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FORMER MISS AMERICAS CALL FOR GRETCHEN CARLSON TO STEP DOWN: Gretchen Carlson is hitting back at allegations that she bullied current Miss America Cara Mund, but other former titleholders aren’t hearing it. In a letter last week, Mund alleged that Carlson (a former Miss America herself) and CEO Regina Hopper took over the organization after the previous leaders were ousted for slut-and-fat-shaming contestants, and managed to make a bad situation worse. Mund wrote they "systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis." After Carlson rejected her claims, former Miss America Suzette Charles told NBC’s Megyn Kelly: "She's the chairman and there's a CEO. They're required as businesspeople to raise money for the organization for the scholarship to have money to run the program and she's now putting that responsibility on our current Miss America?" Charles, former Miss America Heather Whitestone McCallum and 11 other former Miss America winners have called for Carlson, Hopper and the current Board of Trustees to resign in a petition.

BEN AFFLECK AND LINDSAY SHOOKUS ARE DONE: Ben Affleck, 46, and Lindsay Shookus, 38, have split after a year together, E! News reports. This news comes on the heels of the Batman star being seen out on the town with a 22-year-old Playboy model. E! claims they’ve been broken up for a few weeks, but that they’re still friends. Affleck shares three children with his ex Jennifer Garner, and was recently seen celebrating his birthday with them.

CHAMPIONS’ JOSIE TOTAH COMES OUT AS TRANSGENDER: Josie Totah is sharing her truth. In an essay for Time, the teen star revealed that she is transgender. "Acting has always been my passion. I'm grateful for roles I've gotten to play on shows like Champions, and I know I'm lucky to be able to do what I love," the 17-year-old, who had worked under the name J.J. Totah, said. "But I also feel like I let myself be shoved into a box: 'J.J. Totah, gay boy.'" She continued, explaining it all "clicked" for her when she was 14. "As I learned more information about hormone replacement therapy, I knew that this was what I had to do. I looked over at my mother in the middle of the show and said, 'This is me. I'm transgender. And I need to go through this.' My mother, who is immensely supportive and gracious, said, 'OK, let's do it.' Three days later I was meeting with my pediatrician, who referred me to a specialist, who put me on a hormone blocker. From that point on, I hit the ground running."

JENNIFER GARNER BRINGS KIDS FOR WALK OF FAME STAR: Jennifer Garner got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the 46-year-old Golden Globe winner brought her three kids along for a rare public appearance.The actress shares Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6, with ex Ben Affleck, who did not attend. Judy Greer, Bryan Cranston and Steve Carell all supported their former co-star as well. She gave her kids a special shout-out during the ceremony, telling them she loved them and that the star was "about hard work and good luck and not a whole lot else."

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH TARA REID? Tara Reid has made a number of unusual appearances while promoting Sharknado 6, even tweeting out that her bad back was to blame for a no-show. The 42-year-old baffled many with her appearance Thursday on Sydney’s Today Extra and then another jumbled interview on Fox 5 New York Friday. She was set to appear for a Build Series talk with co-star Ian Ziering, but then this tweet (since deleted) appeared on her feed: "Due to some back issues I am having, I had to cut my press tour short. I wish I could’ve been there especially for my favorite show, @BUILDseriesNYC. Thank you for ur understanding & I am hoping to recover from this pain soon. Tune in Sunday as @SharknadoSYFY 6 premieres on @syfy." According to The Blast, Reid claimed her Twitter account was hacked. "It made no sense, why would I write that?" she said at the movie’s Sunday night premiere in Los Angeles, The Blast reports.

KIM KARDASHIAN CROWS ABOUT 24-INCH WAIST: In a new shoot for CR Fashion Book, Kim Kardashian West appears in a shoot by photographer Jackie Nickerson wearing milk maid braids and a corseted Vivienne Westwood gown with roomy sleeves, a voluminous skirt and a tiny nipped-in waist. She told the magazine that this was her "easiest" shoot ever because she had a 24-inch waist which means she didn’t have to "suck it in."

DANIELLE STAUB & HUSBAND DROP RESTRAINING ORDERS: The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub and her husband Marty Caffrey have dropped their restraining orders against each other, but they still plan to pursue their divorce after just three months of marriage. Staub, 56, filed for an order of protection Monday, and Caffrey, 66, responded in kind the next day.

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Marvel leading light Chris Hemsworth graces the September cover of GQ, and inside, he talked about his commitment to family and privacy, especially in an era of constant overshare on social media.

