2:10pm PST, Jan 14, 2022
Matt Lauer included in ‘Today’ anniversary video despite sexual misconduct allegations
On Jan. 14, the “Today” show celebrated its 70th anniversary with a nearly 12-minute video montage of memorable coverage through the years. Longtime anchor Matt Lauer — who was fired in 2017 for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” and was later accused of sexual assault and rape — appeared four times in the piece, surprising some viewers, according to Page Six. Matt, now 64, makes his first appearance as part of the show’s reporting on the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001, where he introduces a live shot. He returns in a clip from his sit-down interview with Hillary Clinton, as well as footage from a trip to Egypt. The piece also includes footage of Matt scuba-diving. In a recent interview with AdWeek, the show’s executive producer, Tom Mazzarelli, addressed his inclusion in the video, saying, “We’re going to look back at our history, and he’s a part of our history, as are all the anchors throughout the last 70 years. You’ll see him.” A source told Page Six, “Today” “can’t pretend like he never existed.” Matt issued a public apology after he was fired but has mostly avoided the public eye since that time, opting instead to stick close to his home in the Hamptons, New York.
RELATED: ‘Today’ hosts: Where are they now?
Kanye West defends decision to buy a house on Kim’s street after split
Kanye West says he bought a house across the street from his ex, Kim Kardashian, because he takes “solace” in seeing the four children he shares with his estranged wife. “My solace comes from seeing my kids and getting a solid schedule,” Ye tells Jason Lee in a new “Hollywood Unlocked” interview, due out Jan. 17 (via People). “That’s why I even got the house. [It was] flipped into there was something wrong with me getting a house next to my kids.” In December, TMZ reported the rapper had purchased a $4.5 million “teardown” home a few doors away from his ex and their children, North, 8, Saint, 6, Chicago, 3 and Psalm, 2. If any factors besides the kids were “flipped into” reporting on the sale, it may have been because Ye’s purchase came shortly after he publicly pleaded for her to come back to him, despite her February 2021 divorce filing. Speaking to Jason, the rapper also said he bought the house because of his own experience growing up with parents who’d split. “You see when my mom took me from Atlanta to Chicago, my dad didn’t come to the coldest and most dangerous city in the world to be next to [me],” he explained. “He said, ‘I’m going to stay down in Atlanta.'” Kanye went on to assert: “Nothing with my career, with this rap, with this media, with none of that, that’s gonna keep me from my children. And that’s what I want everybody to know. Don’t play with me, don’t play with my children. Ain’t no security gonna get in between me and my children and you ain’t gonna gaslight me.” In a statement to People, Kim’s lawyer, Laura Wasser said, “Mr. West being kept from the children, by security or anyone else, is news to us, Both parties’ priority has always been the children maintaining strong bonds with each of their parents throughout this transition and beyond.”
RELATED: More stars who split in 2021
Britney Spears denies sister’s claim she locked them in a room while brandishing a knife
Britney Spears has some words for her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, after her claim Britney once locked them in a room together while wielding a knife. “I’ve never been around you ever with a knife or would I ever even think to do such !!!” Britney shared on Twitter on Jan. 14. “The only knife I ever saw you with at home was cutting the biggest pieces of squash I ever saw in my life and it was way too big for me to cut.” Jamie Lynn told the knife story while promoting her new memoir, “Things I Should Have Said,” on ABC News. “It’s important to remember that I was a kid in that moment,” Jamie Lynn told ABC’s Juju Chang. “I was scared. That was an experience I had, but I also was fearful to, like, really say anything because I didn’t want to upset anybody or anything. But I also was so upset that she didn’t feel safe.” On Twitter, Britney went on to ask her sister to “please stop with these crazy lies for the Hollywood books,” before adding that the claim represented a new “low” for Jamie Lynn. “NOW and only NOW I do know only a scum person would make up such things about someone …. I’m actually very confused about you making that up because it’s honestly not like you at all !!!!” Britney wrote. “Around the kids ???? Jamie Lynn, seriously ??? Come on !!! Congrats on introducing your older sister the concept of getting LOW … LOWER … LOWEST … because you win on that one, babe !!!!”
Jennifer Aniston shares a fresh-faced towel selfie
Waves, be free! Clad in nothing but a towel, Jennifer Aniston shared a rare, makeup-free selfie that showed off her naturally wavy locks on Instagram on Jan. 14. “Okay, Humidity…🥵😵💫 Let’s go…..👊🏼💪🏼@lolavie,” she captioned the LOL-worthy shot, tagging her haircare line. If Jen, 52, was going for laughs on her messy ‘do, though, she was a bit off the mark. Within a day, the post’s comments were filled with praise for the look from celeb pals like Rita Wilson, who wrote “Love!” and Sara Foster, who told the “Friends”alum, “Honestly, I’m very into it.” Jen’s cute snap comes just days after she snagged two SAG Awards nominations for “The Morning Show.” The Apple TV+ series is up for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama, while Jen and Reese Witherspoon are both up for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama. Their co-star, Billy Crudup, also has a best actor nod.
