From the out-of-the-blue department! Yolanda Hadid denied speculation that she secretly housed longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell at her Pennsylvania farmhouse last year. The rumors began on July 4 after a Dutch journalist claimed he tracked Ghislaine — the British socialite who was arrested on sex abuse and trafficking charges by the FBI in New Hampshire in early July — through her computer's IP address, which put her near the remote farmhouse owned by the former "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star. The journalist alleged that Ghislaine was seen near the Hadid family farmhouse and contended that Ghislaine is "friendly with the Hadid family." He claimed Ghislaine "probably" stayed in the farmhouse in November 2019. Yolanda refuted the claims. "I do not know or have ever associated with [Ghislaine] — the first time I have heard about her or any of this was watching the documentary ["Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich"], like the rest of the world, on Netflix — which became an in depth dinner conversation with my family in which we all discussed how it's possible that this woman was not already in jail ..?!"
Roller coaster month
Commander-in-Chief Kanye West? OK, that's a real long shot, but the rapper announced on July 4 that he's running for president of the United States this year. He's got an uphill battle. Following the announcement, Kanye spoke to Forbes for "four rambling hours" about his platform — and it was quite the wide-ranging interview. He said he no longer supports President Donald Trump because he "caught wind that [Trump] hid in the bunker" during Black Lives Matter protests. Kanye, who's running on the "Birthday Party" ticket (yes, for real), admittedly doesn't have a foreign policy plan or a tax plan. Speculation soon emerged that the rapper-designer was having a bipolar episode, which wife Kim Kardashian West later seemed to confirmed in a post on her Instagram Stories. While many wondered if the whole thing was a publicity stunt, Kanye proved them wrong, officially filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission that states his intention to run for POTUS, and he got his name on the ballot in Oklahoma (although he's missed the deadline in several other states). On July 19, he held a rally in South Carolina that was widely viewed as a disaster as he criticized abolitionist Harriet Tubman and revealed that he and Kim initially wanted to abort their eldest child, daughter North, 7. One point he even said Kim might want to divorce him afterward (something he later tweeted he's been trying to do for months). He also didn't get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in the state, and national poll showed Kanye might only get 2% of the vote in a general election anyway. Then, during the following week, Kanye went on a tweet-and-delete run, criticizing mother-in-law Kris Jenner, claiming Kim tried to get him involuntarily committed to a mental hospital and more. He publicly apologized to his wife on July 25 and that same weekend briefly visited a hospital near his Wyoming home.
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After a 95-day battle with COVID-19 and a slew of complications, Broadway star Nick Cordero passed away on July 5. His wife, Amanda Kloots, tearfully announced the news on Instagram. "I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him," wrote the dancer-actress and fitness expert, later adding, "I will love you forever and always my sweet man." The death came after a litany of health complications, one of which included Nick getting his right leg amputated because of blood clotting issues. The Tony-nominated actor first entered the ICU on March 31. After his death, a GoFundMe page that had been set up to help Amanda with medical bills was changed to a "memorial" page. Over $1 million has been raised. Fans have also launched a petition to rename New York City's Longacre Theatre in Nick's memory. The theater was the home of Nick's last Broadway musical, "A Bronx Tale."
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Have Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel expanded their family to four? It appears that the couple secretly welcomed a second child this summer. On July 18, The Daily Mail reported that Jessica gave birth to a baby boy in Montana in mid-July. Justin and Jessica, who share 5-year-old son Silas, have not commented on the report, but Justin might have hinted at the new arrival on Instagram on July 16 when he wrote, "summer's gonna look a little different this year" alongside a black-and-white image of himself and Jessica. The Daily Mail noted that Jessica has avoided showing her body on Instagram since March and has not been photographed publicly since then either.
Actress Kelly Preston, 57, passed away on July 12 following a secret two-year-battle with breast cancer. John Travolta, Kelly's husband of 28 years, announced the news. "It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many," he began a message on Instagram. "My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side. Kelly's love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don't hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal."
Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS — which owns MTV — on July 14 after he made controversial comments on his podcast that were widely viewed as vile and anti-Semitic. While speaking on "Cannon's Class," Nick also called white people "savages" and "barbaric." Following the comments, ViacomCBS said the "Wild 'N Out" host and creator had been dropped. "ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism," it said in a statement, explaining that Nick "promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories." Afterward, Nick initially claimed the media company was bullying him and had "misused an important moment for us to all grow closer together and learn more about one another." He blasted the decision and contended that ViacomCBS was trying to "make an example of an outspoken Black man" and was on "the wrong side of history." He also demanded an apology. Nick, however, issued an apology that same week and said his "own community turn on" him. He then sent out some cryptic tweets and disturbingly listed his location as "heaven." Following his apology, FOX confirmed that Nick will continue to host "The Masked Singer."
More show rumors
Rumors swirled earlier in the month claiming that Ellen DeGeneres' eponymous talk show was on the verge of getting axed, but her producers scoffed at the notion. On July 1, a report from The Sun said there was talk that "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" could be getting canceled amid falling ratings and reports that the comedian is "rude" to her staff. Ellen's production company, however, emphatically said in a statement, "Telepictures can confirm it's untrue." It's not only the ratings that are an issue, but bad press is too. The 62-year-old comedian might seem like the image of happiness and positivity on her talk show, but claims of unkind behavior went viral in March after comedian Kevin T. Porter asked fans to tell their most "insane" stories of "Ellen being mean." Many obliged and made claims of alleged demeaning behavior. And in mid-July, Buzzfeed published a scathing report detailing an allegedly "toxic" work environment after speaking to one current and 10 former show employees. As if that wasn't enough, Ellen's home was burglarized on July 4.
