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CELEBRITY GOSSIP

JASON SUDEIKIS RETURNS AS JOE BIDEN IN SNL COLD OPEN: Saturday Night Live dedicated the cold open to Jason Sudeikis’ Vice President Joe Biden (and presumptive candidate for president in 2020), amid accusations of inappropriate behavior toward women. In the skit, he talked to aides played by Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson. "Joe's a good guy and he means well, he's just a little behind the times," Strong said. Thompson agreed, adding that the allegations must be "tearing him up inside," before Sudeikis burst in, held them close and said, "I'm a hugger, I'm a kisser and I'm a little bit of a sniffer."

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE ASK FOR DONATIONS, NOT GIFTS: As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prepare to become parents for the first time, they’re asking well-wishers to make donations to charities in lieu of gifts. The pair posted on Instagram: "What an incredibly special surprise the grassroots led #globalsussexbabyshower was last Sunday! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support in anticipation of the birth of their first child," they said in response to a viral "baby shower" created for fans to donate to various organizations in honor of the royal tot.

HILARIA BALDWIN THANKS FANS FOR ‘HEALING’ MESSAGES: Hilaria Baldwin took to Instagram to thank fans for support after she revealed on the platform that she believed she was miscarrying a baby. "I want to assure you that I know I will be ok," she wrote, alongside a photo of her with her children. "I have perspective to understand sadness and loss in the grand scheme of things. Emotionally I am processing it all ... being able to be open with you has been extremely healing. I was very nervous to share, and am so relieved that it was received with such love. I am grateful that you listened and I’m grateful that I have these tiny partners to go through this with."She and Alec Baldwin share four children together.

KELLY PRESTON PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE SON: Kelly Preston posted a tribute to her late son Jett Travolta on Instagram Friday, a few days after World Autism Awareness Day. She captioned a photo of herself and her husband John kissing their son: "To my sweet love, Jett... you are in our hearts forever. I send love to all of the beautiful autistic children and the wonderful people who love them. May we all shine and grant love and respect to children with special needs #autismawareness #autism." Jett died at age 16 of a seizure in 2009.

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Lori Loughlin Due in Court Wednesday, Feels “Trapped” at Home Amid College Admissions Scandal

Lori Loughlin Due in Court Wednesday, Feels “Trapped” at Home Amid College Admissions ScandalIt seems Lori Loughlin needs a Fuller House, given how cooped up she’s been inside her Bel Air mansion amid her college-admissions scandal. “Lori has felt very trapped for the last few weeks, not wanting to leave …

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Lisa Vanderpump Admits She’s ‘Not Proud Of Yelling’ At Kyle During Wild ‘RHOBH’ Fight: I Was ‘Overly Emotional’

Lisa Vanderpump Admits She’s ‘Not Proud Of Yelling’ At Kyle During Wild ‘RHOBH’ Fight: I Was ‘Overly Emotional’ Lisa Vanderpump is ‘not proud of yelling’ at Kyle Richards in the latest episode of ‘RHOBH’ on April 2, where they ended their 12-year friendship. Lisa reacted to her emotional fight with …

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JUDGE CONSIDERS UNSEALING FILES IN JUSSIE SMOLLETT CASE

A Cook County judge may rule in the coming weeks on whether or not the files in Empire star Jussie Smollet’s case will be unsealed. Lawyers for several media organizations filed motions seeking to make the records public because of the national attention to case and the prosecutors’ sudden and unexpected decision last week to drop all charges in the case.

In exchange for dropping the charges, Smollett forfeited $10,000 in the bail he posted in Chicago. During the same hearing, Smollett’s lawyers asked Judge Steven Watkins to seal all of the records be in the case. Prosecutors issued no objections, and Watkins complied.

On Tuesday, Watkins said that would be decided in writing around May 23rd.

"The file is sealed," Watkins said Tuesday, noting that under the law the file is not simply tossed out but can’t be viewed by anyone without a court order. "It’s not destroyed."

Support for Smollett in Hollywood, meanwhile, is lukewarm. Ava DuVernay has supported him, while Chris Rock, and most recently Tracy Morgan, have criticized him.

