2:48pm PDT, May 21, 2021
Phoebe Dynevor addresses Rege-Jean Page’s ‘Bridgerton’ exit
Nearly two months after Rege-Jean Page stunned “Bridgerton” fans by announcing he won’t return as Simon, the Duke of Hastings, in Season 2, Phoebe Dynevor, who plays his onscreen love and wife, Daphne Bridgerton, is addressing his departure from the hit Netflix show. “I had a bit of a heads up, so I knew,” Phoebe says on the May 20 Variety Awards Circuit Podcast. “But yeah, I guess it is a spanner. But again, the show centers around the Bridgertons and there are eight books. And I think maybe the fans of the books were more aware of that happening than the fans of the show. I think the fans of the books know that every episode is about a different sibling.” While Season 1 focused on Daphne and Simon’s troubled romance-turned fairytale love story, the second season takes viewers into the life of Daphne’s brother, just like the book series does. “… We’re very much passing on the baton to the lovely Jonathan [Bailey], who plays Anthony,” Phoebe explains. “And that will be the main storyline of Season 2 and the story arc of Season 2. We were all aware of that. Obviously, it’s sad to see [Rege] go but I’m looking forward to being reunited with my family.” At the same time, Phoebe added, she did feel some serious chemistry on-camera with Rege. “I remember shooting the last scene in episode one where Rege and I have, like, our first dance together. And I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this feels kind of special,'” she shared. “There were, like, fireworks going off behind us and it was, like, really romantic music. It felt like a really special moment, but you never know if it’s going to come out on camera and the audience is going to feel that buzz, too. It’s hard to tell.” Phoebe is reportedly dating “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson in real life.
Keep reading to find out which pop star Pink regrets not supporting more …
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Pink wishes she’d ‘reached out more’ to Britney Spears
In the early aughts, when Britney Spears was enduring the unfair and often exploitative media attention described in the New York Times Presents’ recent “Framing Britney Spears” documentary, Pink was also a rising star pop singer. Now, after watching the documentary, Pink wishes she’d done more to support Britney before things got worse.” I love Britney,” Pink told Andy Cohen on the May 20 edition of “Watch What Happens Live” (via EW). “Here’s the thing about all of us voyeurs, none of us know what’s going on. We’re not there. … We feel this fierce protectiveness over her for good reason. She’s a sweetheart. … All I know is she’s incredibly sweet and I want her to be happy.” Looking back to what she called the “early” days, Pink said she has regrets about not having done more to help Britney. “I’m a strong person,” she said. “I could’ve reached out more. I don’t like feeling helpless or powerless and I can only imagine how she feels. She could’ve used some support and the media tore her apart. The paparazzi are scum. I wish I could’ve reached out and gave her a hug.” Pink’s new Amazon Prime Video documentary “P!nk: All I Know So Far” premiered May 21.
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Kim Kardashian reveals her son Saint, 5, contracted COVID-19
The Kardashians after already revealed that both Kanye West and Khloe Kardashian contracted the coronavirus during the pandemic. But as Kim Kardashian West revealed in a new trailer for the next week’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” her 5-year-old son, Saint West also had COVID-19. “Sainty just tested positive for COVID,” Kim says in the clip, per Page Six. “North is saying she’s feeling sick.” Since the show was filmed many months before its air date, it’s not clear when Saint became sick. What is clear from the clip is that as a mom of four, Kim was understandably anxious about keeping her family safe. “I’m trying not to freak anyone out,” she says in a confessional from the episode, “but I’m just really worried.” Back in October, Kim told Grazia magazine, “Kanye had it way at the beginning, when nobody really knew what was going on,” saying it “was a challenge because it was so unknown.” “KUWTK” is currently in its final season as the Kardashian-Jenner family prepares to unveil a new series on Hulu later this year.
Related: Prince William and more stars who’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19
Naomi Campbell’s reportedly wanted a baby for ‘more than 10 years
Naomi Campbell may have surprised fans when she announced this week that she’d welcomed her first child. But people close to the 50-year-old supermodel have apparently seen motherhood on Naomi’s horizon for at least a decade. “She’s wanted a baby for a long time, more than 10 years,” a source tells People. “And anyone who’s surprised Naomi is having a baby on her own, her own way, and on her own timetable doesn’t know Naomi Campbell. Hasn’t she redefined everything she’s ever touched?” The insider’s comments align with some of what Naomi’s friends posted when she announced her daughter’s arrival on Instagram. Helena Christensen, for example, said she “always knew” Naomi would “be a mama” someday. And as People reminds us, Naomi herself told the Evening Standard back in 2017, “I think about having children all the time. But now with the way science is I think I can do it when I want.” Mission accomplished!
