Several royals were no-shows at Prince Andrew's 60th birthday party, according to reports. As royals reel from multiple scandals, it seems Andrew's poor handling of his connection to the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, claims that he had relations with at least one of Epstein's victims and rumors that he is stymieing a sex crimes investigation has become too much.
Andrew, as many will recall, officially stepped down from royal duties amid the scandal, but he did pop up at various royal events in the months since, to the horror of some onlookers.
And while the Queen scrapped plans for a lavish party, a low-key dinner for 50 was held, but his siblings, including the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and Prince Edward and Princess Anne, failed to show.
"Neither of Andrew's brothers was there, nor was Anne, but it was a wonderful party," one guest told the Daily Mail, saying there was still a "really good range of people."
Guests included Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, actor Sir John Standing and racing heir Guy Sangster. The fete was held at Royal Lodge, the Windsor residence he shares with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who has remained loyal to him through these travails.
Johnny Depp texted his friend Paul Bettany that that he would "burn" and "drown" his now ex-wife Amber Heard then "f**k her burnt corpse" during their relationship, London's High Court learned Wednesday.
Depp was in court when the texts were read during a preliminary hearing in his libel suit against The Sun, which alleged that he was abusive toward Heard, now 33.
The 56-year-old reportedly sent the messages in 2013. In 2014, Depp texted Bettany: "I'm gonna properly stop the booze thing, darling… Drank all night before I picked Amber up to fly to LA, this past Sunday…Ugly, mate.
"No food for days…powders…half a bottle of whiskey, a thousand red bull and vodkas, pills, 2 bottles of Champers on plane and what do you get..???
"An angry, aggro Injun in a f–kin' blackout, screaming obscenities and insulting any f–k who got near…I'm done.
"I am admittedly too f–ked in the head to spray my rage at the one I love…For little reason, as well I'm too old to be that guy But, pills are fine!!!"
The Sun's lawyer Adam Wolanski QC told the court that the text appears to refer to an incident on a flight in which he is accused of slapping Heard in the face, kicking her and throwing a boot at her before "passing out" in the plane toilet.
Depp's lawyer Adam Waldman said, "What does the Sun do to keep Amber Heard's hoax alive? Wednesday in court we learned the answer — cherry-picking a fragment of a single frustrated text message to a friend sent out of 500 gigabytes of text and email messages provided.
Depp and Heard divorced in 2017. The full hearing is set for March 23rd. He is also suing Heard for libel in the U.S.
People have been praising Vanessa Bryant for gathering the strength to speak at husband Kobe and daughter Gianna Bryant's memorial service earlier this week, but insiders said the speech almost didn't happen. An insider told E!, "Vanessa Bryant's speech was always tentative until the very last minute." It was so last minute that she was set to give host Jimmy Kimmel a signal before he introduced her on stage, indicating whether she was going to speak or not.
The source continued, "She, of course, was prepared with her speech either way, but keeping her tentative was a matter of how emotional she was and how comfortable she felt in that moment to make the speech. Nobody knew if she was going to do it until Jimmy actually announced her."
In other news, eBay has pulled items from Kobe Bryant's memorial off of their site. According to TMZ, several fans who attended the memorial decided to sell items like shirt, pins, programs and more. One XL shirt sold for $2,025. eBay said that the items were removed because of a policy they have that prohibits sellers from profiting off of "human tragedy or suffering."
eBay explained to one seller via email, "Please note, due to sudden and tragic passing of Kobe Bryant - eBay has made the decision to prohibit the sale of merchandise, images and mugs relating to their passing. We do not allow listings that attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering."
DID LEBRON ATTEND KOBE'S MEMORIAL?
Meanwhile, LeBron James kindly told a reporter to move on after he was asked if he attended Kobe Bryant's memorial earlier this week. When asked if he attended, Bron said, "I respect your question, for sure. It was very emotional, very emotional day, very tough day for myself, for my family, for everyone involved. The one thing I can come out of this saying is how strong and how bold and how powerful Vanessa is to stand up there the way she did, to give the speech the way she gave that speech. I commend her. My heart is with her family still, with his three daughters that's still here, with his wife, with his mom and dad, his sister.'
He continued, "It was just a very difficult day. Obviously celebration, but it was a difficult day for all of us. I'd appreciate it if we can move on tonight. That would be great. Emotionally a wreck, like everyone else. Another challenging day for all of us. Like you've been hearing me talk about the last couple times you guys asked me about the whole situation, it's just been hard to kind of talk about it. Trying not to go back. It's just tough."