Lisa Bonet talked about ‘uncertainty’ and ‘learning to be new’ a month before Jason Momoa split
Lisa Bonet may have hinted at her split from Jason Momoa back in December, a month before the stars shared their separation news (in poem form) on Instagram on Jan. 13. Speaking to her friend and former “A Different World” co-star, Marisa Tomei, for Interview magazine, Lisa, 54, talked about navigating the “epic transition” she felt taking place in the world. In fact, she used some of the same exact phrasing that turned up in her joint separation announcement with Jason, 42. “The revolution is definitely here and we’re all feeling the squeeze,” Lisa told Marisa before connecting changes in society with personal change. “If you aren’t, you’re in total denial, and the more you resist, the more you will suffer,” she continued. “Everything is crumbling out there. The personal work is understanding where empire and those archetypes live within us. The revolution is on the inside, and learning to be new in this new world.” Fast forward to this week, and Lisa and Jason’s joint split announcement featured similar language. “We have all felt the squeeze and changes of these transformational times,” the post read, in part. “A revolution is unfolding and our family is of no exception … feeling and growing from the seismic shifts occurring.” During her chat with Marisa for Interview, Lisa was also asked “what’s calling” her now. “Definitely learning how to be authentically me, learning to be new, and following this invitation from the universe to step into this river of uncertainty,” she replied. “We’ve eliminated all this extra noise, and now it’s time to grow our roots deeper into our own values.” The “Cosby Show” alum and “Aquaman” star began dating in 2005 after meeting at a jazz club. They eventually tied the knot in 2017 and share two kids.
Bob Saget funeral details emerge
Bob Saget was expected to be laid to rest in Los Angeles on Jan. 14 at a private service for only family and close friends, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ahead of the small funeral, slated to be held in the afternoon at Mount Sinai Memorial, the Daily Mail reported loved ones Bob and his widow, Kelly Rizzo, were seen gathering at the couple’s home. Sources told “Extra” an “outdoor reception” at “Full House” creator Jeff Franklin’s house would follow the service. Ahead of the funeral, Bob’s close friend, John Stamos, shared on social media how painful he knew it would be to say goodbye. “Today will be the hardest day of my life,” he wrote on Twitter. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Bob was found dead in his hotel room in Orlando on Jan. 9. He was 65.
Johnny Knoxville calls Bam Margera’s absence from ‘Jack*** Forever’ ‘heartbreaking’
With “Jack*** Forever” due out Feb. 4, Johnny Knoxville is opening up about what he calls the “heartbreaking” turn of events that resulted in Bam Margera’s appearance in the film being limited to just one stunt. An original star of the cult classic MTV reality series, “Jack***,” Bam was cut from the movie when it resumed filming after a COVID-19-related production delay because he allegedly tested positive for Adderall, thereby violating the terms of a “wellness agreement” attached to his contract. Bam, who’s been in and out of rehab for substance abuse issues for years, is now suing Johnny and others involved in the film for wrongful termination. “We wanted him all throughout the movie, but unfortunately that’s not the way it worked out,” Johnny recently told Variety. “It’s really heartbreaking. I love Bam. We all love Bam. He’s our brother, you know? You just hope that he takes it upon himself to get the help that he needs, because we all care about him a lot.” Last year, Bam went on a rant against Johnny and director Jeff Tremaine on social media, declaring that they’d “strung” him “along like a puppet” before firing him. At the time, “Jack***” star Steve-O responded in the comments, writing, “Everyone bent over backwards to get you in the movie, and all you had to do was not get loaded. You’ve continued to get loaded, it’s that simple.” Asked by Variety if Bam’s lawsuit came as a surprise, Johnny replied: “Yes and no. Because he’s in such a way that anything’s possible. So, something will break your heart — but it might not shock you.”
Joe Rogan, Spotify called out for spreading COVID-19 misinformation in open letter from medical professionals
A coalition of 270 doctors, health care workers and scientists are calling out Joe Rogan and Spotify for spreading misinformation and “promoting baseless conspiracy theories” about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines. In an open letter addressed to the streamer, the group cites a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” Spotify’s most popular podcast, that features Dr. Robert Malone. The authors argue that while Twitter has banned the doctor because of his posts regarding disproven theories about vaccines and more, Spotify allowed him to continue spreading misinformation via Joe’s show. The letter also takes aim at Joe, specifically. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine,” the authors write. “He has discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are ‘gene therapy,’ promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (contrary to FDA warnings), and spread a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.” From there, they delve into how, “mass-misinformation events of this scale have extraordinarily dangerous ramifications” for medicine and society at large. The letter closes by demanding Spotify, “immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.” As of Jan. 14, four days after the letter was published, Joe had not responded to various outlets’ requests for comment.