alleged scam

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin named in college bribery scam

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been charged in a complex bribery scam that involved getting their children into prestigious colleges.


On Tuesday morning, TMZ reported that Felicity had been arrested. She will be released on a bond with the promise to show up to a later court date to answer the charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

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According to TMZ, Felicity, Lori and 48 others allegedly paid huge bribes to get their kids into various schools, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California.

Most of the children apparently had no idea their parents were allegedly involved in a college entrance scam.

The alleged scheme is complex and convoluted and involved a California businessman as a middleman. Apparently the businessman ran the operation, which helped students get into the college of their choice, something that isn't exactly an easy feat. Authorities allege that the parents sent the man a predetermined amount — sometimes up to $6 million – which he would then funnel to an SAT or ACT administrator or a college athletic coach.

If, say, the money went to a college coach, the coach would get involved and list the student as an "athlete," and a fake profile would even be created to stay under the radar. If, though, the money went to an administrator, that person would hire a student to take the SAT/ACT exams in place of someone else. In some cases, the administrators would even correct the wrong answers.

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As far as Felicity's case is concerned, NBC News reports that she and her husband, William H. Macy, allegedly made a charitable contribution of $15,000 to participate in a college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of their eldest daughter. Their daughter, the indictment says, was given twice the amount of time to take the SAT as other students and the paid proctor agreed to secretly correct her answers afterwards.

William was not named in the indictment.

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In terms of Lori's case, the indictment said Lori and her husband, who are both listed in the indictment, allegedly paid $500,000 to have their two daughters designated as recruits for the crew team at USC, but the girls didn't participate in crew.

Health update

Wendy Williams' brother gives update on her health: 'She's fighting'

Wendy Williams is still hospitalized after reportedly undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, but she's "fighting," according to her brother. 

In a YouTube video, Tommy Williams thanked the talk show host's fans for supporting her as she struggles with her mental health.

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"I do believe and have faith that Wendy is going to make it," he said. "It's not an easy fight. It's one that individuals always win. Sadly, come November, we are on the anniversary of my mother's passing, and it's not easy."

According to reports, Wendy was voluntarily admitted to a New York City hospital on Sept. 14 for a psychiatric evaluation. Around the same time, Wendy's team announced that the premiere date for her 13th season would be pushed back from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. Wendy was "continuing her health evaluations" and had tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19, a statement said. 

Little else is known about her condition, but her brother deemed the hospitalization "necessary." 

"We've been hit just like other families. You know it's not easy [but] you got to dig yourself out, you got to hold on to the memories and we have some good ones," she said. "This isn't easy but it's necessary. She's doing well. Stable. I've spoken with her, and we're hanging in there. She's hanging in there. We're praying. She's fighting."

It's somewhat interesting that Tommy is giving updates on Wendy's condition, as the two haven't always had the best relationship. Last year he even accused his sister of not going to their mother's funeral.

"What makes somebody not go to their mother's funeral? I don't understand not giving a salute to the one person who was always there and showed you support," Tommy said in the video at the time. "I don't get how you can just move on and act like nothing happened."

Wendy responded on her show, "You are my brother. Let's keep it that way. If you wanna talk on the Internet, then you talk about the things that you think you know about yourself. You don't wanna talk about the things I know about you. For sure."

Tommy later said their beef was "beyond" them. 

Britney Spears returns to Instagram a week after disabling her account

Britney Spears is back to being social.

One week after disabling her Instagram account, the pop singer returned to the social media platform on Sept. 20 to post two images from a weekend trip to Palm Springs with her fiance, Sam Asghari. 

"Some shots from my weekend getaway to celebrate my engagement with my … holy s*** … FIANCÉ … I still can't believe it!!!!" she captioned two identical photos, one in color and the other in black and white. 

She added, "I couldn't stay away from the gram too long so I'm back already!!!! Psss I took these in Palm Springs with clip in extensions!!!!"