He explained that all photos he shares of his wife Elsa Pataky and their three kids, 6-year-old daughter, India Rose, and 4-year-old twin sons, Tristan and Sasha, are purely for fun, despite several lucrative offers from advertising companies.

"The exploitation is something I'm very wary of. We've been offered things like, 'Advertise such-and-such and have dinner with your family," the 35-year-old actor said. "There's no way."

Still, we live in an era of social media, so he isn’t avoiding it completely, he said. "The social media side of it is just trying to work out: How do you keep up with the times?' You see that Sylvester Stallone has an Instagram account, and you kind of go, 'This is the world we're in.'"

Hemsworth said he’s happy with the balance he’s found between work and home life. "I really do feel a sense of ease for the first time in years. I don’t mean that as an assessment of my achievements. I just mean I’m content with what’s going on and relaxed and open about it," Hemsworth shared.

Hemworth can next be seen in Bad Times at the El Royale on October 12th.

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Rose McGowan says her heart is "broken" after reading that her friend and fellow Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento quietly paid off her own assault accuser.

"I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein," McGowan tweeted on Monday. "My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere."

On Sunday, the New York Times issued a bombshell report claiming Argento paid Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexual assault. Bennett, who once played her son in a movie, accused her of assaulting him in a California hotel room when he was 17 and she was 37. The Times cited documents claiming Argento gave him alcohol, then pushed him on the bed, performed oral sex on him and then climbed on top to have intercourse with him.

McGowan and Argento were two of the most vocal leaders of the #MeToo movement, in addition to being some of the first of dozens of women who accused Weinstein of misconduct, including rape. McGowan, 44, and Argento, 42, have frequently supported each other on social media and in real life.

McGowan reportedly rallied to Argento’s support after her celebrity chef boyfriend Anthony Bourdain committed suicide in June, and Argento appeared on McGowan’s reality series E!'s Citizen Rose to share her story of assault.

CRIMINAL CHARGES?

Sources tell TMZ that Argento will not be charged because the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department will only investigate sex crimes if the alleged victim complains. Also, Bennett is now 22, and while they may have opened an investigation into the case if he were still a minor, they have no plans to as of now.

X FACTOR

Argento, who is set to appear on X Factor Italy as a judge, will be fired if the allegations are true, producers say. Producers put out a statement that reads in part: "Sky Italia and FremantleMedia Italia have read today with great attention and in astonishment the news regarding Asia Argento published by the New York Times. … if the allegations reported by the New York Times today were to be confirmed, the issue would be absolutely inconsistent with Sky’s ethical principles and values and therefore - in full agreement with FremantleMedia - we would have no choice but to take note of it and put an end to the collaboration with Asia Argento."

Neither Argento nor Bennett have spoken out about the report yet.

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Moon Person trophies were handed out at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards last night with Camila Cabello winning not one, but two trophies for Artist of the Year and Video of the Year for her video "Havana."

Other winners of the evening included Post Malone’s "Rockstar" taking the trophy for Song of the Year and Cardi B nabbing Best New Artist. Atlanta star and creator Donald Glover’s music video for "The Is America" snagged Best Video With a Message, Best Choreography, and Best Direction.

Other Highlights Include:

