Former ‘Today’ co-host Natalie Morales ‘shocked’ over Matt Lauer's firing 

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 7:21 PM

‘Today’ show hosts pictured from (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales and Keir Simmons covering the Rio Olympics in August of  2016. 
NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
‘Today’ show hosts pictured from (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales and Keir Simmons covering the Rio Olympics in August of  2016. (NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Former “Today” show co-host Natalie Morales was among many of Matt Lauer’s former colleagues who woke up to the news Wednesday that NBC News had fired him.

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Morales addressed Lauer’s firing on “Access Hollywood” Wednesday with co-host Kit Hoover.  She read part of NBC News chairman Andy Lack’s statement before sharing her own feelings about the termination.

Morales said she was “shocked by Lauer’s dismissal.

“The ‘Today’ show has been my family for 16 years now and it is difficult to process the news,” she said.

“I have personally dealt with rumors in the past that were hurtful to me, to my family. They diminished my hard work. I have addressed those rumors head on in the past. That is not the story today,” she explained.

“The story today is about the courage of the colleague that did come forward and when and if she wants to tell her story publicly, I am sure she will. It did take a lot of courage for her to come forward. It was no doubt a very painful decision,” Morales said.

>>Related: Matt Lauer’s colleagues shocked over his firing

Morales and Hoover promised to continue to report any developments in the story in the days ahead.

“We are in a climate and a culture where women are finally not afraid as they once were about being able to speak up and being able to come forward and speak out about what is not appropriate,” Morales said.

Hoover then introduced the moment Savannah Guthrie held back tears as she and Hoda Kotb also promised “Today” viewers that they were going to report the news, but were “still trying to process” Lauer’s termination.

Like many others, Hoover wondered who might replace Lauer on the show and suggested that two female anchors might takeover.

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“Could be!” Morales said. “We will have to wait and see on that. I think it’s jumping ahead of everything right now. I think right now the stories are still coming out.” Morales was the victim of rumors in 2012 in a story by the National Enquirer that alleged she and Lauer had a behind-the-scenes affair and that Lauer might have fathered one of her children. In 2016,

Morales, who moved to Los Angeles in 2016 after accepting a job to co-host “Access Hollywood,” denied the rumors and so did Lauer.

>> Related: Terry Crews explains why sexual assault victims don't come forward sooner

“There is absolutely no truth to this completely absurd story. It is damaging, hurtful and extremely sexist. I have proven myself in all aspects of my job as a news professional and journalist, and am adding to my role, taking on three jobs with ‘Access Hollywood Live’ and ‘Access Hollywood,’ in addition to ‘Today.’ This move was dictated by me and my desire to grow in my career,” Morales said at the time. “Any insinuations beyond that are uninformed.”

’Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten shows off fancy $15,500 stove

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:18 PM

Author and Food Network host Ina Garten attends the 2010 Matrix Awards presented by the New York Women in Communications at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, April 19, 2010 in New York. 
Evan Agostini/AP
Author and Food Network host Ina Garten attends the 2010 Matrix Awards presented by the New York Women in Communications at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, April 19, 2010 in New York. (Evan Agostini/AP)

Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten just took upgrading your appliances to a whole new level.

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The Food Network star and celebrity chef took to social media last week to show off a new, stunning stove that she just added to the kitchen of her Manhattan apartment.

“First day cooking on my new @lacanche_us range – so much fun!! #NYC#newapartment,” she wrote to followers on Jan. 18.

>> Related: Ladies of ‘The View’ pull no punches when addressing feud between Megyn Kelly and Jane Fonda

The very fancy appliance was custom designed for Garten by Lacanche, a French-owned family business that makes about 50 stoves per year for American customers. According to PEOPLE, Garten went for the “Sully” model (which starts at $13,850) and added two burners, costing an additional $825.

The stove takes about four months to design and build and Garten had to pay extra for shipping, of course.

On Jan. 19, Garten shared the first treat she baked using her new oven. Sharing a photo of freshly baked pistachio meringues, she wrote, “First thing out of the oven – gorgeous Pistachio Meringues inspired by my friend Yotam @ottolenghi !!”

In April 2017, Garten opened up about the decision she and husband Jeffery made to not have children.

“We decided not to have children,” she said at the time. “I really appreciate that other people do and we will always have friends that have children that we are close to but it was a choice I made very early. I really felt, I feel, that I would have never been able to have the life I’ve had. So it’s a choice and that was the choice I made.”

The couple celebrated 49 blissful years of marriage in December.