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Not long after taking an Instagram break, the "Toxic" singer let it be known that her hiatus was only temporary, claiming she wanted to celebrate her new engagement without having to pay attention to social media. "Don't worry folks … just taking a little break from social media to celebrate my engagement," she tweeted on Sept. 14. "I'll be back soon."

At the time of the break, TMZ reported Britney wanted to keep a low profile before her conservatorship hearing at the end of the month. 

If Britney's June hearing is any indication, this one could be wild.

Friends forever

Rachael Kirkconnell helping latest Bachelor Nation 'villain' after Instagram drama

Rachael Kirkconnell is letting her "The Bachelor" season 25 co-star Pieper James lean on her amid the drama surrounding the latter's "Bachelor in Paradise" run.

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Pieper quickly fell into "villain" territory after it was revealed that she and Brendan Morais were in relationship before both went on the reality TV show. They were also later caught on camera discussing their Instagram followers, screen time and media coverage of themselves.

"Rachael has been in Pieper's shoes before," a source told Page Six, although Rachael believes her own scandal was "much worse," as it involved accusations of racism, not social media and fame. "Rachael felt compelled to reach out and let Pieper know that it will all be OK and that the situation with Brendan isn't the end of the world. She feels like the perfect person for Pieper to lean on right now."


Both Pieper and Brendan were accused of being on the show for the "wrong reasons," a sin among Bachelor Nation. Brendan even lost 100,000 Instagram followers amid the scandal.

"Rachael can't believe Pieper said some of the things she did on camera," Page Six's source said. "But she still feels really bad for her. She got close to Pieper while filming 'The Bachelor' and knows she's a good person. She feels like she got dragged into unnecessary drama. Rachael told Pieper that she's here for her whenever she needs it."

Pieper and Brendan have both since apologized. 

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Rachael certainly knows a thing or two about being cast in a bad light. Not long after Matt James, the first Black lead of "The Bachelor," picked her on the season 25 finale of the ABC show, three-year-old social media images surfaced that showed Rachael at an Antebellum-themed party. She also "liked" other images that contained a Confederate flag and posts about QAnon conspiracy theories. 

Matt and Rachael split after the finale was filmed but before it aired. Longtime "The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison was also shockingly ousted from the franchise after defending Rachael in an interview. However, after the dust settled, Matt and Rachael reconciled, and they often post about each other on social media

"Rachael finally feels comfortable in the public eye. She made it through a really tough time," the aforementioned source said. "She knows there's light at the end of the tunnel for Pieper, too."

Comment backlash

Kate Quigley rips ex Darius Rucker for comments about her health

Kate Quigley is lashing out at her ex-boyfriend Darius Rucker after he commented about her health following a suspected overdose. 

The comedian was hospitalized earlier this month after she and three others are believed to have overdosed on cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl. While Kate survived, her three friends all passed away. 

Over the weekend, the Hootie and the Blowfish frontman, who dated Kate for much of 2020, spoke briefly about his ex's condition.

"You know, she's doing great. She's coming out of that," he told People magazine. "I'm glad that she's doing that. My heart goes out to all the other victims, but [Kate] is doing okay."

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Darius' comment riled up Kate, who tweeted, "Hi Darius, Could u plz refrain from making public comments about my health or well-being since u haven't called once to see how im doing & have no clue? Thanks Boo Boo!!!"

After fans mainly supported her, one person suspected that Darius gave a "blanket statement." Kate replied, "I'm a big fan of, 'rather not discuss that' when I don't know the answer."

This wasn't the first time she's ripped the "Wagon Wheel" singer since her suspected overdose. Just after the incident, Darius' representative publicly confirmed that the duo was no longer dating. 

"That Stung. Won't lie," Kate tweeted on Sept. 11, one week after the suspected overdose. "When i saw the TMZ report i thought, great. He's probably writing a song about me called, 'Let Her Die.'"

Haircut history

Gwyneth Paltrow dishes on iconic matching haircut photo with Brad Pitt

Gwyneth Paltrow can't live down one of her most memorable haircuts.

