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GABRIELLE UNION ADDRESSES 'GOT' DEPARTURE AS INVESTIGATION TURNS UP NO HARASSMENT

Gabrielle Union is breaking her silence on her departure from NBC's America's Got Talent last year. She and fellow judge Julianne Hough left the competition after a single season, and later, allegations emerged of a "toxic culture" that included racist jokes and racist notes about hair from producers.

Union spoke out in an interview with Variety: "I signed up for the experience of being a part of a show that hails itself as the biggest stage in the world. Super diverse, and one about giving people an opportunity to shine where they otherwise probably wouldn't," she said. "What could go wrong?"

She continued, "There are so many people who are committed to making NBCUniversal and Comcast different, who truly want to be a part of the solution and on the right side of history... In the same breath, there are some people who want the wheels of change to come to a grinding halt because they feel that their privilege is being challenged."

Union said that she objected to fellow judge Simon Cowell's smoking with producers, to no avail. "I couldn't escape. I ended up staying sick for two months straight. It was a cold that lingered, and turned into bronchitis, because I couldn't shake it. It impacted my voice, which affects my ability to do my job," she said.

Union decided to use her platform to speak out because: "If I can't speak out with the privilege that I have … What is the point of making it?"

INVESTIGATION

Meanwhile, the results of an investigation into Union's dismissal have been released.

"Through the investigation process, it has been revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union's appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time," the statement read, in part. "The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract."

The investigation did find "some areas in which reporting processes could be improved," the statement from NBC and show producers Fremantle and Syco conceded.


KATE MIDDLETON & PALACE SHUT DOWN TABLOID REPORTS ABOUT DRAMA WITH MEGHAN MARKLE AND PRINC EHARRY

Kensington Palace and Kate Middleton are hitting back after the Tatler published a report titled "Catherine the Great," in which it dissected Kate's relationship with Meghan Markle, and aspects of her and Prince Harry's departure from royal life.

"This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication," a Palace spokesperson said in a statement.

Following the Palace's statement, a Tatler spokesperson tells ET, "Tatler's Editor-in-Chief Richard Dennen stands behind the reporting of Anna Pasternak and her sources. Kensington Palace knew we were running the 'Catherine the Great' cover months ago and we asked them to work together on it. The fact they are denying they ever knew is categorically false."

GOOD KATE

The article heaped praise on Kate in some areas, while reflecting less flatteringly on Harry and Meghan, whose leave-taking they blame on Kate's immense work load.

"Kate is furious about the larger workload. Of course she's smiling and dressing appropriately but she doesn't want this. She feels exhausted and trapped," the article claims of the Duchess of Cambridge's busy schedule while in quarantine with her three children. "She's working as hard as a top CEO, who has to be wheeled out all the time, without the benefits of boundaries and plenty of holidays."

BAD KATE

But the article also claimed that Kate has a "ruthless survival streak" and never "pulled Meghan under her wing." It went onto say that she and Prince William were "circumspect from the beginning" about Meghan, which upset Harry.

Other possible reasons for objection: the article's claims that her mother, Carole, is "the mummy Prince William always wanted," while also citing sources that claim Carole is "the most difficult client" to work with and "a terrible snob."

It also claims that Kate and William had a "falling out" with their neighbors and friends, Rose Hanbury and her husband Marquess of Cholmondeley, over "Rose's apparent closeness to William."


CELEBRITY GOSSIP

RICHARD HERD DIES AT 87: Actor Richard Herd, beloved for his work in Seinfeld and Star Trek, has died of cancer at age 87. A spokesperson for Richard and his wife Patricia said: "I can confirm that Richard passed away yesterday morning at age 87 of cancer at his home in Los Angeles in the company of his family. He is survived by his wife of 40 years Patricia, daughter Erica, son Rick and step-daughter Alicia."

JENNIFER GARNER, LENA DUNHAM, MORE TO HEADLINE VIRTUAL AWARDS: The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, normally held at Carnegie Hall, will be streamed virtually due to coronavirus. Jennifer Garner, Lena Dunham and Glee star and author of The Land of Stories series Chris Colfer have been tapped to introduce the winners of the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, in a virtual ceremony set to take place on June 4. New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Dav Pilkey (Dog Man, Captain Underpants) and New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games) will also appear.

LARRY KRAMER DIES AT 84: Larry Kramer, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter, playwright and author has died at age 84. He was best known for his role as an AIDS activist, and as the scribe of the Tony Award-winning The Normal Heart.

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS' SASHA PIETERSE IS PREGNANT: Sasha Pieterse is expecting her first child! The 24-year-old Pretty Little Liars star shared the news on social media Wednesday. "We are so beyond excited to finally share our sweet news with all of you … we will be welcoming a precious little human this October!" She tagged her husband, Hudson Sheaffer.

MARTIN SCORSESE SHOOTS FILM IN ISOLATION: Martin Scorsese has created a film solo for the BBC. The self-shot film, about being in isolation during the pandemic, will premiere today (Thursday) in the final episode of Lockdown Culture With Mary Beard, the retitled new series of the BBC's flagship arts program Front Row Late. Lee Daniels also appears on the show. "What I look forward to in the future is carrying with me what I have been forced to learn in these circumstances," said Scorsese of his isolation experience. "It is the essential. The people you love. Being able to take care of them and be with them as much as you can."

