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Rocker Tom Petty has died at age 66, manager says

Published: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 3:14 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 12:05 AM

The Life of Tom Petty

UPDATE Oct. 3 12:05 a.m. EDT:

Musician Tom Petty has died at age 66, longtime Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers manager Tony Dimitriades, confirmed late Monday. The Los Angeles Times reported the news.

>> PHOTOS: Tom Petty through the years

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

>> Read more trending news

“On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty. He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”

A cause of death has not been announced.

TMZ reported Monday that he had been “clinging to life” after he was rushed the the hospital Sunday after going into full cardiac arrest. The site said the 66-year-old singer was found unconscious. 

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Year in Review: Celebrity couple splits in 2017

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:32 AM

The Biggest Breakups Of 2017

The year in celebrity relationships saw marriages and engagements, but it also had its fair share of breakups and divorces. 

>> Read more trending news 

Whether they were married for decades or dated for months, here is a list of some of 2017’s celebrity splits.

Chris Pratt and Anna Faris

Funny couple Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced their separation in August.

“Anna and I are sad to announce we are legally separating,” Pratt said in a statement. “We tried hard for a long time, and we’re really disappointed. Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake, we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another.” 

Related: Chris Pratt, Anna Faris announce separation

Faris shared a similar statement on her own social media platforms. The couple married in 2009 and have a 4-year-old son named Jack.

Actors Anna Faris (L) and Chris Pratt announced they were separating in August 2017 after eight years of marriage.(Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney/Getty Images for Disney)

Fergie and Josh Duhamel

Married for eight years, singer Fergie and actor Josh Duhamel announced they were separating in a joint statement in September.

“With absolute love and respect, we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year. To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family.”

Related: Singer Fergie, actor Josh Duhamel announce separation

The parents of son, Axl Jack, 4, were separated for some time before making the news public. Soon after the news broke, Fergie said it was “weird” pretending they were still to together before making the public announcement.

Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman

Georgina Chapman said in a statement she was leaving her husband of 10 years, movie producer Harvey Weinstein, after he had been accused of rape and sexual harassment by multiple women.

Related: Harvey Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman leaving him amid sexual harassment allegations

“My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband,” Chapman said in a statement to People. “Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”

The couple are parents to India Pearl, 7, and Dashiell Max Robert, 4.

Tamar Braxton and Vincent Herbert

After more than a decade together, Tamar Braxton filed for divorce from her husband and manager, Vincent Herbert, in October. The two are parents to 4-year-old Logan Vincent.

Related: Tamar Braxton files for divorce from husband and manager Vincent Herbert

“At this time we can confirm Ms. Braxton has made an extremely difficult decision and has filed for divorce from Vincent Herbert,” a representative for Braxton said in a statement. “Collectively, their son Logan and his well-being during this extremely unfortunate process is most important. We ask that everyone respects her privacy during this incredibly difficult time. She appreciates everyone’s love and prayers.”

The couple started dating in 2003 and were married in 2008. Braxton is reportedly seeking joint custody of Logan.

Janet Jackson and Wissam Al Mana

Pop superstar Janet Jackson confirmed she was divorcing her husband, Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, 42, nearly a month after reports speculated a separation.

“I just want to keep it real with you guys for a second: Yes, I separated from my husband,” Jackson, 51, told fans in a video message. “We are in court and the rest is in God’s hands.”

The couple welcomed their first child, a son named Eissa, in January. They were married in 2012.

Wissam al Mana (L) and Janet Jackson reportedly split months after welcoming their first child together, son Eissa.(Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga

After being engaged for nine years, “American Idol” alumn Jennifer Hudson, 36, split from former pro wrestler David Otunga, 37 in November. At the same time of the report, Hudson’s representative said she filed a protective order against Otunga.

“They have been in the process of ending their relationship for a number of months,” Hudson’s rep told People in a statement.

“Today, Jennifer requested and received a protective order against her ex-fiancé. Jennifer’s actions are solely taken in the best interest of their son,” the Nov. 16 statement said.

Related: Jennifer Hudson’s ex David Otunga wins primary custody of their son

Later that same month, it was reported that Otunga won primary custody of the couple’s son, 8-year-old David Jr.

“This wasn’t a victory for David,” an unnamed source told People. “Jennifer dropped the order so they could remove the matter from the courtroom and work together to do what is best for their child.”

Laurence Fishburne and Gina Torres

Actors Laurence Fishburne and Gina Torres were separated for a year before publicly announcing their separation in September and divorce in November. Torres issued a statement confirming the separation after she was photographed kissing another man.

“With heavy hearts, Laurence and I quietly separated and began the dissolution of our marriage in the early fall of last year,” Torres said in a statement to People Sept. 20. “There are no bad guys here. Only a love story with a different ending than either one of us had expected.

Related: Laurence Fishburne, Gina Torres divorcing months after separation announcement

“Happily, however, our family remains intact and we will continue to raise our daughter together with love and joy and awe. As well as raise each other up with respect and love and the continued understanding that we’re in this together, if not side by side.”

Fishburne, 56, and Torres, 48, were married in 2002 and have one daughter, Delilah Fishburne.

