Documentary sheds new light on Robin Williams' final months
"It was something eroding within him." That's how producer David E. Kelly describes his impression of Robin Williams near the end of his life in a trailer for "Robin's Wish," a new documentary about the comic's final months. Created by the late star's widow, Susan Schneider Williams, and Tyler Norwood, the film takes a closer look at signs Robin was suffering from the incurable brain disease, diffuse Lewy body dementia, before he ended his life in August 2014 at age 63, according to the New York Post. "My faith in him never left, but I saw his morale crumbling," Shawn Levy told ET this week, thinking back to his work with Robin on 2014's "Night at the Museum: The Secret of the Tomb," which would be the star's last movie. "I saw a guy who wasn't himself and he thought that was unforgivable," the director said. Shawn also described how, "a month into the shoot … it was clear to all of us on that set that something was going on with Robin." The Oscar and Cecil B. DeMille Award-winning actor, "was struggling in a way that he hadn't before to remember lines and to combine the right words with the performance," Shawn said. "When Robin would call me at 10 at night, at 2 in the morning, at 4 in the morning, saying, 'Is it usable? Is any of this usable? … What's going on?' I would reassure him. And so I said, 'You are still you. I know it. The world knows it. You just need to remember that.'" "Robin's Wish" is out Sept. 1, on-demand.
Keep reading to see how Demi Lovato wants fans to celebrate her birthday …
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Demi Lovato uses her birthday to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
Demi Lovato could have died two years ago, when she overdosed. Instead, she was able to get sober, return to her music career, get engaged to Max Ehrich. She was also able to turn 28, which she did on Aug. 20. Not all Americans have had that luxury, a fact she pointed out on social media Thursday by drawing attention to the ongoing fight for justice for Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police when they burst into her home while she was in bed asleep in March . "I'm so lucky to be here today and to have made it to my 28th birthday," Demi posted. "Join me in taking a stand for Breonna Taylor. 🖤🖤 #BlackLivesMatter." Demi then asked her followers to visit a Propeller link called "Demi Bday," which provides action items people can take, from emailing authorities to signing a prewritten letter to the chief of police in Louisville to donating to the racial justice organization, Color of Change. "Today is my 28th birthday… a birthday that Breonna Taylor will never have the opportunity to experience," the singer writes on the Propeller page. "Breonna Taylor was wrongfully murdered and her murderers still walk free today. I am pledging to make a difference today and am asking my fans, friends, and family to join me … No matter how big or small you think your impact may be, if we all stand together we can help bring justice for Breonna Taylor." As of Thursday, none of the officers involved in Breonna's death –Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — have been charged.
Miley Cyrus reveals she wrote 'Slide Away' before Liam Hemsworth split; teases new music with Mark Ronson
From now on, Miley Cyrus wants to make music that speaks to self-love and freedom, in the hopes of willing those things into being. In an interview with Zane Lowe this week, the singer opened up about two of her biggest hits, last year's "Slide Away," which fans read as a preamble to her divorce from Liam Hemsworth, and 2013's "Wrecking Ball." "I wrote 'Slide Away' before my breakup," she said, according to JustJared. "I wrote 'Slide Away' in February of the year before. And I just keep speaking these things into existence." She said it was "the same thing with 'Wrecking Ball,'" which came out a month before she confirmed she and Liam had called off their engagement (the first time). "I had to, like, experience heartbreak to get to that song," Miley said. "I had to live it. Again, it wasn't a song that got sent to me on a demo and I just go 'cut it.' I was living it publicly." She went to explain, "And I just keep speaking these things into existence. So, you know what? That's why … I've decided to use my language to love myself, and to really create what I want to be my reality. Because otherwise, I keep doing the opposite. I burnt my house down with my words." Miley, who recently split from Cody Simpson, also edged a bit closer to confirming her seventh studio album will be out … eventually, if not soon. "I have a song on my record actually with Mark [Ronson] called 'High'," she revealed. "And it's like, even though I don't get high anymore, I still get high, because what I do constantly gets me high."
