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    Devon Still, a tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, is having his entire back tattooed in tribute to his daughter Leah who is battling cancer.

    Still has already sat for phase one of the back tat, which is an image of Leah’s face in the upper right side of his back, according to his tattoo artist Dan Price. Price, speaking with exclusively with TMZ, said Still has about 40 more hours to complete the entire piece.


    The tattoo is a commemoration of two emotional milestones related to Leah and her illness. Aladdin’s lamp symbolizes Still’s wish for Leah’s recovery. The other Disney images, Ariel from The Little Mermaid and the Magic Kingdom, represent his favorite memory of his daughter, a trip to the Disney World.

    The tattoo also marks the one-year anniversary of Leah’s diagnosis. She’s currently in remission, but is having complications with the stem cell treatment.

    [Image: TMZ]

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    A Maryland woman paid the ultimate price for beauty when she died after undergoing an illegal butt-enhancement procedure in a Queens, NY basement.

    Kelly Mayhew, 34, and her mother drove to New York so she could have the procedure performed by a woman who was apparently posing as a licensed plastic surgeon. Mayhew had undergone five previous butt-enhancement procedures before the sixth turned fatal.

    UPTOWN_kelly_mayhewHer mother says when the unidentified woman injected the silicone into Mayhew’s butt, the BET freelancer began “gurgling” and had difficulty breathing. Her mother attempted CPR on her daughter and requested that the woman who injected Mayhew call 911.

    Instead, the woman fled from the house, jumped into a gray SUV, and left, according to sources speaking with the New York Daily News.

    Mayhew was taken to an area hospital where she died.

    A BET spokesperson offered condolences to Mayhew’s family on behalf of the network. “Our heart goes out to her family and we extend our deepest sympathies for their loss,” Jamie Owens said.

    Authorities are now on the hunt for the unidentified woman.

    [Images: Facebook]


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    Lee Daniels

    Even though the FOX juggernaut Empire, which became so popular in its debut season that it was immediately renewed, has been warmly embraced by viewers, all is not peaches and cream.  Show creator Lee Daniels revealed at the 2015 Produced By Conference this week that he and the cast have received death threats over some of the story lines.

    Specifically, Daniels revealed he and Jussie Smollett, who plays singing and songwriting genius Jamal Lyon on the musical soap opera, have gotten death threats stemming from  episodes pertaining to homosexuality.  Smollett’s character came out of the closet towards the end of the first season.

    “Homophobia is real. It exists… Jussie and I both get death threats. But we will continue to do our thing,” Daniels said.

    In real life, both Daniels and Smollet identify as gay.  Daniels has long been vocal about his sexuality, and parts of Jamal’s storyline were pulled directly from the show creator’s life experiences.  In fact, in a pivotal flashback scene where a young Jamal ambles down a staircase wearing his mother’s dress and red heels, only to be thrown in a dumpster by his enraged father (played by Terrance Howard), happened to Daniels at the hands of his police officer dad.

    Daniels recalled, “That trash can scene? It happened.”

    But the outspoken producer isn’t about to be scared by chest-thumping homophobes.  In an interview with UPTOWN, Daniels called homophobia”the Civil Rights Movement of today.”  He continued, “I pride myself in taking bullets. Already people are like, ‘I don’t know if I want to watch two men doing this.’ But, guess what: you’re going to [on Empire].’”

    jussie smollett uptown oscars party

    Smollett refused to discuss his sexuality until recently.  In a March interview on the Ellen Degeneres Show, he addressed the speculation directly, focusing on it being a private matter. “It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet,” Smollett said to Degeneres in the taped backstage interview. There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet. But I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home.

    “So that’s why I choose not to talk about my personal life,” he continued. “But there is without a doubt, no closet that I’ve ever been in, and I just wanted to make that clear. But it was most important for me to make that clear to you on your show at this time in the world. And that’s where I’m at.”

    Empire Season 2 premieres September 23 at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox.

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    janet jackson

    Anyone suffering from Janet Jackson withdrawals is about to have that seven year itch scratched.  Miss Jackson dropped a major hint last month about new projects and a new “movement” in the works but today she dropped a bomb.  Janet Jackson is set to release a new album this fall, her first in seven years.

