Coming out

'Parks and Recreation' star Natalie Morales comes out as gay

"Parks and Recreation" star Natalie Morale is gay.

The actress came out in an open letter on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website on June 30, saying that she was scared people would find out from someone other than her.

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"I don't like labeling myself, or anyone else, but if it's easier for you to understand me, what I'm saying is that I'm queer. What queer means to me is just simply that I'm not straight. That's all," she said. "It's not scary, even though that word used to be really, really scary to me."

In her letter, she spoke about her upbringing and supporting gay rights even as a youngster.

The 32-year-old said she decided to come out because wants "scared kids out there to know that someone has been through what they are feeling."

"I know this isn't some big, life-shattering revelation that everyone will be shocked by. The reason I decided to share this with you and with the world is because even though me telling you I'm queer might not be a big deal these days, things are still pretty bad out there for people like me," she wrote. "There are gay concentration camps in Chechnya where people are being tortured right this second. In our very country, 49 people were killed and 58 people were wounded just last year because they were dancing in a gay club. Our safe spaces are not safe."

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She added she's always been very secretive about her private life (she even lies to Lyft drivers about her occupation) and she plans to keep it that way. But, she felt that coming out was important.

"I think it's important that I tell you that this familiar face you see on your TV is the Q part of LGBTQ, so that if you didn't know someone who was queer before, you do now," she wrote. "I also think it's important that if there are any scared kids out there, like I was, I can tell you that whole 'It Gets Better' campaign is true. It does."

She continued, "And you're not weird. You're not bad. You're not unholy. You're exactly what God intended you to be. You are exactly what you are supposed to be, because nothing is supposed to be anything except for what it is, even if not everyone understands that. You are an essential part of the world just as you were created, and I want to see you. The real you."

Mental health status

Is Kanye West in midst of bipolar episode?

Kanye West has made headlines for several days with his presidential announcement and his bizarre interview with Forbes. There is now speculation that the rapper is in the midst of a bipolar episode.

TMZ reported that Kanye "suffers a serious bout with his bipolar disorder" once a year, and sources close to the Kardashian-Jenner family believes he's currently in the throws of one.

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The report states that the disorder, which Kanye has been open about, has impacted his decision-making.

Back in 2018, Kanye went on TMZ Live to speak briefly about his mental health and said he stopped taking his bipolar medication because it stunted his creative process. 

On Thursday, TMZ said that Kanye's family and close friends "are worried, but they believe things will stabilize as they have in the past."

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The concern comes following Kanye's wide-ranging interview with Forbes this week, in which he caused confusion with his takes on everything from politics and politicians, COVID-19 and Planned Parenthood. His proclamations, according to TMZ, "are causing problems."

During the "four hours of rambling interviews," not only did Kanye criticize President Trump, who he was once firmly behind, he also slammed presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and said Planned Parenthood was doing "the devil's work."

"Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the devil's work," he said, adding, "I am pro-life because I'm following the word of the Bible."

His words were blasted by Planned Parenthood, an organization that his wife, Kim Kardashian West, praised just a few years ago.

Kanye also took an anti-vaccination stance. In 2013, Kim had her entire family get vaccinated against whooping cough. 

Thus far, Kim has stayed mum on Kanye's Forbes interview.

Heartbreaking posts

See Naya Rivera's last Instagram posts before she went missing: 'Everyday you're alive is a blessing'

"Glee" actress Naya Rivera went missing on Lake Piru in California's Los Padres National Forest on the afternoon of July 8. Her 4-year-old son with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, Josey, was found safe on the pontoon boat Naya had rented for them three hours earlier.

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Early on July 9 — after police suspended the search for Naya overnight, saying they planned to resume at first light — TMZ reported that authorities believe Naya died on the lake.

In the week before she went missing, Naya — who was photographed grocery shopping with her son in Los Angeles five days before they visited lake Piru, which is reportedly just 20 miles away from where the actress grew up — posted photos and messages on Instagram that now take on a different meaning in light of this latest news, which is turning into a tragedy.

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On July 7 — one day before she and her son went out on the boat — Naya shared a close-up photo of them embracing, captioning it, "just the two of us."

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just the two of us

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And while she also shared photos of herself sunning on a lawn in a revealing swimsuit as well as a pretty makeup-free selfie, a post she made on July 2 — six days before she disappeared — now feels heartbreaking.

