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Showbiz news: Laverne Cox, 'Queer Eye,' Patti LaBelle, Rogers-Berlanti wedding
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2017-12-12

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Emmy Award nominee Laverne Cox is set to host the Lifetime beauty-competition series Glam Masters, set to air Wed., Feb. 28, a press release noted. The eight-episode series ( which has Kim Kardashian West and Diana Madison as executive producers ) puts beauty influencers through themed challenges in order to impress Cox, celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, YouTube makeup expert Kandee Johnson and Milk Makeup co-founder/Marie Claire Senior Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi.

The series famous for giving makeovers is getting one of its own. Come February on Netflix, Karamo Brown ( culture ), Jonathan Van Ness ( grooming ), Tan France ( fashion ), Antoni Porowski ( food and wine ) and Bobby Berk ( design ) will assume the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Fab 5 mantle once occupied by Jai Rodriguez, Kyan Douglas, Carson Kressley, Ted Allen and Thom Filicia, EW.com reported. The new Queer Eye will debut in February.

Patti LaBelle, a close friend of the late singer Luther Vandross, has said his benevolent spirit is what kept Vandross from disclosing his innermost private truth: his sexuality, BET.com noted. Sitting beside English singer-songwriter Sam Smith for an appearance on Watch What Happens Live ( with host Andy Cohen ), LaBelle said Vandross didn't want to upset his mother "and had a lot of lady fans and he told me the he just didn't want to upset the world."

Robbie Rogers and Greg Berlanti have tied the knot in a wedding ceremony, Attitude reported. Soccer star Rogers, 30, wed film producer Berlanti, 45, in Malubi, California on Dec. 2 as the couple's 21-month-old son Caleb watched. Announcing the news on Instagram on Dec. 7, Rogers, who annoucned his retirement from the sport last month, wrote: "Still recovering from the most emotional beautiful day, exceeding any dream I ever had."

Kesha and Macklemore will team next year for "The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore" tour, according to Page Six. The announcement follows a pair of Grammy nominations for Kesha's Rainbow album and Macklemore's solo album, Gemini. The tour, which is presented by Live Nation, will cover nine weeks and 30 markets; it starts June 6 in Phoenix and ends Aug. 5 in Tampa, Florida. ( Other stops include Denver, Kansas City and the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park. )

Netflix has released a new video giving audiences a first look at the forthcoming Sense8 finale special, Deadline noted. The sci-fi series will take its final bow in 2018. After being canceled on June 1 after two seasons, there were rumblings of a series finale that would wrap up the series with a feature-length finale about the cluster of 8 people across the globe who are connected by thoughts and actions. This was confirmed when Lana Wachowski, on behalf of co-creators Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski, tweeted the news.

As wildfires continue to burn throughout Southern California, Ellen DeGeneres revealed on Twitter on Dec. 10 that she has had to evacuate her house as the largest of the fires, the Thomas Fire, has approached her neighborhood, TheWrap reported. DeGeneres and actress wife Portia de Rossi live in Montecito, an area where many celebrities own homes, including Patrick Stewart, Jane Seymour, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and former Vice President Al Gore. Residents there were told to evacuate as the Thomas Fire, which has burned 170,000 acres, has threatened homes in the area.

Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and David E. Kelley are reteaming for another installment of HBO's limited series Big Little Lies, Variety noted. Kidman and Witherspoon are set to star and executive-produce, with most of the rest of the cast of the Emmy winner expected to return. The return will explore the "malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting," per HBO.

Kino Lorber Studio Classics announced that the Blu-ray and DVD release of Lindsay Anderson's film The Whales of August ( 1987 ), starring screen legends Bette Davis and Lillian Gish in their only film together, will be out Dec. 19, per a press release. The cast includes Ann Sothern ( A Letter to Three Wives ) in her Oscar-nominated performance, Harry Carey Jr. ( Three Godfathers ), Mary Steenburgen ( Melvin and Howard ), Margaret Ladd ( TV's Falcon Crest ) and Tisha Sterling ( Coogan's Bluff ). The film had a royal world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in the presence of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Tig Notaro has opened up about why she and Louis C.K. had a falling-out: She knew about his sexual misconduct for years before the public did, Page Six noted. On The View, Notaro said, "When this all came out, even though I knew firsthand from people, it wasn't my place to call out names. [It's] somebody else's story." In November, a New York Times report revealed that C.K., 50, had been exposing himself and masturbating in front of several female comedians for nearly two decades. The next day, the comedian admitted to "showing his d—k" to his accusers and apologized.