    The official statement also highlights another headline worthy bit of news besides the album, namely that Jackson is forming a new record label, Rhythm Nation Janet Jackson.

    From the BMG press release:

    The worldwide partnership with Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation will see the release in Fall 2015 of her first as-yet-untitled album and a commitment to pursue the full range of options within the broader Bertelsmann group of which BMG is part. With Rhythm Nation Janet Jackson becomes arguably the first female African-American recording artist to form her own record label. At Rhythm Nation Janet plans to offer a home to both new and established recording artists.


    Over her three decades in the entertainment business, Jackson has sold over 160 million records and successfully branched into acting. She made a splash at a 2007 Super Bowl performance with Justin Timberlake, where a wardrobe malfunction during halftime overshadowed the rest of the game (and earned two Guinness World Records for ‘Most Searched Person in Internet History’ and ‘Largest Fine Ever Imposed on Broadcaster’).  She’s been keeping a low profile since marrying Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana in 2012 but we’ll expect her to be a trending topic from here through the end of the year.

    Colby C.

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    Twitter damn-near lost its mind when President Barack Obama joined Twitter and began tweeting for himself. And now Diana Ross has joined the micro-blogging site too.

    “Ms. Ross” sent her first tweet yesterday, June 3rd.

    While the initial tweet hasn’t received the same retweets and favorites as @POTUS’ first tweet garnered, Ross already has 15,000 followers in less than 24 hours. So far, she’s only following her five children: Tracee Ellis Ross, Evan Ross, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Chudney Ross, and Ross Naess. Her tweets have been inspirational and give a tiny look into Ross’ stream of consciousness.

    Could joining Twitter be a signal that we’re going to see more of Ross in all her fabulousness?

    If Lee Daniels has his wish, Ross may be a guest star on his hit show Empire. TMZ caught up with Daniels as he exited Craig’s in West Hollywood and asked if the rumors of Ross joining the cast in order to play a mother character. Listen to what he has to say about his love for Diana Ross.

    RELATED: Death Threats Aren’t Stopping the Cast of ‘Empire’

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    uptown connor cruise caitlyn jenner rant

    Connor Cruise, Tom Cruise’s DJ son, went on a rant against ESPN for choosing to honor Catilyn Jenner with the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this July’s ESPY Awards ceremony.  ESPN is being accused by many of exploiting Jenner’s newfound popularity for ratings instead of honoring more deserving athletes with the honor, which was created in 1993 to shine a light on “individuals whose contributions transcend sports.”

    In a series of now deleted tweets, Connor rants:

    “Really?? Winning the AA award for courage?? Ashton is gonna come out and yell PUNK’D.”

    “Don’t get me wrong. Do what you feel like doing and don’t let anyone stop you. But everyone is taking this way too seriously…There are so many more important things that should be talked about…And SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT PEOPLE that actually deserve an award.”

    While many followers voiced support for his views, there was enough dissent that Connor eventually deleted the original rant and followed up with some clarifying words today.

    He went back to points he made earlier about some of the world’s more significant problems, reiterating there are more important things to consider that transcend one person’s shift from man to woman.

    Connor isn’t the only one to question ESPN’s seemingly opportunistic choice. Others have made suggestions for athletes that better embody the essence of the award.

    Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph’s basketball star who stayed on the court up until a cancerous brain tumor took her life in early April, has been mentioned often. Army vet and DWTS fan favorite Noah Galloway, the multiple amputee who was severely injured from a roadside bomb in Iraq, is another person who the public thought deserved recognition over Jenner.

    While there was speculation that Galloway and Hill were nominees who lost out to Jenner, ESPN has made no indication that a short list of options even existed. In a press release, ESPN offered insight into their decision to bestow the award upon Caitlyn Jenner.

    Jenner’s unyielding resolve and hard work enabled him to win a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics and break world records. He then parlayed that success into a variety of roles across different areas including television, film, auto racing and business. Although Jenner first captured the attention of the nation for his athletic prowess and determination, the same strength of character shone through this past April when he sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer to come out as a transgender woman.

    The ESPY Awards will be televised Wednesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

    Colby C.

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    A Los Angeles judge has issued a warrant for The Game’s arrest after he was charged with a felony related to a fight he got into on the basketball court.