Selena Gomez and The Weeknd

Distance was reportedly a factor in the break up of musicians Selena Gomez and The Weekend. The two dated for 10 months from January to October. Despite reports that the two remained friendly, The Weeknd, whose birth name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, removed all photos of Gomez by November.

Related: Selena Gomez, The Weeknd reportedly split after Gomez spotted with Justin Bieber

Gomez has since rekindled her on-again, off-again romance with Justin Bieber. 

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna

After a whirlwind romance, reality TV personality Rob Kardashian proposed to Blac Chyna 10 weeks into dating in April 2016. They announced they were expecting their first child a month later.

Related: Rob Kardashian accuses Blac Chyna of cheating on him, using him for money on Instagram

Daughter Dream Kardashian was born in November 2016, and the couple broke up that December. Although they reunited in January, the broke up for good in February of this year. After a nasty battle that included Kardashian accusing Chyna of using him for money, posting nude photos of his ex and accusing her of cheating and Chyna getting a restraining order against Kardashian, the two appeared to have played nice for now. The two share joint custody of 1-year-old Dream. 

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna ended their engagement in 2017.(Greg Doherty/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Kylie Jenner and Tyga

Kylie Jenner, the youngest sister in the Kardashian-Jenner family dated rapper Tyga on-and-off for years before the couple ended things for good in April. The two intially denied their romance as they reportedly began dating in 2014, when Jenner was 17 and Tyga was 24. They formally went public as a couple the next year once Jenner turned 18.

Jenner, 20, has since moved on and is reportedly expecting her first child with rapper Travis Scott, 25. 

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor 

In May, one of Hollywood’s longest-lasting couples, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor announced they were separating after 18 years together.

Related: Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor separating after 18 years together

“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate,” the couple said in a joint statement to “Entertainment Tonight.” “Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends. We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”

The couple met in 1999 and got engaged the same year. They were married in May 2000 and are parents to Ella, 15, and Quinlin, 11.

Actors Ben Stiller (L) and Christine Taylor separated in 2017 after 18 years together.(Larry Busacca/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill

Rappers Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill broke up in January after dating for two years. Minaj started dating Mill shortly after ending a long-term relationship with rapper Safaree.

Minaj has moved on and, based on some Instagram posts, could be dating legendary Queens rapper Nas.

Theresa and Larry Caputo

“Long Island Medium” star Theresa Caputo was married to her husband, Larry Caputo, for 28 years before they decided to divorce.

“After 28 years of marriage, we have decided to legally separate,” the couple said in s Dec. 3 statement to Us Weekly. “We will always love each other and our two wonderful children. We are united in supporting each other and our family. Please respect our privacy during this time.”

Related: ‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa Caputo splits from husband of 28 years

Theresa Caputo’s TLC show recently gave a look at their marital issues. 

“Since the last season of ‘Long Island Medium’ and through a period of time, Larry and I’s relationship has changed,” Theresa Caputo, 51, said in an episode of the show over lunch with a friend.

“I sometimes interpret it as growing apart. I’ve changed and he has changed. We’re both not happy and, you know, it’s hard to try to work through that,” she later says in a confessional.

Tavis Smiley accuses PBS of ‘biased and sloppy’ investigation, denies any misconduct

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 8:06 PM

Who Is Tavis Smiley?

Former PBS host Tavis Smiley is fighting back against sexual misconduct allegations, accusing PBS of a conducting a “biased and sloppy” investigation. 

>> Read more trending news 

The network suspended the “Tavis Smiley” show on Wednesday after former staffers accused the interviewer of inappropriate behavior.

According to Variety, the longtime PBS host had sexual relationships with many employees and was accused of “creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment” in the workplace. Some of the employees who accused the “Dancing with the Stars” alum were reportedly afraid to come forward sooner over fear of losing their job.

“PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” the network announced in a statement.

“PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”

>> Related: PBS suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ show amid sexual misconduct investigation

Not only did Smiley deny the allegations, he said PBS didn’t even tell what the accusations were or who made them. 

“I have the utmost respect for women and celebrate the courage of those who have come forth to tell their truth. To be clear, I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years,” his statement said, in part. “Never. Ever. Never.”

Smiley said that after he threatened to file a lawsuit, the network agreed to hear his side of the story.

“If having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us. The PBS investigators refused to review any of my personal documentation, refused to provide me the names of any accusers, refused to speak to my current staff, and refused to provide me any semblance of due process to defend myself against allegations from unknown sources. Their mind was made up. Almost immediately following the meeting, this story broke in Varietyas an ‘exclusive.’ Indeed, I learned more about these allegations reading the Variety story than the PBS investigator shared with me, the accused, in our 3 hour face to face meeting,” the statement continued.

>> Related: Lindsey Vonn opens up about backlash after her Trump-Olympics comments

Smiley stated that “PBS overreacted and conducted a biased and sloppy investigation, which led to a rush to judgement.”

Read his entire statement here.

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Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler opens Janie’s House for abused girls 

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:21 PM

Inside Aerosmith

The first thing you see when you walk into Janie’s House is a quote painted in script on the wall: “They say the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

>> Read more trending news 

Those words from Mark Twain would resonate with anyone.

