Toxic?

Troubling goings-on behind the scenes at 'Megyn Kelly Today'

Megyn Kelly has shown herself to be a champion of the #MeToo movement, regularly promoting the brave women fighting injustice on her NBC talk show, "Megyn Kelly Today."

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However, a past colleague is saying that it's a ruse.

"She's disrespectful," Fox News makeup artist, Iren Halperin, who retired in 2016 after 20 years, told Page Six. "She's not for women. She's extremely mean and rude to women."

Iren worked with Kelly back in 2009, when she was the co-anchor of "America's Newsroom with Bill Hemmer." She said that Kelly had her makeup done at 8.a.m., but that one day she showed up 30 minutes early and tried to boot a fellow woman reporter out of the chair.

"I told her, 'Please have a seat in the greenroom or start your hair first,' " Halperin explained, but then added. "And she said, 'No. I want to get done and want to get done now.' Megyn snapped her finger and pointed at the reporter and said, 'You, get out of the chair.' " And so the reporter did, and Megyn got her way.

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"The next day my boss called me. Megyn went and lied to management and said, '[Iren] can't come in on time because she has child-care issues,'" Halperin continued to Page Six, who is a mother of three, and who started an hour before Megyn's scheduled sessions.

Halperin requested that she be moved to another anchor. A separate Fox employee who spoke to Page Six, also asked for a different assignment due to Kelly's ways. Fox News however did not return Page Six's calls for comment.

"She was difficult and demanding," Halperin said. "And if you didn't do what she wanted, she would try to get you in trouble."

However, now, it seems, that Kelly might be in trouble herself.

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Ever since "Megyn Kelly Today" started in NBC's 9 a.m. weekday slot in September, the show has been having difficulty finding its footing in morning news, and her ratings are down, nearly 30 percent lower than her predecessors Tamron Hall and Al Roker.

NBC leadership is becoming weary of her drama, most recently the Jane Fonda patriotism monologue back in January, and a high-ranking NBC veteran said to Page Six that the onset atmosphere is so tense that workers regularly "cry."

The 47-year-old former Fox News anchor has tried to change her image into a warmer figure, dancing with "Today" colleague Hoda Kotb on-air, as well as adding cooking segments and health experts. However, the steadfast and battle-ready style that made her so perfect for Fox, may not be hitting over at NBC or with its morning viewership.

On the first episode of her show, Kelly, who worked at Fox for 13 years, announced that she was "kinda done with politics."

Although, it seems that selling this transformation is a little tougher than it sounds. "You take someone who had a show . . . on Fox about politics and then you say, 'Well that wasn't really me.' That's ridiculous," said TV producer Shelley Ross.

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And a show contributor says that producers try not to use her name when booking guests, instead just saying "Today," with the off chance that the big names won't become alienated. But in her first week she upset star Debra Messing after asking a "Will & Grace" fan if it's "true that you became a lawyer — and you became gay — because of Will?" Then asked Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery, which made her uncomfortable, later complaining that it was "weird."

A publicist source told Page Six that Kelly is toxic among the Hollywood crowd. "She's a little rough around the edges for the 'Today' show,'" they said. "It's my job to be smart and plan and I don't think she's a smart move. I won't even let my NBC talent go on her show. She's a loose cannon."

Kelly is currently receiving $23 million a year as part of a three-year deal, but the source added that "the general feeling is that she will not last three years." (NBC did not comment to Page Six for the story.)

The show source continued that "the atmosphere is really negative . . . [producers] just want to get through this."

However, many insiders blame NBC for mishandling Kelly's career by not giving her the right platform to showcase her skills.

"When [Andy Lack, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group] hired Megyn, he told people, 'I have no idea what she'll do, but I've got her,' " the NBC veteran said to Page Six. Meanwhile, a source close to the show explains that this is a "nonsensical claim" and that the chairman did have a plan.

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She eventually took over the third hour of "Today," and before her start, NBC introduced her with an evening newsmagazine spot, "Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly."