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John Legend, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and more stars applaud Kamala Harris' historic nomination
On Wednesday, Kamala Harris officially became the first woman of color on a major party ticket when she accepted the Democrats' nomination for Vice President during the virtual DNC. "Great speech by our next Vice President @KamalaHarris!" tweeted John Legend, a longtime Harris supporter, who also performed "Never Break" to close out the second night of the convention. On the third night, Legend's enthusiasm for Harris was matched by celebs including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who posted that she couldn't wait "to see my VEEP tonight," and Kerry Washington, who tweeted simply, "This woman. This fabulous woman," after Harris spoke. "Years from now, when this moment has passed," Harris later tweeted, "our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: 'Where were you when the stakes were so high?' And we will tell them, not just how we felt—we will tell them what we did. #DemConvention."
Britney Spears' ex-husband joins #FreeBritney protesters outside conservatorship hearing
Britney Spears' childhood friend-turned husband (turned ex) Jason Alexander has apparently joined the #FreeBritney advocates in pushing for the singer to be released from her conservatorship. TMZ caught up with Brit's pal outside the Los Angeles courthouse where a hearing about the conservatorship took place Wednesday. According to the outlet, Jason said he's back in touch with the singer, and wanted to "bring some love" and "support" to the hearing, where protesters appeared carrying signs that read, "Free Britney." Jason claimed to have been "going through this process with" Britney as she fights to drop the conservatorship, although his timeline is more than a little murky ("two weeks out," he says when asked when they last spoke, "probably within two, three months …"). Asked if he had hopes of rekindling their very brief romance, Jason said, "if that's what God wants, I'm cool," adding, "I'm Britney's fan and friend forever." (The two married in Las Vegas back in 2004; their marriage was annulled the same year.) The hearing followed a filing from Britney's lawyer earlier this week in which the singer asked to have her father, Jamie Spears, removed from his leadership role in her conservatorship, according to the Daily Mail. She reportedly asked for Jodi Montgomery, who handled things after Jamie stepped down for health reasons last year, to continue managing her career and financial affairs. Jamie has been in control of those matters for 12 years — ever since Britney's 2008 mental health crisis. And for now, he'll continue to be just as involved. The court reportedly decided to keep the terms of the conservatorship intact, despite Britney's request and the protests of fans outside the building who believe Jamie is manipulating his daughter for his own purposes. Pending more filings from Britney's legal team, the conservatorship will remain as-is until February 2021, allegedly due to the singer's current mental state. The Mail added that the ACLU offered its assistance this week, as well, tweeting, "If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her."
Gerard Butler and Morgan Brown split after six years of dating
Gerard Butler is single again after splitting from his girlfriend of more than six years, Morgan Brown. The actor, 50, had been dating the 49-year-old real estate developer and designer on and off since at least 2014, when People spotted them on a "PDA-packed beach date" in Malibu, California. By 2016, they'd called it quits, but the following summer, the seemingly on-again pair headed to Mexico together for what appeared to be a romantic getaway, according to People. As of October 2017, however, Gerard was single again, telling People he had "no personal life" because of his work schedule even though he was hoping to have kids and be in a relationship in five years. Fast forward to 2018 and Page Six was reporting Gerard and Morgan were not only seeing one another again but looking for real estate together. That status appeared to stick until at least this past July before People confirmed this week that they had moved on from the romance.
Katy Perry is over the competition fans set up among women artists
Katy Perry just wants to support her fellow female artists. But that's not so easy when fans are constantly slamming women pop stars, taking sides and criticizing their looks online. "Take any female performer and you hear about it every single day. You want to read Twitter comments? Somebody want to take my account and read my Twitter comments? No, you don't," the singer told Zane Lowe on Apple Music this week (via JustJared). "You don't because it's all about who's better than who, who's skinnier than who, who sold more number ones than who, who's doing better this year than who, who made this much more. It's like, 'OK. Well, what about just liking the music?' Why is it about…why? I am competitive, but I'm not competitive with women. No, no, no, no. I'm competitive in that I want to succeed." Katy, whose new album "Smile" is out this month, went on to say she tries to keep competition out of it when it comes to personal interactions with other artists. "I care about my art and I hope that it reaches. That's how I'm competitive, but I actually truly want every single female in the industry to feel supported and loved," she stressed. "And feel they can speak their truth and deliver their message, no matter how many of us women are in the industry."