On Monday night during his appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, Morgan cracked jokes about Smollett's lleged hate crime.

"Yeah, they gave me a role on Empire," Morgan started off. "Contractually, they gave me millions of dollars. Contractually, all I gotta do is not fake a hate crime."

Then he added, "Jussie!"

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ALYSSA MILANO ROASTED FOR DEFENDING JOE BIDEN AMID ALLEGATIONS OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR

Staunch #MeToo advocate Alyssa Milano is getting heat on social media for going to bat to defend Joe Biden as he appears to be gearing up for a 2020 presidential run. Meghan McCain also came to Biden’s defense after two women accused the former vice president of inappropriate touching.

On Friday, Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores claimed in an essay in The Cut that Biden gave her a kiss on the back of her head that made her feel uncomfortable on the 2014 campaign trail. On Monday, a second woman, Amy Lappos, came forward in The Hartford Courant, saying that during a 2009 fundraiser in Greenwich, CT, that made her feel disrespected.

After the first allegation emerged, Biden defended himself, while still empowering women. "In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort," the statement reads. "And not once -- never -- did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

Milano, who used social media as a platform during the sex scandals that rocked Hollywood in 2017, encouraging women to speak out, defended Biden. She alluded to his work with the 2014 "It’s on Us" campaign, which was designed to prevent sex assault at college.

"I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend," she wrote. "He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them. That's who Joe Biden is -- a warm, generous individual who believes its on all of us to pay attention to women's stories and experiences."

Her support was not well-received by all. Many social media users accused Milano of being a "partisan hypocrite". Many others asked her, "What happened to believe all women," a common refrain Milano and other #MeToo advocates have used when friends of the accused come to their defense.

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CELEBRITY GOSSIP

KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN LAUNCHES POOSH: Kourtney Kardashian, 39, launched a beauty and lifestyle website named Poosh Tuesday morning. She named the site after her daughter Penelope (it’s her nickname), and it is intended "to educate, motivate, create and curate a modern lifestyle, achievable by all." In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, she elaborated: "The modern woman, in my opinion, is somebody who cares about the planet, cares about what we’re putting in our bodies from the inside out, and just doing our best without feeling judged for not being perfect."

MICHELLE WILLIAMS SAYS HER PAY GAP IS SHRINKING: Michelle Williams told people at a rally on Capitol Hill that she is finally getting paid as much as her male co-stars following a scandal in which it was revealed that she was paid $1,000 for reshoots of All the Money in the World, while her co-star Mark Wahlberg made $1.5 million. (He gave the money to charity after the scandal broke). "I realized this is actually what it feels like to be on the inside, to be one of the boys. And on the job I completed two weeks ago — let me tell you something — I was paid equally as my male co-stars," Williams said, earning applause. Williams appeared with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic female lawmakers for "Equal Pay Day."

TARAJI P. HENSON OPENS UP ABOUT ANXIETY: Taraji P. Henson is getting honest about her mental health. She covered Variety’s Power of Women New York issue, released Tuesday, along with Bette Midler, Gigi Hadid, Kacey Musgraves and Christiane Amanpour. "Fame was fun at first, but the older I get, the more private I want to be," Henson tells Variety. "I think there's a misconception with people in the limelight that we have it all together, and because we have money now and are living out our dreams, everything is fine. That's not the case. When they yell 'Cut' and 'That's a wrap,' I go home to very serious problems. I'm still a real human." The 48-year-old adds: "I suffer from depression. My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I've never really dealt with anxiety like that. It's something new."

LAUREN CONRAD EXPECTING NO. 2: The Hills alum Lauren Conrad, 33, revealed that she and her husband William Tell are expecting their second child together. She shared the happy news with a photo of her baby bump. "It’s been hard to keep this one to myself! Very excited to share that our family will be getting a little bigger this year," she captioned the shot. Conrad and Tell, 39, welcomed their first baby, a son named Liam James, in July of 2017.

