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  NIGHTSPOTS

Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2017-05-17

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"I don't think about it. It's not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I'm in love with."—And with that, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith comes out.

No time for idle chit-chat. I've got twice as many stories as I have room for in print, so we're gonna dive right in. Patti LuPone—the First Lady of Broadway—had some choice words to share when Andy Cohen asked her what she thought of Madonna's performance as Evita. ( Actually, a call-in question got the ball rolling. )

Patti implied she has never seen the entire film but did see "Buenos Aires" "back when MTV used to show videos" and thought it was "a piece of shit." But she didn't stop there, adding, "Madonna is a movie killer. She's dead behind the eyes. She couldn't act her way out of a paper bag. She should not be on film or on stage. She's a wonderful performer for what she does, but she is not an actress." How refreshing! When was the last time someone was asked for an opinion and actually gave one? None of that politically correct crap we usually get.

Needless to say, this started a holy war on social media, with sides being drawn. Many people felt Patti's comments were sour grapes over not getting the Evita film. I disagree—Patti always speaks her mind. Earlier in the same episode of Watch What Happens Live, Cohen showed guest Christopher Meloni a scene from Law & Order: SVU in which Real Housewife Countess LuAnn had a small role. They came back from the clip, and the first thing out of LuPone's mouth was, "Wow, she SURE can't act!" Look, Patti calls 'em as she sees 'em.

It's that time of year when the networks choose which shows will come back next season and which ones won't. It's with mixed feelings I report the cancellation of The Real O'Neals. Created by our own Dan Savage, the show was lucky to survive this long after the outrageous interview star Noah Galvin gave to Vulture in a pathetic attempt to distance himself from his somewhat-sanitized character and garner Emmy buzz. It made Noah look bad, the network look bad, the show look bad—it was just bad! The brass came thisclose to canceling the second season, but gave it a half-hearted shot. But, methinks the damage was done. Good work, Galvin.

I already told you that The CW would be bringing a new version of Dynasty to the screen. While we have a new Blake, Fallon and Cristal ( note the spelling ), there is no Alexis—who, as you'll recall, didn't join the original show until the second season. I'm sure they'd love to bag Joan Collins, but I'm not sure how she could fit into this new series where characters who were Alexis' contemporaries are played by actors roughly the square root of her age! But if we dispense with mythology, perhaps Alexis could come back as Blake's mother. That might be too cruel.

Don't call him Fiona! That's what Richard Simmons has to say in response to a National Enquirer cover story which proclaimed him embarking on gender reassignment surgery. Simmons is so pissed off about the story—which came out last June—that he's suing the publication. His contention is that the rag chose to accuse him of such a hot-button topic to ensure that he wouldn't sue—because if he did, it might be construed as being against gender reassignment surgery. This is kinda like suing for defamation over being called gay—as if being gay is a bad thing. Wording of the complaint is quite clear: "Mr. Simmons, like every person in this nation, has a legal right to insist that he not be portrayed as someone he is not. Even the most ardent supporter of sexual autonomy and LGBTQ rights is entitled to be portrayed in a manner that is truthful." Pundits have declared that this is the first-ever defamation lawsuit over published reports about gender transition. The only other case I can think of is Caitlyn Jenner—who never sued, for obvious reasons.

The complaint also describes the mag's chief source, Mauro Oliveira, as "an individual who has blackmailed, extorted and stalked Mr. Simmons for several years with the intent of destroying the career and reputation of Mr. Simmons." Two days after the Enquirer cover story ran, Oliveira allegedly emailed Simmons, saying that if Richard paid him off, he would "go on record to discredit the story and defend Richard Simmons." Did you follow that? Oliveira tries to blackmail Simmons for money. It doesn't work. He tells the Enquirer he has a story. They pay him for it. Then he goes back to Simmons asking for more money, at which point he'd tell the "Enquirer" that the story they paid him for was a lie? This is not someone I'd consider a credible source! According to Simmons' attorneys, they sent the "Enquirer" the e-mailed offer to recant and deny the story if he got paid—surely thinking they'd issue a retraction. Nope. That's why it's now going to court. And I say, good for you, Fiona ... er, Richard.

So, it's down to this: I've got an "Ask Billy" question, and I've got a nude. But I only have room for one. Which one do I tackle? I think the nude—the question would take too long to answer. Italian soccer heartthrob Federico Varano took some dick pics which have gone viral. Viral in that you can see them—not viral as if you'll catch anything from them! He's quite a BIG thing in Italy, as you'll see on BillyMasters.com .

When we're featuring soccer stars playing with their balls, it's definitely time to end yet another column. This was such a whirlwind, I barely have time to remind you to check out www.BillyMasters.com—the site even Patti LuPone enjoys! Whether I answer your question in print or not, I'm always here for you. So send your queries along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Richard Simmons hires Tom Cruise's lawyer! Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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