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Showbiz news: Nico Tortorella, Hugh Jackman, Demi Lovato, Shaun T
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Since opening up about their polyamorous relationship, actor Nico Tortorella said tensions have been high with partner Bethany Meyers' family, according to Page Six. "Honestly, it's kind of a sensitive topic right this second," he told People at the World Wide Orphans Gala. In 2016, the 29-year-old actor revealed that he was sexually "fluid." This past June, he opened up to the New York Post: "I fall somewhere under the bisexual umbrella. There are a few people in my life right now—men, women and there is space for others."

Hugh Jackman will discuss his career at a BAFTA Life in Pictures event hosted at the organization's London headquarters on Dec. 3, Screen Daily noted. Jackman gained international attention for playing the character Wolverine in X-Men ( 2000 ), but his breakthrough film roles came in 1999 with Australian independent titles Paperback Hero and Erskineville Kings. Previous recipients of a BAFTA Life In Pictures event include Kenneth Branagh, Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman.

Demi Lovato made a statement of inclusion at the American Music Awards ( AMAs ), arriving with transgender lawmaker Danica Roem, The Huffington Post noted. Roem made history when she was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates earlier this month, defeating Republican incumbent Bob Marshall. The pop superstar, who is an outspoken LGBTQ-rights ally, told E! News that her decision to attend the AMAs with Roem was in line with the anti-bullying theme of her hit, "Sorry Not Sorry," which she performed during the show.

Health/fitness expert Shaun T and husband Scott Blokker welcomed twins Nov. 17, Shaun T announced on Instagram alongside a side-by-side photo of himself and Blokker holding their newborn sons, noted. "OUR BABY BOYS have arrived!!! We are so thrilled that our precious little preemie angels took us by surprise and arrived early at 32 weeks 5 Days on 11/17/17," Shaun captioned the snap. "And a HUGE thank you to our amazing surrogate for being so selfless and going on this journey with us." The babies are the first children for Blokker and Shaun T, 39, who tied the knot in October 2012.

Grammy-winning rock singer Melissa Etheridge has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possessing marijuana in North Dakota, Billboard noted. KMOT-TV reported an attorney for the California musician entered the plea on her behalf on Nov. 14. Under a proposed order, Etheridge would pay a fine of $750 and serve unsupervised probation. Etheridge was arrested in August, when investigators found marijuana on her tour bus as it crossed from Canada into the United States.

As more and more allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct emerge in Hollywood, Ryan Seacrest took the preemptive move of denying acting badly before an accusation went public, Deadline noted. The anonymous accuser ( a stylist ) wanted a "substantial amount of money to keep quiet," a source told Deadline. E! is investigating the allegations internally.

Just more than a week after Amazon opened an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Jeffrey Tambor, the Transparent star today has been accused by a transgender actress on the acclaimed series of similar behavior, Deadline reported. Tambor, who says he can at times be "volatile and ill-tempered," denies the claims. Comparable to the accusations made by Tambor's former assistant Van Barnes, Trace Lysette alleges that the actor made lewd, sexually suggestive and unwelcomed remarks to her on various occasions.

Charlie Sheen denied a report that he allegedly sexually assaulted Corey Haim when the late actor was 13 years old and Sheen was 19, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The former Two and a Half Men star worked with Haim on the 1986 film Lucas. Haim's longtime friend, actor Dominick Brascia, told the National Enquirer that Sheen sexually assaulted Haim during that film's production. Haim's name has been in the news recently after his mother pushed back on stories from Corey Feldman about the late actor being abused by a Hollywood pedophile ring, to which Feldman claims he also fell victim.

Police, in 2000, took a police report from a 21-year-old masseur who accused John Travolta of groping his buttocks and indecently exposing himself during a deep-body massage at a Palm Springs hotel, according to a Mercury News item that cites The Daily Mail. Travolta, 63, also made lewd remarks about gay fantasies while at the spa facility at the LaQuinta Hotel on Feb. 15, 2000, according to documents published by . The newly uncovered police report marks the latest in a series of incidents pointing to Travolta's alleged attraction to men.

Gal Gadot has confirmed Page Six's item that embattled power producer Brett Ratner won't be involved with Wonder Woman 2. The publication initially reported that the actress had insisted she would only return in the superhero sequel if Ratner—who has been accused by several woman of sexual misconduct—was not a part of the sequel. His company RatPac had partially funded the first Wonder Woman, with Gadot as the lead, and made a fortune from the success of the female empowerment blockbuster.

Danica Patrick, NASCAR's most successful female driver, has called it quits on full-time racing, The Washington Post noted. The 35-year-old, who spent five full seasons in NASCAR's top circuit, said in an emotional news conference that certain "nudges" led her to this decision, including sponsorship issues experienced earlier this year. While Patrick won't be on the track every weekend going forward, she's said she's not going to fully retire until next year following the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500.