On the day of the memorial, Bron posted the date "2/24," along with the caption "Mamba Forever."
MACAULAY CULKIN JOINS AHS: American Horror Story Season 10 will include returning stars Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, plus newbie Macaulay Culkin. The show's creator Ryan Murphy shared the scoop on Instagram, also revealing that Kathy Bates, Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, Adina Porter, Lily Rabe, Angelica Ross and Finn Wittrock are set to join the party.
JENELLE EVANS DAVID EASON? Rumors of a reconciliation between Jenelle Evans and David Eason continue to swirl and horrify fans who can't believe she'd consider taking him back after he publicly admitted to killing her dog. The Teen Mom 2 alum tells E! that the pair have a new dog and are considering "going to counseling" to deal with their issues.
NICOLAS CAGE SPOTTED WITH MYSTERY WOMAN: Nicolas Cage visited the cemetery where his nine-foot tomb was built; he was holding hands with a mystery woman. This is the first time Cage has been spotted with someone after a wild four-day marriage to Erika Koike in March of last year. They officially divorced two months later.
GWYNETH PALTROW MASKS UP: Gwyneth Paltrow is trying to travel as safely as possible. The Goop founder posted a shot of herself wearing an Airinum protective mask en route to Paris (presumably for Fashion Week). The 47-year-old made a reference to her film, Contagion, joking: "En route to Paris. Paranoid? Prudent? Panicked? Placid? Pandemic? Propaganda? Paltrow's just going to go ahead and sleep with this thing on the plane. I've already been in this movie. Stay safe. Don't shake hands. Wash hands frequently."
LAURA PREPON AND BEN FOSTER WELCOME SECOND CHILD: Baby No. 2 has arrived! Laura Prepon shared a shot of her new arrival on Instagram Wednesday; in it, the 39-year-old can be seen snuggling her newborn. She captioned it: "Welcoming home our new bundle of love. Overwhelmed with gratitude." Prepon did not share the baby's name or gender in the post. Prepon and husband Ben Foster share Ella, 2.
Prince Harry is signaling that he does indeed plan to shake things up in his post-royal life. Not only did he fly commercial to his first event in the U.K. since moving to Canada in January, but he told people attending the event he was speaking at to just call him "Harry."
The 35-year-old went to Edinburgh, Scotland for a working summit for Travalyst, a sustainable travel initiative he co-founded with Booking.com, Skyscanner, Trip.com, Trip Advisor and Visa.
Harry said: "We have made a great start since launching in Amsterdam, but we will not reach our goal of a more sustainable industry without on-the-ground experience and expertise, and this is why we're here today."
Ben Affleck sat down for a no-holds barred interview with People, in which he opens up about his battle with alcohol and his enduring love and respect for his ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
In his new film The Way Back, Affleck plays a former basketball star who struggled with alcoholism. The comparisons to his own life are obvious, but not easy, he told People.
The 47-year-old said: "Frankly, I would have preferred to deal with that part of my life privately but that's not the way my life is."
Affleck said his struggle stemmed in part from family issues: "For me, it was a two pronged thing. I have a genetic component. Two of my grandparents were alcoholics. So it seemed like statistically the dice were kind of loaded." (His father Timothy struggled with alcohol and so did his brother Casey Affleck, both of whom are now sober.)
Then when he split from Garner, with whom he shares three children, Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Sam, 8, things spiraled.
He said: "When my life got stressful, which principally had to do with the disappointment and the pain that the divorce caused my children, that affected me profoundly. I didn't want to see them hurt. I found myself drinking more and more at night at home by myself. It was something I was doing to avoid dealing with painful feelings. My parents got divorced when I was young. I know how painful that is."
Affleck also said he drank to medicate himself: "I've experienced depression and anxiety. The psychological issues are not as well understood as addiction is now. Addiction has become more destigmatized, where mental health is more confusing and more elusive. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate ‘Something bad happened to me, so I feel bad' versus ‘I'm feeling bad because something is not working right chemically in my brain.'"
He also opened up about how much he still cares for Garner, who he was married to for 10 years.
Affleck said: "When you have children with somebody you're connected to them forever. And I'm very lucky she is the mother of my children."
He continued: "I'm very grateful and respectful of her. Our marriage didn't work, and that's difficult. Both of us really believe that it's important for kids to see their parents respect one another and get along, whether they're together or not."
The Way Back opens March 6.
Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King played a game of Never Have I Ever for OprahMag.com's The OG Chronicles. Ashley Graham hosted the game and asked the questions. Graham laid out the rules, saying that they'd both have to start with a full hand raised and they had to drop a finger every time she said something they had done. Whoever dropped all their fingers first would have to take a shot of either hot sauce or apple cider vinegar, since Gayle doesn't drink. They played two rounds total.