Joss Whedon, 'Justice League' producers hit with WarnerMedia investigation amid abuse allegations
After Ray Fisher's allegations of "abusive" behavior on the set of "Justice League," WarnerMedia has launched an investigation into the alleged misconduct, according to Variety. Citing an unnamed source, the outlet reports the investigation "is not limited to" director Joss Whedon and producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, who Fisher claimed routinely mistreated cast and crew on the production. The source also said there's no "timeline" for the process, which will not be made public. After reading the report Thursday, Fisher tweeted that WarnerMedia "officially launched an independent third-party investigation to get to the heart of the toxic and abusive work environment created during Justice League reshoots," calling the move a "MASSIVE step forward." He added: "I believe this investigation will show that Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Jon Berg (and others) grossly abused their power during the uncertainty of AT&T's merger with Time Warner." WarnerMedia also launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct on the set of "Ellen" earlier this summer.
Back with her first album in years, Brandy opens up about her long battle with depression
It's been nearly eight years since Hollywood heard from Brandy, the Grammy-winning singer and actress whose career took off when she was just 15 with her eponymous album in 1994. Another hit record followed, as did her show, "Moesha," which ran for six seasons. Now 41, Brandy just released a new album, "B7," and as the R&B singer tells People in a new cover story, the emotion that fills her new music came out of a long and challenging struggle with mental health issues."I was a little bit lost eight years ago musically, creatively, spiritually. I had to pull myself together, I had to pull it all together and make it all make sense," Brandy explains, revealing that she felt "trapped" by her fame. After she gave birth to her daughter, Sy'rai, in 2002, she and Sy-rai's father, Robert Smith, split, though they allowed it to appear on her reality show that they were married. A woman was killed in car accident Brandy was involved in a few years later, she told People, and more painful relationships followed. "I remember laying in bed super depressed," she recalls. "I [told] myself, 'So, you're just going to go out like this? That's wack. You have a daughter. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for her because this is not the way to leave a mark in her life.'" Brandy adds, "If Sy'rai wasn't here, I wouldn't be either. The place that I was in, it just felt like I wasn't going to make it through." Today, Sy'rai is 18 and recently graduated from high school. And Brandy is healthy and happy, thanks to therapy, meditation, journaling and her faith, according to People. Though she worried she might have gone "too far" in what she reveals in the new music, she says she chose not to focus on that. "I'm in a place now," she says, "where I can be proud of moving in the right direction."
Kelly Osbourne reveals she had gastric sleeve surgery two years ago
Two years ago, after getting sober, Kelly Osbourne quietly underwent gastric sleeve surgery. Despite the attention her dramatic, 85-pound weight loss has gotten since then, she didn't reveal that she'd had the procedure until a recent interview on the "Hollywood Raw" podcast. "I had surgery," the 35-year-old said matter-of-factly. "I did the gastric sleeve. All it does is change the shape of your stomach. I got that almost two years ago. I will never, ever, ever lie about it, ever. It is the best thing I have ever done." Kelly added that she also had injections in her jaw to help alleviate TMJ. "That's when people started to notice that I had really lost weight because it changed the shape of everything," she explained. The "Fashion Police" star, who wrote about her struggle with her body image and with alcoholism in her 2017 memoir, also told the podcast hosts that she was careful to deal with her mental health before trying to change her physical appearance. "The number one thing I had to do was get happy. I had to fix my head before I could fix my body. You can never go into this if you're not in a good mindset," she said. "I stopped drinking, which is the best thing I've ever done. I really wanted to fix the things that were broken in me. I'm not perfect. I still make a lot of mistakes. I have bumps in the road, I fall down, I get back up again."