Will of Carole Baskin's missing husband was "100% a forgery," says county sheriff
On June 2, Hillsborough, Florida, County Sheriff Chad Chronister said two experts determined that the will belonging to millionaire Don Lewis — "Tiger King" star Carole Baskin's long-missing husband — is "100% a forgery." He also said that the woman who purportedly witnessed Don signing the document has claimed that she was "forced to witness" and "say that [she] witnessed this signature." According to the sheriff, the "only reason" there hasn't been legal action is that the statute of limitations has passed. He went on to say that the forgery "certainly cast another shadow of suspicion" on Don's disappearance. "Investigators have some great leads — they're working through them. I hope something pans out," he said. Carole inherited Don's fortune after he was declared legally dead in 2002 — five years after he mysteriously disappeared. For years now, there have been questions about whether or not the big cat rescue advocate played a role in his disappearance. Meanwhile, on June 1, a judge granted control of "Tiger King" star Joe Exotic's G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, to his former nemesis — whom he was convicted of conspiring to kill in a murder-for-hire plot. A judge ruled that he fraudulently transferred the 16-acre property to his mother in an attempt to dodge creditors, including Carole's Big Cat Rescue sanctuary.
Lea Michele's old "Glee" castmates call out her on-set behavior in response to Black Lives Matter tweet
Lea Michele faced backlash from former "Glee" castmates after she took to Twitter on June 1 to share her support for the Black Lives Matter movement while condemning the May 25 murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. Actress Samantha Marie Ware, who starred on season 6 of "Glee," responded by accusing Lea of racist behavior, tweeting at her, "REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE I'LL NEVER FORGET. I BELIEVE YOU TOLD EVERYONE THAT IF TOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY YOU WOULD 'S— IN MY WIG!' AMONGST OTHER TRAUMATIC MICROAGRESSIONS THAT MADE ME QUESTION A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD." In the days that followed, many former "Glee" stars took to social media to subtly (and not-so-subtly) address Lea's bad behavior on the set of the groundbreaking FOX musical dramedy. Amber Riley implied she was with Samantha when she tweeted two GIFs of herself: In the first, she raises her hand as if she has something to say, and in the second, she sips from teacup while giving major side-eye. "I'm not going to say that Lea Michele is racist," she said during a June 4 Instagram Live, implying that her former co-star's poor treatment of others wasn't limited to her non-white colleagues and adding that she has "no hatred or ill will" toward Lea but hopes that she has "grown." On June 3, Heather Morris tweeted of Lea, "Was she unpleasant to work with? Very much so." She added that her former co-star treated others with "disrespect" but that implying she's racist is an assumption. Meanwhile, Alex Newell tweeted that Samantha went "through something traumatic" and that he stands by her, and Melissa Benoist liked several tweets condemning Lea's behavior. Dabier Snell, who appeared on one episode of "Glee" in 2014, tweeted at Lea, "GIRL YOU WOULDNT LET ME SIT AT THE TABLE WITH THE OTHER CAST MEMBERS CAUSE 'I DIDNT BELONG THERE' F— YOU LEA." Several of Lea's former Broadway colleagues also spoke out about her past transgressions, though a few former "Glee" stars noted that they hadn't personally witnessed her alleged bad behavior. Lea took to Instagram on June 3 to apologize for the way her "privileged position and perspective … caused [her] to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times."
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"Fuller House" finally explains Aunt Becky's absence amid Lori Loughlin drama
Lori Loughlin's Aunt Becky was conspicuously missing from the first half of the fifth and final season of "Fuller House," which debuted in December. (The actress wasn't invited back to the family sitcom after she was arrested for her involvement in the 2019 college admissions scandal.) John Stamos's Uncle Jesse finally explained Aunt Becky's absence on an episode from the second half of the season, which debuted on June 2. "Aunt Becky is in Nebraska helping out her mother," he tells Candace Cameron Bure's DJ Tanner when she suggests he ask Becky for approval before devising a complicated plot to determine which of his daughter's classmates has been biting her at school. "I don't want to bother her with a tiny little thing like this," he replies. Fires back DJ, "Right, because she'd tell you not to do what you're about to do." Confirms Jesse, "Exactly!"
