7:00am PDT, Aug 18, 2021
Laura Prepon reveals she left Scientology nearly 5 years ago
Longtime Scientologist Laura Prepon revealed this week that she’s no longer a follower of the religion. Speaking to People in an interview published Aug. 17, the “Orange Is the New Black” alum said she stopped practicing Scientology “close to five years” ago. That would be just about one year after the actress praised the controversial group’s “auditing practices” and more in a cover story for its publication, Celebrity magazine. From what the “That ’70s Show” alum told People, it sounds like becoming a mom played a key role in her decision to leave the church. “As a brand new mother, I was reflecting so much on my own upbringing and the way I was mothered. I was forced to look at a lot of things in my life that I wasn’t looking at before,” recalled Laura, who shares a 4-year-old daughter and a 16-month-old son with her husband, actor Ben Foster. “I’m no longer practicing Scientology,” she continued. “I’ve always been very open-minded, even since I was a child. I was raised Catholic and Jewish. I’ve prayed in churches, meditated in temples. I’ve studied Chinese meridian theory. I haven’t practiced Scientology in close to five years and it’s no longer part of my life.” Instead, Laura said she and Ben “meditate daily,” which she enjoys. “If motherhood has taught me anything so far, it’s that something can work out for a period of time and then you move on and evolve from that,” she mused. “As a new mom, I was riddled with anxiety that I had never experienced before. My friends who were mothers with older kids said, ‘Laura, this is a phase, you’ll move on and then it will be something different.’ And that has transcended into other parts of my life. We’re all evolving. I always see that with my kids.”
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Drake says COVID-19 caused hair loss that inspired heart buzz-cut
“Don’t diss!” That was Drake’s request of a fan who teased him on Instagram about the heart shape he had etched into the crown of his hairline this spring and summer. Turns out he was just making the best of a coronavirus side effect. “That heart is stressed 💀😭,” the fan wrote alongside two photos of the singer. Drake responded, telling the person, “I had COVID that s— grew in weird I had to start again 😂. It’s coming back don’t diss.” Last fall, Alyssa Milano showed off the hair loss she was experiencing as a result of contracting COVID-19, telling followers on Twitter it had been an “extreme” amount of hair. According to a recent Indiana University study cited by Yahoo, hair loss seems to affect about 33 percent of patients suffering from the virus. It’s not clear when Drake tested positive.
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Daniel Craig won’t leave fortune to his children: ‘Inheritance is distasteful’
After starring in dozens of major feature films including five James Bond movies, Daniel Craig has racked an estimated net worth of $160 million. But as the actor recently told British outlet Candis Magazine, none of that will be going to his kids. The actor, 53, shares a 29-year-old daughter with his ex, Fiona; he and his wife Rachel Weisz also welcomed a daughter in 2018 and Daniel’s technically stepdad to Rachel’s 15-year-old son with ex, Darren Aronofsky. “I don’t want to leave great sums to the next generation. I think inheritance is quite distasteful. My philosophy is get rid of it or give it away before you go,” he told the magazine (via Page Six). “Isn’t there an old adage that if you die a rich person, you’ve failed?” he asked. Daniel makes his final appearance as 007 in “No Time To Die,” due out in October. He reportedly made $25 million to play the secret agent one more time.
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Halle Berry sued by UFC fighter over ‘Bruised’
Halle Berry’s directorial debut is getting off to a rocky start. The Oscar winner’s film, “Bruised,” has reportedly sparked a lawsuit filed by former UFC fighter Cat Zingano, who claims she lost her contract with UFC after turning down a major opportunity based on Halle’s advice. Per TMZ, Cat’s suit says she met with Halle in 2019 about a role in “Bruised,” which Halle allegedly said she thought would be good for Cat. When Cat was offered a major fight soon after her meeting with Halle, Cat claims the actress told her she should skip the fight if she wanted to work on the set for insurance reasons. Cat says she let Halle know when she declined the fight — but she was soon released from her UFC contract altogether. She says when she alerted Halle of the UFC change, she was told only UFC fighters could work on the film, and she was therefore ineligible. Cat’s suing for undisclosed damaged; Halle’s camp has yet to respond to TMZ with a comment. “Bruised” premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival and is due out on Netflix in November.
