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Showbiz: Andy Cohen, Cyndi Lauper, allegations/fallout, Scissor Sisters
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Andy Cohen has denied the allegations made against him by Kathy Griffin recently—but seems most upset that his Mariah Carey impression bombed, according to Page Six. "All I have to say about the mishegas of this weekend, and I only have one thing to say about this bag of bulls—t … it's so funny, because I was on my way to have lunch with [co-host] John Hill in L.A. for his birthday when TMZ approached me," Cohen said on the Andy Cohen Live radio show. Griffin lost her annual co-hosting New Year's Eve gig on CNN with Anderson Cooper ( a post Cohen now has ) after the release of a controversial Tyler Shields photo depicting her carrying what appeared to be Donald Trump's bloody, severed head.

Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund ( ) announced the lineup for its 7th annual "Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays," which will take place Saturday, Dec. 9, at New York City's Beacon Theatre, Broadway World noted. Joining Lauper will be Jackson Browne, Bridget Everett, Jake Shears, Judy Gold, Jazz Jennings, Ani DiFranco, Peaches, Laura Jane Grace and more. A New York holiday tradition, the concert raises awareness about LGBT )youth homelessness, with 100 percent of net proceeds supporting the True Colors Fund's programs.

Actor Gilles Marini—who appeared as Samantha's ( Kim Cattrall ) next-door neighbor in the film adaptation of the HBO series Sex and the City—opened up about his experience as a result of the sexual allegations piling up against Harvey Weinstein, Page Six noted. "I was approached by extremely powerful people, especially after 'Sex and the City,' "he told People. "I became a piece of meat for many executives in Hollywood." Marini said of Weinstein, "This man doesn't need to go to a sexual addiction [treatment] … that is a joke to me. When you violate someone, the only place you need to go is jail."

Kirt Webster—the Nashville-based publicist representing Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr. and Kid Rock—is being accused of sexual assault by a former musical client, reported. Speaking with the Nashville Scene, Austin Rick ( who performed under the name Austin Cody ) recalled an incident in which Webster allegedly groped his genitals in a hot tub; Rick has also alleged sexual assault, coercion into performing sexual acts and being drugged. ( Ex-employees have talked about a toxic work environment where Webster sexually harassed people. ) Webster ( who has denied Rick's allegations ) is currently on leave from the firm, which will rebrand itself as Westby Public Relations, Scene noted.

Netflix Inc. is severing ties with actor Kevin Spacey amid allegations of sexual harassment on the set of the company's political drama House of Cards, Bloomberg reported. ( However, "Cards" producer Media Rights Capital issued its own statement saying that Spacey "has been suspended," Deadline noted. ) Shooting of the sixth and final season of the show was halted earlier, just as it was getting underway in Baltimore. Netflix is also axing a movie starring and produced by Spacey, which had already completed filming. ( Also, actor Harry Dreyfuss—the son of iconic actor Richard Dreyfuss—has also said Spacey groped him in 2008, when Harry was 18, ABC News noted. )

And, now at least eight current or former House of Cards workers claim Kevin Spacey ( whose online acting class has been pulled as well ) made the production a "toxic" workplace and one ex-employee alleges the actor sexually assaulted him, according to a CBS News item that cites CNN. Separately, Variety initially reported that Spacey's publicist, Staci Wolfe, and talent agency CAA have parted ways with the actor in the wake of claims of sexual assault and harassment against him. Spacey has been in treatment for an unspecified condition.

As the NYPD proclaims that it has "an actual case" stemming from new rape claims against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced producer faces a new investigation by Los Angeles police, Deadline noted. The probe could see him behind bars for up to a year and possibly having to register as a sex offender if found guilty. "We had a second victim come forward ... accusing Mr. Weinstein of lewd conduct, which occurred in 2015," LAPD Public Information Office Tony Im told Deadline.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has become the latest Hollywood group to ban disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, Deadline reported. In a statement, the group said, in part, "We are determined to play a role in protecting all television professionals from predatory harassment, ensuring they are able to practice their craft in a safe environment." The news follows the Producers Guild handing a lifetime ban to Weinstein.

Producer and director Brett Ratner is the latest Hollywood powerhouse to be accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, Deadline noted, citing the he Los Angeles Times. Allegations have come from six women, including actress Natasha Henstridge. ( Actress Olivia Munn wrote about an incident involving Ratner—although she didn't use his name—in a 2010 memoir. ) Ratner, through attorney Martin Singer, disputed Henstridge's account to the Times.

Actor/game-show host Alec Baldwin announced he was taking a break from his personal Twitter account after criticism over his comments about the Harvey Weinstein sex-harassment scandal, The Huffington Post noted. But the war of words quickly switched over to his other Twitter account for his Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation, and the barbs ( against actress Asia Argento and her boyfriend, chef Anthony Bourdain ) were flying again. Baldwin initially came under fire for saying of actress Rose McGowan ( who has said Weinstein raped her ), "What happened was that Rose McGowan took a payment of $100,000 and settled her case with him, and it was for Rose McGowan to prosecute that case." Baldwin later said he never meant to "blame the victim."

