Yolanda Hadid has denied speculation that she secretly housed longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell at her Pennsylvania farmhouse last year. The rumors began after a Dutch journalist claimed that he tracked Ghislaine, a British socialite — who was arrested by the FBI on July 2 for allegedly helping the dead pedophile financier recruit, groom and sexually abuse girls — through her computer's IP address, and that it put her near the remote farmhouse owned by the former "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star. The journalist alleged that Ghislaine visited a doughnut shop in the vicinity of the Hadid family farmhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and contended that Ghislaine is "friendly with the Hadid family." He said 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, 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?!"
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"Glee" actress Naya Rivera, 33, is presumed dead following a boating outing in Southern California. On July 8, Naya rented a pontoon boat on Lake Piru with her 4-year-old son, Josey Dorsey. Three hours later, staff found the boat with her son asleep on it wearing a life jacket, but there was no sign of Naya. Josey told authorities that his mom went swimming in the water and didn't come back. A search soon commenced but was called off at nightfall. Search teams returned to the lake the morning of July 9 and authorities shifted to a "recovery mission," revealing they believe Naya drowned. "We believe a tragic accident happened and she may have lost her life in the lake," a Ventura County Sheriff spokesperson said.
RELATED: Stars we lost in 2020
A few days after Kanye West announced via Twitter that he was running for president of the United States, the rapper spoke to Forbes about his platform — and it was wide-ranging, to say the least. Despite the fact that he hasn't formally filed any paperwork to run, as required by law, Ye insisted his political foray is legit. He also said he no longer supports President Donald Trump after he "caught wind that [Trump] hid in the bunker" in the White House during Black Lives Matter protests. Kanye, who said said he will run on the "Birthday party" ticket (yes, for real), admitted he doesn't have a foreign policy plan yet, nor a tax plan. As for other policies, he said, "I don't know if I would use the word policy for the way I would approach things. I don't have a policy when I went to Nike and designed Yeezy and went to Louis and designed a Louis Vuitton at the same time. It wasn't a policy, it was a design. We need to innovate the design to be able to free the mind at this time." The interview, Forbes said, was "four rambling hours." Speculation soon emerged that Kanye was in the midst of a bipolar episode.
The niceties between country trio Lady A and blues singer Anita White, also known to her fans as Lady A, are 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 differing Lady As privately hashed it out and things seemed amicable. On July 8, however, the trio said the Seattle-based singer wanted a large sum of 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 a 95-day battle with COVID-19 and ensuing complications, Broadway star Nick Cordero passed away on July 5. His wife, performer-turned-trainer Amanda Kloots, announced the news on Instagram. "I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him," she wrote, later adding, "I will love you forever and always my sweet man." The death comes after a litany of health complications, one of which included Nick having his right leg amputated because of blood clotting issues. The Tony-nominated actor, who starred in "Bullets Over Broadway" and "Rock of Ages," first entered the ICU on March 31. For six weeks of that hospitalization, he remained in a coma. While unconscious, he suffered two mini strokes, septic shock and fungus in his lungs and he needed a temporary pacemaker to assist his heart. After the 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."
A shocking departure! On July 6, Kristian Alfonso announced that she is leaving "Days of Our Lives" after starring on the show for 37 years. Kristian's Hope Williams Brady character was introduced in 1983. "Days of Our Lives has been a vital part of both my personal and professional journey," the actress said in a statement on Instagram. "I am forever grateful to NBC and the late Betty Corday, who took a chance on me many years ago and changed my life. I have built some lifelong friendships with my extraordinarily talented castmates." Kristian added, "I feel blessed and honored to have been invited into people's homes for over three decades. However, it is now time for me to write my next chapter." She said she filmed her last episode several months ago.
Johnny Depp's trial in his 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," has repeatedly claimed that his ex-wife, Amber Heard, was the abusive one in the relationship and that she "invented" stories to make him look bad. In early testimony he also said he's done "every drug known to man" and admitted to giving his daughter marijuana when she was 13. Along the way, Johnny claimed Amber was having an affair with James Franco and revealed he decided to divorce her after she or one of her friends defecated on his bed the day after her 30th birthday party, which he said she later claimed was a prank. Amber is not named in the trial, but The Sun is trying to use her for its defense. The London-based trial is expected to last about three weeks.
New couple buzz
Following May reports that Lily James and "The Crown" star Matt Smith had rekindled their romance while quarantining together amid the coronavirus pandemic comes news that Lily's likely moved on with another actor. On July 4, the British actress sparked speculation that she's now seeing American hunk Chris Evans after the pair were photographed sharing a cab back to the same hotel after a night out at a private members-only club in London. Photos seen here appear to show they entered through separate entrances. It raised eyebrows as Lily has a home in London. Then on July 8, the "Cinderella" actress and the "Avengers" star were seen enjoying what appeared to be a date at a London park where they lolled in the grass and ate ice cream. (See photos here.)
Country legend lost
Charlie Daniels, the fiddler most famous for his song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," 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. Tim McGraw said Charlie was "one of most genuine, kind and thoughtful folks" he'd ever met. Carrie Underwood called him "sweet." George Strait said Charlie was "a great entertainer and a great human being. Cowboy too."
When Paris Hilton's sex tape was leaked 15 years ago, it left her family "devastated." On July 8, Kyle Richards, Paris's aunt, was asked about the fallout from the sex tape, and the reality TV star said she felt that Paris was "ruined." "We were devastated. Like my whole — it was horrible," the "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star told Bravo host Andy Cohen.