  • The Backstreet Boys performed at the pre-show. The guys – Howie D., Kevin Richardson, Nick Carter, AJ McLean, and Brian Littrell – took over the front of Radio City Music Hall to perform one of their new hits "Don’t Go Breaking My Heart." Later on in the show, the guys hit the stage to present.
  • Rising star Hayley Kiyoko received the Push artist of the year, beating out SZA, Khalid, Lil Xan and several others. "This validates any queer woman of color that you can follow your dreams," Kiyoko said in an impromptu interview on the pink carpet.
  • Cardi B kicked off the ceremony by cradling the VMAs signature trophy as if it were her child which led to a wet T shirt performance from Shawn Mendes as well as a Nicki Minaj performance that was very royal to go in line with her album Queen.
  • Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart opened the show by reassuring the crowd they could express themselves freely at the show, at least more freely than an NFL player can. "We are live coast-to-coast, people. I’m looking at this like it’s game day," Hart said. "But do not worry. For this game, you’re allowed to kneel. You can do whatever the hell you want. There’s no old white man who can stop you." They also had some zingers for people in attendance ("Jersey Shore is back and bigger than ever, which makes sense. Without treatment, that sort of thing will keep flaring up every couple of years.") – but Hart saved his most pointed jab President Donald Trump. "You never know what’s going to happen at the VMAs," he said. "Bad language, people run to the bathroom and send out crazy tweets. It’s basically like a typical day at the White House. In your face, Trump! Suck it!"
  • Haddish, meanwhile, mispronounced Camila Cabello’s name. "Y’all know I can’t read that good. I only speak English, and that’s mostly in Ebonics,"she quipped. Haddish then called out Cabello’s old band Fifth Harmony by saying they were at home watching instead of being invited to the show. Nicki Minaj stood up for her Fifth Harmony pal Normani and told Haddish when the rapper stepped on stage to accept an award, "Don’t be coming for Fifth Harmony because Normani is that b*tch!"
  • Travis Scott performed a medley of songs off of his new album Astroworld. Travis was joined by James Blake on stage where the two performed a medley of "Stargazing," "Stop Trying To Be God," and "Sicko Mode."
  • Nicki Minaj performed a medley of her songs "Barbie Dreams" and "Majesty" during the nearly five-minute performance.
  • Panic! at the Disco, fronted lead vocalist Brendon Urie, commanded the crowd with a stellar performance of "High Hopes." Brendon donned a black and gold floral suit as he opened the song on a rotating platform that descended into the crowd.
  • Ariana Grande performed her current single "God is a Woman" from her album Sweetener. The performance kicked off with a visual of The Last Supper featuring only women. At the end of the performance, Ari‘s mom Joan and her grandma Nonna came on stage.
  • Logic and Ryan Tedder hit the stage together to perform their track "One Day." During the performance, Logic wore a shirt that read "F**k the Wall." He was later joined by immigrant families wearing shirts that read "We Are All Human Beings," and held up candles.
  • Jennifer Lopez was honored with the Video Vanguard Award and delivered a performance of current and past hits to remind us that she’s still Jenny from the Block. After the epic performance, the 49-year-old entertainer returned to the stage to accept the coveted award. After thanking her team and family, Jen gave her gratitude to boyfriend Alex Rodriguez. "And Alex. You’re like my twin soul. We’re like mirror images of each other," Jen said. "My life is sweeter and better with you in it because you make me realize that every day the sky is not the limit – the universe is infinite, and so is what we can accomplish together with love and trust and understanding. There’s so much more to do – to experience – and there is no one I’d rather do it with. You’re my macho baby and I love you."
  • Madonna, who recently celebrated her 60th birthday, made an appearance to not only present the award for Video of the Year but to serve as a conduit for an Aretha Franklin tribute. She shared a story of her early days as a struggling singer and dancer on how she was inspired by Franklin and how she "belted" out "Natural Woman" at an audition. She said the point of her story was that her career wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t "for our ‘Lady of Soul’." "Thank you for empowering all of us," she added. "Long live the queen."
  • Post Malone ended the telecast with a performance with the legendary Aerosmith.
  • The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards is the second ceremony since MTV changed the "Moon Man" trophy name to the gender neutral "Moon Person."
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS ARIANA GRANDE ACCEPTS THE BEST POP AWARD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS CAMILA CABELLO ACCEPTS THE ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS CAMILA CABELLO ACCEPTS THE VIDEO OF THE YEAR AWARD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS CARDI B ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR BEST NEW ARTIST
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS CHOREOGRAPHER SHERRIE SILVER ACCEPTS THE VIDEO WITH A MESSAGE AWARD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS JENNIFER LOPEZ ACCEPTS THE VANGUARD AWARD 1
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS JENNIFER LOPEZ ACCEPTS THE VANGUARD AWARD 2
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS JENNIFER LOPEZ ACCEPTS THE VANGUARD AWARD 3
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS JENNIFER LOPEZ DJ KHALED AND CARDI B ACCEPT THE BEST COLLABORATION AWARD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS KEVIN HART AND TIFFANY HADDISH ROAST THE CROWD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS MADONNA PAYS TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN 1
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS MADONNA PAYS TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN 2
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS MADONNA PAYS TRIBUTE TO ARETHA FRANKLIN 3
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS NICKI MINAJ ACCEPTS THE BEST HIP HOP AWARD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS POST MALONE AND 21 SAVAGE ACCEPT THE SONG OF THE YEAR AWARD
AUDIO: 2018 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS WILLY WILLIAM ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR BEST LATIN

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Johnny Depp is responding to a complaint filed by Gregg "Rocky" Brooks, and while he doesn’t exactly deny assaulting him on the City of Lies set, he claims any physical attacks he inflicted were done in self defense, The Blast reports.