Back in 1997, the Goop founder and then-boyfriend Brad Pitt walked the red carpet at the premiere "The Devil's Own." The couple not only dressed similarly, but they also had matching haircuts.

The photo has become rather iconic.


In an Instagram video with assistant Kevin Keating, Gwyn reflected on that moment.

"Awww, matching haircuts! Very blonde," she said. "We went to the same stylist for the cut. [Celebrity hairstylist] Chris McMillan cut both of our hair like this."

The "Iron Man" actress said she and Brad did not match their clothes on purpose and she shut down her assistant's request to call the A-list actor. 

"No! Why would we call him?!" she said. Kevin said, "We'd like to talk about the look!"

Laughing, Gwyneth referred to the format of the video, which was intended to promote her GOOPGLOW Restore + Shine Hair Serum. "No! Nobody asked me about involving Brad Pitt," she said. 

In her caption for the video, Gwyneth didn't mention her infamous Pitt-centric look, but she did refer to the crimped hairdo she sported at the 2000 SAG awards.

"If I ever try to pull off a '90s crimp again, please stop me," she wrote. "I do still bleach my hair, obviously, and I've always wanted a quick fix to smooth damage, frizz, dryness, and split ends."


Ronnie Ortiz-Magro avoids jail time after probation violation

Ronnie Ortiz-Magro caught a huge break in court after a judge decided on Friday not to toss him in jail for a probation violation. 

The "Jersey Shore" star attended a court hearing in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, and a judge felt that Ronnie should remain a free man.

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After the hearing, Ronnie told TMZ that he is "very thankful" and "very happy with the outcome."

This is a big win for Ronnie, as jail time was definitely on the table when he walked into the courthouse.

Ronnie was arrested in Los Angeles on April 22 for felony domestic violence following an incident with his now-fiance Saffire Matos. Police said Saffire called 911 after an argument that turned physical. Once officers arrived, they noticed "visible marks on Saffire's body" and determined that Ronnie was the aggressor. 

The arrest could have easily spelled doom for Ronnie, as he is currently on probation for a different domestic violence incident in L.A. involving his ex Jen Harley, with whom he shares a 3-year-old daughter. Ronnie struck a plea deal last year in that 2019 case, and he was given three years of probation that required him to keep his nose clean.

While Ronnie is free, the judge on Friday did order him to take 26 parenting classes. The judge also gave him credit for completing a rehab program in Florida, so he won't have to spend 30 days in jail. The webloid also said a three-year protective order was put in place so he can't harass or intimidate Saffire.

Miss me?

Meghan McCain: I don't miss 'The View' at all

Meghan McCain is very much at peace with her decision to leave "The View" after four years. 

The fiery conservative spoke about her life these days with The Daily Mail, where she's been hired as a columnist.

"I left New York during the pandemic and I had sort of had an existential crisis when my dad died. I got really scared and I just really started thinking about life and what I wanted and what I said on 'The View' was true," she said. "I just didn't feel like moving back to New York was the right choice for me. And it was a really hard decision, but, I feel really good about it now and I don't miss it at all."

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During her memorable four-year stint at the ABC show, Meghan often butted heads with her fellow co-hosts, but that didn't really play into her decision to leave. Her daughter, Liberty, was a significant reason for the departure.

"When I think about where I want Liberty to take her first steps and her first words, I just have this wonderful life here that I felt ultimately like I didn't want to leave," Meghan, who now lives in Washington, D.C., said.

Over 25 seasons of "The View," many women have come and gone. But Meghan exited the way she wanted.

"I felt like I was really happy to do it on my own terms because a lot of people get fired from that show," she said. "I was happy that I got to make the decision and be in control of my own life. And, you know, 'The View' was and is incredible and gave me so much. I don't feel anything negative about it. But I also really pride myself in life on knowing when to hold them and when to fold them, like I'm such a gambler."

She added, "I like change. I like trying new things. And, you know, one of the opportunities here — and I'm also working on a lot of other projects — but especially at the Daily Mail, being completely uncensored and working for a company that really values true free speech."