THE HILLS SETS RETURN: The Hills are returning this summer on MTV. The network shared that The Hills: New Beginnings will drop Monday, June 24th. The show, MTV says, is "based on the series that changed the reality TV landscape, the much buzzed about show will reunite original cast members and add notable newcomers, as they write their newest chapters in relationships, romance and success." Original cast members Audrina Patridge, Brody Jenner, Spencer Pratt and many others are returning, plus newbies Brandon Thomas Lee and Mischa Barton.

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SOPHIE TURNER SAYS SHE DOESN’T MIND ‘GOT’ PAY GAP

Sophie Turner is speaking out on the gender pay gap, and you might be surprised to hear what she has to say. Speaking to the U.K.’s Harper’s Bazaar, she says that while she took home about £158,000 per episode to play Sansa Stark on HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones, her co-star Kit Harington snagged about £537,000 to play Jon Snow.

"Kit got more money than me, but he had a bigger storyline," the 23-year-old said. "And for the last series he had something crazy like 70 night shoots, and I didn’t have that many.

"I was like, ‘You know what… you keep that money'".

She also opened up about her relationship with fiancé Joe Jonas. Their meet-cute story happened as so many do these days, on Instagram.

"We had a lot of mutual friends and they'd been trying to introduce us for a long time. We were following each other on Instagram and he direct-messaged me one fine day, out of the blue."

And it’s clear she digs him. She said: "He's lovely. He's just the funniest. You wouldn't expect he's about to turn 30 this year. He's the most fun, energetic, positive person I've ever seen. I'm pessimistic, so we balance each other out."

The pair started dating in November of 2017 and have been engaged since October 2017.

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Fans Lose It After Mariah Carey Responds to Ariana Grande’s Sweet B-Day Message

Fans Lose It After Mariah Carey Responds to Ariana Grande’s Sweet B-Day Message Mariah Carey turned 49 this week–and gave followers an extra-special b-day gift by responding to a sweet message from megafan Ariana Grande. “Happiest anniversary, queen of everything,” Grande wrote Wednesday on her Instagram Story alongside a pic …

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“Empire” Falls to Lowest Ratings Ever After Jussie Smollett Drama

“Empire” Falls to Lowest Ratings Ever After Jussie Smollett DramaHow the Empire has fallen. TVLine reports that the FOX drama’s latest episode this week experienced its lowest ratings in series history–on the same week that Chicago authorities chose to drop all charges against star Jussie Smollett. The Wednesday-night episode brought …

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Nicolas Cage & Bride Were “Drinking to the Point of Intoxication” Before Annulled Wedding

Nicolas Cage & Bride Were “Drinking to the Point of Intoxication” Before Annulled Wedding The Blast reports that, in a recent court filing seeking to annul his quickie Vegas marriage to Erika Koike, Nicolas Cage admitted that he and his bride were “both drinking to the point of intoxication” before …

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TRUMP SAYS FEDS WILL REVIEW JUSSIE SMOLLETT CASE

President Donald Trump is not happy with the way the case against Empire star Jussie Smollett was handled. On Thursday morning, he tweeted out that the FBI and the Department of Justice would review the case after a prosecutor unexpectedly dropped all charges against him on Tuesday.

The Empire star, who is black and gay, reported that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on January 29th. But after an investigation, Chicago police determined that he hired Abel and Ola Osundairo to help him stage the crime, in a bid to raise his profile.

The brothers are black, but in his report to police, Smollett said they were white. On Thursday, his attorney Tina Glandian told Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show that Smollett believes the men may have been wearing white makeup as a disguise.

"He did tell police that from what he saw, he thought it was white or pale skin, that's what he initially said," Glandian said before adding, "Obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on."

She pointed to a YouTube video of Abel Osundairo in white makeup disguised as The Joker. Still, when asked if Smollett wanted the brothers arrested, she said he just wanted to "move on."

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BARBARA WALTER THREATENDED TO QUIT OVER ROSIE O’DONNELL

Barbara Walters launched The View in 1997, and judging from Ramin Setoodeh’s forthcoming explosive expose, Ladies Who Punch, she was a bit of a control freak. When she launched the show, she hand-picked the panel, which included Joy Behar, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos and Meredith Viera; when Jones left in 2006, she brought Rosie O’Donnell on.

