Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/GettyWhether re-assessing the trauma endured by Britney Spears at the height of her fame or the agonies suffered by the late Amy Winehouse, we have a tendency to throw up our hands and insist that the treatment of famous women 20 years ago would never fly today. But it did fly—and even thrive—and we’re still contending with that, as proven by the new book Toxic: Women, Fame, and the Tabloid 2000s. Written by Sarah Ditum, it digs deep into the particularities of the decade that made public recognition so excruciating for the women who dominated headlines and the collective consciousness at the time. What was it that made Paris Hilton, so rarefied and rich, also so digestible to the teeming masses? What was the most frustrating part of watching teen queen Lindsay Lohan destroy herself?Ditum largely remixes and reframes pre-existing narratives in her book, but the insights she brings to the forefront are startling in their starkness. The chapters about singer Aaliyah—who died in a plane crash before the world could confront her about her relationship with R. Kelly—and Janet Jackson—whose Super Bowl gaffe destroyed her carefully cultivated image of sexual confidence—are particularly galling. Below, see more of the biggest highlights from Toxic, which hits bookstores today. Read more at The Daily Beast.
Charley Gallay/Getty ImagesIn some ways, taking up residence at the Playboy Mansion seems like a decision that someone would only make with plans for a tell-all memoir already baked in. It’s one of the most iconic, mythological locales in Los Angeles; the site of countless A-list parties and sexual escapades, and the longtime home of controversial Playboy founding editor Hugh Hefner. Seems like the stuff that first-person literary dreams are made of. Crystal Hefner, née Harris—the third and last of the mogul’s wives and the person who primarily kept him company up until his death in 2017—makes it very clear in her new memoir that accepting Hugh’s invitation to move into the mansion was a choice that she made, at age 21, under the assumption that total safety was finally hers. All she had to give in exchange, she writes in Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself, was everlasting loyalty, unconditional love, and every facet of her body and free will. Crystal’s revelations about her own subjugation are scary and sad in equal measure. She had sex with Hugh, who was 60 years her senior, the first night she met him on Halloween in 2008 with no reluctance, and married him four years later. She then spent the majority of her twenties shut away in the Playboy Mansion, beholden to the routines of a deteriorating Hugh, who she describes in her book as a “narcissist.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer/GC ImagesLast September, shortly after Joe Jonas filed for divorce from Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, the mother of his two young daughters, Turner responded by filing a petition with the Southern District of New York stating that Jonas was wrongfully retaining their two children in New York City from their “forever home” in the U.K., and demanding the return of their children to England. Now, according to a court filing first obtained by The Messenger, the actress and close friend of Taylor Swift is ready to drop those charges, with attorneys for Turner and Jonas asking the judge in their case to dismiss the action. “The parties have now submitted an agreed-upon Consent Order resolving the parenting of their matter to the English Court,” Turner’s attorney wrote to Judge Katherine Polk Failla.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Christopher Polk/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty ImagesRumors that actor Timothée Chalamet and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner had begun dating seemed absurd when they sprang up last April. But now, after months of consistent hangs and a very public appearance together at the Golden Globes, the pair are reportedly quite serious—albeit with some guardrails in place. According to Us Weekly, Chalamet has met the two young children Jenner shares with her ex, rapper Travis Scott, having been introduced to them “in group situations where there were other family members or friends around,” per a source. However, despite Chalamet and Jenner’s months-long courtship, there has never been a situation “where it’s just Kylie, Timothée and the kids in an intimate setting,” Us Weekly’s source claims. “And she introduced him as one of Mommy’s friends. Kylie feels like it’s [still] too soon to let them know anything about their relationship.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyIn a new panel interview, Ted Lasso co-creators and stars Brendan Hunt and Jason Sudeikis disputed claims by Joy Behar that she had been approached to make a guest appearance on the third season of the smash hit show. This week, Behar had said on The View that the weather in London contributed to her decision to decline the role of Ted Lasso’s mom. The Season 3 part ultimately went to Becky Ann Baker, who scored an Emmy nomination for the role.