Things got interesting when Graham asked if either of them had sexted someone in the past, Oprah said, "Definitely not. Hell the hell no, are you kidding me? I'd be a fool." King admitted she'd even be shocked if Oprah did, saying, "I would want to see that picture."
In the first round, Oprah and Gayle both put their fingers down when asked if they ever had a one night stand. Oprah said, "Mine would have been 1982, something like that." Gayle said that hers "would have been 82, 81." Graham added, "Same year? You guys were little hussies."
With that, Oprah lost the first round and had to down a shot of apple cider vinegar.
AUDIO: OPRAH AND GAYLE ADMIT THEY'VE HAD ONE NIGHT STANDS
George Clooney is reacting to the news that Nespresso has been linked to child labor. Clooney, of course, is considered "the face" of the brand. After the British program Dispatches reported that Nespresso relied on child labor at its farms, the Oscar-winner told Deadline that he was "saddened" by the news.
The 58-year-old added: "Having grown up working on a tobacco farm from the time I was 12 I'm uniquely aware of the complex issues regarding farming and child labor. That's why I joined the Sustainability advisory board of Nespresso seven years ago along with the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade International, and the Fair Labour Association among many others with the goal then, as it remains to this day to improve the lives of farmers."
"We knew it was a big project when it started 7 years ago, and honestly I was surprised and saddened to see this story," he continued. "Clearly this board and this company still have work to do. And that work will be done. I would hope that this reporter will continue to investigate these conditions and report accurately if they do not improve."
According to reports, some farms in Guatemala that Nespresso uses have kids working in the fields.
Nespresso's CEO Guillaume Le Cunff said in a statement: "It is unacceptable. Where there are claims that our high standards are not met, we act immediately. In this case, we've launched a thorough investigation to find out which farms were filmed and whether they supply Nespresso."
On social media, people were not impressed by the response. One critic wrote: "Is he going to donate his fees to a childrens charity? No I thought not. Just another lefty, woke, champagne socialist."
Another opined: "Saddened but quite happy to take the money. Another celeb hypocrite."
Tyler Perry's nephew has appeared to have committed suicide in a Louisiana prison but his family isn't convinced that his death wasn't foul play. According to TMZ, sources told the site that 26-year-old Gavin Porter was found dead in his cell on Tuesday night (February 25th) at a prison facility near St. Helena Parish.
Gavin's mom, who is Tyler's sister, was told that he hanged himself with a bedsheet while in solitary confinement. Sources say that the officials told the family that Gavin had gotten into a fight with another inmate over the weekend and was placed into solitary confinement. The guards checked on him at 6pm and he was fine. When they checked on him at 8pm, he was found dead.
Gavin was arrested for shooting and killing his biological father back in 2016, in front of his mother. Cops say the fatal shooting occured after an argument. Gavin plead no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
KEVIN HART SETS NEXT FILM: Kevin Hart will star in an action-comedy from Broad City's Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs. Aniello and Downs will produce and write, and Malcolm D. Lee has signed on to direct.
CATE BLANCHETT TALKS HOLLYWOOD CHANGE: Cate Blanchett championed Harvey Weinstein's conviction, but stressed the need for a new kind of Hollywood culture. She told Variety: "I think it's about moving forward, and moving forward without repetition and with genuine progress. I don't think anyone involved in the Weinstein case — and the myriad of cases not just in our industry but in every single industry, whether they are sexual or otherwise — no one is interested in vengeance, they're interested in justice and genuine change." She added: "I think women in the film industry — and I use the film industry as an exemplar, not as an exception — have for far too long been separated from one another, and I've noticed a way in which some lines between women who are creating work have deepened — circling the wagons not in an exclusive sense but just being more open about roadblocks or difficulties or moments of failure."
NETFLIX SNAGS RED ROSE: The mega-streamer Netflix has grabbed the U.S. and international rights to Red Rose, a BBC horror drama created by identical twins Michael and Paul Clarkson, who have collaborated on shows including The Haunting Of Bly Manor and See, Deadline reports. The eight-part drama follows a group of students who discover a sinister app that encourages them to take on increasingly dangerous challenges.
ELLE FANNING'S THE GREAT GOES GLOBAL: Elle Fanning's period satire The Great, about the rise of Catherine the Great, is due to land on Hulu in the U.S. in May, and has also been picked up by Starzplay for several territories around the world.