Selena Gomez buys Tom Petty's former home for $4.9M
Selena Gomez just added a new item to her growing real estate portfolio — and it comes with some serious rock 'n roll history. Variety reports the singer recently forked over $4.9 million for the mansion Tom Petty and his first wife, Jane Benyo, had custom-built back in 1989. After an arsonist set fire to the Tudor-style digs that previously sat on the Encino, California, property, the late rock icon and his wife built a pad that's still perfect for a celebrity who values their privacy. The 6-bedroom, 10 bath home spans 11,483 square feet and sits behind a gate, at the end of a long driveway. It reportedly features "hidden passageways and secret panic rooms for extra security," within its "multiple stories." The main living room is flooded with sun rays from a skylight by day, while residents have the option of cozying up to the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace at night. The outdoor area, meanwhile, boasts a big pool and outdoor kitchen with plenty of seating for guests. Selena's new purchase comes in the midst of high marks for her new, deluxe edition release of "Rare," which features three previously unreleased tracks.
Keep reading for an update on Nikki Bella's pregnancy …
Nikki Bella shows off her growing bump: '23 weeks!'
Nikki Bella is more than halfway done with her pregnancy and she couldn't be more excited. The "Totally Bellas" star shared a photo of her bump on Thursday, April 9, in an Instagram post that featured her leaning back in fiance Artem Chigvintsev's arms as she smiles. "23 weeks today! We are definitely on cloud 9 knowing we are getting closer and closer to meeting our baby. ❤️," she captioned the shot. It will be the first child for the couple, who are now planning to postpone their wedding because of the surprise pregnancy. Nikki's twin sister, Brie Bella, is also pregnant. She's expecting her second little one with husband Bryan Danielson, within about two weeks of her sister's due date.
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Dakota Fanning pays tribute to her 'bigger a little sister' Elle Fanning on her birthday
Elle Fanning celebrated her 22nd trip around the sun on Thursday, April 9, with some help from her mom and her older sister, Dakota Fanning. "Happy birthday to my bigger little sister," Dakota joked on her Instagram Story, referencing their height difference (via E! News). Along with photos of the sisters laughing together through the years, Dakota wrote: "Thank you for putting up with me when I'm annoying, for always going downstairs to grab me something when I should go grab it myself and for being the best sister anyone could ask for. I love you." Among the pics were childhood shots of the super-blonde sibs, including a picture of the two at a diner counter. "And this one sums her up. Happy 22 Elle! Feels like yesterday were drinking Johnny Rockets Coke's and pretending it was coffee," Dakota wrote. On her own Instagram, the birthday girl showed off the cake her mom had gotten her. It was Strawberry Shortcake-themed, a nod to Elle's obsession with the character. The cake was also timely — the Strawberry Shortcake figure seated on top of the cake was wearing a mask. Safety, first, cake second!
Florence Pugh just summed up why Ariana Grande's done talking about her love life
Ariana Grande's no stranger to the perils of opening up about one's love life to the public. Which might be why, after two albums devoted to romantic relationships and one called-off engagement that ended with her ex, Pete Davidson, cracking jokes about their split on "SNL," Ariana hasn't been too forthcoming about her new beau, Dalton Gomez. Judging from a since-deleted Instagram Story post from the singer, she's not likely to change course, either. According to InStyle, Ariana shared a video this week that showed Florence Pugh hitting back at trolls who've gone after her boyfriend Zach Braff for the couple's age difference (he's 45, she's 24). In the text, Ariana quoted Florence on two points — "Being hateful is not trendy," and, "I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love and I would never in my life tell anyone who they can or can not love. It is not your place and has nothing to do with you" — and assured the actress she was totally on target. "Sharing special, personal life things that make u happy on the internet can be truly traumatic," Ariana wrote. "I know I've taken a step back from doing so to protect my loved ones and myself but I just wanted to share this and let u know how perfectly u expressed this and how appreciated u are for doing so @florencepugh."
Lil Nas X never planned to come out before becoming famous
"The honest truth is, I planned to die with the secret." That's how 20-year-old "country trap" star Lil Nas X sums up his long-held intention to keep his sexuality private in a new profile in the Guardian. He ended up coming out as gay on the last day of Pride month in 2019 in a tweet, joking, "deada– thought I made it obvious," alongside a string of rainbow emojis. His change of heart, he told the Guardian, took place "when I became Lil Nas X." Before all the Grammy nominations and his "Old Town Road" internet takeover, Nas was Montero Lamar Hill from Lithia Springs, Georgia, outside of Atlanta. Now that he's a household name, he says he's proud to be an icon for the LGBTQ+ community, but he's not ready to make music about his sexuality, mostly, he says, because he worries about putting young fans at risk of being bullied or kicked out of their homes in middle school or high school. "I don't want to encourage them to do something they don't 100 percent want to do," he says. "… Because it's just super hard."