The music community is mourning the loss of rapper Lil Peep, who died at 21, according to USA Today. Born Gustav à … hr, Lil Peep amassed a cult following for his genre-melding of hip hop and emo music, and released his debut album Come Over When You're Sober ( Part One ) in August; his music often dealt with issues of mental illness, including a 2016 track OMFG about his suicidal tendencies. noted that the late rapper came out as bisexual in August.

Get Out, Girls Trip, Detroit and Mudbound are among the top film nominees for the 49th annual NAACP Image Awards, Variety noted. On the TV side, Netflix and OWN dominate the race with multiple noms for Dear White People, Orange Is the New Black, Queen Sugar and Greenleaf. In the area of music, Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z grabbed five nominations apiece. Also, filmmaker Ava DuVernay landed a nomination in the entertainer of the year category alongside Bruno Mars, Chadwick Boseman, Chance the Rapper, Issa Rae and Jay-Z. Black-ish star Anthony Anderson is set to host the Jan. 15 ceremony, to air live on TV One.

A Los Angeles jury found that restaurant owner Dana Hollister intentionally interfered with singer Katy Perry's attempts to purchase a former convent from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times noted. Perry's drawn-out legal fight to buy the Los Feliz property was partly settled earlier this year when a judge ruled that the right to sell the property lay with the archdiocese, not the nuns who used to live there and who opposed the sale to the pop star. Hollister's attorney, Michael Geibelson, said he was disappointed by the outcome and expected the matter to go before the state Court of Appeal.

RuPaul Drag Race season-seven winner Violet Chachki has become the first drag queen to star in a major lingerie campaign, reported. In partnership with Bettie Page Lingerie, Chachki and her Page-inspired persona have come full circle with the Queen of Pinup's lingerie line. The '50s retro queen meets vintage bourgeois in the "Never The Girl Next Door" collection, which feature corsets and bustiers, spiral bullet bras and satin robes.

Stacy London and Clinton Kelly were former co-hosts on TLC's What Not To Wear for 10 years—but that doesn't mean a last friendship, according to Page Six. Kelly, now a co-host on ABC's The Chew, tweeted a screenshot showing that his former TV sidekick had apparently blocked him on Twitter. Twitter commenters also brought up Kelly's January 2017 book, I Hate Everyone, Except You, saying that he bashed her in writing—claims he rejected.

A new book on Richard Avedon claims that the iconic photographer carried on a "decade-long secret affair with director Mike Nichols," Page Six noted. Avedon: Something Personal—by Avdeon's former business partner Norma Stevens and writer Steven M.ČL. Aronson, out Nov. 21—is being described as "part-memoir, part-biography" that "exposes the twice-married Avedon's hidden love life." The book is also billed as including reminiscences on Avedon by Nichols himself as well as Calvin Klein, Claude Picasso, Brooke Shields, David Remnick, Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bruce Weber, Cindy Crawford, Donatella Versace, Jann Wenner and Isabella Rossellini.

Halsey temporarily put her "hopeless fountain kingdom" tour on hold after canceling her Calgary concert in Canada midway through a set, Page Six noted. The 23-year-old singer, who is set to wrap Installment One of her world tour on Nov. 22 in Cleveland, took to Instagram to apologize for the abrupt cancellation.

George Takei has apologized for the controversy stemming from his October interview with Howard Stern, where the two joked about Takei touching men during his Star Trek days 50 years ago, Variety noted. In the wake of sexual assault charges levied against the actor, Takei penned a lengthy Facebook post, saying, "Out of context, I agree that the joke was distasteful, and I'm very sorry he and I made fun out of a serious matter." Recently, former model Scott R. Brunton accused Takei of sexually assaulting him in 1981—which Takei has denied.

Lena Dunham has backed down and apologized for defending Girls writer Murray Miller, who is being investigated for sexually assaulting actress Aurora Perrineau when she was 17, Deadline reported. Dunham initially issued a long tweet supporting Miller, adding Girls executive producer Jenni Konner's name as another ally of Miller. After withering criticism, Dunham had a change of heart, tweeting, "I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry."

Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan has signed a multi-year overall deal with Netflix, Variety reported. "Orange" has been nominated for 19 Emmy Awards during its five seasons, winning four. Under the new deal, Kohan will develop new original series and other projects.

CMT has announced that the upcoming sixth season of Nashville will be the show's last, noted. The show debuted on ABC in 2012 and then leaped to the cable channel last year. The nighttime drama was inclusive from the start, but the move to CMT saw the addition of several more LGBT characters and storylines.

Hulu has opted not to renew its comedy series Difficult People for a fourth season, Deadline reported. All 28 produced episodes of the show's three seasons are currently streaming on the digital platform. Difficult People stars Julie Klausner, Billy Eichner, Andrea Martin, James Urbaniak and Cole Escola.

