4:19pm PDT, Aug 20, 2021
‘Grace Under Fire’ star explains her road to financial ruin
Brett Butler, best known for her starring role in “Grace Under Fire,” is speaking out about how she went from making $250,000 an episode in the ’90s for her work on the hit ABC series to being so broke she now faces eviction. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brett, 63, reveals her friend, Lon Strickler, set up a GoFundMe after she told him just how bad things had gotten. “I’ve been ashamed. Almost ashamed to death,'” she recalls telling Lon of why she didn’t ask for help sooner. Speaking to THR, Brett says the stress of starring on a sit-com based on her already challenging life — she previously battled depression and escaped an abusive marriage — contributed to what became an addiction to painkillers she was prescribed for sciatica. Though she got sober after the show ended, she says she went on to make multiple bad decisions with her money, and things got worse from there. “I was a little bit too trusting with some people that worked for me, and I had a lot of things stolen,” she says. “That’s just stupid on my part, not to have insurance for those things. And to loan and give a lot of money away.” Brett also had trouble finding work in Hollywood after “Grace,” so she bought a working farm in Georgia. That soon went sour, though, and as she took on multiple animals in need of homes, she learned the estimated $1 million DVD deal for “Grace” had fallen through. Broke, Brett returned to Hollywood, landing parts on “The Leftovers,” “The Walking Dead” and “The Morning Show” that paid something, but not enough. Her depression soon returned with a vengeance — the coronavirus pandemic didn’t help matters. “I’m not the only one in this boat,” she tells THR. “Most people that are in it never had the opportunities I did. It doesn’t really lessen my self-loathing or fear about it, but I do realize that.” As of Aug. 20, Brett’s fundraiser had raised more than $27,000, well past its $20,000 goal.
Keep reading to see why Angelina Jolie (finally) joined Instagram and more …
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Angelina Jolie joins Instagram amid Afghanistan crisis
Angelina Jolie shared her very first Instagram post on Aug. 20 after joining the platform to help ensure the world is hearing from women, young people and others as the Taliban return to power in Afghanistan. Launching the account with a bio that reads, “Mom, filmmaker, Special Envoy for UN @refugees,” the longtime refugee advocate made her debut by posting a moving letter she received from a frightened teenage girl in Afghanistan. “Right now, the people of Afghanistan are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely. So I’ve come on Instagram to share their stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights,” she said in the caption. Angelina then described having been “on the border of Afghanistan two weeks before 9/11, where I met Afghan refugees who had fled the Taliban” 20 years ago. ” “It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country,” she wrote. “To spend so much time and money, to have blood shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand. Watching for decades how Afghan refugees – some of the most capable people in the world – are treated like a burden is also sickening. Knowing that if they had the tools and respect, how much they would do for themselves. And meeting so many women and girls who not only wanted an education, but fought for it. She added, “Like others who are committed, I will not turn away. I will continue to look for ways to help. And I hope you’ll join me.”
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Kylie Jenner pregnancy rumors confirmed after Caitlyn Jenner’s slip
The Kardashian-Jenner family is expecting at least one new addition. Fans have been speculating for weeks that Kylie Jenner is pregnant with her second child with Travis Scott, citing various clues on her recent social media posts. So when TMZ quoted Caitlyn Jenner on Aug. 19 as having said during a public appearance that she has another grandchild “in the oven,” the all eyes fell on Kylie, even after TMZ updated its report to clarify that Caitlyn’s son, Burt, and his wife, Valerie are expecting. By that point, however, other outlets were already on the Kylie trail and within a few hours “multiple sources confirmed” to both Page Six and People that Kylie is, in fact, pregnant. (Reps for Kylie and Travis both declined People’s request for comment.) The on-again couple, who share 3-year-old daughter Stormi, kept Kylie’s first pregnancy under wraps. “Kylie … really wanted to have that just be a private moment,” Kim Kardashian West said of her sister’s pregnancy after Stormi’s birth. That privacy should be easier to maintain now that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” has aired its final season. And if fans are desperate to follow Kylie through a pregnancy journey, there could be quite a few more chances to do so. As the 24-year-old star told her bestie, Stassie Karanikolaou, in an Instagram Live last year, “I want seven kids down the line, but not right now.”
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One day after they were spotted sharing a kiss in New York City this week, Channing Tatum and Zoe Kravitz appeared to be headed out of town together for the weekend as dating rumors continue to swirl. Photos published by TMZ on Aug. 20 show the “Magic Mike” and “Big Little Lies” stars smiling as Channing sits behind the wheel of a car with Zoe in the passenger seat. Other pics show the actor carrying luggage — including a floral print bag we’re guessing belongs to Zoe — and groceries before the two zoomed off together. Channing recently told Instagram followers he was excited to “indulge” in a little me-time after wrapping his upcoming film with Sandra Bullock, “The Lost City of D.”