Britney Spears explains why she’s posting topless photos
In recent weeks, Britney Spears has taken to sharing topless photos and videos on her Instagram. The habit has drawn some concern from fans, given her ongoing conservatorship battle. According to Britney, however, there’s nothing to be worried about — she’s just a 39-year-old woman embracing her body by seeing herself “in my purest form” for a change. “I want you to understand my thoughts on exposing my skin !!!!” Britney captioned a new gallery of revealing Instagram pics on Aug. 16. In the lengthy text, the singer explains that when she was performing regularly, she always felt “self-conscious” about her looks if she removed a piece of her costume for the sake of comfort. “I mean I don’t want anybody to see the big dimple on my a–,” she joked, “but I feel like performing made me too self conscious about my body.” As for why she’s taken to showing off her body more now, she says, “I wanted to see myself in a lighter way … the psychology in seeing myself in my purest form gives evidence that pain … hurt … tears … and heavy burdens aren’t who I am. I am a woman …. a beautiful … sensitive woman …” She goes on to say she doesn’t plan to keep posting the photos “for the rest of my life cause that would get boring,” but says that doing so right now helps her feel “enlightened.” She closes by shouting-out the #Free Britney movement, saying it has “a way deeper meaning … than you can ever imagine.” The singer’s latest conservatorship victory appeared to come when her father, Jamie Spears, consented to eventually step down as her estate conservator, though he still denied his daughter’s claims of “conservator abuse” and contested her petition to have removed immediately from his post. The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 29.
Holly Madison reflects on ‘dangerous choice’ of joining Playboy in new A&E series
In a new docuseries on A&E, former Playboy model and “Girls Next Door” star Holly Madison admits she was initially unaware of the darker sides of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire. “I didn’t realize that getting into the Playboy world was a dangerous choice,” Holly, 41, tells the camera in the trailer for “Secrets of Playboy” (via People). Due out next year, the 10-part series will reportedly reveal “hidden truths” about the business Hugh launched as a young man, one that evolved from a magazine to a network of clubs and festivals, a well-received TV show and more. “There was a side of Playboy that nobody wants to talk about,” says PJ Masten – a “former Bunny Mother” — in the trailer. Other members of Hugh’s “staff and inner circle” also discuss Hugh’s advocacy for freedom of speech and sexual freedom, as well as the nature of the relationships in the world he built, according to the series announcement. Hugh died in 2017 at age 91.
Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan call for humanitarian support in Afghanistan, Haiti
With Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban once again and Haiti in crisis after being hit by a tropical storm and a major earthquake as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are urging fans and social media followers to get proactive. “The world is exceptionally fragile right now,” the couple wrote in a statement on their Archewell Foundation website on Aug. 17. “As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless. As we all watch the growing humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and the threat of it worsening after last weekend’s earthquake, we are left heartbroken. And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared.” They continued: “When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them, whether we realize it or not. And though we are not meant to live in a state of suffering, we, as a people, are being conditioned to accept it. It’s easy to find ourselves feeling powerless, but we can put our values into action — together.” In closing, the couple asked readers to join them in supporting organizations including World Central Kitchen, Women for Afghan Women, Mercy Corps, Invictus and more. They also included links to organizations they support that provide mental health aid to those in need. They also asked that world leaders “rapidly advance the humanitarian dialogues,” telling readers, “As an international community, it is the decisions we make now — to alleviate suffering among those we know and those we may never meet — that will prove our humanity.” Harry, a veteran of the British Army who served two tours in Afghanistan, also released a statement with his Invictus Games team encouraging “everybody across the Invictus network — and the wider military community — to reach out to each other and offer support for one another,” given the widely shared “bond” of having served in Afghanistan.
Queen Elizabeth won’t leave Balmoral despite COVID-19 scare
Queen Elizabeth plans to continue her stay at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to a new report from The Sun. “All the staff at Balmoral are tested for Covid daily,” a source told the outlet. “[The impacted staff are] on a separate block on the estate. Workers have been told to wear masks and to socially distance, but the royals themselves are pretty much carrying on as they were.” The 95-year-old monarch has a long-standing tradition of spending summers at Balmoral and reportedly returned a few weeks ago for the first time since her husband Prince Philip’s death. The other royals who’ve been staying with her this summer include Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, as well as their daughter, Princess Eugenie and her family. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, reportedly joined the group late last week, as well.