DOUG LIMAN TO HELM TOM CRUISE SPACE FILM: Doug Liman is set to direct the new Tom Cruise action-adventure film … in space. It is the first movie to be shot in space, and will involve Elon Musk's Space X and NASA. Liman and Cruise worked together on American Made and Edge of Tomorrow.


AS MARY-KATE OLSEN MOVES OUT, OLIVIER SARKOZY MOVES EX IN

Mary-Kate Olsen and her husband of five years Olivier Sarkozy are splitting, but is Sarkozy reconciling with his first wife?

Page Six reports that the 50-year-old French banker moved his ex-wife Charlotte Bertrand, and their two children into a five-bedroom, 4,000 square foot home in the Hamptons that he shared with Olsen, right as she filed for divorce. A source says: "Olivier was concerned for the safety of his family in New York during the pandemic. He insisted to Mary-Kate that he wanted to bring his ex-wife, their kids and his mother from the city, to their Bridgehampton home."

The source added, "Maybe French people culturally have a different view of marriage, and while Mary-Kate loves his children, it was too much to have his ex-wife living with them during the pandemic. Would you want the ex-wife living with you for an unforeseeable amount of time in the middle of a crisis?"

A second source added, "The moment MK drove out of the driveway in April, Olivier had his mother, kids, and wait for this … Charlotte his ex-wife, move in to keep them in a safer place, away from COVID.

While there is no rumored romance per se, Bertrand was around frequently on holidays and birthdays. "They have two kids and have always put them first. In their French way, family comes first, even with a divorce."

Olsen is currently in a Hamptons estate with a private dock that she rented for $325K to ride out the summer.


LORI LOUGHLIN AND MOSSIMO GIANNULLI TO LEARN FATE IN AUGUST

Disgraced actress Lori Loughlin and her Guess designer husband Mossimo Giannulli will learn their fate on August 21st. The pair pleaded guilty in the college admissions case earlier this month, admitting to shelling out $500K in bribes to get their daughter Olivia Jade and Bella into University of Southern California.

Loughlin agreed to serve two months in jail, pay $150K and do 100 hours of community service, while Giannulli agreed to serve five months, pay $250K and do 250 hours. Boston federal Judge Nathaniel Gorton has to sign off on the deal for it to be finalized.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, a source tells People: "Lori and Mossimo deeply regret what they did. This experience has taken a huge emotional and physical toll on both of them."

According to Us Weekly, they're pushing through, but have been going through serious ups and downs in their relationship due to the stress.


KRISTIN CAVALLARI AND JAY CUTLER ONLY COMMUNICATING THROUGH LAWYERS

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler's divorce has been extraordinarily messy. Cavallari accused Cutler of marital misconduct in her filing, and rumors have swirled of his rudeness to her on-set of Very Cavallari (the E! show has been canceled since their divorce), cheating with her former BFF and claims that he blocked her from buying a house (she has since bought a new home, and they put their 20,000 square-foot Nashville manse on the market).

The latest report in Us Weekly has them not even on speaking terms, and "communicating through their attorneys," with "zero chance of reconciliation."

The pair share three boys, and have reportedly agreed to a co-parenting schedule.


INDUSTRY NEWS

ALL EIGHT POTTER FILMS SET FOR HBO MAX: All eight Harry Potter flicks are available for streaming on HBO Max, which launched Wednesday in the U.S. In all, the eight films released between 2011-2011 generated $7.7 billion for Warner Bros. HBO Max offers about 10,000 hours of film and TV programming, including originals and library titles. In the first three years, WarnerMedia says it will pour $4 billion into content for HBO Max, much of which was used to secure streaming rights for Friends and South Park.

ERROL MORRIS SETS TIMOTHY LEARY DOC: Showtime Documentary Films has picked up a feature doc from the Oscar-winning Errol Morris about Timothy Leary, the LSD guru. The project will follow Leary, who became an FBI narc in the 1970s. "This is a dream project. I'm always looking for alternative ways into a story. You never want to go through the front door. Or even the back door. Much better to find an attic window that has been left ajar. Joanna Harcourt-Smith, who had a love affair with Timothy Leary, wrote a book detailing how they met, how they fell in love, how they took drugs together, how he ended up in prison," Morris said in a statement.

ABC VOWS TO FIGHT SEXUAL HARASSMENT SUIT: The director of photography for Disney and ABC-CBS' joint production of Criminal Minds "engaged in sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation against persons working on the set of the show, including without limitation, production crew members," according to a filing from the state agency in Los Angeles Superior Court against the long-accused director of photography. Gregory St. Johns' "conduct was rampant, frequent, and in the open," according to the filing. The Disney-owned ABC Studios tells Deadline that "The Company works hard to maintain a work environment free from discrimination, harassment, or retaliation," adding that "In this instance the Company took corrective action. We cooperated with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing during its investigation, and we regret that we were unable to reach a reasonable resolution with the Department. We now intend to defend the asserted claims vigorously."

MOBILE GAMING SKYROCKETS: During the coronavirus pandemic, mobile gaming is skyrocketing. According to data and analytics provider App Annie, weekly mobile gaming downloads hit a new world record of 1.2 billion. Downloads went up 30% in April, and 35% in March, according to the report.


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