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Showbiz news: Kerry Washington, 'Magic Mike,' Jinkx Monsoon, Ricky Martin
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-08-02

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GLSEN announced that it will honor Scandal actress Kerry Washington with the Inspiration Award at the 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards on Oct. 20 in Beverly Hills, California, according to Page Six. GLSEN praised Washington for her work with President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, advocating for marriage equality and championing anti-domestic violence campaigns. Shonda Rhimes—creator of ABC's Scandal—received the Inspiration Award in 2009.

On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Matt Bomer revealed that he wasn't aware of the rumored drama on set between Magic Mike co-stars Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer, US Magazine noted. "On set in the first film, everybody was really professional. Channing is one of the most fun people I've ever worked with," Bomer explained. "He set a great tone and no, they both came to work on time, did great work and there was never any undercurrent of tension that I witnessed."

Former RuPaul's Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon has come out as non-binary, NewNowNext.com reported. "Because this apparently needs to be repeated… I am male bodied, I prefer to identify as non-gendered/nonbinary. I prefer They/Them," Monsoon tweeted. The entertainer then went onto explain how long they have identified as non-binary, the pronouns they prefer and what it's like being trans in the drag community.

Gianni Versace's longtime lover has broken his silence for the first time since the famed fashion designer's 1997 murder—to slam Ricky Martin's portrayal of him in an upcoming series of American Crime Story, Page Six reported. "The picture of Ricky Martin holding the body in his arms is ridiculous," Antonio D'Amico, Versace's boyfriend of 15 years, told The Guardian. "Maybe it's the director's poetic licence, but that is not how I reacted." D'Amico said he was pulled away from the scene, so he was never able to cradle his lover's head the way a blood-splattered Martin was shown doing in stills released in May.

Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald is asking a court to help depose Lady Gaga for an ongoing defamation suit against his former artist Kesha, TheWrap noted. "In connection with Dr. Luke's defamation claims against Kesha, various third parties are being deposed by both sides, including celebrities. Dr. Luke's counsel served a subpoena on Lady Gaga because she has relevant information regarding, among other things, false statements about Dr. Luke made to her by Kesha," a spokesperson for Luke said. The deposition will specifically cover an exchange between Gaga and Kesha via text message, TMZ reported.

Musician Tom Petty made a political statement at the first of his two sold-out shows at Forest Hills Stadium on the same day President Donald Trump controversially banned transgender soldiers from serving in the military, Page Six reported. Petty performed an encore finale of the song "American Girl," with the screen behind him lit up with a massive photo of the late transgender actress Alexis Arquette, who died of AIDS complications in 2016.

Carmen Electra helped unveil a Zac Efron figurine at the famed Hollywood emporium Madame Tussauds, Page Six noted. Inspired by his character from the big-screen adaptation of Baywatch, the Efron double modeled red swim trunks and matching sneakers. Adhering to the red hot dress code, Electra playfully cozied up to the Efron lookalike.

Maria Bello has joined the cast of CBS' long-running drama NCIS as a new series regular opposite Mark Harmon for the upcoming 15th season, Deadline noted. Bello is coming off a co-starring role opposite Billy Bob Thornton on the first season of the Amazon drama series Goliath. Bello will play an NCIS agent who was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served two tours in Afghanistan.

Actor/comedian Mario Cantone ( Sex & the City ) made his debut playing White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci on Comedy Central's The President Show, Deadline noted. Cantone appeared the morning of July 28 on CNN's New Day this morning to discuss his debut, saying he only got up that early because Chris Cuomo had promised him sex. In the late-night segment, Comedy Central's Trump [Anthony Atamanuik] told a gaggle of White House correspondents, "I'd like to introduce you to my favorite new team member who I will eventually betray: Anthony Scaramucci!" ( New Trump Chief of Staff Ret. Gen. John Kelly removed Scaramucci on July 31. )

Katy Perry will host this year's MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live Aug. 27 from the Forum in Inglewood, California, according to Deadline. Perry will also perform; also, she has five nominations this year, tied with The Weeknd for the second-most behind Kendrick Lamar. Perry has been a staple at the VMAs since her first hit single "I Kissed A Girl" in 2008, winning five times. She's also set as a judge for the American Idol reboot, and will launch a world tour in September for her recently released album Witness.

