Lucy Hale tearfully details alcohol addiction for the first time
Lucy Hale is opening up for the first time about her battle with alcoholism and the truths about what's at the root of her addiction. "I have never talked publicly about being sober — I have a little over a year sobriety," the "Pretty Little Liars" alum said on the latest edition of Steven Bartlett's "Diary of a CEO" podcast, per ET. "I have been working on getting sober since I was 20; I'm 33. It took time. It took patience with myself." She went on to recall, through tears, how drinking served as a "self-destructive" coping mechanism that allowed her to believe she was her "truest self" when she was drunk. "I just held on to that belief that real Lucy came out when she was drinking. It also quieted my mind … my mind just doesn't shut off and it's exhausting. I was [a] textbook binge drinker, blackout, wouldn't remember what I did or what I said, which is scary," she said, adding that from her first drink at 14 until she quit in January 2022, "I was willing to go to this crazy dark place every time. … I view it as an allergy; my brain doesn't work the same way as someone who can just have a glass of wine. It always wants more. It's craving that feeling." Reflecting on what did and didn't work as far as stopping, Lucy said, "One of my best friends died of alcoholism and that still didn't make me want to get sober." She explained, "Alcohol isn't the problem – the problem is this feeling inside of me."
It wasn't until after dozens" of "emotional rock bottoms" that the actress wanted to get sober and did. "I said, 'I deserve more out of this life,'" she recalled. "'I have to try it a different way.'"
Ben Stiller defends controversial 2008 comedy 'Tropic Thunder': 'I make no apologies'
Ben Stiller once again found himself defending his controversial 2008 satire comedy, "Tropic Thunder" this week after a Twitter user said he should "stop apologizing" for the movie because it "was and is still funny AF." Directed by Ben and starring Ben, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder" told the story of a group of actors making a war film — while going to any lengths to win an award in the process. Those lengths included RDJ's character having "pigmentation alteration surgery" to play a Black man in the hopes the surgery might bolster his Hollywood awards circuit potential. "I make no apologies for 'Tropic Thunder,'" Ben tweeted in response to the fan on Tuesday (Feb. 21). "Don't know who told you that," he added. "It's always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it."
Ben's co-star, Robert, has also defended the blackface premise in recent years, telling Joe Rogan on a 2020 podcast episode that the storyline was "about how wrong [blackface] is," not the other way around. Like other aspects of the film, it was meant to "hold up to nature the insane self-hypocrisy of artists and what they think they're allowed to do on occasion," Robert said at the time. "It was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie."
Here's why Pink says she and Madonna 'didn't work out'
Pink is convinced the Queen of Pop "doesn't like her." While promoting her ninth studio album "Trustfall" on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday (Feb. 22), Pink was asked if she's friends with Madonna. "Madonna doesn't like me," Pink told Howard. It seems Pink believes Madonna once "kind of tried to play" Pink on an episode of "Live! With Regis & Kelly." Prodded to elaborate, Pink first acknowledged she knows she can be "a polarizing individual," then clarified how much she's always "loved" Madonna. But when she felt like Madge was messing with her? "I'm not the one, so it didn't work out," Pink said. "It's such a silly story," she continued. "I f****** love Madonna, and I love her no matter what. I still love her. She was such an inspiration to me, but it sort of got twisted around that I was fangirling and was dying to meet Madonna when, in actuality, she invited me to her dressing room," Pink explained. "So, I just said a joke when Regis brought me out and was like, 'How does it feel to meet [Madonna]? I heard you're just falling over yourself backstage.' I'm like, 'I thought she wanted to meet me.'" In the end, the singer concluded that it "Didn't work out for us."
Pink's comments come after she defended the "Material Girl" singer when UK's The Mirror asked her to weigh in on the online criticism of Madonna's recent appearance at the 2023 Grammys Awards. Citing "ageism and misogyny," the 43-year-old star pointed out that focusing on what a massively influential artist like Madonna looks like misses the point of her long career. "Let's just give the people the respect they deserve and have earned, and be a bit nicer. … When a person walks out, the first thing I think is not, 'Holy s*** did you see their face?' I don't think like that. I think, 'Holy s***, that person has been amazing for so long.'"