    Back in March, The Game and a cop got into an altercation while playing in a basketball league. The Game reportedly told the off-duty LAPD cop, “I’m going to kill you.”

    The L.A. county district attorney charged The Game this week with one count of making criminal threats. Although The Game can be seen punching the man in a video obtained by TMZ, he wasn’t charged with battery. However, had he been charged for the punch, it would have been a misdemeanor, whereas the criminal threats are a felony charge.

    The Game denies making the threat and says the cop alluded to having a gun in his gym bag.

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    “The only way I can put it is that the higher power did not want it at all. If Pac and I had any kind of sexual chemistry, we might have killed each other because we were both so passionate. And you know, we loved deeply. It was hard enough with us just being friends. It was volatile relationship….I’ve had never in my life met a person like Pac. He had so much charisma. And he was poor. When I met Pac, he owned two pairs of pants and two sweaters… He used to tell me all the time. He was like, ‘Jada, you’re a superstar.’ He didn’t say it about himself.

    “I just wasn’t in agreement with the direction that he was taking, and I told him that, you know, it was a destructive direction. A very scary direction. And he felt as though I had changed. I’d gone Hollywood. I’d gone soft. And looking back now, I totally understand where Pac was at the time… It was a mentality he started to come out of before he was murdered.”

    — Jada Pinkett-Smith speaks with Howard Stern on June 3rd about her friendship with the late Tupac Shakur and what ultimately led to the demise of their platonic relationship.


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    Glory Johnson and Brittney Griner have only been married for a few weeks, but they’ve already got a bun in the oven.

    Johnson announced the news on her Instagram account.

    It is believed the couple used a sperm donor to impregnate Johnson. As a result of the pregnancy, Johnson will miss the 2015-16 WNBA season.

    Shortly before the WNBA couple wed, they were arrested for assault and disorderly conduct in Maricopa County.

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    “I went through that [at] 3, 4, 5 years old. I didn’t sleep. I learned how to stay up as long as I could…I may sleep at school, because nobody is going to protect me. So I had to protect myself.

    “It took me years to have to learn how to love myself because I felt that I was worthless. I felt that I was less than. I felt that I deserved this or brought it on myself because of what was coming towards me from my parents.”

    — Sheryl Underwood reveals to the Talk audience that she was a victim of sexual abuse, on June 4th. Underwood opened up while she and her co-hosts were discussing Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s interview with Megyn Kelly on FOX News, regarding their son Josh’s sexual abuse controversy. Underwood went on to condemn the Duggar parents for defending their eldest son.

    “These parents are wrong. There’s no way you can say this as parents, you’re wrong. And for the years that I couldn’t accept love and I couldn’t accept what I was made to have — the beauty of a great relationship with someone who loved me back because I didn’t love myself. Families have to protect families and [shouldn’t] rationalize violation.”

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    uptown shranhkla holocek

    Shrankhla Holecek, founder of the new Ayurvedic wellness line Uma, gives us the lowdown on her favorite organic and sustainable standouts for women and men.

    -By Joane Amay

    uptown uma anti aging oil

    Uma Ultimate Brightening Face Oil ($150, 1 fl .oz)

    “This superabsorbent, luxe, triple-action blend is packed with high-performance, instantly brightening ingredients like rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang. Use it on its own or along with your favorite natural moisturizer for noticeably more luminous, even and hydrated skin after each use.”

    uptown art of shaving lavender oilThe Art of Shaving Lavender Pre- Shave Oil ($25, 2 fl .oz)

    “Let’s face it, razor burns and dry skin are hardly excusable anymore. Do yourself a favor and indulge in this.”

    uptown rms lip2cheekRMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile ($36)

    “This organic lip/cheek color is sublime and goes on effortlessly.”

    uptown ila lipstickILIA Lipstick in In My Room ($26)

    “This warm, yet subtle, pink is great for a variety of skin tones. It gives me the pop of color I need, without drying out my lips the way synthetic lipsticks frequently do.”

    uptown kier weis foundationKjaer Weis Foundation in Velvety ($68)

    “Because natural doesn’t mean you ever need to compromise on top-notch performance.”

    uptown lush dark angels cleanserLush Dark Angels Facial Cleanser ($31.95, 8.4 oz)

    “Great for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Black sugar and charcoal thoroughly, yet gently, exfoliate the skin, while organic avocado oil prevents any resultant dryness.”

    uptown uma skin brightening oilUma Absolute Anti Aging Face Oil ($175, 1 fl .oz)

    “This superpowered blend rapidly turns back the hands of time—with potent ingredients like frankincense, juniper berry and neroli that instantly revitalize your skin. Use it on your face, neck and décolletage to alleviate fine lines and age spots, while brightening your complexion overall.”