Fox has replaced Bryan Singer on Bohemian Rhapsody with Dexter Fletcher, the director of the films Eddie the Eagle and Wild Bill, Deadline reported. The filmmaker will then oversee postproduction as Fox hopes to keep the film on track for December 2018. Fletcher is also attached to direct the biopic on Elton John. Singer was fired from the film because of a reported pattern of unreliability, culminating in him not returning from the Thanksgiving break and being AWOL for three days.

Speaking of Singer, the director is now facing a lawsuit for allegedly sexually assaulting a then-17-year-old boy in Washington state back in 2003, according to Deadline. "As a result of the misconduct and unlawful acts described herein, Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer, general and special damages," the Pacific Northwest filing on behalf of Cesar Sanchez-Guzman has said. The incident described in the filing supposedly occurred on a yacht party 14 years ago in which Singer invited the then-teen to a secluded back room and allegedly assaulted him. Also, the USC School of Cinematic Arts said it will remove Singer's name at its Division of Cinema & Media Studies.

Actor Gabriel Byrne has said that filming on The Usual Suspects was shut down abruptly for two days back in 1995 due to co-star Kevin Spacey being accused of "sexually inappropriate behavior towards a younger actor," NewNowNext.com noted, citing The Sunday Times. Byrne said that it was initially unclear why filming stopped on the Oscar-winning film, but it eventually came out that it was due to Spacey's alleged predatory behavior. The Usual Suspects was directed by Bryan Singer, who has also been accused of sexual abuse by underage boys. In an interview with TMZ, Singer said Byrne's allegations about Spacey on set of The Usual Suspects were "not at all" true.

Jane Seymour lent her voice to the #MeToo movement as she once again told the story about how she was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood producer, the Daily Mail noted. The British actress appeared on Megyn Kelly Today, where she told the host that after being asked to attend a screening of her film test at the home of a famed Hollywood producer she arrived to find herself alone with the man. Seymour also used the interview to reveal her own son was recently roofied by a powerful publicist following a film premiere, claiming that the unnamed man then tried to drive off with the then-20-year-old film student.

Three NFL Network analysts have been suspended after Jami Cantor, a former wardrobe stylist at the network, filed a complaint against NFL Enterprises alleging sexual harassment by several men while she was employed with the company, Variety reported. The suit names Eric Weinberger, a former executive producer at NFL Network and current president of Bill Simmons' media group, as well as Marshall Faulk and Heath Evans, retired football players who provide on-air commentary for the network.

Terry Crews is suing the Hollywood agent he accused of groping him last year at an industry event, USA Today noted. After filing a complaint with the LAPD last month, Crews has launched a lawsuit against William Morris Endeavor agent Adam Venit for assault, battery and sexual harassment, among other charges; he is also suing the talent agency. After allegedly groping Crews twice at a 2016 event, Venit reportedly called Crews to apologize, saying he was not himself.

Geraldo Rivera has apologized to Bette Midler after she accused him earlier this week of drugging and groping her in the 1970s, CNNMoney reported. "Although I recall the time @BetteMidler has alluded to much differently than she, that does not change the fact that she has a right to speak out & demand an apology from me, for in the very least, publically [sic] embarrassing her all those years ago," Rivera tweeted. "Bette, I apologize."

Here TV and Pride Media launched their original series Falling for Angels on Dec. 1, a press release noted. The series—encompassing six episodes, six relationships in six very distinct and specific L.A. neighborhoods—takes a look at same-sex relationships from love and sex positivity to sexual health, heartbreak and more. The cast includes Daniel Franzese, Steve Grand, Alec Mapa, Jason London and more. See Here.tv and FallingForAngels.com .