“There was a heat wave going on at that time, like, 100-degree weather, and I’d have to get on a plane and go in the middle of the heat,” Behar said on her show’s Behind the Table podcast. “Listen, I’m a writer, I write my own stuff, I don’t care about other people’s stuff. I don’t need to be in everything.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Christopher PolkAmidst last night’s rocky Golden Globes ceremony—during which host Jo Koy managed to antagonize virtually every celebrity in the room via a series of flat monologue jokes—one intriguing interlude came in the form of a hushed conversation between attendees Selena Gomez, actress Keleigh Sperry and Taylor Swift. Onlookers captured photos and video of Gomez ducking conspiratorially towards the others and whispering what was, clearly, piping hot gossip. In record time, amateur lip readers and shit-stirrers collectively decided upon the theory that Gomez had approached cute new couple Timotheé Chalamet and Kylie Jenner to ask Chalamet for a photo, and that Jenner had waved her off. Some speculators theorized that Jenner is a possessive girlfriend, while others named the makeup mogul’s friendship with Hailey Bieber as a possible catalyst for her alleged coldness towards Gomez: Bieber and Gomez famously do not get along. Read more at The Daily Beast.
CBS/screengrabComedian Jo Koy, who started off his hosting gig at the Golden Globes on the wrong foot with a monologue that fell very flat, continued his not-so-hot streak minutes later by lobbing a lame NFL joke at ceremony attendee Taylor Swift. Swift, of course, is very famously dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and her presence at his games has been highly publicized. “Welcome back, and as you know, we came on after a football doubleheader,” Koy began. “The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL—on the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift.” Koy, looking out at the audience, started laughing ruefully as he delivered the line, as though he already regretted saying it. Read more at The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/GettyStandup comedian Katt Williams has never been one to pull punches, and on Wednesday’s episode of Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay, which already has upwards of 14 million views, the king of underground comedy spent two hours taking shots at many of the most prominent working comedians and actors in Hollywood, several of whom have already issued public responses to his relentless zingers. Periodically sipping from a tumbler of brown liquor, Williams accused Cedric the Entertainer of stealing one of his set-closing jokes, claimed “real African” Michael Blackson was using “a fake African accent” and alleged that Steve Harvey had stolen the premise for his eponymous WB sitcom from Mark Curry, another comedian; and that was just the tip of the iceberg. Williams roasted Harvey’s acting skills. “You couldn’t be a movie star,” the Emmy Award-winner said. “There are 30,000 new scripts in Hollywood every year. Not one of them asked for a country bumpkin Black dude that can’t talk good… and look like Mr. Potato Head. There ain’t none. You have to have range.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
GettyNew details are coming out surrounding pop star and talk show host Kelly Clarkson’s divorce from ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, who for years also acted as her manager. According to Page Six, while they were married, Blackstock told Clarkson that getting her a gig on The Voice would be a tough sell because NBC execs were “looking for a more sex symbol type” and wanted “someone sexy” like Rihanna. The outlet also reports that, in court, Clarkson told her lawyer that “a wife doesn’t forget a time she gets told she’s not a sex symbol.”In court documents filed in December that were obtained by The Daily Beast, Clarkson alleged that Blackstock, who is not a licensed talent agent, unlawfully negotiated the main terms of her contract to become a coach on the NBC singing competition The Voice without Creative Artists Agency, Clarkson’s talent agency at the time. Read more at The Daily Beast.
SJZOusted former Good Morning America co-hosts Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, who were dismissed from the network last year after photographic evidence of their extramarital affair hit the tabloids, reflected on the lessons they learned in their tumultuous 2023 on the latest episode of their new podcast. For Holmes and Robach, who each were married to others when the affair leaked but since divorced their exes, the lessons were numerous: Robach listed around 30, while Holmes came up with just under 40. First on Robach’s lessons list? “Choosing love is always worth it.” First on Holmes’? “There are friendships I lost in 2023 that will never come back.” Read more at The Daily Beast.