"No matter the year, circumstance, or strifes everyday you're alive is a blessing," Naya captioned a photo of herself resting her face on her knee. "Make the most of today and every day you are given. tomorrow is not promised."

In the hours since she disappeared on the lake, her "Glee" and other co-stars have taken to social media to ask fans to pray that Naya is found safe.

Distraught co-stars

Naya Rivera's co-stars ask for prayers after 'Glee' star goes missing on lake

On July 8, California's Ventura County Sheriff's Department revealed that "Glee" actress Naya Rivera had gone missing that afternoon after renting a pontoon boat with her 4-year-old son — who was found asleep on the watercraft and is safe. That night, they confirmed they'd had to suspend their search for the actress on Lake Piru in the Los Padres National Forest until the morning.

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After the troubling news broke, many of Naya's former co-stars and friends took to social media to ask for prayers and share their heartbreak. Early on July 9, TMZ reported that authorities believe Naya, 33 — whose son with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, Josey, told police his mom jumped in the water and didn't come back up — is dead.

Heather Morris, who played the wife of Naya's character Santana Lopez on "Glee," took to her Instagram Story to write, "We need all the prayers we can get to bring our Naya back home to us. We need your love and light." 

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"Glee" co-star Harry Shum Jr. wrote the word "Praying" on Twitter while "Glee" guest star Demi Lovato — who briefly played a love interest for Naya's character on the hit FOX show — posted a pic of a lit candle on her Instagram Stories along with the message, "Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound." 

Actor Iqbal Theba — who played Principal Figgins on "Glee" — shared a news story about Naya possibly drowning and weighed in, "Oh God… mercy… please…"

Actress Jackée Harry also took to social media to ask for prayers. "Prayers up for the lovely Naya Rivera," she wrote, explaining, "We starred alongside one another in her first very television series, The Royal Family, and I've watched her career blossom ever since. Please God, don't cut this life short."

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Naya's former fiancé, music star Big Sean – they ended their engagement in 2014, and Naya went on to marry and divorce actor Ryan Dorsey — liked several tweets from fans who were concerned about the actress and praying for her to be found alive.

Meanwhile former "The Real Housewives of New York City" star  Bethenny Frankel, who didn't know Naya, publicly shared that she was distraught upon reading the news. "The story about @NayaRivera is the most horrifying thing I have read about in a while. My heart goes out to her family. What a terrible trauma…." Bethenny tweeted.

'Planned' response

Planned Parenthood responds to Kanye West's claims

Planned Parenthood is hammering Kanye West over his new claim that the organization is doing "the devil's work."

In fact, the organization says the rapper's claims are not only ludicrous but massively incorrect and dangerous.

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In his wide-ranging interview with Forbes about his political aspirations this week, Kanye was asked about Planned Parenthood. 

"Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the devil's work," he said.

"I am pro-life because I'm following the word of the Bible," he added.

Not long after the interview debited, Planned Parenthood's Director of Black Leadership and Engagement, Nia Martin-Robinson, issued a response.

"Black women are free to make our own decisions about our bodies and pregnancies, and want and deserve to have access to the best medical care available," she told TMZ. "Any insinuation that abortion is Black genocide is offensive and infantilizing. The real threat to Black communities' safety, health, and lives stems from lack of access to quality, affordable health care, police violence and the criminalization of reproductive health care by anti-abortion opposition."

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Kanye's beliefs are in stark contrast to those of his wife, Kim Kardashian West, who, along with her sisters, has publicly supported Planned Parenthood in the past.

In 2017, Kim visited a Planned Parenthood facility and lauded it.

"The perception of Planned Parenthood is that it is an abortion clinic; that is nothing what it is like," she said on "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."

She also posted a photo with several Planned Parenthood staffers.

"My sisters and I visited Planned Parenthood recently and learned that the House of Representatives forced through a bill that strips health care coverage from millions of people and raises health care costs, including Planned Parenthood patients," she captioned the group photo. "They are such an amazing place that provides so much to so many!"

In a hashtag, she added, "I stand with PP."

Conservative dating

Why Jodie Comer's name is trending on Twitter…

Jodie Comer's love life is under attack online.