Things did not begin well as she came under scrutiny for interviewing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting never happened.

"She pissed off the audience she needed to be watching 'Megyn Kelly Today,' " said one insider. "How do you not properly position her going into the 'Today' show? You want her to have . . . the most positive image possible, and what do they do? They do the exact opposite."

Right now, "Megyn Kelly Today" is up 18 percent in the 25-to-54 demographic since its launch, however ratings still are not where NBC would like them to be, and it's affecting the 10 a.m. viewership.

The NBC veteran source added that not having Kelly at the Olympics with the other "Today" anchors, "was a sign that [producers] were creating a wall between her and the rest of 'Today.' You can feel Andy [Lack] and Noah [Oppenheim, NBC News president] stepping away from her."

Yet the insider close to the show said that "they are pleased and proud of what she's done so far."

And the celebrity publicist offered: "They need to switch her to specials or investigative reporting. Anything to get her off the 9 o'clock hour."

Dressed to impress

Ivanka Trump revives mom's 'favorite vintage dress' 21 years after the late businesswoman first wore it

Like mother, like daughter. 

Ivanka Trump paid homage to her late mother this week by reaching deep into the matriarch's closet and rewearing one of her "favorite" vintage dresses for a '20s-themed party. The dress — a white beaded frock — was worn by Ivana Trump, Ivanka's mom, at Studio 54's 25th-anniversary party in New York City back in 2002. Ivanka, then 21, attended the party with her mother.

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The former White House senior adviser shared a video on her Instagram Story that showed her dancing and shimmying in the decades-old dress. 

"Warming up for @managermyles' 30h birthday 1920's style. HBD!," Ivanka wrote alongside he video.

She later added a snap with her husband, Jared Kushner, who donned a simple button-down shirt, jeans and sneakers. In captioning the snap, Ivanka made reference to her mom, a former model, while also jabbing her husband for skipping the dress code of the evening. 

"Swinging into the night in one of my mother's favorite vintage Bob Mackie Dresses," she wrote, adding, "Jared clearly failed to comply with the 1920s theme!"

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The former first daughter also posted an image of the dress to her Instagram grid. She captioned it with two dancing lady emojis. 

Ivana, who Donald Trump's first wife, was found dead in her New York townhouse in July 2022. A medical report said she sustained blunt impact injuries as the result of a fall down the stairs. She was 73.

Animal attack

Lisa Marie Presley's half-brother was 'attacked' by a 2,000-pound camel and rushed to ER in days before her death

Lisa Marie Presley's half-brother was rushed to the emergency room — where he got 34 staples in his head! — just days before her death after being "attacked" by a 2,000-pound camel, and it was all witnessed by Priscilla Presley. 

Elvis Presley's ex nearly lost two children within two weeks.

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Navarone Garibaldi Garcia, who Priscilla shares with ex Marco Garibaldi, told People magazine he was feeding a camel at a sanctuary outside of Los Angeles when the animal turned on him.

"When I ran out of food, it bit me by the hand and lifted me up almost off my feet," he said. "It then dropped me on the ground and pounced. While it was pouncing on me, it literally got my whole head in its mouth and bit me."

Priscilla, Navarone said, was "freaking out" and "traumatized" in witnessing the whole ordeal.

The heavy camel, which was previously been abused in a circus, wouldn't get off Navarone, but a dog on site came to the rescue. 

"The dog knew something was wrong and was freaking out and going at its face," he says. "That's what got the camel off."

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Workers at the animal sanctuary called 911, but the Them Guns frontman wanted to go to a hospital closer to his home.

"When we got to the emergency room, it was funny because everybody was sitting there with nothing too serious looking, meanwhile I had blood all over me," he says.

After getting 34 staples in his head, Navarone feels normal again.

"I mean, I was happy I survived before, but now it's like, thank God I survived," he says. "My mom would've lost two kids in two weeks."

Lisa, Elvis' only child, passed away on Jan. 12 after going into cardiac arrest.

Media comeback?