Leah Remini is headed to NYU
Leah Remini, 50, is going back to school this fall. The actress and host of “Scientology and the Aftermath” announced this week that she’s been accepted to New York University’s associate’s program in Liberal Arts. “I am so excited, in tears and wanted to share this with you guys,” Leah captioned a photo of her acceptance letter on Instagram on May 20. “For someone like me, a person who desperately wanted a higher education and options in my life, coming from a cult and a family who didn’t value an education, this is a very big day for me,” Leah explained. “This didn’t come easy. This is one of the last chunks of my life that I am taking back for myself from Scientology. It took a lot for me to take this step, for fear that I was not smart enough, not worthy enough, not able to do the work that will be required, my age…. I did it anyway with a lot of encouragement from a very special person in my life. I am ready to do the work and honestly, I’m scared s——s! And I am excited to start on my journey. It’s just never too late is it?” Before signing off, Leah thanked NYU and a friend who works with the remote tutoring organization, Innovative Education Solutions. “You are an amazing man and anyone needing someone to cheer them on, to walk them through this (sometimes) intimidating process, who are scared to take this first step, should choose you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she gushed, adding, “#goafteryourdreams #dreambig.” Leah’s close friend Jennifer Lopez quickly chimed in to congratulate her, writing in the comments, “So proud of you baby! So happy for you ❤️ #noitsnevertoolate.” “Sex and the City” alum Kristin Davis helped Leah celebrate her happy news, too, commenting, “So much love to you Leah! ❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
Rob Lowe celebrates 31 years of sobriety and 30 years of marriage on ‘Ellen’
It’s a big month for Rob Lowe! When the actor, 57, guest hosted “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on May 21, he shared with the audience that he’s been celebrating two major milestones. Last week, he marked “31 years alcohol and drug-free,” he said, joking that his sobriety is “pretty impressive considering 32 years ago, I was getting alcohol and drugs for free.” He continued, monologue-style, with one more zinger: “If someone you know is struggling with any kind of addiction, I’m here to tell you that there is hope. Very much so — and with that said, if you don’t have a drinking problem, please start drinking right now, because I’m gonna seem a lot funnier.” Jokes aside, the “Parks and Recreation” alum also gushed, “And this year, most importantly, my beautiful wife Sheryl and I are celebrating our 30-year wedding anniversary.” One of Hollywood’s longest-lasting couples, Rob and makeup artist Sheryl Berkoff, 58, reportedly started dating in the late ’80s when she was handling his makeup for 1990’s “Bad Influence.”
Nicki Minaj superfan Lil Nas X vows never to mention her name again
Long before he hit the Billboard charts as Lil Nas X, Montero Lamar Hill was better known for the Nicki Minaj fan accounts he reportedly ran on Twitter. He sings about his love for Nicki’s music on “Sun Goes Down,” a new track he released this month. But Nicki’s fans, aka “the barbz,” have already called Nas X out for the name-drop, tweeting digs like, “the first time i thought y’all were being weird but lil nas x is definitely looking for sympathy from nicki” and sending warnings to Nicki, such as one that read, “you better not give Lil Nas X a feature/verse,” according to TMZ. On May 21, Nas X responded to the backlash. “To the barbz who feel i’m using nicki’s name for attention, the song i released last night was recorded last year, and it’s about my life which 6 of those years were dedicated to nicki,” he shared. “It’s no fake love but i know how it looks so i will no longer mention her.” (The track features lines like, “I’d be by the phone / Stanning Nicki mornin’ into dawn / Only place I felt like I belonged / Strangers make you feel so loved, you know?”) The negative reaction likely comes in part from Nas X’s initial denial of being the Twitter user behind the Nicki fan accounts. “People will assume if you had an entire fan page dedicated to nicki u are gay. and the rap/music industry ain’t exactly built or accepting of gay men yet,” he explained last spring. For what it’s worth, Nicki seemed fine with his change of heart. A few weeks after his tweet about the denial, she replied, “It was a bit of a sting when you denied being a barb, but I understand. Congratulations on building up your confidence to speak your truth.” Nas X subsequently apologized to Nicki, calling her a “generous queen” on Twitter and admitting he’d hoped she “wouldn’t see” his post.
Prince Harry has ‘no regrets’ about stepping back from the royal family
On his new mental health series with Oprah Winfrey, “The Me You Can’t See,” Prince Harry speaks candidly about how the trauma he suffered following the death of his mother in 1997 when he was 12 led to panic attacks, alcohol and drug abuse and eventually, his decision to leave his position as a working member of the royal family, which he says has “no regrets” about. He also explains why marrying Meghan Markle, who is biracial, had him panicked for her safety. “My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn’t white and now look what’s happened,” Harry tells Oprah of the paparazzi-fueled car crash that killed his mom, per People. When Meghan faced a barrage of racially insensitive attacks from the British press, Harry said he “felt completely helpless” to defend her. “I thought my family would help — but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence or total neglect.” And it wasn’t just Meghan who came to fear the press. “The clicking of cameras and the flash of cameras makes my blood boil. It makes me angry. It takes me back to what happened to my mum, what I experienced as a kid,” Harry says. “I was so angry with what happened to her, and the fact that there was no justice at all … The same people that chased her through that tunnel photographed her dying on the back seat of that car.” When he went to his father, Prince Charles, about the new wave of Meghan-related anxiety, Harry says he was told to get used to it — and said that made “no sense” to him, so he relocated with Meghan and their son Archie. Harry says he hopes the Apple TV+ show, which also features a scene where he undergoes EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy to help him with the trauma, will help end the stigma around mental health conversations that he feels kept his own family from dealing with the repercussions of Diana’s death.
Lady Gaga’s ‘House of Gucci’ performance gets high marks from costar Salma Hayek
Lady Gaga’s “House of Gucci” transformation into Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of former Gucci fashion house leader Maurizio Gucci (and the woman responsible for his death), left one costar, in particular, super impressed. In Variety‘s new cover story, Salma Hayek, who plays Patrizia’s close friend, Pina Auriemma, in the forthcoming film, gushes about the singer’s performance. “We were talking on the phone and she was already Patrizia … her accent was perfect,” Salma recalls. “I think we had a lot of fun reliving scenes that are not even in the movie — and she is the ultimate professional, and I could not wait to get on that set. We really couldn’t wait to get on the set and just do it and do it together and play off of each other.” Calling the Mother Monster, “incredibly talented, incredibly smart,” Salma adds, “And she has on top of all that, extra abilities that not every brilliant actor has, which is she’s good with the accent. Of course, she has an amazing ear. She is extraordinary improvising, and not everybody has that. She really embodies the character.” Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” also stars Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jack Huston, Reeve Carney and Jeremy Irons. It focuses largely on Patrizia’s marriage and, later, her decision to hire a hitman to kill her ex. The film hits theaters Nov. 24.