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Dick Wolf fires writer from "Law & Order" spinoff for threatening to "light up" looters
On June 2, Variety published a statement from "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf (pictured) announcing that he's firing Craig Gore from the upcoming Elliot Stabler-focused "SVU" spinoff after the writer-producer took to Facebook to make violent threats against looters amid a recent Black Lives Matter protest in the Los Angeles area. "I will not tolerate this conduct, especially during our hour of national grief. I am terminating Craig Gore immediately," said the super-producer, referencing nationwide backlash to the May 25 murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. On June 1, Gore shared a photo of himself posing outside his home in West Hollywood while holding a gun. "Curfew," he wrote in the caption. In the comments section, he told a pal that Hollywood's iconic Sunset Boulevard was "being looted two blocks" from him. "You think I won't light motherf—–s up who are trying to [mess] w/ my property I worked all my life for? Think again," he wrote. Paradigm, which represented the "S.W.A.T." and "Chicago P.D." writer, also cut ties with him, telling Variety, "Craig Gore is no longer a Paradigm client. We condemn his post in the strongest possible terms."
Sean Hannity and wife divorced more than a year ago
On June 3, Page Six broke the news that Sean Hannity and his wife of more than 20 years, Jill Rhodes, quietly divorced sometime more than a year ago after separating "many years prior to that." The Fox News host and his former spouse vaguely addressed the split rumors in a statement to the New York Post's gossip column: "Sean and Jill are committed to working together for the best interests of their children. Amicable agreements were entered into over four years ago between Sean and Jill. They maintain a close relationship as parents to their children," they said. A friend of the former couple told Page Six that the breakup "is very amicable" and that the duo "remain on very good terms and still have family dinners and attend tennis tournaments for their [two adult] children." The insider also said that "Sean is still close with members of Jill's family" and infidelity did not play a role in the breakup. The source noted that the conservative talking head "is basically a workaholic," hinting that his commitment to his job may have contributed to the demise of his marriage.
Jane Fonda says even "the poorest" of white people have privilege: "We need to recognize that"
During a May 31 appearance on CNN, Jane Fonda opened up about white privilege and the responsibility white people have to fight back against racism. "Because we're white, we have had privilege — even the poorest of us have had privilege," she said. "We need to recognize that. And we have to understand what it is that keeps racism in place — the policies, redlining, banking policies, mortgage policies, all of the things that are really making it very, very difficult for black people to lift themselves up. The policies have to be changed, and then white people have to understand the history that has led to this and we have to try to change within ourselves. And we have to get to know black people, and they have to become our friends and we have to understand the reality that they live in. And we have to do it now." The actress-activist also said that "more and more white people" are starting to "see very blatantly the racism in the country that's always been there." She also encouraged white people to educate themselves about racism: "I realized I didn't understand enough about the history of racism, about slavery and reconstruction, Jim Crow and the New Jim Crow, so for the last three years, I've very intentionally begun studying to help me understand," she said.
"Cheer" star Jerry Harris on becoming a gay icon: "I want to be someone that's fearless"
On the June 4 episode of Marc Malkin's "The Big Ticket" podcast, "Cheer" star Jerry Harris reacted to being dubbed "the gay black icon we need in 2020" by BET: "Just hearing that from them makes me so happy," he said. "I definitely feel like it is a lot of pressure to live up to, but I want to be that person that everyone knows that can handle it and doesn't let it get the best of me or take me from who I am." He added of the type of role model he hopes to be for younger kids struggling with their sexuality, "I want to be someone that's fearless, that's confident to others, and that's confident to themselves and believes in themselves, and just to tell them you can be who you want to be, and you can be who you are, because you are perfect and you are enough for anyone."