But after just a year, O’Donnell was on Walters’ bad side, having drawn negative attention from bold-faced viewers like Kelly Ripa, and allegedly not getting along with then-exec producer Bill Geddie, per the book. So Walters threatened to quit if O’Donnell didn’t get the boot.

"If you re-sign Rosie to this show, Bill and I are going to quit," Walters, 89, told ABC Daytime President Brian Frons in 2007 over dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills, according to Ladies Who Punch.

O’Donnell, 57, did exit, and reappeared briefly in 2014 only after Walters left.

WALTERS’ RETIREMENT

When Walters stepped down, she thought the show would be canceled, the book alleges.

"I'm really sad," Matenopoulos recalls telling Walters, according to the book. "My mom wants me to tell you, you can't do this! Nobody is going to watch the show after you leave."

"Oh, baby," Walters then responded loudly. "How long can the show go on? It's going to be canceled in a few years."

But even though she’s stepped back, Walters still tried to run the show, according to the book. She would call the control room, and even told the book’s author that she didn’t like several of the hosts who came after her.

Short-lived co-hosts on The View have included Candace Cameron Bure, Jenny McCarthy, Raven-Symone and Sara Haines.

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KALEY CUOCO’S RESPONSE TO A FAN RETURNING HER WALLET WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE FEELS

The Big Bang Theory is beginning to wind down its epic run, so the stars may be feeling an extra little something for their devoted fans. Kaley Cuoco literally cried tears of joy recently when a fan returned her wallet.

The 33-year-old posted several videos to her Instagram Story recounting the events.

"So I have had the strangest week," the actress began. "It's been very up and down, very emotional to be honest. Probably just coming to the end of the show and, I don't know, lots of other things, but a really sweet thing happened to me a few days ago and I had to share."

She continued, sharing the moment she realized her wallet was missing: "I became fully hysterical and didn't know where it was and traced my steps and was like, 'Oh my God, I left it there. It's gone. It's gone. I was crying. I was so upset. So I called (the restaurant) and someone had turned it in."

The person who returned it is apparently a fan, because inside the wallet was a piece of paper that read "Penny," the name of her character.

"Whoever did that, whoever is out there, thank you," she continued. "I wish I could've met you. I would've given you all the cash in my wallet or whatever was in there. I really would've given you anything. I was so grateful that there was someone so sweet on this earth, and honest. And it didn't go unnoticed and I will never forget that because that could've been a very bad day for me."

Cuoco concluded: "So there is good in the world."

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CHRIS EVANS TALKS LOVE, CAREER, POLITICS

Chris Evans has spilled the tea. The 37-year-old Captain American star covers The Hollywood Reporter’s latest, and inside, he opens about a whole lotta stuff.

ON LOVE

Why has he been a bachelor for so long? Evans said: "I’m the one who fears being enveloped. I was always a really autonomous guy my whole life. Camping by myself is one of my favorite things. I really like to be with someone who also has their own thing to do as well, you know? If I’m with someone who just kind of adopts my life, that can feel a bit suffocating."

Btw, he has been in relationships, having been in long-term relationships Jessica Biel and Jenny Slate.

ON CAPTAIN AMERICA

Will he be hanging up his cape after the release of Avengers: Endgame?

"Momentum is a real fallacy, in my opinion," he said. "But it has a really strong hold on a lot of actors’ mentalities. You really believe that while the ball’s rolling, you gotta keep it rolling. I could be wrong, but to me — I just don’t believe in that. I don’t think that’s real."

Btw, Evans made $15M for the past two Avengers films, up from $300K for his first run.

ON GETTING POLITICAL

Evans stumped for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Any regrets? "You don't want to alienate half your audience," says Evans. "But I'd be disappointed in myself if I didn't speak up. Especially for fear of some monetary repercussion or career damage — that just feels really gross to me."

ON DRUGS

He’s cut back, he explain.

"You know, I've chilled out on weed," Evans says. "I used to love it, but now I think it's the one thing that gets in my way. It zaps your motivation. I think apathy kind of bleeds in, and you start to think, 'Well, I'm not apathetic, I just don't feel like doing that.' And it's like, no — you would feel like doing that if you weren't stoned. And, you know — I'm 37. I can't be smoking weed all the time. That's crazy."

