"The Bachelor" franchise shade
In this corner we have Kelly Ripa, and in this other corner, we have "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." Now fight! The gloves came off this week as the daytime talk-show host blasted the ABC dating franchise. "It disgusts me," she told the audience on "Live With Kelly and Ryan" on May 14. She added that she "can't stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella, in my opinion. You know how I feel, ladies — we are too special to be arguing over a guy. Having said that, all of you women watch that gross, gross show." Enter "The Bachelor" creator Mike Fleiss, who tweeted, "Easy, @KellyRipa … #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary!" "The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison also tweeted, "Look out #BachelorNation @KellyRipa is coming after you and your 'disgusting' Monday night habit." But on May 15, another top ABC talent — "Grey's Anatomy" actress-producer Ellen Pompeo — took to Twitter to slam Mike and support Kelly, writing in part, "Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary. Also we don't attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success."
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Heather Locklear is back in rehab. On May 15, a source told "Access Hollywood" that the "Melrose Place" actress is currently living in an in-patient facility. People magazine later confirmed the news. "She went back to rehab two weeks ago. She went back to the place she left before Christmas. She had left for three days right before Christmas and never [went] back," a source told the mag. "Heather's problem is she doesn't get serious about anything. She was continuing to drink." Her drinking, the source said, was taking a toll on her family, including 21-year-old daughter Ava Sambora. "Her issue is alcohol, pills and her mental health. She doesn't want anybody to hold her accountable," the source said. "She has no job, nothing to keep her accountable. This has been tearing up her family. It's been an ongoing issue for many many years. It has been horrible for Ava." It's unknown how many times Heather has been to rehab, but People's source estimates the number is between 20 and 25 times.
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Britney Spears wants more freedom
Britney Spears wants a judge to give her more freedoms and wants to be rid of the conservatorship that's ruled her life for the last 11 years, a new report claimed this week. Her father, Jamie Spears, has overseen the conservatorship ever since her mental breakdown in 2008. TMZ reported on May 13 that Britney told a judge that Jamie "committed [Britney] to a mental health facility a month ago against her will and also forced her to take drugs." The pop star recently spent a month in a mental health facility — at the time she said "all is well" but that she needed time to deal with stress and anxiety. However, she's now essentially doing a 180 and joining the "Free Britney" social media movement, which thinks she's being unnecessarily controlled. A judge denied her request and ordered an independent evaluation into her case. When spotted by paparazzi in Los Angeles on May 13, mom Lynne stayed mum about the legal issues but said her daughter is "wonderful." On May 15, Britney's longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, made headlines when he told TMZ Britney's Las Vegas residency was off and that he wasn't sure if or when Britney would ever perform again.
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Jenelle Evans and David Eason are empty nesters after Child Protective Services removed their 2-year-old daughter, Ensley, from their home amid the fallout after David killed their family dog. The tot is "out of the house," a family source told TMZ on May 15, one day after the outlet reported that authorities were trying to locate Jenelle, David and Ensley so they could remove her from the home. Barbara Evans, Jenelle's mother, is currently caring for the child, the report said. A few days prior, CPS also reportedly ordered Jenelle's 9-year-old son, Jace, to stay away from his mom's home (he's also with Barbara). Jenelle's 4-year-old son, Kaiser, was removed from the home last week and is currently living his father, Nathan Griffith. On May 16, Us Weekly confirmed that Jenelle and David's request to bring her kids home was denied by a judge.
Personal (and political) topic
Many big names in entertainment are blasting the Alabama legislature after it passed a highly controversial abortion bill that bans almost all abortions, with the exception being if the mother's life is in danger. Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, Alyssa Milano, Rihanna, Busy Philipps, Jameela Jamil and others all spoke out against the bill, which Alabama's governor signed on May 15. That same day, Milla Jovovich revealed she had an "emergency" abortion two years ago while halfway through a pregnancy. Minka Kelly also revealed she had an abortion 13 years ago and doesn't regret it. "For a baby to've been born to two people — too young and completely ill equipped — with no means or help from family, would have resulted in a child born into an unnecessary world of struggle," she wrote. "Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into." Busy also created the #YouKnowMe hashtag to encourage women to share their abortion stories and "end the shame." Other celebrities have since come forward.
Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty on May 13 to her role in a scheme to boost her daughter's SAT score. While addressing Judge Indira Talwani in federal court, the "Desperate Housewives" actress broke down in tears while explaining that her daughter has a learning disability. After reiterating that her daughter knew nothing of the scam, Felicity pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors have recommended that she pay a $20,000 fine and be sentenced to four months in jail. She will be sentenced on Sept. 13.
Don't mess with Sarah Jessica Parker's marriage! At some point during the week, SJP got an email from the National Enquirer that said the tabloid was planning to run a story saying she and her husband of 22 years, Matthew Broderick, got in a public screaming match. On May 15, the actress took matters into her own hands, posting the email to Instagram. "Just like clockwork. Over a decade of the same untrue, disgraceful nonsense," she wrote. "As usual, days ahead of our anniversary on May 19th, The National Enquirer is making its annual best effort to fabricate and undermine, this time a blissful 4 days with my husband in London." She added, "Hey National Enquirer and your sister publications, why not celebrate a marriage of 22 years and relationship of 27 years? Because, despite your endless harassment and wasted ink, we are nearing 3 decades of love, commitment, respect, family and home. There's your 'scoop' From a 'reliable source.'"
Conflicting reports emerged on May 16 regarding the health of legendary wrestler Ric Flair. TMZ reported that "The Nature Boy" was rushed to an Atlanta hospital after a "very serious" medical emergency, but the specifics of what went wrong were not known. Shortly afterward, Ric's son-in-law Conrad Thompson said the hospital visit was planned and not as serious as TMZ reported. After that, a source close to the situation told Pro Wrestling Sheet, one of the industry leaders in wrestling news, that Ric has had some heart issues of late and it's more serious than his son-in-law was letting on. Finally, as the rumors reached a fever pitch, Ric's wife, Wendy Barlow, released a statement. "Due to ongoing health complications, Ric was taken to the hospital and is expected to undergo a procedure tomorrow morning," she told TMZ, "after which he expects to fully recover."
Gavin Rossdale has been making waves after making things red carpet official with a new girlfriend who's 27 years his junior. The Bush frontman, 53, and Natalie Golba, 26, confirmed their romance when they hit the red carpet at the "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" New York City premiere on May 9. Then they hit the red carpet together again this week for the film's Los Angeles premiere on May 15. Natalie, by the way, is four years younger than Gavin's eldest child, Daisy Lowe. The look of love between the duo was fierce as she hung on his arm while they smiled for the cameras. This is Gavin's first romance since splitting from model Sophia Thomalla, whom he dated for nearly two years following his divorce from Gwen Stefani.
Farewell, "The Big Bang Theory." The beloved CBS show came to an end on May 16 after 12 seasons. The finale featured some long-running inside jokes (the elevator started working!) and one surprising guest star. The show kicked off with Sheldon and Amy winning the Nobel Prize in Physics, but Sheldon doesn't handle the win well and partakes in some fairly selfish behavior. He eventually gets back to being his lovable self and honors his friends during his Nobel Prize speech. Oh yeah, on the way to the award ceremony, Raj befriends "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays herself. Meanwhile, Penny and Leonard reveal that they're expecting. The show concludes with the whole gang eating delivery Chinese food back at the apartment. They went out with a "bang," but life still won't be the same.