The "Killing Eve" star's name started trending on Twitter after some fans inferred that she's dating a Donald Trump supporter — after the actress has come out publicly for many causes that Trump has disavowed.

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On Wednesday morning, the hashtag #JodieComerIsOverParty began trending on Twitter and "cancel culture" reared its head.

"It's kinda disgusting that Jodie Comer gets to play this powerful queer woman with a love interest who's a [woman of color] and then goes home to her republican boyfriend who supports a homophobic racist pedophile like that's really f —–!" one fan wrote on Twitter, according to Page Six

Recently, the Emmy-winning actress was linked to man named James Burke. Internet sleuths think this is the same James Burke who is an avid Trump supporter and has tweeted some controversial statements in the past.

"Maybe she's hoping to educate him and change his mind …," one person tweeted.

Others were equally vocal about their disappointment, often citing Jodie's support of Black Lives Matter and gay and trans rights.

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Jodie, who is very private about her personal life, has not confirmed or denied that she is dating the same James Burke that has Twitter upset. However, earlier this year, she told British Vogue that she's "very much" in love with a man whom she didn't identify. The romance, she said in April, was "fairly new."

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Still, despite the Twitter outrage, many fans defended Jodie and argued that she should be able to date whomever she wants, regardless of political leanings. 

"Honest to god, Twitter get a grip. Yesterday she was being adored, today Jodie Comer is 'cancelled' for dating a bloke called James Burke. No evidence that he's the same James Burke, Trump supporter, but let's not let that bother us?" one person wrote.

Another added, "That doesn't mean she supports Republicans, she loves him for her own reasons. I'm sure the only reason she loves him isn't cause he supports republicans. My grandparents are conservative but I still love them, but I disagree with their views…"

character issues

David Schwimmer on playing 'pompous, ignorant' American in new series

David Schwimmer's character in his latest comedy series, "Intelligence," is incredibly unlikeable, and that was the fun of it.

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In "Intelligence," David plays American NSA agent Jerry Bernstein, who is sent to the U.K. to work in the cyber crime-fighting organization Government Communications Headquarters. Unlike Ross Geller, David's famous character on "Friends," Jerry doesn't have many redeeming qualities.

"That was what was so exciting to me about it — the challenge of how do you take a guy like Jerry, this alfa male, conservative, racist, homophobic, sexist, pompous, ignorant, ultra-patriotic guy who's come over here to try to grab power … [and] thinks he's being promoted but in fact is being demoted … how do you take this guy and make him, not only likable, but how do you make him funny?" David told E! News.

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The show's creator, Nick Mohammed, described David's character as "a somewhat brash, egotistical maverick, pompous American NSA agent."

In the show, the character and his team of "social misfits" change that way the division is run.

"I think we succeeded because we all worked really hard to make sure that any jokes that Jerry made, you realize that the laugh was always on him, because people could see so clearly how ignorant he is and you never really felt like anyone was ever seriously injured by a remark he would make or behavior he would do," David said. "It's really cathartic to play a guy like this because so many of these guys are in power right now in both our countries. And I would say it's a really timely character to be playing."

The show premieres on Peacock on July 15.

Online claim

Kylie Jenner claps back at racially-tinged Instagram claim

Kylie Jenner is denying an online claim that she intentionally refused to tag a Black-owned fashion brand on her Instagram.

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Earlier this week, the "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" star posted a photo of herself in Loud Brand Studios' Vashtie dress while on vacation in Utah. A fan noticed that Kylie didn't tag the brand, which is owned by Jedidiah Duyile, a London-born designer of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent. 

The Instagram follower quickly took Kyile to task, believing the decision was intentional.

"Kylie Jenner is refusing to tag the designer of the dress she just posted, which is a black owned brand, and now limiting her comments. [clown face emoji] @LoudBrndStudios is the designer!" the person wrote.

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i love it here.

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The Kylie Cosmetics founder quickly shot back, "ok this is just a reach. why would i ever REFUSE to tag a brand and block comments. this is completely false. i think this brand is amazing and i wanted to show support and will continue to do so. everyone go check out @LoudBrndStudios."

The reality TV star also called out the brand on her Instagram Story.

The shoutouts certainly worked, as the dress, which sells for $145, quickly sold out within minutes of Kylie's Instagram posts. After which, the brand tweeted its thanks to Kylie.