Neil Diamond diagnosed with Parkinson’s, retiring from touring

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:44 PM

What You Need To Know About Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond will retire from touring due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

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The renowned singer-songwriter announced the news in a statement Monday that said his doctors advised that he cancel the upcoming leg of his 50th anniversary tour set for Australia and New Zealand.

“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows. I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come. My thanks go out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”

Diamond turns 77 on Wednesday and, in a bittersweet turn, this weekend will be honored at the Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The storied songwriter behind such chestnuts as “Love on the Rocks,” “I Am, I Said,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Heartlight” and dozens more, launched his anniversary tour in April 2017.

>> Related: Grammy Awards 2018: What time, what channel, who is nominated, who will perform 

His most recent non-holiday album, “Melody Road,” was released in 2014.

Megyn Kelly still angry at Jane Fonda, calls her ‘Hanoi Jane’ months after plastic surgery tiff

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 5:41 PM

What You Need To Know About Jane Fonda

It seems that neither Megyn Kelly or Jane Fonda has forgotten about that awkward September interview in which Fonda shut Kelly down after the latter asked about possible plastic surgery.

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In the interview, Kelly asked Fonda about aging and plastic surgery when she and Robert Redford were on “Megyn Kelly Today” to promote their film “Our Souls at Night.” Fonda didn’t want to talk about the topic and snapped, “We really want to talk about that now?”

Things never really got back on track after that, and the incident came up again just last week, when Fonda appeared on “TODAY” with her “Grace & Frankie” co-star Lily Tomlin. When Hoda Kotb asked how long the veteran actresses have been friends, Tomlin replied, “Oh, my gosh … I think before your first facelift!”

While Kotb and Savannah Guthrie exploded in a fit of giggles, Fonda was clearly unamused. “Never mind! Never mind!” she said. “Who are you, Megyn Kelly?”

On Monday, Kelly took time out of her show to address the actress’s remarks.

“And, now, a word on Jane Fonda, who appears to be fixated on an exchange I had with her months ago on this show,” Kelly said introducing the clip from September on her show on Monday. “When she first complained, publicly after the program and repeatedly after the program, I chose to say nothing because my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business.”

>> Related: After Matt Lauer’s firing, new NBC employee accuses ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ staff

“It’s time to address the ‘poor me’ routine,” Kelly said. She told the audience and TV viewers that Fonda appeared on her show last September to promote a film “about aging.”

“To her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show,” Kelly said.

Kelly then played a clip of a previous Fonda “Today Show” appearance discussing her history with plastic surgery, then referenced Fonda’s other interviews on the topic.

“Apparently, when she came here, however, again, to promote her film about aging, I was supposed to discern that this subject was suddenly off limits,” Kelly said. “Look, I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well, and she rejected it. That’s OK. But I have no regrets about that question, nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is or is not appropriate.”

The hits kept on coming when Kelly brought up the “outrage” Fonda has caused in the past.

“After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage. Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam War,” Kelly said as the audience cheered. “Many of our veterans still call her ‘Hanoi Jane.'”

Kelly then listed Fonda’s multiple offenses and added, “By the way, she still says she is not proud of America.”

>> Related: Rocker John Mellencamp’s daughter joins cast of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

It’s unclear if Fonda plans on responding to Kelly’s insults, but Fonda fans responded on Twitter.

Migos and their fans want the group cast as hyenas in ‘Lion King’ remake

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 11:20 PM

Quavo (middle) of rap trio Migos (pictured) wants Disney to cast the group as the hyenas in the remake of
Quavo (middle) of rap trio Migos (pictured) wants Disney to cast the group as the hyenas in the remake of "The Lion King."(Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET/Getty Images for BET)

The rap trio Migos wants to put its stamp on the highly-anticipated remake of “The Lion King.”

On Sunday, Migos member Quavo posted his plea for the trio to make their Hollywood debut in the upcoming live-action remake, which already has an all-star cast including Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Alfree Woodard and Keegan-Michael Key.

Related: Disney confirms Beyonce, Donald Glover, more for ‘The Lion King’ in 2019

“Call us,” Quavo tweeted to Disney about the group playing the three hyenas.

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One problem, though. Key, comedian Eric Andre and actress Florence Kasumba have already been cast as hyenas in the new film, slated to premiere July 19, 2019.

The group’s fans were on board.

Twitter users offered numerous examples of how the group’s signature phraseology would fit right into the “Lion King” script.

As with many social media campaigns, Migos didn’t quite have everyone on board for the possibility of the group members playing the hyenas, partially because the parts were already cast to begin with.