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  WINDY CITY TIMES

SHOWBIZ Lee Daniels, Destiny's Child, Sarah Jessica Parker, 'Andi Mack'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-04-30

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Director/producer Lee Daniels—who's one of the people behind the TV show Empire—talked about the situation surrounding Jussie Smollett, according to Extra. "The cast is upset, it is a sad time and we are slowly healing," he said, adding, "What I am learning right now is I can't judge, that judgement is for that man wearing that black coat with gavel, and God. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, so I am with him, I can only support him and give him compassion."

Beyonce's father, Matthew Knowles, is working on a Destiny's Child musical, CNN.com noted. His goal is to take Survivor: The Destiny's Child Musical on the road, including to Broadway and London's West End. Knowles said the musical will be told from his perspective. Before Knowles parted ways with Beyoncé professionally, he managed her career from the late 1990s, when she was in the multiplatinum selling group, through the launch of her career as a solo artist after Destiny's Child split in 2006.

Sarah Jessica Parker and a British jeweler have settled a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the actress, according to Page Six. Kat Florence Design sued Parker, arguing that she had agreed to promote a collaborative jewelry line of diamonds and other gems for a fee of $7.5 million but failed to live up to the obligation. Parker filed a lawsuit of her own, saying payments from the designer were "abruptly and without notice or explanation stopped" in October 2016; she said she was paid about $1.3 million.

There will be no fourth season for Disney's Channel's Andi Mack, Deadline noted. The hit tween sitcom that has been hailed for inspiring social change and for making history with the first Disney Channel character to say "I'm gay," will air its final episodes beginning Friday, June 21. The third-season finale will serve as the series finale on Friday, July 26.

Gaby Dunn's personal-finance podcast, Bad With Money, returns for a fourth season as a Stitcher Original, kicking things off with guest Suze Orman, a press release noted. The queer figures talk about the basics of saving, about financial abuse, and about the sportfishing Orman enjoys—on her own private island. Visit apple.co/badwithmoney.

KJ Apa opened up about his Riverdale costar Luke Perry's death, as well as their close father-son relationship throughout the years, US Magazine noted. "It's not every day you come across a guy like Luke," he told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. "Luke is the kind of person who did everything he can to make whoever you are, no matter how big or small you are, feel comfortable and feel welcome. It's hard to kind of put into words how that makes me feel."

Robyn Crawford—the lifelong friend and rumored love interest of the late Whitney Houston—is writing about their life together in her upcoming book, A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston, which will be released this fall, People.com reported. The book will explore their friendship that began when they were kids in East Orange, New Jersey, in the 1980s; the rise of Houston's career; Houston's marriage to Bobby Brown; and Crawford and Houston's relationship.

Freeform has announced its slate of shows for May. A press release revealed that the items include the two-a-half-hour series for Shadowhunters as well as the season finales of Marvel's Cloak & Dagger and Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.

In a recent interview with Variety, actress Tessa Thompson, who appears as Asgardian warrior Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and in Avengers: Endgame, reflected on how she approached portraying the bisexuality of her character, given there wasn't much exposition around it, NewNowNext.com noted. "It could be polyamorous, why not? A thruple [sic]," Thompson offered about a possible relationship between Thor ( Chris Hemsworth ) and Captain Marvel ( Brie Larson ). Thompson has been adamant about Valkyrie's bisexuality from day one, even convincing Ragnarok director Taika Waititi to film a glimpse of a woman slinking out of Valkyrie's bedroom.

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds has been battling a painful autoimmune disease—ankylosing spondylitis, or AS, US Magazine noted. Before the 31-year-old singer was diagnosed with the acute arthritic condition, which typically brings chronic pain, "I was bouncing around from doctor to doctor for over a year, in a lot of pain," he said. While diagnoses like sciatica or slipped discs were thrown around, it was a rheumatologist who finally determined that he had AS.

Shemar Moore—still grieving the loss of his "brother" Kristoff St. John, his The Young and the Restless co-star who died in February—opened up on The Talk about a text he received from St. John, according to Extra. The text St. John sent him read, in part, "Bro. On the real. I look up to you. What you have accomplished. You were a squeaky clean Lil boy, with stars in your eyes. Now you are the center of an entire solar system. You have survived against all odds. In a business that doesn't want US." St. John died at age 52 of heart disease worsened by alcohol abuse as well as the effects of ethanol.