Matt Lauer might try for 'Megyn Kelly'-type of comeback, knows there might he 'zero chance'

Matt Lauer is hopeful that he may be able to return to media in some aspect, but he knows there might be "zero chance" of it actually happening.

"His friends would love to see him do something again," an insider told Page Six. "He'd be great at a podcast or his own production firm, using his skills behind the scenes. He looks at how someone like Megyn Kelly has reinvented herself on her own terms."

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Further, Matt "thinks that he should be able to have a comeback," the pal added. 

A staple as a "Today" co-anchor for decades, Matt was fired from NBC in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct accusations, including rape. Since his high-profile ousting, most of Matt's media pals have shunned him, his inner circle has shrunk, and he rarely ever speaks to this former "Today" colleagues.

"He's still pretty upset about how he was ousted at NBC and upset at all the people he thought were his friends who turned their backs on him," the insider said. "He knows he made mistakes, and he is a lot more humble."

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Still, Matt "has his confidence back" and the itch to get back into the media game is there, the insider says. It's really a matter of whether he can scratch it. 

"He understands that there might not be any sort of appetite for [a comeback]," said the insider. "In other words, he wants to see if there would be any chance — but he understands fully that there might be zero chance. He's not unrealistic."

The pal adds, "His problem is that he can't go back to mainstream TV, because advertisers would likely pull away. He could do a podcast or something on his own terms. All of his friends hope he can find a pathway. But he isn't rushing into anything."

Interestingly, a media source told Page Six that Matt has been presented with opportunities, but something always seemed to torpedo his plans, such as Katie Couric's book, which included private messages between her and the disgraced ex-anchor.

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These days, the former newsman is spending time with his children and girlfriend of more than three years, marketing exec Shamin Abas.

"Things are going well .. Shamin is perfect for Matt because she is very supportive, but also busy with her own company. She has been traveling for work and he has been tagging along on a few trips. They seem to have a great symmetry," the friend said. "They are serious but they are not living together. She has her own place out in the East End [of the Hamptons]."

Although he's happy in his personal life, Matt romanticizes about his old life.

"I think once you're a journalist, you always are. You can't ever shake that. You're never not uninterested in the news," the source said. "He is at a new normal … he exercises daily. I think he feels like he's got a bit of normalcy in his life. But it's not what his normal was."

'Cult' arrest

Polygamist 'Dances With Wolves' actor arrested on abuse and trafficking charges, also accused of running a cult

An actor who starred opposite Kevin Costner in "Dances With Wolves" was arrested in Las Vegas for sex abuse on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and police say he was a polygamist operating a cult.

Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse, who goes by Nathan Chasing Horse, was arrested after a three-month investigation. In a search warrant obtained by the Associated Press and TMZ, investigators alleged that the former actor targeted Indigenous girls without a father figure. He then allegedly groomed and coerced them into having sex with him — the girls were told that  "spirits" insisted they have sex with Nathan so they could join "The Circle," which authorities say was the name of the cult.

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The alleged abuse — which included girls younger than 13 — spanned two decades.

Nathan, who played the young Sioux tribe member Smiles a Lot in the Oscar-winning film, gained a reputation among tribes across the United States and in Canada as a so-called "medicine man." Police said he performed healing rituals and used his position to abuse young Native American girls.

TMZ said Nathan, 46, "recorded his sexual assaults and arranged sexual encounters between his victims and other men who would pay him." Police contend that Nathan would give the young girls emergency contraceptive pills to prevent pregnancies after sex.

The 50-page search warrant claimed that Nathan shared his Las Vegas home with five wives, and they were instructed to take "suicide pills" and prepare for a shootout with police.

Las Vegas Metro Police Department

Nathan, who appeared in several TV movies, has been accused of human trafficking before. A 2015 warrant in Poplar, Montana, claimed, "Nathan Chasing Horse used spiritual traditions and their belief system as a tool to sexually assault young girls on numerous occasions."

Tuesday evening's arrest is related only to alleged crimes committed in Clark County, Nevada. 