Scissor Sisters' leading lady Ana Matronic has released her first solo track since the band's hiatus, entitled "Afterlife of the Party," Billboard noted. this somber track serves as a tribute to friends who have passed, several to complications with AIDS. Also, bandmate Jake Shears released his debut "Creep City." He also teased a solo album and another cryptic project in a letter to fans.

Rhye released a new music video for its most recent single, "Taste," directed and produced by digital programming brand DanceOn, a press release noted. Noelle Marsh choreographed the video, which features a woman involved with a man and another woman. The video is at

Frank Ocean turned 30 with a Paris Is Burning-themed birthday party ( with an Eiffel Tower cake ), LGBTQ Nation noted. Ocean strutted in his one-sleeved red shirt and shiny, tight pants, alongside guests like Tyler, The Creator ( who recently came out ), Joanne the Scammer, and RuPaul's Drag Race stars Gia Gunn, Shangela and Kim Chi. Ocean sampled part of the 1990 documentary on New York City's ball scene in a track from last year's video album, Endless.

The all-star lineup for director Jon Favreau's new take on Disney's 1994 classic animated film The Lion King includes stars from the film, TV, theater and music arenas, Movieweb reported. Lions rule the African savanna in The Lion King, which welcomes Donald Glover ( Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story ) as future king Simba, Beyonce Knowles-Carter ( Dreamgirls, Lemonade visual album ) as Simba's friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones ( Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Field of Dreams ) as Simba's wise and loving father, Mufasa. Some of the other stars include John Oliver, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard and Seth Rogen.

Star Jones' ex-husband, Al Reynolds, has come out as bisexual, noted. Reynolds, who split from former The View co-host in 2008 after four years of marriage, revealed in an interview with Radar Online that he is "capable of loving both sexes, and I have done both." Jones ( who lives in Chicago ) is now engaged to Ricardo Lugo.

Speaking of Jones, VH1 has canceled her series Daytime Divas after one season, Deadline noted. The satirical series based on Jones' 2011 book Satan's Sisters, inspired by The View. With the cancellation of Daytime Divas, and The Breaks and Hit the Floor moving to BET, VH1 is becoming an unscripted-only network.

Jonathan Bennett ( from the movie Mean Girls ) and TV host Jaymes Vaughan are dating, according to Instinct Magazine. Vaughan was the first openly gay Chippendales dancer, was on seaason 21 of The Amazing Race and occasionally appears to comment on pop culture on Access Hollywood Live.

Producers Ryan Murphy and David Stone have teamed for a star-filled Broadway production of Mart Crowley's 1968 off-Broadway hit, The Boys in the Band, Deadline noted. Headed by a cast that includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells ( the key role of Cowboy remains to be filled ), the 15-week booking will run April 30-Aug. 12 at the Shubert Organization's intimate Booth Theatre. Two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello ( Assassins, Take Me Out ) is directing.

Fox has put in development two hourlong dramas from Empire executive producer/showrunner Ilene Chaiken: FBI drama Mrs. Otis Regrets and medical drama Triage, Deadline reported. Chaiken, who created and executive-produced the Showtime series The L Word, is repped by WME and 3Arts.

Bette Midler is not impressed that the Disney Channel is remaking the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, Page Six noted. "I know it's cheap. It's going to be cheap!" the actress, who played Winifred Sanderson in the original film, told People at the Restoration Project's annual Hulaween party. Disney Channel announced in September that it's remaking the 1993 cult classic, which starred Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as witches.

Mariah Carey and her manager of three years, Stella Bulochnikov, are no longer working together as manager and client, Variety reported. According to a statement from Bulochnikov, the two mutually agreed that working together was no longer beneficial. "After working together for almost three years, Mariah Carey and Stella Bulochnikov have determined that it is in their mutual best interest to part ways on day-to-day management," the statement reads. Carey's previous managers include her ex-husband Tommy Mottola, Randy Jackson, Red Light Management and Jermaine Dupri, among others.

Julianne Moore will star as iconic feminist activist Gloria Steinem in My Life on the Road, the June Pictures film that Julie Taymor will direct, Deadline noted. Playwright Sarah Ruhl ( In the Next Room; The New World ) is writing the coming-of-age story, based on Steinem's best-selling memoir.

Indiana University says actress Glenn Close has donated her collection of costumes from projects including The Big Chill and 101 Dalmatians to its School of Art, Architecture + Design, according to Page Six. The collection, from 47 projects, spans Close's career through film, television and theater.The collection will be maintained within the school's Sage Fashion Collection and used by students and faculty in a variety of studies, including theater, merchandising and design.