‘Jeopardy!’ host Mike Richards is out; his taped episodes will still air
“Jeopardy!” is heading back to the proverbial drawing board in finding a permanent host. On Aug. 20, Mike Richards — the show’s executive producer who was just days ago named its new nightly host — announced he was stepping down amid controversy around misogynistic and other disparaging language Mike used on his “Randumb Show” podcast in 2013 and 2014. As reported by The Ringer, the offensive comments were made while Mike was producing “The Price Is Right” and taken offline after the outlet’s story was published. The Ringer’s report came on the heels of resurfaced information about two workplace discrimination lawsuits Mike was named in. The suits were filed by former models on “The Price Is Right,” also while Mike was on board as producer. “Over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show,” Mike told “Jeopardy!” staff in the Aug. 20 memo (per the AP). He went on to say the show would return to looking for a permanent nightly host — Mayim Bialik has tasked with hosting prime time specials only — and guest hosts will continue to cover Alex Trebek’s long held post until someone else comes on board. In the meantime, the handful of episodes Mike taped this week will air as planned when the season kicks off on Sept. 13. According to an announcement from Sony, Mike will now return to his executive producer role.
Matthew Knowles addresses Destiny’s Child reunion rumors
Some dreams never die — just ask fans of Destiny’s Child, who recently started buzzing that a reunion could be in the works for Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. As members of the Beyhive and beyond revealed on Twitter and Instagram this week, the official Destiny’s Child social media accounts were recently updated with new header images. Between the social media makeovers and Beyonce’s recent confirmation that “new music is coming,” fans began to theorize that Destiny’s Child could be planning a reunion comeback. If that’s the case, however, it’s news to Bey’s dad, Matthew Knowles, who still serves as the group’s manager. Matthew tells TMZ there are neither album nor tour plans in the hopper for Bey, Kelly and Michelle. He says the social media changes were just part the label’s “routine revamping.” Destiny’s Child has reunited a handful of times since breaking up in 2006, most recently, Kelly and Michelle joined Beyonce for her now iconic 2018 Coachella performance.
Demi Lovato calls Max Ehrich split ‘the best thing that’s happened’
Demi Lovato sees her 2020 split from Max Ehrich as a blessing in disguise. The singer, who came out as nonbinary in May 2021 and now uses them/their pronouns, reflected on the very public, very messy breakup during their talk at The 19th Represents 2021 Virtual Summit on Aug. 19, where they said calling off the engagement was actually “the best thing that’s happened” to them. “I was able to stand on my own two feet without needing someone else to validate me or to make me feel accepted,” Demi explained, per Yahoo. “When I said goodbye to that relationship, I also said goodbye to everything that was holding me back from being my most authentic self.” The singer explained that they had just begun to identify privately as nonbinary when they met Max. “That led me to ignoring all the parts of myself that I didn’t think were digestible for my partner at the time,” Demi recalled, adding that it wasn’t until their September split that Demi was able to really begin “identifying as the person [they] do today.”
Melissa Joan Hart contracts breakthrough COVID case: ‘Do better’
“Protect your kids … stay vigilant and stay safe.” That was the message Melissa Joan Hart relayed to social media followers on Aug. 18 from her bed, where she’s one of the small number of fully vaccinated people suffering from a breakthrough case of COVID-19 as the delta variant continues its tear through the United States. “I got COVID. I am vaccinated, and I got COVID, and it’s bad,” the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” alum said in a video. Describing her symptoms, she said, “it’s weighing on my chest and it’s hard to breathe,” then explained she was also anxious about potentially infecting her husband and three young sons. Later in the post she said she thinks one of her sons “has it so far” and that she believes the virus found its way to her family via the kids’ school(s), where there is apparently no mask mandate despite the CDC’s determination that, “fully vaccinated people who are infected with the Delta variant can be infectious and can spread the virus to others.” Despite the organization’s strong recommendation that “students, teachers, and school staff should continue to use layered prevention strategies including universal masking in schools,” only five states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., had universal mask mandates as of Melissa’s post. “I’m mad, really mad, because we tried and we took precautions and we cut our exposure by a lot,” Melissa said. “But we got a little lazy, and I think as a country we got lazy. And I’m really mad that my kids didn’t have to wear masks at school because I’m pretty sure that’s where this came from. I’m just scared and sad and disappointed in myself and some of our leaders and a lot of people, including myself,” she continued. “I just wish I’d done better, so I’m asking you guys to do better. Protect your families, protect your kids. It’s not over yet. I’d hoped it was, but it’s not. So, stay vigilant and stay safe.”