5:00am PDT, Mar 29, 2021
On March 14, it was announced that “The Talk” would go on a brief hiatus while CBS reviewed a heated exchange between co-hosts Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood. The women got into a dustup on March 10 when Sharon defended Piers Morgan’s controversial comments about Duchess Meghan in which he questioned the validity of her mental health struggles and her allegations of royal family racism — claims she made in a bombshell interview she and husband Prince Harry gave Oprah Winfrey that aired on CBS on March 7. Sharon demanded that Sheryl “educate” her on racism and later said she, herself, had been accused of being racist for backing Piers. After the exchange, Sharon apologized on Twitter. Piers later alleged that “The Talk” producers pressured her into an apology. He then demanded an apology from “The Talk.” More allegations of bad behavior surfaced amid all the drama. Former co-host Holly Robinson Peete alleged that Sharon once referred to her as “too ghetto,” a claim backed up by Leah Remini — another former co-host (Sharon has denied it). Further, journalist Yashar Ali reported that multiple sources including Leah told him that Sharon has used racial slurs to describe former co-host Julie Chen, who’s Chinese American, such as “slanty eyes” and “wonton.” Multiple sources including Leah also told Yashir that Sharon used offensive language to describe former co-host Sara Gilbert, who’s a lesbian. (Sharon’s rep denied the claims in a statement, saying in part, “The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host.”) According to reports, Sharon received death threats after her spat with Sheryl and hired a high-powered attorney, as she expected to be fired. On March 26, CBS issued a statement revealing she was out. Sharon, the network said in a statement, “has decided to leave ‘The Talk.'” The news came after an internal review led execs to decide that her behavior “toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.” On March 28, The Mail on Sunday reported that Sharon, it wrote, “is to launch legal action against” CBS.
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Royal racism accusations
Duchess Meghan made some shocking claims about the British royal family in a bombshell-filled interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on March 7. The former Meghan Markle, who’s half Black, alleged there’s racism in the royal family, indicating that at least one high-ranking royal was openly concerned about how dark son Archie’s skin would be. (Although she and Prince Harry both refused to identify the family member who made the comment, Harry told Oprah it was not Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip.) Further, Meghan and Harry both said the family didn’t protect them from falsehoods in the press. “They were willing to lie to protect other members, but not willing to tell the truth about me,” Meghan said. The interview was explosive and touched on a slew of topics including Meghan’s suicidal thoughts, her current pregnancy (it’s a girl!), the time Duchess Kate allegedly made her cry and apologized about it, an allegation that Archie wouldn’t get palace protection or a prince title, and Harry’s strained relationship with his brother and dad, who stopped taking Harry’s calls when he and Meghan temporarily moved to Canada, the Duke of Sussex alleged. Harry said the royal family lives in a “toxic environment.” Two days after the interview, the queen released a brief statement that said the issues raised, “particularly that of race,” are “concerning.” The statement claims the family was unaware of the challenges faced by Harry and Meghan. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately,” the statement read. On March 10, Prince William told a journalist, “We are very much not a racist family.” Just prior to the interview’s air date, a story was published in the Times of London alleging Meghan bullied Palace staff more than two years ago, which she denies.
The fallout from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey claimed its first victim on March 9: Piers Morgan. For years, Piers bad-mouthed Meghan on “Good Morning Britain,” and that continued after the Oprah sit-down — he even went so far as to say he didn’t believe Meghan’s claims of racism within the royal family nor when she said she didn’t want to live anymore. He even called a female guest “disgusting” for her views concerning Queen Elizabeth II’s role in Harry and Meghan’s exit from royal life. On March 9, Piers walked off the set of his morning show after a colleague called him out for his continuous bashing of Meghan, saying it was “diabolical.” It was later revealed that he was out at “GMB.” A statement read, “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave ‘Good Morning Britain.'” Around the same time, Ofcom, the U.K.’s media regulator, said it was investigating Piers’ comments. Reports revealed 41,000 complaints were filed against Piers (Meghan herself also reportedly complained about Piers to ITV, which has taken a strong stand on mental health). Piers doubled down on his comments that following day and said his free speech was being attacked.