Jimmy Fallon addresses blackface controversy with emotional apology: "I am not a racist"
On the June 1 episode of "The Tonight Show," Jimmy Fallon addressed the resurfaced 2000 "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which he donned blackface to impersonate Chris Rock. After promising "a different kind of show" that would focus on race and racism in America, he took some time to reflect: "I had to really examine myself — really examine myself — in the mirror this week because a story came out about me on 'SNL' doing an impression of Chris Rock in blackface — and I was horrified," he said. "Not at the fact that people were trying to cancel me or cancel the show, which is scary enough, but the thing that haunted me the most was: How do I say, 'I love this person. I respect this guy more than I respect most humans. I'm not a racist. I don't feel this way.'" He went on to say that he was advised "to just stay quiet and to not say anything" — advice he initially followed because he was afraid he'd say the wrong thing. But he eventually had a revelation: "I realized I can't not say, 'I'm horrified and I'm sorry and I'm embarrassed,'" he recalled. "What that small gesture did for me was break my own silence. … I realized that the silence is the biggest crime that white guys like me and the rest of us are [committing]. … We need to say something. We need to keep saying something and we need to [say] 'that's not OK' more than just one day on Twitter. I realized I needed to be educated about how to stop the silence and the fear of saying the wrong thing by not being silent and stepping out and stepping up. … We all need to be talking about this. … We cannot try to bury this again. It's not going to get buried. It's not going away. We can't just hope that everyone loves each other. We can't say, 'Be the change,' and just sit around tweeting, 'Be the change. Be the change.' What is the change? How do I change? How do I do it? What do I do?" He then urged viewers to "get proactive and activated in this love, in this change cycle." Concluded Jimmy, "So let's figure out how we're going to get along with each other. Let's figure out how we're going to stop this senseless violence that erupts and disrupts the entire country and now the world. The world is screaming and it is angry and we all need to figure out a way to take the anger, which of course is just sadness and fear, and do something with it and try to actually dig this up. This is such a long root in the ground. It is so long and deep, but we got to get in there and we have to dig it up. I don't know how else to do it. I'm clearly not an expert. I'm clearly a late night talk show host and I screwed it up already. So let's go. Let's reform. Let's talk. Let's do it."
Gabrielle Union files discrimination complaint against "America's Got Talent" producers, says NBC chief Paul Telegdy threatened her over whistleblowing
On June 4, Gabrielle Union filed a harassment complaint against NBC and the producers of "America's Got Talent" — NBCUniversal, Fremantle and Simon Cowell's production company, Syco Entertainment — alleging that they committed "racial bullying" by failing to "promptly investigate" her complaints about racist and misogynistic behavior on the set of the popular reality show. She claims, via her lawyer, that they failed to "even ask HR to get involved" but rather "stood against her and directed [their] outrage" at her. According to Variety, she also alleges that NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy threatened her for "whistleblowing about the racially offensive conduct she experienced" while working on "AGT" in an "attempt to silence her from telling the truth about racist actions that took place on the show." In late May, NBC released a statement alleging that an internal investigation determined "no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union's appearance" and that her decision to voice her concerns about the troubling behavior she witnessed on set "had no bearing on the decision" to let her go from "AGT." Meanwhile, Gabrielle's former "AGT" co-star Terry Crews — who previously failed to support her in her battle against the show's producers — tweeted an apology to her on June 4, "I want to make further amends with Black women, and in particular [Gabrielle Union] for not recognizing the privilege I have – especially in the workplace." Added the actor, "If we are to move forward as a people we must do the work required to heal the relationships in our community first. To whom much is given, much is required. I have a huge responsibility — and I vow to honor it." Back in January, Terry said of Gabrielle's allegations about harassment on the "AGT" set, "I can speak on behalf of any racism comments — that was never my experience on 'America's Got Talent.' In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment."