Firing reaction

Faith Stowers responds to Bravo's firing of 'Vanderpump Rules' stars Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute and more

On June 9 — in the wake of troubling revelations steeped in racism — Bravo announced that it had fired four stars from one of its most popular shows. "Bravo and Evolution Media confirmed today that Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni will not be returning to Vanderpump Rules," the network said in a statement.

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The move came a week after former season 4 and 6 "Vanderpump Rules" star Faith Stowers — the only black cast member on the show — revealed during an Instagram Live that a few years ago, original cast members Stassi and Kristen had falsely accused her of drugging men and stealing from them and even called the police to report her. Past racist tweets made by newer cast members Max and Brett in 2012 were brought to light earlier this year.

Faith spoke to Page Six to reveal how she feels in the wake of the firings. "I feel so vindicated studios and production are able to see blatant racism and make these positive changes and help move the race forward — help with the fight forward," Faith told the New York Post's gossip column.

"I was in the middle of prayer [for a family member] and I felt a sense of — I know it sounds corny — I felt a sense of glory," she said, explaining what she was doing shortly before she heard the news that the four Bravo celebrities had been let go. "I felt God's presence, and I'm seeing now [that the news has been revealed] maybe that is what that was. He gave me a sign of optimism meant to be hopeful and showing that all of this was worth it."

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Faith explained why she spoke out last week to tell people what had happened with her co-stars. "I was ready to put myself in the line of fire because I don't know what will happen if I don't say anything, but I'm glad I did," she said. "Now I'm seeing Bravo follow suit — the same as MTV and 'The Challenge' — [by] letting go of castmates that have also made racist remarks,"

Faith continued, "Bravo is releasing women that have given them crazy ratings because they want to be on the right side of history and I'm seeing [that] people are finally hearing us." She also told Page Six that she felt hopeful that production companies and networks would now be "ready to hire casting directors and producers of color to make sure these changes are not just a one-time thing."

After news of the women's firing broke, E! News spoke to a source who shared how Stassi and Kristen were reacting. "Not only are Stassi and Kristen distraught, several of the other cast members are as well. They know the show will never be the same," an insider told E!, adding, "Stassi has been an emotional wreck. She's having a very hard time and has no idea what to do. She feels completely lost and is very disgusted by her actions in the past." According to E!'s source, "Stassi and Kristen have spoken about their actions, and have been in touch about what's going on. They both feel awful about what happened."

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A second source further told E! News, "Stassi had, of course, been upset over the weekend but she's weathered social media backlash before and was hoping if she apologized, it would pass." She clearly didn't expect it to escalate. "Stassi and Kristen are completely distraught," the second source added. "They're in shock and crying."

Ink situation

Bam Margera hospitalized after tattoo infection

Bam Margera was recently hospitalized after he caught a staph infection from a new tattoo.

TMZ said the former MTV star's leg was likely infected after he got a tattoo and then hopped into a hot tub afterward, which is a big no-no according to tattoo artists.

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The prankster spoke about his hospitalization and the pain on Instagram on March 8, which was just days after getting his Farsi tattoo.

"The only person I can blame for my staph infection. Thank you Danny way for taking me," he said. "I deserve it."

Bam added that the pain hurt "very bad," which is saying something considering all the stunts he's put his body through over the years.

Bam has already been released and it expected to make a full recovery. 

Troll job

Olivia Jade mocks commenter who tried trolling her over college scandal

A person who tried to troll Olivia Jade Giannulli saw the comment backfire over the weekend, and it was all because of one letter.

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The 21-year-old YouTube influencer clapped back at a commenter on TikTok after that person tried to mock her over the college admissions scandal that enveloped her family's life… Unfortunately for that person, they didn't spell check before posting the comment.

"How's collage," the person wrote, clearly intending to say "college."

"Thank you for asking. It's pretty good," Olivia replied. "I actually love collaging. I'm working on this really [expletive] sick scrapbook that I have to show you guys soon. It's chef's kiss, beautiful work I've done."

Olivia's retort comes several years since she was enrolled at the University of Southern California. The social media star was thrust into the spotlight in March 2019 after her parents — "Full House" star Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli — were charged in a college admissions scandal. Prosecutors alleged that the couple paid a middle man to get Olivia and her sister Bella into USC as crew recruits, despite neither of them having any experience in the sport. Court documents showed photo of Olivia and Bella posing on an indoor rowing machine as part of the scam.

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As part of a plea agreement, Lori pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, whereas Mossimo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. Lori served less than two months in prison for her role. Mossimo is currently locked up and has a release date set for April 17.

In a chat with Red Table Talk, Olivia said she never went back to USC after the scandal broke.

"I was too embarrassed…I shouldn't have been there in the first place, clearly, so there was no point in me trying to go back," she said. 

Weighted issue

Gwyneth Paltrow dishes on COVID weight gain

Gwyneth Paltrow put on a few extra pounds in 2020.

While speaking at the In Goop Health – The At-Home Summit, the "Iron Man" actress said she gained 14 pounds while staying at home for nine months during quarantine.

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"I was absolutely no holds barred," she said, according to E! News. "I gained 14 lbs. and my gut was a mess. But I just didn't want to do anything about it, really."

In fact, Gwyneth believed that her diet was helping her in the coronavirus pandemic.

"I felt like my wine and my pasta and biscuits and crackers and cheese were getting me through," she said. "All I could think about was, 'When can I have a cocktail again?'"

She continued, "You know me, I don't cheat, I don't break, I'm so disciplined and I was like, I can't do this. Then I started to feel so good after about 60 days in. And now I'm starting to feel so good that I'm like, yeah, like, I would drink if I could, maybe, but not seven days a week anymore. I don't want to go back to that."

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The weight gain admission comes a few months after Gwyn said she was focusing on eating better, indicating she was sticking to a flexible keto and plant-based diet and eliminating sugar.

"In January, I had some tests done that showed really high levels of inflammation in my body. So I turned to one of the smartest experts I know in this space, the functional medicine practitioner Dr. Will Cole," she wrote in a January post on her Goop website. "After he saw all my labs, he explained that this was a case where the road to healing was going to be longer than usual."

Last month, Gwyn said she's lost 11 pounds since switching up her diet. 

Campaign issues

Feds looking into Kanye's campaign over potential ethics violations: Report

Kanye West could be in trouble for how he raised money during his ill-fated 2020 Presidential campaign.

According to The Daily Beast, the Federal Election Commission sent the rapper a notice that alleged several violations, including multiple donations from minors, multiple possible contributions from foreign nationals and several fake names and addresses.

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Under federal law, it is illegal to knowingly solicit and accept campaign donations from anyone under the age of 18. It is also illegal to knowingly solicit or accept donations from foreign nationals, "which the West campaign appears to have done several times," the report says.

Jordan Libowitz, communications director for government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told The Daily Beast, "In five-plus years of doing this I've never come across something like this."

Kanye's campaign was mainly self-funded through $12.4 million in loans. Reports claim he collected $2.2 million from small-dollar donors, the vast majority of whom divvied out cash for Kanye Presidential merchandise. One teen, though, said he's still waiting to receive any merchandise, despite dropping $3,280.

"I don't know what's happening there," Ian Bloom, 16, said. "I ordered like 20 hoodies off his campaign website, along with a lot of other people that I know. They said it would be three weeks, and after that I emailed the support team, and the email just wasn't a thing."

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The report states that students made up for 1,200 of the campaign's 3,161 reported donations, contributing a total $349,160, with $26,540 of that coming in 2021.

"Campaigns can continue raising as long as they have debt on the books, and they can continue to pay costs while working to pay that off. But if the debts have been paid and the candidate has lost, and hasn't converted the committee to the next campaign cycle, which Kanye has not done, then they can't raise money," Libowitz said, noting that Kanye's debts were paid off on Jan. 7. "There's no election for you to legally contribute to. But West continued to sell merch without raising money for debt. I've literally never seen something like this before."

Kanye, it seems, removed the online store and paused donations, but only after the FEC sent him a notice, which occurred several months after the election.