Madonna also addressed the backlash, telling social media followers earlier this month that it's just another example of her being "caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny that permeates the world we live in." She added, "A world that refuses to celebrate women pass [sic] the age of 45 And feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong-willed, hard-working, and adventurous."
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Selena Gomez dethrones Kylie Jenner as Instagram's most-followed woman after both stars dismiss TikTok shade claims
Amid news Selena Gomez dethroned Kylie Jenner as the world's most-followed woman on Instagram this week, some of the stars' fans accused Kylie of shading Selena on TikTok. According to Cosmo, Selena shared a TikTok story in which she joked she'd "accidentally laminated my brows too much" while showing off her unusually spiky eyebrows. At some point after that, Kylie shared a selfie in which she'd written "this was an accident???" over her brows. When Kylie spotted the fans' claims, however, she promptly shut them down. "This is reaching," she wrote. "No shade towards selena ever and I didn't see her eyebrow posts! u guys are making something out of nothing. this is silly." Selena later supported Kylie's response, writing, "Agreed @kyliejenner It's all unnecessary. I'm a fan of Kylie!"
Meanwhile, over on Instagram, Selena's return to the platform after a long mental health break nudged Kylie out of her spot as Insta's most-followed woman, USA Today reported on Thursday (Feb. 23). As of Thursday afternoon, Selena had notched 381 million followers, while Kylie boasted 380 million.
Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 16 years in prison in L.A.
On Thursday (Feb. 23), Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 16 more years behind bars for rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, CNN reported. The former Hollywood producer is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York City. During the trial, eight women testified against Harvey, including filmmaker Jennifer Seibel Newsom, California Governor Gavin Newsom's wife. The former Weinstein Company exec, 70, was convicted in December 2022 of charges including rape and sexual penetration after the testimony of a Jane Doe accuser, whose claims stemmed from an alleged hotel room incident in February 2013. He was acquitted of one charge. The jury couldn't agree on three others and four more charges in the case were dropped, according to CNN. "I maintain that I'm innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1," Harvey said in court before his sentencing on Thursday. "I never knew this woman, and the fact is she doesn't know me. This is about money. Please don't sentence me to life in prison. I don't deserve it."
A lawyer for two of the women who testified said in a statement after the sentencing: "Their testimony gave them the power to reclaim their voices, both for themselves and on behalf of the many other women who were abused by Harvey Weinstein. It can't erase the trauma they've endured, but it can serve as a catalyst for change and provide hope to other survivors."
Jean Smart reveals she's recovering from 'a successful heart procedure'
"Hacks" star Jean Smart has confirmed she's recovering from a heart procedure. Jean, 71, shared her health news on Instagram this week, after Deadline reported production on her HBO hit's third season had been paused. "February is American Heart Month – a time when the nation spotlights heart health, so it feels important to share with all of you that I am recovering from a recent successful heart procedure," Jean wrote. "I am fortunate to have excellent care and support from family and friends while I continue to recuperate. Please listen to your body and talk to your doctor – I'm very glad I did!" The "Designing Women" alum — who plays Sin City comic Deborah Vance on "Hacks" — did not share details on the procedure she underwent. According to Deadline, production will resume on her show "around March 13."
Khloe Kardashian sued by former assistant
Khloe Kardashian is facing a lawsuit from a former household assistant who claims she failed to pay him the overtime he was owed, then fired him after an injury forced him to take a leave from the job, according to TMZ. Filed by Matthew Manhard over his tenure working for Khloe from January 2019 until November 2022, the lawsuit also claims Khloe violated state labor laws in California by giving him so much work he couldn't take breaks during what he says were 12-hour shifts. A rep for Khloe has denied the claims. "Toward the end of his employment, [Matthew] was on a leave of absence for an extended period of time and the role eventually needed to be replaced. We will not tolerate false accusations and will prove that this is a frivolous lawsuit," the Hulu star's rep told TMZ. As for the alleged overtime pay, a "legal rep" for Khloe said, "Matthew was properly classified and compensated for his role." Khloe's sister, Kim Kardashian was sued in 2021 by seven former household employees who similarly claimed the star didn't let them take breaks and failed to pay adequate overtime. Like her sister, Kim denied the claims.