Days after multiple reports indicated that Aretha Franklin was gravely ill, the Queen of Soul passed away on Aug. 16 from pancreatic cancer. She was 76. As expected, tributes poured in honoring the legend. Former President Barack Obama, who shared a special bond with Aretha, wrote, "Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade — our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace." President Donald Trump called her "a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice." Diana Ross tweeted, "I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin." John Legend called her "the greatest vocalist I've ever known." After news of her declining health got out, Aretha received visits from Stevie Wonder and the Rev. Jesse Jackson at her Detroit home. She reportedly had no will, so her four children will split her estate evenly.
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Single and in rehab
Ben Affleck and his girlfriend of more than a year, "Saturday Night Live" producer Lindsay Shookus, are no longer. The pair broke up around the beginning of August, E! News reported. The split news came as Ben, 46, was seen spending time with 22-year-old Playboy model Shauna Sexton. Ben and Shauna were first seen together on Aug. 16. Another date and a sleepover followed a few days later. But that news was soon usurped by sad headlines and photos revealing that Ben's estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, led an intervention for the Oscar winner at his home before driving him to a Malibu rehab center where he's now seeking help for his alcohol issues. Meanwhile, it's been revealed that their divorce, which has dragged on for years as Ben's struggled with addiction issues, is all but settled at long last — Jen is just waiting for Ben to complete treatment.
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Checked out, and checked in
Demi Lovato was released from a Los Angeles hospital on Aug. 4, TMZ reported, and is now seeking treatment at an out-of-state rehab facility. On Aug. 5, Demi broke her silence on her alleged overdose, which occurred nearly two weeks prior. "I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet," she wrote in a lengthy Instagram message. She finished, "I now need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery. The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side. I will keep fighting." Demi's team is helping her weed out all the negative friends and influences in her life. TMZ reported that Demi's overdose was likely triggered by oxycodone laced with fentanyl, which is the same drug that killed Prince. Later in the month, her drug supplier spoke to TMZ to claim that Demi "100 percent" knew what she was taking.
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So long, and thanks for the memories. Robert Redford announced on Aug. 6 that he's retiring from acting after the release of his next movie, "The Old Man & the Gun." In a chat with Entertainment Weekly, the acting legend said, "Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I'll] move towards retirement after this 'cause I've been doing it since I was 21. I thought, Well, that's enough. And why not go out with something that's very upbeat and positive?" His career in entertainment began in 1960.
Baby on the way
Oh, baby! Carrie Underwood is pregnant, y'all! The country superstar and her husband, retired NHL player Mike Fisher, are expecting their second child, she said on Instagram on Aug. 8. The couple already share 3-year-old son Isaiah. Carrie revealed the pregnancy news while dishing about her upcoming album and tour. "You might be wondering or asking, 'Carrie, why is your tour starting in May?' Well… yay!" she said, revealing balloons spelling out "BABY" above her head. "Mike and Isaiah and I are absolutely over the moon and excited to be adding another little fish to our pond. This has just been a dream come true with album and with baby news and all that stuff. We're just so excited and just so glad you guys can share in this with us and be a part of this with us. Love you guys! We will see you on the road in 2019."
After nearly two years of on-off dating, Kourtney Kardashian and Younes Bendjima are done, and the breakup was ugly. "It didn't end well," a source told People magazine on Aug. 7. TMZ broke the split news, reporting that the "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" star was the one who ended things because she suspected that the model had cheated on her. The website also published pictures of Younes getting incredibly cozy with another woman in Mexico after the split, though he denied that there was anything romantic going on with the woman, a former Hooters waitress who's been linked to Justin Bieber and Tyga. "They really want me to be the bad guy… can't have fun with your friends no more," he wrote on his Instagram Story.
Divorce battle takes a nasty new turn
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's divorce took a messy turn this month. On Aug. 7, Angelina's new attorney claimed in court papers that Brad was basically a deadbeat dad and had not paid any "meaningful child support" for their six kids since their 2016 split. She made clear she wanted "retroactive child support" from her ex as well as a bifurcated divorce ruling, which is when a judge declares the parties to be legally single before other aspects of the split are finalized, such as financial and custody settlements. Brad's lawyer called the filing "unnecessary" and "a thinly veiled effort to manipulate media coverage." Further, he blasted claims that Brad hasn't paid child support. Brad "previously loaned [Angelina] $8 million to assist her in purchasing her current residence and has paid $1.3 million in bills for the benefit of [Angelina] and the minor children," his lawyer said in a legal response. Also, Brad's team said the actor was actually the one who planned to ask for a bifurcated divorce, alleging that Angie's team made the request instead after asking Brad to hold off for a week. In addition, a source close to Brad told TMZ on Aug. 16 that the actor is having trouble bonding with his children because his ex continues to "exert influence" over the kids and has been "driving a wedge" between them and their father.