End of an era
Regis Philbin died of natural causes on July 24, one month shy of his 89th birthday. His 60-year career in TV memorably included long runs hosting "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Former co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa were among the dozens of stars who mourned his death on social media.
Baby on board
Hey, mom! On July 20, Nicki Minaj announced on Instagram that she and her husband, Kenneth Petty, are expecting. "Preggers," she captioned a photo of herself cradling her baby bump. In another image showing off her growing belly, she added, "Love. Marriage. Baby carriage. Overflowing with excitement & gratitude. Thank you all for the well wishes." The rapper's reveal wasn't totally news to diehard fans, as she'd been dropping pregnancy clues for several weeks.
Social media purge
In more Jeffrey Epstein scandal-related news… Over a million social media users got silenced by Chrissy Teigen, and it's all because of an unfounded online conspiracy. On July 14, the "Lip Sync Battle" star unloaded on Twitter after a major purge of tweets. For months, conspiracy theorists have perpetuated a claim that Chrissy's name appeared on the late convicted pedophile's flight logs, something she has vehemently denied. The conspiracy picked up steam following the arrest of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell in early July by the FBI. "I actually deleted 60,000 tweets because I cannot f****** STAND you idiots anymore and I'm worried for my family," Chrissy wrote after a troll asked her about deleted messages. Turns out, Chrissy wasn't finished cleaning up her Twitter. "I have block chained over one million people, ONE MILLION people today and I am still flooded with sick psychopaths. So please, spare me the 'just ignore them, they're just trolls,'" she tweeted. "Anyhow I'll do my best to stop entertaining them. They have definitely been living for this and have zeroed in on ONLY me."
On July 8, "Glee" actress Naya Rivera rented a boat and went out on Lake Piru in Southern California with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey. Tragically, she never came home, but she made sure her son did. After authorities found Naya's body on July 13, a Ventura County Sheriff's spokesman detailed her final moments. The actress, authorities believe, was swimming with her son when the water got too rough and the unanchored boat likely began to drift away. She "mustered the energy," they said, to heroically save her son, boosting him back onto the boat before she disappeared under the water. On July 14, the coroner confirmed that Naya died of accidental drowning. That same day, "Glee" creators started a college fund for Josey, whose father is Naya's ex-husband, actor Ryan Dorsey.
The trial in Johnny Depp's libel case against a British tabloid got underway on July 7, and there were basically fireworks from the beginning. Johnny, who's suing The Sun over a 2018 article that called him a "wife beater," said ex-wife Amber Heard was the abusive one in the relationship and she "invented" stories to make him look bad. On the first day of testimony in the he said/she said case, he also revealed he's done "every drug known to man" and admitted to giving his daughter marijuana when she was 13. Along the way, Johnny implied that Amber defecated on his bed the day after her 30th birthday party. Amber is not named in the trial, which is taking place in London, but The Sun is trying to used her for its defense. There were all kinds of accusations throughout the weeks, including Johnny alleging she had affairs with multiple actors. She described an alleged incident in Australia during 2015 as "a three-day hostage situation."
Demi Lovato is sporting a new piece of jewelry: an engagement ring! On July 22, the pop star got engaged to her boyfriend of a few months, soap opera star Max Ehrich. The singer spoke about the engagement on social media. "When I was a little girl, my birth dad always called me his 'little partner' – something that might've sounded strange without his southern cowboy like accent. To me it made perfect sense. And today that word makes perfect sense again but today I'm officially going to be someone else's partner," she captioned a slideshow of photos of herself and her new fiancé showing off her massive engagement ring. "I knew I loved you the moment I met you. It was something I can't describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it firsthand but luckily you did too. I've never felt so unconditionally loved by someone in my life (other than my parents) flaws and all. You never pressure me to be anything other than myself. And you make me want to be the best version of myself. I'm honored to accept your hand in marriage. I love you more than a caption could express but I'm ecstatic to start a family and life with you. I love you forever my baby. My partner. Here's to our future!!!!"
It's Lady A vs. Lady A. The amicable relationship between country trio Lady A and blues singer Anita White, also known to her fans as Lady A, is over. The trio has sued the singer. Last month, the group changed its name from Lady Antebellum to Lady A to disassociate itself from slavery. The singer was upset at the time, but the two Lady As privately spoke and things seemed cordial. On July 8, however, the trio said the Seattle-based singer wanted money from them to keep using the name, so a lawsuit was filed. "Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended," a statement read. "She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years." The Nashville-based group is not asking for financial compensation. After the lawsuit, Anita told Rolling Stone she wanted half the money to rebrand herself, and she claimed she wanted to donate the other half to Black Lives Matter organizations. She accused the group of "white privilege."
Charlie Daniels, who famously sang "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" and has been described as a political firebrand, passed away in Hermitage, Tennessee, on July 6. Doctors determined the cause of death was a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83. Many of country music's biggest names commented on the Grammy winner's lasting legacy. Carrie Underwood called him "sweet." George Strait said Charlie was "a great entertainer and a great human being. Cowboy too."
An Old Hollywood star passes on
"Gone With the Wind" star Olivia de Havilland died of natural causes at 104. She passed away on July 26 at her home in Paris, where she'd lived for 60 years, her publicist confirmed. The Old Hollywood star, whose younger sister was actress Joan Fontaine, won two Oscars early in her career for her performances in "The Heiress" and "To Each His Own."