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  • 06/08/15--06:30: Jaunt: A Global Mix
  • From the French Alps to Dominican beaches (with a dash of Virginia soul in between) we have the lowdown on where to lay your head in luxury.

    val thorens club med 2

    Access in the Alps

    At Val Thorens Sensations Club Med Resort in the French Alps, visitors and locals alike completely immerse themselves in the ski culture of one of the world’s most prestigious ski locales. Winter sports enthusiasts love nestling in the heart of Les 3 Vallées—with 600km of interconnected trails it’s the world’s largest ski area. Beginners appreciate the tutelage of L’Ecole du Ski Français, an esteemed ski school. Small group lessons of every level are provided in French and English. Don’t fret over equipment needs: this ski-in/ski-out resort provides all of the necessities, including snowboards, skis, poles, boots and helmets.

    val thorens club med 1

    After an invigorating day on the slopes, the Club Med Spa by CARITA provides relaxation and rejuvenation, before heading back to a modern room or suite to refresh for a night out. Dine buffet-style at the main restaurant or embark on a contemporary culinary experience, created by Michelin-starred Chef Edouard Loubet, at the Epicurious gourmet lounge, which also provides nightly entertainment.  — a n n i k a h a r r i s

    Paradisus Punta Cana

    Dominican Delight

    Santo Domingo is the oldest city in the Caribbean, was the first European city in the New World and serves as the capital and cultural epicenter of the Dominican Republic. However, if alabaster sand, sapphire-shaded waters and pure relaxation are your top priorities, then Punta Cana is the destination for you. Its pristine coasts are lined with balnearios (resort towns) and top-notch, all-inclusive resorts. The Paradisus brand boasts two of the best on the island: the Paradisus Punta Cana and the Paradisus Palma Real. PPC experienced a $2 million renovation, is a AAA 4-Diamond-certified property and its luxury amenities include the Royal Service Experience, which offers an expedited, private check-in, butler service, exclusive access to the La Palapa Restaurant and the VIP lounge.

    paradisus palma real drThe Paradisus Palma Real, located on the gorgeous Bavaro Beach has the YHI Wellness Spa that opened in 2013 and presents Eastern-based therapies and the gorgeous Oriental Garden where guests can relax pre and post treatments. Both resorts present Passion, a restaurant (among a bevy of others on each property) helmed by seven-Michelin-starred chef Martin Berasategui—an impressive first for for an all-inclusive resort brand. — j a c o b w i l l i a m s

    salamander resort

    Southern Paradise

    Middleburg, Va., established in 1787, was the site of two “incidents” during the Gettysburg Campaign of The Civil War in 1863, and in 1961, with JFK residing nearby—and his wife Jackie, an equestrian, riding horses—civil rights activists pressured him to act on area segregation. So, it’s ironic that with its history rooted in racial divide, that a black female billionaire would build an award-winning, massive, multi-million dollar hotel (168 guest rooms including 17 suites on 340 acres) with notable eateries (Harrimans Grill, Gold Cup Wine Bar) helmed by a celebrity chef (Todd Gray), a top-tier Equestrian program on-site (Equi-Spective enables self discovery, relationship awareness and leadership techniques through hands-on exercises with horses) and a spa and wellness center recognized for its treatments and services up the eastern seaboard and throughout the south.

    salamander resort 2

    Well, this is what Sheila Johnson, former wife of Bob Johnson and co-founder of BET Networks has accomplished. Part of the Salamander Hospitality group, Salamander is a standout. Only 20 miles from Dulles Airport and 40 miles from Washington, D.C., it’s also quite accessible and perfect for a weekend getaway or wedding (and Middleburg Historic District is on the country’s National Register of Historic Places and is home of The Red Fox Inn: the oldest continually operated inn in the U.S.). Southern hospitality has never felt so good.  — i s o u l h a r r i s


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    UPTOWN_marc_perego_zoe_saldanaZoe Saldana‘s husband might just be the most progressive man on Earth.