An American maverick dies
On Aug. 25 — one day after his family revealed he was discontinuing medical treatment following a year-long battle with a virulent brain cancer — U.S. Senator John McCain died at age 81. The former Republican presidential candidate and Navy veteran, who survived nearly six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, was praised by stars and politicians on both sides of the aisle for not only an incredible career of service to his country but for his unwavering integrity. "With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family," his office said in a statement. "At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 60 years."
Baby on board
Richard Gere and new wife Alejandra Silva are about to start a family. According to multiple British and Spanish media outlets, Alejandra is pregnant. The "Pretty Woman" actor, 68, and Alejandra, 35, married this spring. This will be the second child for both: The actor has an 18-year-old son, Homer, with second wife Carey Lowell, while the former publicist has a 5-year-old son, Alberto, from her first marriage to Govind Friedland.
Robin Wright is a married woman. The actress secretly wed her beau, Saint Laurent VIP relations manager Clement Giraudet, it was revealed on Aug. 13. The wedding went down in southern France and Robin wore a "bohemian lace wedding dress," Vogue Paris reported. On Aug. 12, Robin's daughter, Dylan Penn, shared a video of guests dancing at a wedding, many of whom also donned bohemian-style clothing. According to her Instagram, she was in La Roche-sur-le-Buis, which is in southeastern France. Multiple reports said the wedding happened on Aug. 11.
Sexual assault claim
The #MeToo movement experienced a murky moment in August when it was revealed that Asia Argento — one of the first stars to accuse disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of rape — paid a $380,000 settlement a few months ago to a former child actor related to an alleged sexual assault incident from 2013, The New York Times reported. Actor Jimmy Bennett was 17 when, according to legal documents obtained by the Times, he met up with former co-star Asia, then 37, in May 2013 at a Los Angeles-area hotel where they had intercourse (the age of consent in California is 18). On Aug. 21, Asia denied having "a sexual relationship" with Jimmy and said her late boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, funded the settlement after Jimmy initially demanded far more (the NYT says he initially wanted $3.5 million in damages). Jimmy said in a statement that he waited so long to make his claims because "my trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself." On Aug. 27, TMZ reported that Asia had been fired from her gig as a judge on "X Factor Italy" amid her sexual assault scandal.
"Bunch" of issues
Lance Bass thought he was the proud new owner of the "Brady Bunch" house, but then suddenly his real estate deal went bye, bye, bye. Earlier this year the iconic house from the "Brady Bunch" TV show was put up for sale. The former *NSYNC singer just had to have it and put in a bid just shy of $3 million, which was accepted by the seller. He even tweeted out that he got the home. However, the next day, Lance's realtor called to say there was an "unforeseen circumstance" and that a corporate buyer made a higher offer after the bid deadline had passed. Lance was initially peeved, but after finding out that HGTV was the winner, he made his peace with things. "HGTV??! Aw man. I'd be pretty upset if it were anyone else, but how can you be mad at HGTV??" he tweeted on Aug. 7. "My television is stuck on that channel. Kudos HGTV, I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again."
Hilary Swank is a married woman! The actress secretly wed her boyfriend, social venture entrepreneur Philip Schneider, at the Saint Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California, it was announced on Aug. 21. The Oscar winner wore a dress by Elie Saab Haute Couture Atelier. Celebrity pals including Emmy Rossum and Mariska Hargitay, who served as matron of honor, were among the couple's guests.
One day after performing at the MTV VMAs on Aug. 20, rapper Post Malone was aboard a private plane bound for Europe that had to make an emergency landing because two tires blew out shortly after takeoff. The drama of the in-air emergency played out in real time because the plane, which carried 16 people, was loaded with fuel, which forced it to circle for hours over the East Coast in order to burn off fuel to minimize damage during a possible crash landing. The aircraft eventually successfully landed at a New York airport. No one was injured in the incident. Post told TMZ, "I hate flying, in general. I don't even know what to say. I'm shook." He went on to praise the flight crew. "They're one hell of a team on that aircraft, and we're here," he said. "We're here on earth, and I need a beer, and I need some wine at the same time."