On the heels of the season-two premiere of Ava DuVernay's breakout OWN drama Queen Sugar hitting series highs last month, the cable network has renewed the series for a third season, Deadline reported. Additionally, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker has signed a first-look TV deal with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films for television and digital media. Queen Sugar made news in LGBT circles recently when actor Brian Michael Smith—who plays Toine Wilkins, a transgender police officer and high school friend of the show's principal character, Ralph Angel—came out as transgender, as NBC News reported.

Season six of the award-winning gay comedy mystery web series Where the Bears Are will premiere Aug. 31, according to a press release. Season six follows the exploits of four gay bear roommates living together in Los Angeles as they become involved with intrigue and murder as everyone's favorite character actor, Nelson, goes on trial for the shooting death of his famous co-star, Toby Marsden. Visit WhereTheBearsAre.tv .

RadarOnline reported that Charlie Sheen could be facing some serious jail time after being accused of passing HIV to a male partner during sex, Queerty noted. The man, whose identity is being withheld, was reportedly able to trace his infection back to a tryst he had with Sheen. Under California law, it's illegal for an HIV-positive person to engage in consensual sex without a condom if there is intent to transmit the virus. If he's found guilty of doing this, Sheen could be sentenced up to eight years behind bars, in addition to fines and court fees. Sheen came out publicly as HIV-positive in 2015.

Kathy Griffin tweeted that she is no longer under federal investigation following the controversial photoshoot in which she held a bloody, decapitated head that resembled President Donald Trump, US Magazine noted. "TODAY. The @AP has to clarify. I am no longer under federal investigation," the comedian, wrote July 28. "The case is closed, I have been completely exonerated. Finally." Griffin faced a lot of backlash following the release of the photo, including being fired from CNN's New Year's Eve special.

Host Andy Cohen ushered in a "historic first" for Love Connection on its July 27 episode, Entertainment Tonight shared. The show featured its first-ever openly lesbian contestant, Liz Baxter. "I'm pretty excited to be a part of this," she told Cohen. "It's definitely history for us." Love Connection relaunched this year with Cohen as host; it had previously run from 1983 to 1998.

Angelina Jolie is discussing life after her split from Brad Pitt and reveals that she was diagnosed with Bell's palsy last year. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jolie talked about her health issues, being a newly single mom and her personal connection to Cambodia, according to CBS News. Jolie said that since her well-documented preventative surgeries—including a double mastectomy in 2013 and a 2015 operation to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes—she has suffered other health problems, including hypertension and Bell's palsy, which caused one side of her face to droop.

During the Tonight Show's opening monologue, Jimmy Fallon gave his platform to transgender comedian Patti Harrison, asking her how the transgender community was reacting to President Donald Trump's tweets calling for a ban on trans individuals being in the military, Deadline noted. "I was shocked, because I assumed he already did that," Harrison said of her reaction to the news. "I don't necessarily want to serve in the military, but I want the right to serve. It's like I don't want to go to your baby shower, but I want the invite."

Oscar winner Mahershala Ali ( Moonlight ) has been confirmed for the third season of True Detective, TheWrap noted. HBO's president of programming Casey Bloys told reporters at TCA that he's read five scripts so far and that they're "all terrific." The network is currently searching for a director.

Singer Charli XCX's video for new single "Boys" has garnered a lot of buzz thanks to the various men seen throughout, Out.com noted. A few of the guys seen include internet sensation Cameron Dallas ( who wields a chainsaw ), Jack Antonoff ( who lifts a giant pink dumbbell ). Joe Jonas, out British diver Tom Daley, Will.i.am, Mark Ronson and Wiz Khalifa.