Angelina Jolie urges vigilance against domestic violence amid pandemic
On World Refugee Day in July 2019, Angelina Jolie published her debut op-ed as a contributing editor for Time magazine. This month, she turns her attention to children who, as she puts it, "are especially vulnerable to so many of the secondary impacts of the pandemic on society." With so many struggling to make a living while facing the challenges of an isolated existence, stress is skyrocketing across the country and "stress at home increases the risk of domestic violence," the Academy Award winner writes. Citing statistics about the high number of women who die each day in America at the hands of a partner or relative, she points out that children in those homes are often exposed to that violence and subjected to a lifetime of trauma as a result. With schools closed, she adds, many of those kids are now missing a key "shield … from violence, exploitation and other difficult circumstance," that they normally have in teachers, coaches and mentors, many of whom end up being whistleblowers on instances of domestic violence at the home of their students. Though she says "we were underprepared" to deal with the current crisis and have not yet considered how to help kids in these situations, Jolie says there's still hope. She praises California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris for pushing for "routine screening of children for [adverse experiences] by health care providers to enable early intervention," and asks readers to watch for signs that someone they know may be experience abuse, directing those in need of resources to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.
Rihanna's foundation co-funds $4.2M grant to support victims of domestic violence
Angelina Jolie's not the only celeb advocating for victims of domestic violence at risk during the coronavirus crisis. On Thursday, April 9, Rihanna announced her Clara Lionel Foundation will co-fund a $4.2-million grant "to address a surge in domestic violence" in L.A. via the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, a local nonprofit that works to connect government and private entities to fight the city's most serious challenges. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rihanna's foundation, along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, will support the Mayor's Fund's plan to provide shelter, meals and counseling for victims of domestic violence and their children for 10 weeks. The singer's foundation previously donated $2 million to New York City and L.A.-based healthcare workers, first responders, incarcerated people and those who are elderly or homeless, and $5 million to support food banks, coronavirus testing and treatment, and the provision of protective equipment for healthcare workers.
Photos of Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli's daughters on rowing machines released
Prosecutors in Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli's college admissions bribery case have released photos of the couple's daughters on rowing machines that the pair allegedly sent USC as part of their plan to get them into the school as rowing recruits, despite their never having played the sport. NBC News reports the pictures show influencer Olivia Jade Giannulli and her sister, Isabella Giannulli, in gym wear while posed on the fitness machines. Their faces are blurred out in the photos. Court documents show scandal mastermind Rick Singer allegedly asked for the pictures in 2016, telling Loughlin and Giannulli he was putting together a "coxswain portfolio" for one of the siblings. "I need a PDF of her transcript and test scores very soon while I create a coxswain portfolio for her. It would probably help to get a picture with her on an ERG in workout clothes like a real athlete too," he wrote in a missive to the couple. Giannulli sent the photo of Isabella; once she got in, an email shows he told someone, "Good news my daughter is in SC … bad is I had to work the system." Loughlin and Giannulli, whose lawyers recently asked the court to dismiss the charges, have pleaded not guilty to fraud, bribery and money laundering. In February, prosecutors released the resume Olivia provided USC in her application. It claimed she'd won multiple medals as the coxswain of her high school rowing team, which she never was part of.
Dean McDermott defends Tori Spelling amid criticism of $95 virtual meet and greet
Dean. McDermott says it's time for "drag culture" to stop. After critics attacked his wife Tori Spelling for charging $95 a head for a virtual meet and greet, Dean responded to the backlash with a long video message on Instagram. Noting that he had to defend Tori against trolls "yet again," Dean said he was "disappointed" she had been raked over the coals for asking the 20 fans who won access to the "live meet and greet" to pay for their prize. "People are upset that given the current situation we're in, and the lockdown and the coronavirus, that she's charging people money to do a meet-and-greet," he explained (via Page Six). He explained that a company had pitched Tori on the notion that the online event might bring "some levity and some fun and some humor and love to [quarantine]." But, he argued, "because it's Tori Spelling," she was instead "dragged … for simply doing something to entertain people, but more importantly, to provide for her family." Dean appeared increasingly angry in the clip as he demanded to know what's wrong with someone whose industry "is shut down," leaving her with "no way to work like everybody else," staging a "live meet-and-greet with fans [to] give [people] some light and love and have some fun?" Before signing off and he praised Tori for her work ethic and urged anyone listening to "back off and just take a breath and relax." Dean added: "It used to be cancel culture, now it's drag culture, and this has to stop, too." Criticism of the meet and greet fee centered largely around the fact that so many have lost their jobs, with some noting that given Tori and Dean's past financial problems, they should be more sympathetic to the situation many people are in.
Madonna keeps losing people to COVID-19: 'I'm over it'
It's been a rough week for Madonna, who told Instagram followers on Thursday, April 9, that she recently lost three people to COVID-19 in 24 hours. In a video she called "quarantine diary #9," Madge sits in the dark, typing on a typewriter. "We can't always have a good day … I didn't sleep last night, not one minute and today I have been dysfunctional," she says in the clip. She adds, "The pain-o-meter was on 10 and when it's on 10, I just need to, want to, have to, get out of my body," explaining that her cousin, the brother of a security and Orlando Puerta, a music industry honcho who Madonna worked closely with through the years, had all died of the virus. "Today wasn't a good day," she says in the clip. "I'm over it."