    Bucking tradition, Marco Perego took Saldana as his last name when he and Zoe married in 2013, said Zoe in her InStyle cover interview.

    Zoe says she tried to discourage Marco’s name change because she thought he’d be emasculated and it could negatively affect his career. Marco is an Italian painter and sculptor.


    “I tried to talk him out of it,” Zoe said to InStyle. “If you use my name, you’re going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.”

    Marco’s response?

    “Ah Zoe, I don’t give a shit.”

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    Anthony Riley, a contestant on The Voice‘s season eight, was found dead on Friday, June 5th in Philadelphia. He was 28.

    Although Riley was a breakout singer and fan favorite on the musical competition show, he left the show after the first battle round in January. He needed to seek help for a substance abuse problem.

    Riley’s remains were reportedly found in the basement of the apartment building in which he was a resident.

    NBC Networks, which airs The Voice, released a statement to PEOPLE: “We are sad over the passing of Anthony Riley. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this very difficult time.”

    The Philadelphia police, as well as, Pharrell Williams, Riley’s musical coach on The Voice, haven’t released a statement on Riley’s death. A cause of death hasn’t been released yet.

    His friends and family say that Riley continued to have his addiction issues, but was working on a new album while he worked on himself.

    “He’d had his problems recently. But at the heart of all that was a very kind, gentle person,” Robby Parsons, a fellow musician, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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    A McKinney, Texas police officer who body-slammed a 15-year-old, bikini-clad girl and drew his gun on unarmed teenagers, while responding to a disturbance at a pool party, has been placed on administrative leave, said officials Sunday.

    On Friday around 7:15 p.m., police were called to Craig Ranch Community North Pool, a private community pool, where a large crowd had gathered. There were reports that the teens were “actively fighting.” However, BuzzFeed News reports that the fighting began after some white adults began hurling racial slurs and comments at the teenagers, reportedly telling the Black teens to “return to Section 8 housing.”


    A white teenage bystander caught the white officer, who was later identified as Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt, on video shouting obscenities and ordering the Black teens to lie on the ground, while demanding others disperse. Casebolt is, then, seen on the video grabbing the back of Dajerria Becton‘s head, throwing her to the ground, and pushing her face down. Then, Casebolt drew his gun on two Black teenagers who were apparently coming to Becton’s aid.


    Brandon Brooks captured the video and posted it to YouTube, writing: “A fight between a mom and a girl broke out and when the cops showed up everyone ran, including the people who didn’t do anything. So the cops just started putting everyone on the ground and in handcuffs for no reason. This kind of force is uncalled for especially on children and innocent bystanders.”

    Brooks later told BuzzFeed, “Everyone who was getting put on the ground was Black, Mexican, Arabic. [The cop] didn’t even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible.”

    The McKinney Police Department wasn’t initially aware of the video, but says the footage has prompted an investigation. “This video has raised concerns that are being investigated,” the McKinney Police Department said in a statement posted to its Facebook page:

    Pool Party Incident:

    On June 5, 2015 at approximately 7:15 p.m., officers from the McKinney Police Department responded to a disturbance at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool. The initial call came in as a disturbance involving multiple juveniles at the location, who do not live in the area or have permission to be there, refusing to leave. McKinney Police received several additional calls related to this incident advising that juveniles were now actively fighting.

    First responding officers encountered a large crowd that refused to comply with police commands. Nine additional units responded to the scene. Officers were eventually able to gain control of the situation.

    McKinney Police later learned of a video that was taken at the scene by an unknown party. This video has raised concerns that are being investigated by the McKinney Police Department. At this time, one of the responding officers has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.

    Becton, Casebolt’s victim, was not charged with any crime and was released to her parents.

    “He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids,” Becton told KDFW-TV. “I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad … Him getting fired is not enough.”

    Casebolt is a 40-year-old veteran of the Navy and has been on the McKinney police force for 10 years. He is a patrol supervisor and self-defense instructor, and vice president of the police union. He was named Officer of the Year in 2008.