The alleged violations aren't criminal, but the FEC could levy fines.

Final Brag

Rush Limbaugh dubbed 'greatest radio host of all time' on death certificate

Even in death, it seems, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is capable of boasting.

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Rush, a polarizing media figure with an affection for superlative-laced self-promotion, died last month at age 70 of complications related to lung cancer.

And as TMZ reported on Sunday, March 7, the final, official word on his life states that he was the "G.O.A.T." of radio.

The webloid published a PDF of the death certificate for Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, which shows his "occupation/industry" has been listed as "GREATEST RADIO HOST OF ALL TIME" by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office in Florida.

That title is probably thanks to Rush's wife, Kathryn Limbaugh, who's listed as the informant on the document, which was issued a few days after his death on Feb. 17.

Kathryn also served as the informant to Rush's fans on the day he died, taking over the mic on "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which premiered in 1988 and became the highest-rated talk radio show in the United States over the course of three decades on the air.

"For over 32 years, Rush has cherished you, his loyal audience, and always looked forward to every single show," she said in the announcement, according to Fox News. "It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer."

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She went on to dub her husband the "G.O.A.T.," as she would apparently also do on his death certificate.

"As so many of you know, losing a loved one is terribly difficult. Even more so when that loved one is larger than life," she said, adding, "Rush will forever be the greatest of all time."

Despite being criticized for comments deemed racist, misogynistic, homophobic and bombastic, Rush is often credited as an architect of the Republican party's modern far-right wing. Following his cancer diagnosis, Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020.

'Cry Me a River'

Bethenny Frankel slams Duchess Meghan ahead of Oprah Winfrey interview

In the days leading up to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's televised sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS on Sunday, March 7, supporters and detractors alike have been weighing in on (and arguing about) everything from the couple's controversial decision to step back from their royal posts to their participation in the interview itself.

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As is often the case with the Sussexes, much of that attention has been directed at Meghan, particularly after The Times of London reported the former "Suits" star was accused of bullying staff in 2018. Meghan has denied these claims, with her lawyers slamming them as "a calculated smear campaign."

On Twitter over the weekend, Bethenny Frankel joined the conversation, casting a suspicious eye in the direction of the duchess, while asserting that she gives the Duke of Sussex "a break," even though he stands to benefit just as Meghan does from the media deals and PR the couple have generated since relocating to California.

Bethenny's Twitter rant began with her comparing Harry and Meghan's interview to Monica Lewinsky's sit-down with Barbara Walters in the late '90s. "Not since @MonicaLewinsky interview, have people been obsessed with a young female interview like this #MARRY interview. Remember the famous lip gloss?" Bethenny tweeted.

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The post's focus on Meghan confused at least one Twitter user, who asked, "Did I miss the new hashtag for Meghan & Harry, cause that's the only interview I'M waiting to see."

Bethenny responded by acknowledging she "made up" the "marry" hashtag. Rather than explain why she failed to mention Harry, who also spoke with Oprah for the special, Bethenny plugged her "Just Be With Bethenny" podcast.

The tweets generated a back-and-forth among Bethenny's followers.

"I'll pass on that [interview] thanks, my empathy is now with the staff who were bullied [by Meghan]," one user griped.

Another chimed in with screenshots of negative headlines about Meghan. "Yeah cause the staff were so respectful of her," the person added. That's when Bethenny jumped back into the discussion.

"Cry me a river…," she tweeted, clearly not won over by teaser clips from the interview that have shown Meghan saying she and Harry are speaking out now because they no longer feel silenced, as they once did.

"… The plight of being a game show host, fairly unknown actress," Bethenny continued, "to suffering in a palace, w tiaras & 7 figure weddings for TWO WHOLE YEARS to being a household name w @Oprah on speed dial, fetching 7 m for interviews, hundreds of millions in media deals. #MARRY."

When someone else suggested that because of what Harry's mom, Princess Diana "endured," the world should "at least cut Harry a break here."

