. She and big sister Bella also immediately left USC.
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Mother of three!
After a rough pregnancy, Jessica Simpson is a mom again. The singer-turned-fashion mogul welcomed daughter Birdie Mae on March 19, she announced on Instagram. Birdie weighed 10 pounds, 13 ounces. Jessica and her husband, Eric Johnson, also share daughter Maxwell, 6, and son Ace, 5.
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"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek made a bombshell announcement on March 6. "This week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer," he said. "Normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease." He humorously added that he "has" to beat it "because under the terms of my contract, I have to host 'Jeopardy!' for three more years!"
Luke Perry passed away on March 4 after suffering a massive stroke a few days earlier. The actor, who rose to fame on the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" and had been starring on The CW's "Riverdale," was 52. News of Luke's death stunned the entertainment world, and tributes from Hollywood poured in as many celebs took to social media to share their thoughts. Former "90210" costar Shannen Doherty revealed she was "struggling with this loss and am having a hard time with my thoughts." Tori Spelling was in "utter shock." TMZ reported that Luke's ashes were scattered on his beloved Tennessee farm.
Off the hook
Talk about catching a break! On March 26, the criminal case against Jussie Smollett — for allegedly lying to police about an alleged racial and homophobic attack — was dropped. He was facing 16 felonies. The decision was highly controversial, with Chicago's mayor and police superintendent (and many others) slamming it. The mayor hinted at corruption in the State's Attorney's Office, calling the decision to drop the charges a "whitewash of justice." Earlier in the month on March 14, the "Empire" actor pleaded not guilty to a 16-count indictment against him that claimed he lied to police and staged an attack against himself in late January in Chicago. His attorney had called the indictment "overkill."
Baby on board! HGTV's Christina Anstead is pregnant! The "Flip or Flop" star announced on Instagram on March 22 that she and her new husband, "Wheeler Dealers" host Ant Anstead, will welcome a child in the fall. "[We] are so excited to announce #babyanstead coming this September!!" she captioned a photo of herself holding an ultrasound image as she snuggles with Ant. "The kids are all so excited to meet their new sibling #5 #Gonnaneedabiggercar!" Christina, of course, has two children with her ex, Tarek El Moussa. Ant has two kids from a previous marriage too. On his Instagram page on March 22, he shared an image of their four children along with the ultrasound pic and the caption, "And then…… there were FIVE!!! (Well …. four and a half! Will be Five in September)!!"
Whoopi Goldberg made her return to "The View" on March 14, surprising her fellow co-hosts during the middle of the show. The comedy legend had been off the air since Feb. 6 as she battled pneumonia, which almost killed her. "This is my first foray out, I'm not there yet, I know that, but the only way it's gonna get better is if I begin, so this is my beginning," she said. While still coughing, she kept her sense of humor, saying, "I'm the only person who can go into the hospital for three weeks and put weight on." Whoopi detailed that her health was dire at one point. "It was, there's death and here's me. That's how it was. You think that because you've healed quick before that something crazy can't happen. Well, it can. Double pneumonia and sepsis. They had to pump a lot of stuff out of me."
"Mama June" Shannon was charged with a felony (possession of a controlled substance) and a misdemeanor (possession of drug paraphernalia) on March 18. June and her boyfriend, Geno Doak, were arrested after a "domestic incident" at a gas station on March 13 in Alabama. After police arrived, June was allegedly found to be in possession of crack cocaine, a pipe and $1,340 in cash in her bra. June's family reportedly believes Geno is a bad influence on her.
Wendy Williams has been staying in a sober house. On March 19, she said on her eponymous talk show, "For some time now, and even today and beyond, I have been living in a sober house… You know I've had a struggle with cocaine in the past. I never went to a place to get treatment… there are people in your family, it might be you, who have have been struggling. I want you to know more of the story." She added that only her husband, Kevin Hunter, knew. "Only Kevin knows about this. Not my parents, nobody. Nobody knew because I look so glamorous out here," she joked. "I am driven by my 24-hour sober coach back to a home that I live in [in] the tri-state [area] with a bunch of smelly boys who have become my family." After her admission, many celebrities and personalities publicly supported her.