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What is going on with Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez? On March 12, several credible media outlets reported the bombshell news that the duo had called off their engagement and split up after four years together. The following day, though, the couple denied the reports but admitted they’d hit a rough patch. “All the reports are inaccurate. We are working through some things,” they said in a statement. Alex soon declared that he’s “not single” and headed to the Dominican Republic to be with J.Lo as she films a movie (they were even photographed kissing, seemingly further squashing reports of a breakup). J.Lo also called the reports “dumb” on social media. “They never officially broke up and talked about it but are still together. They hit a rough patch. But were not broken up,” a source close to the pair told People magazine. In the lead-up to the split claim, reports alleged that Alex had been FaceTiming with “Southern Charm” star Madison LeCroy — a cheating scandal erupted. At the time, an A-Rod source told Page Six that he didn’t know Madison. But Madison told Page Six that she and A-Rod had “spoken on the phone” but “never met up.” People’s source said the speculation “had no bearing on the rough patch at all.” Throughout the month, media outlets said the duo was fighting to stay together.
Former “Punky Brewster” star Soleil Moon Frye made a big reveal about her sexual history this month: The first time she had consensual sex was with Charlie Sheen. The child star’s memory came via her new documentary “Kid ’90,” in which she revealed she was sexually assaulted at 17 or 18. Later, she had a positive experience with Charlie. The former “Two and a Half Men” star was “so kind and loving,” Soleil said, adding that she was intrigued and excited about him. She referred to him as her “Mr. Big” — a nod to Carrie Bradshaw’s love interest on “Sex and the City.” At the time of the hookup, Charlie was 29 and Soleil was 18. On March 16, after news of their private tryst was made public, Charlie reacted kindly, telling Us Weekly that the actress is “a good egg.” “I wish Soleil well in this resurgence of hers,” he said, adding that he’s yet to watch her Hulu documentary. “It’s on my list to watch and very near the top.”
The headline read: “Dolly Parton got a dose of her own medicine.” That was actually true in every way. On March 2, the music icon got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna. Nearly a year ago, Dolly pledged $1 million to vaccine research, and her donation helped fund that very Moderna vaccine. In a video she shared of herself receiving her first shot, Dolly implored everyone to get it. “I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it,” she said. For those people hesitant about getting the shot or firmly against it, Dolly had some choice words: “To all you cowards out there, don’t be such a chickensquat! Get out there and get your shot!” she said.
Matt James, first Black lead of “The Bachelor,” picked Rachael Kirkconnell at the end of season 25, but he didn’t propose. Still, Matt said he was committed to Rachael and envisioned her as his wife. However, not long after the finale was filmed (but before it aired), three-year-old social media images surfaced that showed Rachael at an Antebellum South-themed party. She also “liked” other images that contained a Confederate flag, and she posted Qanon conspiracy theories online. On the “After The Final Rose” special, Matt said he and Rachael were no longer together and acknowledged that her past racist actions where the reason. Matt said, “It’s heartbreaking. If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand. It’s as simple as that.” Rachael acknowledged that she was still in love with Matt, but he essentially squashed any hopes of a reconciliation and said she needed to confront her racist actions and work on herself. “When I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America,” he told her.
Chevy Chase revealed that he was secretly hospitalized for five weeks due to a “heart issue.” The comedy icon told Page Six on March 22 that he was laid up for over a month but kept his condition private. “These are my first few days home. I can only say how happy I am to now be back with my family. I’m feeling good,” Chevy said. “I was in the hospital five weeks. A heart issue. So, for now, I’m around the house. Not going anywhere.” Unfortunately for the actor, he’s not loving his television experience while sitting at home, so he reads a lot. Current TV is “all dreck,” he said. “I see actors, comedians, producers, screenwriters working and, God bless them, but I don’t see anything great on television.”
Stacey Dash is apologizing for her politically charged statements over the past several years, and she’s now walking back her previous support of President Donald Trump, who left office in January. She’s also now trashing Fox News, where she once worked. The Capitol riots on Jan. 6 were the turning point for the “Clueless” star and former Fox political commentator. “I’ve lived my life being angry, which is what I was on Fox News,” she said. “I was the angry, conservative, Black woman. And at that time in my life it was who I was.” In her chat with The Daily Mail on March 10, Stacey added that she “made a lot of mistakes.” She now describes herself as “apolitical” but maintains that she’s “not a feminist” and is still staunchly pro-life. “There are things that I am sorry for. Things that I did say, that I should not have said them the way I said them. They were very arrogant and prideful and angry. And that’s who Stacey was, but that’s not who Stacey is now,” she said. “Stacey’s someone who has compassion, empathy. … If anyone has ever felt that way about me, like I’ve judged, that I apologize for because that’s not who I am.”
Chrissy Teigen has axed her Twitter account. The model announced on March 24 that she was deleting the social media app, which came a shock to many as she was an avid user for more than a decade. “Hey. For over 10 years, you guys have been my world,” she told her 14 million followers. “I honestly owe so much to this world we have created here. I truly consider so many of you my actual friends. But it’s time for me to say goodbye.” Chrissy went on to say she’s hadn’t learned to “block out the negativity” online and said Twitter “no longer serves me as positively as it serves me negatively, and I think that’s the right time to call something.” Chrissy still has an active Instagram page.