Nathan was booked into jail on charges of child abuse or neglect, sex assault, sex assault against a child and sex trafficking of an adult.

Money matters

Pamela Anderson makes a stunningly low paycheck for 'Baywatch' residuals: 'It's a crime'

"Baywatch" was once the most-watched television series in the world, and it continues to be viewed all around the world via syndication on streaming services, TV and cable networks. You'd think the stars of the show would be rolling in the dough with residual checks, but you would be wrong — at least in Pamela Anderson's case. 

In fact, despite Amazon purchasing the rights to the show in the United States, Australia and Canada in 2019, Pam is only getting $4,000 a year in residual checks.

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While promoting her Netflix documentary, "Pamela: A Love Story," the actress and her son Brandon Lee spoke of her "Baywatch" pay discrepancies, something her son says is criminal.

"When I go back and I even look at past deals and residual checks people would be shocked to find out how people really took advantage of her and took advantage of a young girl making a bad deal on a big show, and she was the biggest star in the world at the time," he told "Extra." "I think a lot of people made a lot of money off that, people are going to have to have their day when we come knocking… when she makes $4,000 a year off of 'Baywatch?' That's a crime."

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Along with David Hasselhoff, Pamela was among the most notable names to star on the beachside drama, having portrayed lifeguard C.J. Parker for six years.

"When a big company like [Amazon] buys the rights to the 'Baywatch' box set and she doesn't get a dollar? You tell me if that's right," he adds. "She is 'Baywatch.'"

Pam, however, said she's not really worried about the money.

"I always say, 'You can't take me away from me,'" the 'Barb Wire" actress said. "I'll always find my way."

Still, Brandon argues that his mother deserves to "get what's right."

"If it's your work and your face and your image, you deserve something," he said. "You couldn't get away with that today. There's no actress in the world that that would happen to today."

Secret romance

Jessica Simpson reveals secret affair with an involved 'massive movie star'

While Jessica Simpson and her ex Nick Lachey were on a break in 2001, she had a secret romance with a "massive movie star."

She soon discovered that he was involved in a relationship and Jessica was the dreaded other woman.

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The "Dukes of Hazzard" star recalled the moment in time during a short story for Amazon called "Movie Star: They Always Say They're Single."

While attending the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, Jessica first met the "massive movie star" via her bodyguard. 

"He was undressing me with his eyes," she wrote, noting she got the man's phone number but never used it. Instead, she quickly reconciled with Nick.

Jessica and the mystery man met up in 2006 after she and Nick divorced, and a secret love affair began. In the short story, Jessica said she and the man kissed and felt a "warm rush all the way down my body."

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Jessica and the movie star began hanging out at nightclubs or friend's homes, and she even walked the stairs of a hotel fire escape to meet him in his room. As the hidden nature of the romance continued, Jessica began to feel "like a call girl" who was only there "to have sex" with the star. Plus, she found out the celebrity had a girlfriend, despite him telling the singer that that romance was "completely over."

She eventually called things off. 

"I didn't care if he was my teenage fantasy come to life, this was not a choice that same girl, my younger self, would be proud of," she wrote. 

Jessica never named the man, but told People magazine, "He is still a movie star!"

Studio support

DC Comics boss discusses Zachary Levi's superhero future following controversial Pfizer tweet

Amid backlash for a social media post that many interpreted as anti-vaxx, DC Comics is continuing to stand by Zachary Levi, the star or the "Shazam" franchise.

Last week, Zach publicly came out pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and many immediately labeled him an "anti-vaxxer." 

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The situation began after Moorhouse Group CEO Lyndon Wood asked in a tweet, "Do you agree or not, that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?" Zach replied, "Hardcore agree." Pfizer, of course, was one of the main companies to roll out a COVID vaccine in 2021. 

On Monday, Jan. 30, James Gunn, the new co-head of DC Studios, addressed Zach's tweet and future with the studio. 