The 55-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean actor is being sued for "maliciously and forcefully" punching Brooks twice in the ribs before telling him he’d pay him $100K to "punch him the face."

Depp argues that he lashed out in April of 2017 because he "feared for his safety." He goes even further, claiming he believed the director Brad Furman also feared for his safety and that the alleged assault was also a "defense of others."

Depp requests that the case be dismissed.

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Comedians Pete Davidson and Joey Gay recently had a brush with the police. The Saturday Night Live star was pulled over in the town of Fayetteville, New York at 4:25 a.m. on August 11th, People reports.

Gay, 47, was charged with possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree and cited with unlawful possession of marijuana. A source tells People the controlled substance was a weed edible.

Davidson, 24, passed a field sobriety test and was listed as an "associated person" in the arrest report. Davidson has been in upstate New York filming Big Time Adolescence with Machine Gun Kelly.

Davidson and Gay appear to be close friends, popping up on each other’s social media feeds with some frequency. In July, Gay posted a shot of himself with Davidson’s fiancée Ariana Grande.

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Comedian Chelsea Handler sat down with BuzzFeed News for an in-depth profile, and the subject of former senator Al Franken came up. She defended her friend. Franken, of course, famously stepped down from Congress following allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct.

Handler’s defense, many point out, was strange though, and in the end, she implicated herself, saying that she too had "touched people’s breasts and genitals."

"I don’t want to diminish anyone’s legitimate claim of feeling like they’ve been assaulted, because that’s your feeling, but I think there is a very big difference of a man putting his arm around you … he’s a comedian," she explained. "I’m a comedian. I’ve touched people’s breasts and genitals, I can’t imagine how many times, in photos. That doesn’t excuse it, but that’s something that’s just, that’s not rape. That’s not sexual assault. That’s not repeated behavior over and over again." Says Handler, "I think he can redeem himself."

Handler went on, saying that she believes the #MeToo movement is essential, and wouldn’t have come about if Hillary Clinton had been elected. "If Hillary had won, I don’t think there would’ve been the #MeToo movement. I don’t think we would have had the Time’s Up movement," the comedian and host said. "I think that we all realize what’s at stake, and so people are really willing to stick their necks out and fight."

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AMERICAN HORROR STORY DROPS CAST PHOTO OF APOCALYPSE: The witches of American Horror Story are back for Apocalypse. Co-creator Ryan Murphy took to social to share the first look images of several returning players from Coven. Sarah Paulson appears as Cordelia Goode, Stevie Nicks as Stevie Nicks, Lily Rabe as Misty Day, Emma Roberts as Madison Montgomery, Taissa Farmiga as Zoe Benson, Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie and Frances Conroy as Myrtle Snow. American Horror Story: Apocalypse premieres Wednesday, Sept. 12 on FX.

JESSICA BIEL TALKS THE SINNER SEASON 2: Jessica Biel, who received an Emmy nomination for her work on USA Network’s The Sinner, opened up about striking the right balance in playing such a complex character: "I think the reason I love her so much is because of her compassion and because of her tenderness; quite honestly, she is a survivor." The second season of The Sinner premiered August 1st, but Biel says several elements have yet to play out. "We are going to take you through a human experience. We are going to expose an underbelly of maybe a location or an experience or a relationship between two people or multiple people. We want to hold onto all of that feeling the language of the show, the atmospheric quality, the silence of the show," said Biel.

CAA TO HOST BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL HEADLINING REESE WITHERSPOON: CAA will host Let’s Discuss Live, a Brooklyn Book Festival event on September 26th, pairing Reese Witherspoon and YouTuber Mamrie Hart as they discuss their shared Southern heritage and its impact on Witherspoon’s upcoming book, Whiskey in a Teacup. (The book drops next month from Simon & Schuster).

HULU TEAMS UP WITH CHANNEL 4, JACK THORNE ON THE LIGHT: British broadcaster Channel 4 and Hulu are collaborating on a four-part drama that will examine the repercussions of a catastrophic disaster on a small Welsh Town. Like National Treasure and Kiri (prior collabs), it will look at how the media attention can adversely affect a community struggling to recover from disaster. "We are delighted to be working once more with the immensely talented Jack Thorne," said Channel 4's head of drama Beth Willis. "Jack has a singular ability to explore some of the most complex and challenging topics facing modern Britain today with warmth and empathy, and also with sharp insight and fearless scrutiny. The Light promises to be another powerful examination of guilt, blame, responsibility and culpability." Shooting will begin next year.

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