A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame posthumously honoring the slain Tejano singing star Selena was unveiled in a rare night ceremony on Nov. 3, reported. Mayor Eric Garcetti and actress Eva Longoria spoke at the ceremony in front of the Capital Records building on Vine Street, while Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, accepted the star. Selena's best-known songs include "Bid, Bid Bom Bom," "Dreaming of You," "No Me Queda Mas," "Amor Prohibido" and "Como La Flor."

Seven-time Grammy winner Toni Braxton's new single, "Deadwood" is available now via Def Jam Recordings, a press release noted. "Deadwood" was co-written by Braxton, Fred Ball, Royce Doherty and Kwame Ogoo. Also, Braxton is starring in the Lifetime movie Faith Under Fire, out next year. She stars as Antoinette Tuff, a struggling single mom from Georgia who averted a tragedy, saving hundreds of lives when she convinced a deranged gunman who stormed an elementary school to surrender.

Meghan Linsey—a CMA nominee and runner-up on season eight of NBC's The Voice—is back with her new album, Bold Like A Lion, a press release noted. The album, produced by Tyler Cain, features collaborations with Aloe Blacc and Fred Schneider of The B-52's. Linsey considers herself an ally of the LGBT community and, among other things, performed at the very first "Concert for Love and Acceptance" hosted by Ty Herndon in addition to Nashville Pride in 2015.

The 2018 WNBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm will be conducted on Monday, Nov. 13, in Secaucus, New Jersey, the WNBA announced. The results of the lottery will be announced on ESPN2 during the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter prior to the network's telecast of the NCAA women's basketball game between South Carolina and Maryland at 7 p.m. ET. The lottery winner will secure the top pick in the WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm, to be held next April.

The J.R.R. Tolkien estate has reportedly been shopping a possible series based on the late author's The Lord of the Rings novels—with a whopping price tag attached, Deadline noted. Amazon, Netflix and HBO had allegedly been approached about the project, which comes with an upfront rights payment said to be in the $200-$250 million range—and that is just for the rights, before any costs for development, talent and production. The budget for a fantasy series of that magnitude is likely to be $100-$150 a season.

Wendy Williams gave viewers a fright on Halloween when she collapsed on live TV, Page Six noted. The talk-show host, dressed as the Statue of Liberty for Halloween, was mid-sentence when she suddenly stopped talking, lost her balance and collapsed. She returned after a few minutes, saying, "That was not a stunt. I'm overheated in my costume and I did pass out. But you know what? I'm a champ and I'm back." Nectar Sleep, a year-old mattress-in-a-box company, shipped off one of its king-size beds to the talk-show host.

Maroon 5 has released its sixth album, Red Pill Blues, with such songs as "What Lovers Do" ( featuring SZA ), a press release noted. The band set the stage for the full-length by releasing a pair of chart-topping standalone singles ( both J. Kash collaborations: "Don't Wanna Know" ( feat. Kendrick Lamar ) and "Cold" ( with Future ). Red Pill Blues marks the 15-year anniversary of the aact's quintuple-platinum 2002 debut, Songs About Jane.

Variety noted that Ryan Seacrest announced on Live with Kelly and Ryan that American Idol will premiere Sunday, March 11. The ABC reboot features judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie and auditions have been taking place throughout the country for the last month. Seacrest returns as host of the series that launched his career back in 2002.

Millennium Media will finance and produce a new version of Red Sonja and is looking to it as a new franchise for the company, Deadline noted. Red Sonja is based on a heroine created by Roy Thomas, editor at Marvel ( in the 1970s ). The first Red Sonja film in 1985 starred ( and introduced ) Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger; this version will be different, with original story ideas and characters.

Raven's Home stars Raven-Symone and Issac Ryan Brown will co-host "Disney Parks Presents a Disney Channel Holiday Celebration" Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 on Disney Channel, a press release noted. The special will include performances by Descendants 2 stars Dove Cameron and Sofia Carson, Andi Mack star Asher Angel, and stars of the upcoming Disney Channel original movie Zombies Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly.

Emmy winners Lisa Kudrow ( Friends; The Comeback ) and Dan Bucatinsky ( Scandal ) and their production company, Is or Isn't Entertainment, have signed a multi-year first look deal with Sony Pictures Television, Variety noted. Under the agreement, Is or Isn't will develop new scripted television projects for network, cable and streaming services. Is or Isn't Entertainment is a television, film and new-media company that they founded in 2003.

Former pro-hockey player Sean Avery has found enlightenment on his own relationships thanks to Real Housewives of Atlanta, Page Six noted. "I was watching Atlanta last night and there was a moment in the reunion where the boyfriend or the ex-husband, Peter Thomas is sitting above Cynthia [Bailey] and he's like bragging about his new future of being single," Avery said on Watch What Happens Live. "I was disgusted and I sat back for a moment and I thought what he was saying to her, somebody that he cared about and loved and obviously still loves; I was really grossed out."

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