    The footage of Casebolt assaulting Becton and aiming his service weapon at other unarmed teens has gone viral and is drawing comparisons to Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, other sites where racial bias has led to police misconduct.

    American Civil Liberties Union of Texas released a statement condemning Casebolt’s use of force:

    “While we don’t know all the facts about the party, the crowd, or whether a fight broke out, what we do know is that the police response, as seen on the video, appears to be a textbook case of overuse of force,” the statement reads.

    “A well-trained police department would have responded more cautiously, with less hostility and using sophisticated crowd-control methods that favor de-escalation not escalation. Without question, guns were not needed and in fact risked turning a group of partying teenagers into a violent encounter that could have turned deadly,” the statement continues.

    However, residents of McKinney have posted signs at the pool thanking the police department for their response and for keeping them safe.



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    Over the span of a day, Glory Johnson went from announcing that she was expecting a baby to discovering her wife Brittney Griner had filed to annul their 28-day marriage.

    But the impending demise of her marriage won’t stop Johnson from fulfilling her motherhood dreams.

    A well-connected source told TMZ, “Glory loves kids and wants a family. Family is an important part of her life. There was never a question in her mind. She will be keeping the baby.”

    What’s most important to Johnson, according to the source, is the baby’s health.

    We all know stress on the mother plays a role in the health of the baby. Hopefully, the dissolving of the Johnson-Griner marriage will go smoothly.

    It’s unknown whether Griner will have any involvement or relationship with Johnson’s baby.

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    In order to commemorate Hennessy Cognac‘s 250th anniversary, the brand has placed two 250-liter barrels of Hennessy 250 Collector Blend aboard the historic and reconstructed Hermione ship. The Hermione sailed 3,819 miles from France across the Atlantic Ocean and landed in Yorktown, Virginia on June 5th. It will continue its voyage up the east coast to 11 additional iconic ports for events and heritage festivals, including a maritime parade to the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July.


    The 213-foot Hermione is an authentically reconstructed replica of the 18th century frigate that the Marquis de Lafayette sailed to aid George Washington and the Americans in their fight against the British.

    So what does cognac have to do with the American Revolution?

    [Images: Pat Jarrett/Invision for Hennessy/AP Images]


    Like Lafayette, Hennessy has its roots in the Poitou-Charentes region of France, where its Cognacs are created. Both entities share a respect for tradition and craftsmanship. Also, Lafayette brought cognac from France when he made his voyage in 1780. And Hennessy is a founding patron of the Hermione Voyage 2015, so it was only natural that the brand marry these two historic moments. The libations, however, don’t end at the dock.

    Hennessy will auction off the two barrels of Hennessy 250 Collector Blend at a charity auction in Mount Vernon, New York. Each 250-liter barrel is expected to fetch $150,000.

    The Hermione will be on view in New York from July 1st through 4th at the South Street Seaport Pier 15.

    [Images: Pat Jarrett/Invision for Hennessy/AP Images]

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    Anthony Mackie sure knows how to keep a secret. Back in December, he married his childhood sweetheart in an intimate — in celebrity terms — ceremony, and we’re just now finding out about it.

    Mackie and Sheletta Chapital were wed in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the beach. One hundred and fifty of their closest friends and relatives witnessed their nuptials.

    “It was low-key and super-relaxed,” a source told Page Six. “They had a welcome dinner. We golfed and drank. They went on a honeymoon soon after.”

    Mackie and Chapital have two sons together. They’re both New Orleans natives and have been dating on-and-off since they were 7 years old. They rekindled their romance in The Big Easy when Mackie was rebuilding homes after starring in 2009’s Hurt Locker.

    Congratulations to the happy couple — even if we were crazy late to the wedding reception.

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    The death of Wykesha Reid, a Texas woman who had a fatal reaction to injections for a butt-enhancement, has been ruled a homicide.  Reid, a 34 year old nursing home employee, had received multiple black-market silicone injections at a Dallas salon, as part of a ‘Brazilian butt lift‘ procedure.