VH1 announced that the new season of America's Next Top Model with Tyra Banks will premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 9, a press release noted. For the first time in franchise history, there will be no age limit as well as more contestant diversity than ever before. This season includes guest appearances by former judge Nigel Barker and season-three winner Eva Marcille, Director X, beauty and social-media guru Patrick Starr, choreographer Jermaine Browne, supermodel Jourdan Dunn and hip-hop artist Maejor, among others.

Netflix's Marvel's Jessica Jones has set a premiere date for the second season on March 8, 2018, according to Deadline. The Peabody-winning series made a video announcement of the premiere date on social media. essica Jones ( Krysten Ritter ) is beginning to put her life back together after murdering her tormenter, Kilgrave. Now known throughout the city as a super-powered killer, a new case makes her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why.

Ruby Rose fired back at reports addressing her seemingly frail appearance at the Pitch Perfect 3 premiere in Australia, Fox News noted. The Australian actress/model also took to social media to address her adult acne, claiming she broke out because of hotel pillow cases and frequent phone interviews with reporters to promote the film. The Orange Is The New Black star then discussed how several tabloids have focused on her photos from the premiere. According to Rose, Britain's Daily Mail, in particular, highlighted her thin arms and the visible outline of her spine, hinting she may be suffering from an eating disorder. "This is always my back..I have a tilted posterior ( it's why I have abs but no butt ) and spinal curvature from a bad car accident," wrote Rose.

Native American drag queen VIZIN debuted her new single, "You Make Me Feel ( Mighty Real )" on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart at #48, a press release noted. "You Make Me Feel ( Mighty Feel )" is a reimagined version of the original disco anthem, by Sylvester. VIZIN's version is produced by Chris Rosa ( RuPaul ) and remixed by DJ Hector Fonseca; the video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57XkaYnzDSU.

Infamously short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was spotted meeting with Dr. Phil McGraw about reportedly launching a daytime talk show, Page Six noted. A source said that McGraw "spent 45 minutes with his arm around Scaramucci appearing to try and comfort him over something." However, the publication said it's heard they're actually working on a show together.

Jonathan Stafford, former ballet master and New York City Ballet principal dancer, will lead a new interim artistic management team at New York City Ballet, Playbill noted. After anonymous allegations of sexual harassment against ballet master in chief Peter Martins came to the fore, Martins requested a leave of absence so "that his presence would not be a distraction while an independent internal investigation into recent allegations against him is under way."

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle took to Twitter to announce its winners for 2017, with The Florida Project winning for Best Picture, Deadline noted. In what may be a first for motion capture performances, the Bay Area-based group recognized Andy Serkis for his groundbreaking turn as Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes. Other winners include Margot Robbie for Best Actress in I, Tonya, William Dafoe for Best Supporting Actor in The Florida Project, Laurie Metcalf for Best Supporting Actress in Lady Bird as well as The Shape of Water's Guillermo del Toro for Best Director.

Ava Duvernay, the producer-director behind such films as Selma and 13th and the OWN drama series Queen Sugar, will receive the Visionary Award from the Producers Guild at the 29th annual PGA Awards on Jan. 20 at the Beverly Hilton, according to Deadline. The award recognizes film, TV or new media producers for their unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance, the guild said.

Actor James McAvoy has packed on the muscle for his upcoming role in Glass, a sequel to 2016's Split, according to NewNowNext. In Glass, now filming in the City of Brotherly Love, McAvoy plays Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man whose struggle with dissociative identity disorder means his body chemistry changes as each new personality emerges. His newest personality is "the Beast," which is kind of self-explanatory.

Having dropped nearly $9 million on a spot in the trendy and ultra-spendy Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills, YouTube sensation-turned-pop star Charlie Puth listed his home in L.A.'s historic Whitley Height's area in the foothills above Hollywood for $2,199,999, Variety noted. Puth—nominated for three 2016 Grammys for "See You Again," a song he co-wrote and recorded with Wiz Khalifa and that was featured in the action flick Furious 7—purchased the property in December 2015 for $1.9 million.


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