Bethenny replied, "I [100%] give Harry a break. This isn't the way to generate less press & cannot be filed under the guise of wanting privacy to prevent a repeat of previous events," before posting about her podcast once more. "… If you hate me for saying it here, don't listen to my podcast," she warned.

Finally, the former "Real Housewives" star explained why she takes issue with Meghan's post-royal life tell-all.

"I chose reality tv, to work towards making $, to be scrutinized & criticized," Bethenny tweeted. "I took the trappings & the beatings along with it. It's a rose w petals & thorns. People beg to enter the often toxic institution I signed up for. That WAS the life I chose."

She added: "You can't play stupid & smart."

Touching tribute

Beyonce pays tribute to teen fan who died of brain cancer

Beyonce is honoring a fan who passed away following a two-year battle with brain cancer. 

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Like many, the singer was following the story of 13-year-old Lyric Chanel. When the teen tragically passed on March 5, the Queen B posted a tribute video to Lyric that mashed up "Brown Skin Girl," "Halo" and "Love On Top." In the lyrics, she changed the word "baby" to "Lyric." Beyonce's songs played over videos of Lyric.

Back in September, Beyonce also showed her love for the teen, sending flowers to her home. 

Lyric's journey was followed by a slew of celebrities, including Cardi B. Lyric's Instagram followers were made aware that things took a turn for the worse last week. 

"I begin see Lyric energy began to decrease this week. Each day became harder to get her to eat and drink. Today I notice she would have periods where she was not breathing as if she was holding her breathe," Lyric's mom wrote on Instagram. "From the scans ventricles are swollen and fluid has built up again. (Shunt malfunction) due to this tumor the spinal fluid becomes what they call thick protein that is clogging the tube. So back to the operating room we go. Keep in mind this surgery is not going into the brain, but to drain this fluid and see why this shunt is not working properly. Their guess it's the tumor."

Then, on March, 3, Lyric's mother posted a heartbreaking message that read, "Just got news from Dr that Lyric is Dying and only have days to live…. These are the hardest words to have to hear."

R.I.P.

Comedy coming

Eddie Murphy plans to return to stand-up after pandemic

Eddie Murphy will be coming to a stage near you… in due time.

In a chat with Kevin Hart on the "Comedy Gold Minds" podcast, Eddie said he planned to return to stand-up in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic changed everything. 

"My plan was to do 'Dolemite,' 'Saturday Night Live,' 'Coming 2 America,' and then do stand-up. And then the pandemic hit," Eddie said. 

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Before COVID-19, the plan was working too. In October 2019, "Dolemite Is My Name" was released. Two months later, he returned to "SNL" and hosted for the first time in 35 years. Then, on March 4, the "Coming to America" sequel was released on Amazon Prime.

"The whole time last year I would have been out working on my act, trying to get my [stuff] right, and then the whole thing shut down," he said in reference to the global health crisis and the stay-at-home recommendations.

Still, he added, "When the pandemic is over and it's safe for everybody to go out and do it, then the plan is to do it."

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Eddie, who turns 60 next month, began his career as a stand-up comedian. His "Raw" comedy special in 1987 was given a theatrical release and took in more than $50 million at the box office. To this day it's the highest grossing stand-up comedy concert film of all time.

Back in 2019, Eddie had mentioned while chatting with Jerry Seinfeld on "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" that he planned to get back into stand-up comedy.

"I'm going to do it again. Everything just has to be right," he said at the time. "You have to get up there and start working out."

Feeling "greet"

The Kardashians are getting into the greeting card business

You're about to get carded by the Kardashians.

The ubiquitous family is expanding their empire and getting into the greeting card business, TMZ reported. 

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According to the webloid, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner filed trademark documents to get the rights to "Kardashian Kards." In the documents, the women said they plan to hawk greeting cards, calendars, decals, photo albums and postcards.

This is also a possibility that the women could sell scrapbooks, stationery, paper, notebooks, stickers, erasers, bookmarks and gift wrap under the "Kardashian Kards" name.

The family certainly knows a thing or two about capitalizing on their name to sell products, as evidenced by Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty. They obviously see this as their next greet great money-making endeavor.