    The toxicology report was released last Friday.  In the report, the medical examiner ruled the cause of death as “pulmonary embolization of silicone, stemming from the illegal cosmetic surgery.” The new ruling could allow police and prosecutors to pursue a criminal homicide case against the two people suspected of performing Reid’s injections, Denise Rochelle “Wee Wee” Ross and Jimmy Joe “Alicia” Clarke. Reid’s body was found at the salon on February 19.

    From WTAA

    Clarke told police that Reid had come to the business the previous day at about 5:30 p.m. and said “she was not well and wanted to lay down.” Clarke said she locked Reid in the business overnight, and when she returned in the morning, Reid was dead. She told police she did not know what happened to Reid.

    At the scene, detectives found Reid laying on her back on a massage table with her pants partially pulled down and bloody gauze on her buttocks.

    A Dallas police detective then went to notify Keira Reid of her mother’s death. Keira Reid told police her mother had left home the night before and was going to have “butt injections,” and that she believed a woman named “Wee Wee” and a transgender person performed the injections.

    Her family said that Wykesha Reid was feeling fine when she left the night before.

    In a separate botched butt-injection case, salon owners Ross and Clark were arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license.  This case was non-fatal.

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    UPTOWN_ian_halperin_whitney_houston_bobbi_kristina_bookFor decades, Whitney Houston was plagued with rumors that she was a lesbian, and now a new (unauthorized) biography is presenting evidence the gossip may have been true.

    In 1992, on the eve of The Bodyguard premiere, a Chicago lawyer attempted to extort $250,000 from Whitney, according to a redacted FBI file. Author Ian Halperin reveals the extortion attempt in Whitney & Bobbi Kristina: The Deadly Price of Fame, out today. The extortion scheme came at a time when Whitney was rumored to be in a lesbian relationship with her assistant and longtime friend, Robyn Crawford.

    The lawyer told an FBI agent that he had “knowledge of intimate details regarding Whitney Houston’s romantic relationships and will go public with the information.” Whitney’s father John Houston, according to Halperin, was so worried about the extortion plot that he immediately sent a confidentiality agreement to the lawyer and paid an undisclosed amount for his/her silence.

    John also reportedly offered a bodyguard $6,000 to “put the fear of God” into Crawford, whom he worried would go public with her relationship with Whitney, according to the book.

    Later that year, Whitney and Bobby Brown wed. On her wedding day, Whitney allegedly gave Crawford a black Porsche “as a token of their friendship.”

    Whitney denied she had a relationship with Crawford. She told Extra in 1987 that Crawford was the “sister I never had.”

    Bobby reportedly addressed the lesbian rumor in his memoir: “The media was accusing her of having a bisexual relationship. In Whitney’s situation, the only solution was to get married and have kids.”

    While it’s impossible to libel the dead, Halperin’s book also addresses Bobbi Kristina Brown, who is alive yet in a coma for most of this year.

    Many speculated that Bobbi Kristina was attempting suicide before she was found unconscious floating in a tub of cold water. However, others argue that a suicide attempt was unlikely because the temperature of the water was too cold.

    Halperin quotes a drug addict who has another theory for Bobbi Kristina being in a cold water tub. “She probably took the plunge,” the drug addict told Halperin.

    Halperin recounts his conversation with the addict: “He told me that when somebody ‘drops’ — which seems to be a term for an OD — there are all kinds of ways to revive them. ‘I’ve never seen it done in a bath,’ he said to me, ‘but I sort of helped bring somebody around with a cold shower. You stick them under the cold water and you slap them to bring them around.’ ” (Immersing an overdose victim in ice cold water is dangerous because it could lead to shock or cause them to drown.)

    Drug use hasn’t been confirmed in Bobbi Kristina’s ordeal, so this is all speculation. However, Halperin suggests in the book that she was a drug addict and suicidal by age 14.

    “Only the toxicology report — or in the worst-case scenario, an autopsy — can definitively answer the question about which, if any, drugs Bobbi Kristina had in her body at the time she was found,” Halperin writes. “It’s possible that authorities will unveil new evidence that discredits the cold-water bath theory completely. It’s also possible that we may never know what happened.”

    Halperin’s Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson was a No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He has either authored or co-authored several unauthorized biographies of celebrities.

    Will you read Whitney & Bobbi Kristina: The Deadly Price of Fame? Do you think there’s some truth to Halperin’s findings?


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