"Just real simply: Actors and filmmakers that I work with are going to say things that I agree with and things that I don't agree with," he said, according to Variety. "And that's going to happen. I don't have a list of things that somebody should say because of what I think. And you know, I can't be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don't agree with."

He added, "By the same token, if somebody's doing something morally reprehensible then that's a different story. We have to take all that stuff into account. It's a balance. It's modern world and it's a different place."

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Zach's tweet comes less than two months before the release of "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." 

While the 42-year-old hasn't necessarily doubled down on his Pfizer criticism, he attempted to clarify his stance, posting a link to Pfizer's $2.3 billion fraud settlement from 2009. 

"Just one example of what I'm referring to…," he added.

Changed perspective

Antonio Banderas details how heart attack 'changed my life entirely and completely for good'

In a very real way, Antonio Banderas is thankful for the heart attack he suffered in 2017. 

"It made me appreciate life in a completely different way and in a much more powerful way. It changed my life entirely and completely for good," he said on Britain's "This Morning."

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The "Mask of Zorro" star began experiencing chest pains during a workout in 2017, and he later found out that it was a heart attack. 

From that moment on, he was a changed man.

With hindsight being 20/20, Antonio wishes he was more appreciative about life when he was younger, something he now hopes to imprint on the younger generation.

"After Covid, kids were asking themselves 'why can't we go to school,' it was there in the environment, we took a chance to reflect," he said. "Kids, they know more than we think. They understand and it's good to reflect with them on these issues." 

"What they are learning at the end is to praise life, how wonderful life is. Life is a beautiful thing, we have only one and we have to take care of it," he said. 

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Earlier in the week, the 62-year-old actor also spoke about his health with The Radio Times.

"I had a heart attack six years ago. It probably was one of the best things that happened in my life. It was like putting glasses on and seeing what was important," Antonio said. "I came back to Spain and started looking at my professional life from a different point of view."

The heart attack, he added, was a "turning point" that prompted his decision to quit smoking. 

"Since my heart attack, I'm looking only for the pleasure of acting. That's it," he said. "I don't care about anything else. For me, life starts when somebody says, 'Action!' – or when the curtain comes up."

Health situation

HGTV star Christina Hall doing 'parasite cleanse' due to 'abnormal amount of gut bacteria'

Just five weeks after finding out she was suffering from "mercury and lead poisoning," Christina Hall has discovered she has "an abnormal amount of gut bacteria."

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On Monday, Jan. 30, the "Flip or Flop" star told her Instagram followers that she did "an expensive, super extensive panel" that tests for a variety of body toxins. 

"It tests for like 100 different types of molds, metals and bacterias, and my highest level of toxicity came back as an abnormal amount of gut bacteria, which is like SIBO [small intestine bacteria overgrowth] and also parasites. So those are my biggest conditions," she said. "I have a little bit of heavy metals going on too, so I'm on a cleanse and a parasite cleanse."

The HGTV star can feel the cleanse "definitely working," but she's bracing for a rough stretch.

"I heard it gets worse before it gets better," Christina said. "It's pretty brutal but I'm hoping at the end I feel good."

This is just latest in a string of health challenges that have come Christina's way of late. 

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In late December, she revealed on Instagram that she had "mercury and lead poisoning," and she suspected her career was a factor.  The poisoning, she believed, was "most likely from all the gross houses I've been in (all the bad flips)."

Prior to that, she wondered if her breast implants were making her exhausted. 

"Some of my issues include: Inflammation, autoimmune issues (Hashimoto's disease, PCOS, Raynaud's syndrome), unexplained skin rashes, joint and muscle pain, dry eyes, GI issues, SIBO, acid reflux, brain fog, hormone imbalances, swollen lymph nodes and adrenal fatigue. I test positive for ANA," she said. "I'm gluten free and mostly dairy free. I had all my under eye filler dissolved as it was causing an inflammatory reaction as well. For now just working on detoxing and positive mind set."

As part of her health journey, the "Christina On the Coast" star also recently dissolved filler in her face.