Singer Steve Grand will appear in the sequel to gay cult classic Boy Culture, Gay Times Magazine noted. The indie film, which was released in 2006 and directed by Q. Allan Brocka, is getting a TV sequel called Boy Culture: The Series—and the pop-country singer will make his acting debut in it. Also featuring in the series will be Gayby star Matthew Wilkas, original Boy Culture star Darryl Stephens, Instagram model and blogger Matt Crawford, and The Big Gay Sketch Show's Stephen Guarino. The Kickstarter page ( www.kickstarter.com/projects/406738078/boy-culture-the-series ) says the show will be an "innovative, sizzling-hot, funny love story in series/film hybrid form" that will consist of six 15-minute episodes to create a feature-length, 90-minute story.

Weeks after Olivia de Havilland first took Ryan Murphy, FX and Fox 21 Television to court for the way she was depicted in the now-Emmy nominated Feud: Bette and Joan, the studio has responded, Deadline reported. "Our project was a meticulously researched dramatization of the well-documented feud between actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford," Fox 21 said just hours after de Havilland sought to have the matter brought to trial by the fall due to her advanced age. ( She's 101. ) "We respectfully disagree with Ms. de Havilland's objections to her portrayal, and we stand by the content, including her portrayal, and will vigorously defend this project."

Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore unleashed the first public performance of his one-man Broadway debut, The Terms of My Surrender, TheWrap noted. "I refuse to live in a country where Donald Trump is the president — and I'm not leaving," Moore said near the end of his two-hour plus show, which was part autobiography, part counseling session to like-minded urban liberals, and part political rally and call to action. He offered praise for Sen. John McCain's return to Washington after brain surgery and voting to block the "skinny repeal" of Obamacare.

In Canada, two Winnipeg brides, Kirsten and Kayleigh Jennings, got a bit of a surprise this weekend when Hollywood star Kristen Stewart ( with Victoria's Secret model girlfriend Stella Maxwell ) crashed their wedding, CBC.ca reported. Stewart has been in Winnipeg recently shooting a movie, and Kirsten said Pizzeria Gusto's owner had helped out at an event for the star recently. ( The pizzeria is where the couple had their reception. ) Stewart and Maxwell drank, danced and even requested songs.

Nicholas Hoult is in early talks to star in Tolkien, Deadline noted. He will play J.R.R. Tolkien, whose Middle-Earth epic novels hatched the Peter Jackson-directed film trilogies The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit. Dome Karukoski—who directed Tom of Finland, about the iconic gay illustrator—has been set to direct Tolkien, with Chernin Entertainment producing for Fox Searchlight.

Paramount Pictures has hired Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith and Harper Dill to co-write an adaptation of the Sweet Valley High book series, by Francine Pascal, Deadline noted. Sweet Valley High is a YA publishing phenomenon totaling more than 600 books, and spawning spinoffs and a TV series. The books center on teenage twin sisters Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, who live in the fictional town of Sweet Valley, California.

Younger Modern Family co-stars Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez—now all adults—have been locked in for two more years by 20th Century Fox TV with new contracts that include salary increases, Page Six noted. They reportedly are now making more than $100K an episode; Ed O'Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara allegedly make $500K per episode.

Kim Kardashian West got a court date to determine if her new KKW cosmetics brand infringes on that of a rival product line, Page Six noted. New York makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis—who has shared the same initials with Kardashian since Kardashian married Kanye West—asked the rapper's wife to brand her then-unlaunched cosmetics line something other than "KKW." Kardashian West introduced KKW Beauty ( a $48 highlight kit ) on June 21; it sold out within hours, bringing an extra $14.4 million into the Kardashian family.

A decade after her debut in the film adaptation of Hairspray, an upcoming project of Nikki Blonsky's will be off-Broadway starting in mid-October, according to Page Six. Blonsky, 28, will be starring in Westside Theater's Stuffed, written by Lisa Lampanelli—a production that depicts four women and their relationship with food. Blonsky starred in another off-Broadway show in 2011 and landed a guest role on NBC's Smash in 2013.

Multi-platinum selling artist, actor, producer and recent Tony nominee Josh Groban is set to release Stage to Stage, My Journey to Broadway, a 192-page limited edition hardcover coffee-table book, according to a press release. Stage To Stage, published by Chronicle Books/TourDForce, will be released Nov. 1. There is also a special-edition box set available to fans that will feature an additional 10 prints, one of which will be signed by the singer; only 750 of these collectibles are being manufactured.


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