Mark Zuckerberg, you've been bested! On March 5, Forbes magazine declared that Kylie Jenner is now the world's youngest self-made billionaire. Kylie is 21, whereas the Facebook founder was 23 when he hit the milestone. Yes, there is still a rabid debate over whether Kylie is "self-made," as Forbes had said. She insists it's true. "I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans," she told Interview Germany in a cover story that was published in March. "I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that." During the same week the Forbes story came out, a report emerged claiming that Kylie and boyfriend Travis Scott got into a huge fight because she suspected the rapper, who's been touring, had been unfaithful. He denied any infidelity and they remain a couple.
Hello, first lady? Rosario Dawson is dating 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker. On March 14, the actress confirmed the rumored romance, telling TMZ cameras that the New Jersey senator is "an amazing human being." She added, "He's a wonderful human being and it's good to spend some time together when we can… I am just grateful to be with someone that I respect and love and admire so much, who is so brilliant and kind and caring and loving." A week later, Cory gushed about Rosario while speaking to Ellen DeGeneres, telling the talk-show host he was "very, very blessed to be with" the actress.
Joe Giudice was released from prison on March 14, but he's not a free man. Upon release, the "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star was immediately handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and was taken to an ICE detention center. Last year, a judge ordered that Joe be deported to his native Italy once his prison term — he's been locked on on federal fraud charges — ended. Joe has appealed the deportation and he will get his day in court, although that could take a while — and he'll remain in custody until it happens.
R. Kelly got incredibly emotional during a wild interview with "CBS This Morning" that aired in early March, ranting that the women accusing him of physical and sexual abuse are lying. "I'm very tired of all of the lies," he told Gayle King. "I have been assassinated. I have been buried alive. But I'm alive." Gayle pulled no punches, asking the R&B star if he'd held women against their will, to which he replied, "I don't need to." He then got out of his chair and shouted about the accusations against him as Gayle remained calm (a picture from that moment quickly went viral). During the course of the interview, he was asked about Jocelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, two women who remain in a relationship with him — their parents claim the women are being held captive. The music star denied it and accused the parents of "selling" their daughters to him. The same day the first part of the interview came out, he was jailed in Chicago for failing to pay more than $161,000 in back child support.
A rose, but no rock
Colton Underwood really didn't adhere to the formula on "The Bachelor." As the season wrapped up on March 11, Colton dumped two women and decided to go all-in for Cassie Randolph… who'd essentially ditched him the week before. This set up a finale, which aired on March 12, in which technically no women were vying for him. However, Colton went to Cassie's hotel and pleaded with her to give their relationship a shot. And, well, it worked. "I know there's a certain format that comes along with being The Bachelor," he told People magazine. "But this was about the rest of my life. And I couldn't risk giving Cassie up." The couple fell in love, but Colton did not propose, although he insists that's in the cards in the future. Meanwhile, Hannah Brown, otherwise known as Hannah B., was named as the lead on the next season of "The Bachelorette."
In her headline-making sit-down with Jada Pinkett Smith on the March 1 episode of "Red Table Talk," model Jordyn Woods denied making out or getting too friendly with Khloe Kardashian's now-ex, NBA star Tristan Thompson, at a Feb. 17 house party — though Jordyn admitted they kissed. In recalling the evening that sparked the cheating scandal, Kylie Jenner's former BFF said she sat down next to Tristan at the get-together and draped her legs over him while he was sitting on a chair. She said there was "never anything intimate… It was an innocent time." Jordyn admitted that she shouldn't have been at the house in the first place, seeing how close she was to Khloe, who shares a daughter with Tristan. Jordyn said she and Tristan kissed on the lips but insisted there was "no passion." She implied that Tristan initiated the kiss and wanted to make it clear that she's "no homewrecker." Interestingly, she said, "I know I'm not the reason Khloe and Tristan broke up." After the interview, Khloe sounded off. "Why are you lying @jordynwoods ??" Khloe tweeted. "If you're going to try and save yourself by going public, INSTEAD OF CALLING ME PRIVATELY TO APOLOGIZE FIRST, at least be HONEST about your story. BTW, You ARE the reason my family broke up!" After the dust settled, Khloe tweeted that Tristan is to blame, not Jordyn.