Country-music singer and The Voice judge Blake Shelton has been named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. So what went through his mind when he first heard the news? "That y'all must be running out of people," he told the publication. However, some people have problems with Shelton being named—because of a homophobic past, not because of his looks, PinkNews noted. Shelton ( a President Trump supporter ) previously apologized after he sent a number of racist and homophobic tweets, saying it was meant as "comedy."

Jennifer Hudson and fiance David Otunga have ended their relationship after 10 years, noted. "They have been in the process of ending their relationship for a number of months. Jennifer requested and received a protective order against her ex-fiancé. Jennifer's actions are solely taken in the best interest of their son," a statement read. Otunga's attorney, Tracy M. Rizzo, said, "Mr. Otunga has never abused or harassed Ms. Hudson or their son, and it is unfortunate, especially in today's climate, that she would feel the need to make these false allegations against him."

Nominated for seven Tonys and winning for Best Direction, the Broadway musical Come from Away is being made into a movie, courtesy of the Mark Gordon Co., Deadline reported. Two-time Tony Award nominees and Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award winners Irene Sankoff and David Hein—who wrote the book, music and lyrics—will also adapt the feature screenplay for big screen.

The winners of the 18th Annual Latin Grammy Awards were announced during a live broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, a press release noted. Winners included Shakira, Juanes, Jon Secada and the song "Despacito," among others. In addition, Latin Recording Academy President/CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. presented the President's Merit Award to award-winning composer/lyricist/performer Lin-Manuel Miranda; and Alejandro Sanz was named Person of the Year.

Della Reese—the iconic jazz, gospel and pop singer who later moved into television and film, and starred as Tess on Touched By An Angel—has died at age 86, according to Deadline. Her former Touched By An Angel co-star Roma Downey released a statement on her passing, saying, in part, "She was an incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people." Reese's most recent television appearance was earlier this year, on Bates Motel.

Ann Wedgeworth—a Tony-winning actress most widely known for roles on TV sitcoms Evening Shade and Three's Company—died following a lengthy illness at a New York-area nursing home at age 83, Deadline noted. Wedgeworth, who won a National Society of Film Critics Award for her performance in 1985's Sweet Dreams—she played the mother of Jessica Lange's Patsy Cline—won the 1978 Tony Award for best featured actress in a play for Neil Simon's Chapter Two.

Rose McGowan turned herself in to be arrested on booked on a felony drug charge, TheWrap reported. The arrest was related to a felony drug charge in Loudoun County, Virginia, following a Jan. 20 incident in which traces of narcotics were allegedly detected on items left on a United flight bound for Washington Dulles International Airport. McGowan was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a Class 5 felony, and released on $5,000 bond.

Oscar winner and Emmy nominee George Clooney is set to star and direct a limited series based on the Joseph Heller novel Catch-22, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The six-episode project, produced by Paramount Television and Anonymous Content, does not yet have a network. The package, co-written by Luke Davies ( Lion ) and David Michod ( War Machine ), will be shopped next month.

Eva Longoria's UnbeliEVAble Entertainment is developing the immigrant drama Lucky Boy, based on Shanthi Sekaran's book, as a TV series, Deadline noted. Lucky Boy, published in January by G.P. Putnam's Sons, follows the conflict between two immigrant mothers ( one undocumented, the other first-generation ) as they fight to love and protect the same American boy.

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons has been banned for life from Fox News after claims that he insulted and taunted staff members, The Guardian noted. According to a Fox News source speaking to the Daily Beast, Simmons barged in on a staff meeting, unbuttoned his shirt and exposed his torso, shouting: "Hey chicks, sue me!" He also told jokes about Michael Jackson and pedophilia, and mocked the intelligence of staffers.

Gymnast Gabby Douglas is backtracking on a comment that suggested women should dress modestly to avoid enticing "the wrong crowd" that she made following Aly Raisman's criticism of victim-shamers, noted. The three-time Olympic gold medalist shared an apology on Twitter, writing, "i didn't correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don't stand alongside my teammates." The apology comes a few hours after she had criticized Raisman for speaking out on Instagram about the victim-shaming many women endure after coming forward about their own attacks.

Musician/actress Eve officially has signed on to The Talk as a new host, Deadline noted. Eve Jeffers Cooper made her official debut today, after appearing as guest co-host during the week of Oct.r 13. She joins Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood on the CBS daytime talker.

American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, 27, secretly wed boyfriend Dana Isaiah, 25, in mid-July—and the newlyweds are expecting their first child together late next spring, confirmed. Sparks had met her new husband's family when she traveled to Houston during Super Bowl weekend this past February with her charity campaign I'm M.A.D., Are You?

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