The 36-year-old isn't blind to the fact that she'll likely ruffle some feathers with her new gig, much like she did at "The View." She's okay with that.

"People really love fighting with me and I've come to terms with the fact that people love me and love to hate me," she said. "I really have gotten to a place where I'm comfortable with that."

product pitching

Fans cringe as Teresa Giudice's 12-year-old daughter hawks supplements

Social media doesn't seem to be buying what Audriana Giudice is selling. 

Teresa Giudice's 12-year-old daughter stunned the Internet this week as she began promoting health supplements. 

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On Sept. 16, the youngster shared a sponsored post for Bloom Nutrition Greens & Superfoods supplements on TikTok, encouraging her followers to mix the powder into "water, any juice or even your favorite smoothie!" Audriana, who began appearing on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" as a baby in 2009, claimed the supplements help "with digestion and bloating."

Quickly, fans were in disbelief.

"Since when do 12 year olds get bloating?? I'm sorry they're making you do this," one user wrote, according to Page Six. Another said, "WHY ARE THEY MAKING A 12 YEAR OLD DO THIS LIKE WHAT." 

Coincidentally, Audriana only turned 12 this week on Sept. 14. She just started 7th grade.  

The Instagram account Bravo By Betches posted the video of Audriana, which only made more people comment. 

"This is actually sad," one person said. "I would never buy from a company that has a 12 year old talk about bloating," another said. 

Arguably the best comment read, "When i was 12 i still believed in Santa."

Another humorous comment came via "The Real Housewives of New York City" alum Jill Zarin's daughter, Ally Shapiro, who joked, "I can't even get them to sponsor me!!!!"


Bethenny Frankel claims Erika Jayne's legal woes were 'well-known secret'

Erika Jayne's legal issues were old news to Bethenny Frankel, who called they were a "well-known secret."

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The Skinny Girl founder and former "Housewives" star dished about her knowledge of Erika and ex-husband Tom Girardi's financial woes, and she felt early on that something was off because the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star was "flaunting" her money.

It turns out, it may have not been her money after all. Late last year, Erika's ex-husband, once a prominent lawyer, was accused of embezzling money from his law firm, and he was later sued by his business partners, resulting in a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. The partners claim Tom used money he owed them for "personal gain." Because of this, Erika's finances are being questioned as she is allegedly refusing to hand over her own bank records.

On the podcast "Just B With Bethenny Frankel," the former New York housewife recalled meeting Erika a few year ago at a conference. Bethenny was attending with her late ex-fiancé, Dennis Shields, who was an attorney.

"My experience is — especially with the Housewives, but really, everywhere as well — if someone's flaunting their money, they don't really have it," Bethenny said. "The more that they flaunt it and the more that they brag about it, usually there's something wrong."

Erika, Bethenny alleges, was "flaunting it." Dennis noticed, too. 

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"Dennis said to me, '[Tom] doesn't have it like that," Bethenny recalled. Dennis then claimed Tom was in major debt with a slew of people.

"He owes me money. He owes me half a million dollars. I know this other guy he owes a million and a half dollars. He doesn't have money. He owes everybody money," Bethenny claimed Dennis said. 


Bethenny, though, was initially perplexed and noted how Erika was always flying in private planes. 

"And he said, 'It's because he's using people's money to support her lifestyle. He's using the company's money to support her lifestyle.' Dennis said this. … I said, 'Why would he do that?' He goes, 'He can't say no to her,'" Bethenny persists.

After hearing this, Bethenny claims she told friends, including Bravo scion Andy Cohen. 

"I told [Erika's makeup artist] Kristofer Buckle about it. I told Andy Cohen about it, just to say, 'It's not what you think,'" Bethenny remembers. "When this came out … Andy called me and said, 'Holy s**t. You really do know it all. You told me about this years ago'. I'm like, 'Yeah, I told you.' … I knew about this whole thing. I knew since, yeah, probably 2017 and 2018, I knew about this."