Alumni angry about the value of their degrees being sullied got Harvard Business School to deny that reality star Blac Chyna is enrolled in its online business program, Page Six reported. A member of Harvard's Board of Alumni told TMZ that reports Chyna was enrolled in the famed university's online business school prompted Harvard to investigate the "acceptance letter" the website posted. The dust-up revealed that a PR firm apparently set the whole thing up, promising it would do all the work for the course and Chyna would get the credit.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced that the extended cut of the 2018 movie A Star Is Born, called "A Star Is Born Encore," will be released on Blu-ray and digital on June 4 with nearly 12 minutes of extended performances, intimate jam sessions with Jackson and Ally, and all-new scenes, a press release noted. This special edition of the film contains extended performances of such songs as opener "Black Eyes" and "Alibi" as well as Lady Gaga's Ally in her impromptu a cappella performance of "Shallow," which received the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 91st Annual Academy Awards.

Out country singer Chely Wright will release the EP Revival on vinyl, CD and all streaming services on May 10, a press release noted. She earned her first major-label deal in 1993; the Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Vocalist Award in 1995; and her first Top 40 country hit, "Shut Up and Drive," in 1997.

Wedding Cake Championship—the cake competition hosted by Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir—returns Monday, June 3, at 9 p.m. CT with new engaged couples looking for their dream wedding cake and a new batch of elite bakers who hope their talents will deliver, a Food Network press release noted. Judging the action are baking expert Kimberly Bailey, Chopped's Maneet Chauhan and Say Yes to the Dress host Randy Fenoli. The winning team will earn a $25,000 grand prize and the title of wedding cake champion.

Figure skater Adam Rippon is launching his own YouTube channel, Instinct Magazine noted. Mondays and Fridays will feature "anything ranging from my favorite cat show documentaries to my innermost thoughts on eating good," Rippon has said. Wednesdays will feature segments that are part interview and part skating lesson.

Kevin Hunter called the cops on estranged wife Wendy Williams last Saturday after she showed up unannounced at their Livingston, New Jersey, home with a moving truck, Page Six noted. Williams—who moved out of her sober living facility and has reportedly signed a lease for a New York City apartment—began packing belongings to be moved to a "new location," but Hunter "demanded the items be left alone" and the moving company vacate the premises. Williams filed for divorce from Hunter after nearly 23 years of marriage.

Groundbreaking film director/screenwriter/producer John Singleton died in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke on April 17; he was 51, Deadline.com noted. A family spokesperson said Singleton passed away peacefully at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, surrounded by his family and friends. A two-time Oscar nominee for writing and directing his debut film Boyz N the Hood ( 1991 ), Singleton was a trailblazer in Black cinema.

Former Glee star Matthew Morrison is keeping a close eye on one particular candidate—Marianne Williamson—heading into the 2020 election, according to Page Six. Williamson, who announced she is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. president in January, is a New York Times best-selling author and Oprah Winfrey's own spiritual guru, Vox noted. In 2014, Williamson lost a congressional race in California and has never held office.

When it comes to business, Tyra Banks said she likes to fill her boardroom and offices with diversity—specifically, women of color, Page Six noted. "Not only is it important for me to hire women, but my team understands it's important to hire women of color," Banks said during the TIME 100 Summit on a panel about female entrepreneurship. Banks—who left America's Got Talent to focus on producing in December 2018 and will launch theme park Modelland this fall—said the changes have to come from the top down.

Martha Stewart told Entertainment Tonight she "feels sorry" for actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, who are embroiled in the college admissions scandal, Page Six noted. Stewart served time in prison after she was convicted on numerous felony charges. She served five months at a women's prison in Alderson, West Virginia, in 2004.

Male model ( and ex-boyfriend of Kourtney Kardashian ) Younes Bendjima hosted a launch event for Mask Skincare, which sells sheet masks laced with the soothing cannabis compound CBD—and revealed he'd only just learned about the stuff earlier that day, Page Six revealed. In part, he said, "I didn't know anything about CBD, THC, weed and all that because I don't know anything about weed. I'm not a smoking person."

Disney/Marvel's Avengers: Endgame set a host of new box-office records this past weekend, opening to $350M domestic, $859M overseas and $1.2B worldwide, Deadline.com noted. It is the first film ever to surpass $1B worldwide in its debut, reaching the milestone in just five days.

Aaron Sorkin's Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird is continuing to make waves on Broadway, Deadline reported. Producer Scott Rudin announced today that the play based on Harper Lee's classic novel and directed by Bartlett Sher has broken its own one-week box office record for the fourth time. It has now reached a record-breaking gross of $1,756,227 ( for the week ending April 28 )—making To Kill a Mockingbird the highest grossing U.S. play in Broadway history.

A&E has picked up a tenth season of Mark and Donnie Wahlberg's Wahlburgers, which will be the last for the two-time Emmy-nominated reality series, according to Deadline. Season 10 of the series from 44 Blue Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, will premiere Wed., May 15 at 8 p.m. CT on A&E.


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