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INDUSTRY NEWS

PRIYANKA CHOPRA LAUNCHES INSPIRATIONAL SPECIAL: Priyanka Chopra is teaming up with YouTube on a special dubbed, If I Could Tell You Just One Thing. It launched Wednesday on her YouTube channel, which has 1 million subscribers. In the series, she interviews Awkwafina, Simone Biles and Diane von Furstenberg and asks them for one actionable piece of advice that she can use in her own life. She says, "I guess getting married really made me think about what a next chapter is." Chopra famously married Nick Jonas last year. Will you tune in?

DISCOVERY LAUNCHES WHEELER DEALERS SPINOFF: Wheeler Dealers is getting a spinoff on the Discovery Channel. Dubbed Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car, the eight-part series will be an extension of the successful format, and be hosted by Mike Brewer.

BRAD FALCHUK JOINS THE NETFLIX PARTY: Brad Falchuk is joining his longtime collaborator Ryan Murphy at Netflix. He has reportedly signed a four-year deal worth eight figures; his current deal with 20th Century Fox expires June 1. He and Murphy have worked on Pose, American Horror Story and the upcoming The Politician (which stars his wife Gwyneth Paltrow), among many others.

PATRICK SCHWARZENEGGER, RUPERT EVERETT, MORE JOIN WARNING: Patrick Schwarzenegger (Daniel Isn't Real), Rupert Everett (The Happy Prince), Cold War star Tomasz Kot, Kylie Bunbury (Game Night) and Raw star Garance Marallier have joined the sci-fi thriller Warning, currently shooting in Poland. The film "explores the meaning of life when disparate lives collide in interweaving stories set in the near-future earth," according to the logline.

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WHAT’S NEXT IN THE JUSSIE SMOLLETT CASE?

Jussie Smollett, 36, may have had the criminal charges related to his allegedly staged January 29th hate crime dropped, but the case seems to be far from over. The Empire star may still face federal charges and civil lawsuits related to the scandal, and may file one himself, according to multiple reports.

On Tuesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney dropped 16 felony counts against Smollett for allegedly filing a false report about what he described as a racist and homophobic attack. (Smollett is black and openly gay).

On Wednesday, police released the entire 61-page investigative report into Smollett’s attack. An hour later, a court order reportedly barred them from releasing further files, though much of the report is available in some form online.

The report includes information on a search warrant police obtained for the Empire star’s iCloud account, and details about their questioning of a pair of Nigerian brothers who claimed he hired them to stage the attack.

MORE CHARGES?

The FBI is considering filing charges of mail fraud, and is currently investigating whether or not he sent himself hate mail the week before the alleged attack.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is also reportedly considering a suit to recoup money the city wated on the investigation.

Emanuel spoke out on ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday, saying he is determined to figure out what happened. "The first part, I want to get to the bottom of it: Did he commit this hoax? That is the question that has to first be answered," Emanuel said on GMA. "The second question is: What happened here that allowed the State's Attorney's Office – that was in the room with the police department when they decided to actually bring the charges to the grand jury that actually brought the indictments – what made them all of a sudden say, 'You know what, on second thought, this is enough'?"

Emanuel said: "They better get their story straight. This is making a fool of all of us. You know, all over the city of Chicago, George, there are signs on front yards and windows that says ‘hate has no home here.’ He turned those values upside down and inside out." . Smollett maintained his innocence throughout the investigation.

Smollett voluntarily forfeited his $10,000 bond and has performed community service, which First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats has dubbed a "fair and just outcome for the case."

AUDIO: RAHM EMANUEL ON JUSSIE SMOLLETT

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Beyoncé Sings “Happy Birthday” to Diana Ross at Star-Studded 75th B-Day Bash

Beyoncé Sings “Happy Birthday” to Diana Ross at Star-Studded 75th B-Day BashDivas respect divas! Beyoncé serenaded Diana Ross on Tuesday night with a flawless performance of “Happy Birthday” at the Motown legend’s 75th birthday party in L.A. Video shot by Khloe Kardashian shows Ross’ daughter, Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross, …

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