"Hi guys!!!! We are so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love wow !!!" the tweet read. "We are so grateful for Jill [Jacobs, the star's stylist] and Kylie because this has really changed things for us so excited to be featured on her platform how amazing !!! Thank you so much Jill and Kylie."

Page Six noted that Kylie "rarely tags brands on Instagram unless it's her own company or a designer she's modeling for an editorial spread."

The Loud Brand founder opened up to Bloomberg News about their newfound notoriety.

"It's great when you already believe in what you do, but it's really nice for the world to see it," Jedidiah said. "That outpouring of support and massive sense of community, it's so amazing."

Hot new gig

'365 Days' star Michele Morrone lands Guess modeling deal

Fans of the controversial Netflix hit "365 Days" will soon be seeing a lot more of its breakout star, Michele Morrone.

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TMZ reports that the chiseled and tattooed Italian actor-musician who played Massimo just made a deal with designer Paul Marciano to star in fine menswear holiday campaigns for Marciano and Guess by Marciano.

The new gig is delivering a windfall to the 29-year-old star of the erotic drama that hit the streaming service in June following a February theatrical release in Poland and Britain: Sources told TMZ that Marciano and Guess agreed to a six-figure deal — more than the average male model makes — all due to Michele's newfound popularity sparked by "365 Days."

That deal includes photo shoots as well as public appearances, social media promotion and potentially a runway show appearance.   

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☀️

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It's quite a contrast to Michele's life pre-Netflix: As TMZ explains, Michele — whose Instagram feed is already full of smoldering photos — "told Paul that before his big movie break, he was making $600 a month as a gardener and was prepared to go back to the low-paying job if needed."

TMZ further reports that Paul flew to Switzerland to negotiate the deal with Michele and was encouraged by his wife, who became a big fan after seeing "365 Days."

The campaign will shoot next week, TMZ added, at "a lavish villa" in Lake Como, Italy — that's where George Clooney and attorney wife Amal have a summer home — and will also feature two female models.

Relationship situation

Kaitlynn Carter can't label her sexuality 'yet'

Kaitlynn Carter has been in high-profile relationships with men and women, but she doesn't quite know how she identifies in terms of her sexual preferences.

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"I don't feel like I specifically connect with anyone, like, I don't know. I don't feel like anything is quite the right fit for me — at least not yet," she said on the "Scissoring Isn't a Thing" podcast on Tuesday. "I think this is also all a little new to me, and so I just try to be real. … I want to learn myself a little better before I make a decision like that."

The "Hills: New Beginnings" star was in a five-year romance with Brody Jenner before they split in 2019. She then moved on with Miley Cyrus for two months — during which the romance filled up the pages of gossip magazines

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Just before pictures surfaced of Kaitlynn and Miley kissing, the reality TV star was forced to come out to her family.

"Obviously it would have been nice to have the luxury of privacy and time to have that conversation with my family, but having said that, I didn't have any shame in telling my parents at the time," Kaitlynn, 31, said on the podcast, according to Page Six. "I was excited about where I was in the relationship and … I had just been through a very challenging period of time in my life and it finally felt like it was getting better. I was just feeling so happy that I honestly, at the time, didn't appreciate the magnitude of what was going on. I was just so absorbed in it."

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Her mom thinks her attraction to women is temporary, Kaitlynn said.

"My mom, she thinks that it was a phase or is a phase. She's like, 'Well, yeah, but you'll eventually end up with a man,'" Kaitlynn said. "This is something we actually just talked about on 'The Hills' the other day because it really irritates me when she says that. … I feel like part of the reason I was always dating and was with men the whole beginning of my life was because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. I never really thought outside the box."

"And so when my mom says that to me, I'm like, 'You're part of the problem.' I was like, 'I love you. I know you're not trying to be rude,' because my parents are amazing. They've always accepted anyone I've ever chosen to be with, and they're so supportive. They just want me to be happy. But I can sense it with my mom that that's how she thinks," she continued.

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Kaitlynn recently opened up about her fling with Miley, telling Nick Viall on his "The Viall Files" podcast that she never wants to have a public relationship again. 

"What I've really realized is now with dating, I'm super private about it," she said. "Since last fall, once that whole situation [with Miley] came to a wrap, I was like, 'That's the last time I'm doing a public thing.'"