Demi Lovato has opened up about her life and her near-fatal 2018 overdose in a new four-part series documentary called “Dancing With The Devil.” There is a lot in this documentary: Demi says she lost her virginity in a rape and implied it was a Disney actor who took advantage of her; she says she was sexually assaulted by her drug dealer the night of her overdose, which happened after she smoked heroin and ingested fentanyl-laced oxycodone; she was legally blind when she finally awoke in the hospital, and she’ll have permanent blind spots that will keep her from driving ever again. “It’s like I, for the first time in my life, had to essentially die to wake up,” she said of the overdose. Demi also acknowledged that she’s not sober, as she still drinks alcohol and uses marijuana.
Sarah Silverman is sorry… 14 years later. Back at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards, the comedian cracked phallic jokes at the expense of Paris Hilton, quips that came as the heiress was about to begin her 45-day jail sentence for a probation violation. On her podcast on March 1, Paris said she recalls sitting in the audience “wanting to die” while everyone laughed. On “The Sarah Silverman Podcast,” the funnywoman said she “would never do those jokes today” while also recalling how bad she felt immediately after telling the joke. She then issued a mea culpa. “Here I am, 14 years later, telling you, Paris, that I am really sorry. I was then, and I am much more completely and with far more understanding now,” Sarah said. “I can’t imagine what you were going through at that time. My understanding of humanity through the lens of my work as a comedian had not yet merged. I’m sorry I hurt you. Comedy is not evergreen. We can’t change the past. What’s crucial is that we change with the times.” Paris later said she appreciated the apology.
Elliot Page became the first transgender man to appear on the cover of Time magazine. In an interview published on March 16, the star of “The Umbrella Academy” revealed that he underwent top surgery to remove breast tissue, which produces a more masculine appearance. “It has completely transformed my life,” he told Time, adding that it was “not only life-changing but lifesaving.” The “Juno” star noted that he was recovering from the surgery when he came out as transgender last December. In the chat, Elliot said he never recognized himself on the red carpet before coming out as trans. “I’m really excited to act, now that I’m fully who I am, in this body,” Elliot said. “No matter the challenges and difficult moments of this, nothing amounts to getting to feel how I feel now.”
Welcome to the working class, Prince Harry! The royal confirmed on March 23 that he took a job with BetterUp Inc., a Silicon Valley startup. Harry is the chief impact officer for the online coaching and mental health services company. How much Harry is being paid and how much he works isn’t known. “I intend to help create impact in people’s lives,” Harry told The Wall Street Journal. “Proactive coaching provides endless possibilities for personal development, increased awareness, and an all-round better life.” Harry, who is listed as a member of the company’s “leadership team,” has been secretly in the role for months, BetterUp’s CEO revealed. Then, on March 24, it was confirmed that Harry is also one of 15 commissioners on the Aspen Institute’s six-month Commission on Information Disorder. Harry is said to be an expert in online disinformation, which he says is a “humanitarian issue.” In a statement, he explained, “As I’ve said, the experience of today’s digital world has us inundated with an avalanche of misinformation, affecting our ability as individuals as well as societies to think clearly and truly understand the world we live in.”
Home sweet home
Prince Philip, 99, is back home after a month-long hospitalization in London. On March 16, Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II’s husband was discharged “following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition.” The statement added, “His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him… and everyone who has sent their good wishes.” The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital on Feb. 16. Prince Charles told reporters that his father’s return home was “very good news” and that he was “thrilled.”
Bethenny Frankel has some news: Not only is she finally divorced from Jason Hoppy (eight years after filing!), but she’s also engaged. On March 24, reports claimed that former “The Real Housewives of New York” star is now betrothed to Paul Bernon, a real estate developer and film producer she started dating in the fall of 2018. Jewelry experts have said Bethenny’s ring appears to be worth somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million.
How’s this for a surprise?! Hilaria and Alec Baldwin have welcomed their sixth child — but fans were left confused by their announcement as it came just five months after Hilaria gave birth to their fifth child, Eduardo. Hilaria shared the news on Instagram on March 1, posting a family picture that included two babies. A day later, she posted a close-up of the newest little one, writing, “We are so in love with our daughter, Lucia. Just like your brothers and sisters, you are a dream come true.” Reports soon confirmed that the new baby — the couple’s second girl — arrived via surrogate. In other Baldwin news, Alec deleted his Twitter account in March.