But Steven Tyler turned them into a mission.

On Nov. 1, the first-ever Janie’s House opened off a secluded road in Douglasville as part of the campus for Youth Villages, the nonprofit organization that helps emotionally and behaviorally troubled children.

The residential facility serves girls aged 12-18 who are survivors of abuse and neglect and gives them the opportunity to engage in group and individual counseling, along with other therapies, such as drumming and animal. It currently houses nine girls and has a capacity of 16.

When Tyler sashayed into Janie’s House for the first time in early December to participate in the official “scarf cutting,” he was greeted by the energetic rhythm provided by two rows of staff and kids from Youth Villages, who exhibited talents gleaned from the therapeutic drumming program.

After removing some of the jewelry weighing on his fingers, Tyler sat next to drummer girl Tatiana Rolles and seamlessly picked up the cadence on his own drum.

Steven Tyler plays drums with Tatiana Rolles (next to Tyler) and Judah Davis at  Janie’s House on Dec. 6, 2017.   (Melissa Ruggieri/AJC)

Tyler was motivated to begin his Janie’s Fund after a 2014 Aerosmith concert at Philips Arena, when he spent an afternoon with some of the abused girls at Youth Villages.

A year later, on the 26th anniversary of Aerosmith’s hit song about abuse, “Janie’s Got a Gun,” Tyler launched Janie’s Fund, which is housed within the Youth Villages Foundation. From it, Janie’s House emerged.

>> Related: Steven Tyler says it wasn't heart attack that cut tour short

“You adopted me and my philosophy. To be a part of this has been…it’s nothing more than a beautiful thing,” he told the Youth Villages team gathered at the opening.

Tyler grew up in the Bronx, where he said he was beaten up regularly by the neighborhood kids and floundered without purpose until he discovered music. He talked about his stints in rehab and how he discovered there that there were, “a lot more girls who are abused.”

According to Youth Villages, more than 68,000 children are raped or sexually abused each year in the United States.

“I always thought that I could have a Janie’s House,” he said, visibly moved by the surroundings.

Even with his busy schedule of recording, touring and being one of the most recognizable rock stars in the world, Tyler was deeply involved in the creation of the house, a refurbished existing Youth Villages building.

“Steven designed everything, from the logos to the quotes in the rooms to the color scheme,” said Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler, gesturing at the navy blue butterflies squiggled on the walls around more quotes, some from Aerosmith’s classic “Dream On,” and other inspirational phrases.

A room at Janie’s House featuring an inspirational lyric from “Dream On” on the wall.(Youth Villages)

The goal of the house, Lawler said, is to provide these traumatized girls a place to stay. The goal is to help them through difficult situations and eventually reunite them with their families, but some may go to foster care.

During the Janie’s House presentation, 15-year-old Skylar, a transgender male who had moved into the house three weeks prior, addressed the gathered throng with heart and courage.

>> Related: Steven Tyler announces illness, Aerosmith cancels tour dates

Being at Janie’s House was, “the greatest experience of my life,” he said, after detailing a life spent hopping through eight previous mental facilities and struggles with PTSD and manic depression.

“I have learned that not everything in the past is my fault,” he said through tears.

When finished, he walked a few feet over to Tyler, who wrapped the teenager in a hug, his eyes scrunched closed as he pulled Skylar closer.

No doubt, Tyler found an answer as to why he was born.

R&B star R. Kelly’s metro Atlanta mansions emptied while singer was touring

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 8:21 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

Georgia authorities are investigating a theft at rapper R. Kelly’s two metro Atlanta homes. Police have identified a suspect they said stole everything inside the two homes and sold it off.

>> Read more trending news

The Grammy Award-winning singer’s homes in Johns Creek were entirely cleaned out during the burglaries in November -- from couches to tables and even the singer’s diamond-encrusted hoodie.

Johns Creek Police Captain Chris Byers said when officers checked both of Kelly’s homes, they found everything missing.

"Many televisions. Furnishings. We're talking about couches, chairs, tables,” Byers said.

Neighbors said they saw suspicious trucks at the homes for about a week. Then last week, neighbor Mark Gibson said another truck showed up, and so did police. 

"They blocked the guy in,” Gibson said. “One of the guys got out with his gun drawn."

"Ultimately led them to an individual that they say hired them that works for Mr. Kelly's organization,” Byers said. “They were told he was moving his organization out of Atlanta back to Chicago and was selling off all of his belongings."

>> Related: Angelina Jolie talks Brad Pitt, says last film together may have mirrored relationship

Byers said Alfonso Walker was, in fact, selling each room of Kelly's homes to the highest bidder.

"They wouldn't sell an individual item for a certain price, but say a bedroom for $6,000,” Byers said.

R. Kelly performs during the Buffet Tour at Allstate Arena on May 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Byers said Walker, 50, is now on the run.

"One of the indications he made was that he was owed some money and this was his way of getting it back,” Byers said.

Gibson said the whole situation is surprising.

"I didn't even know who was living there to be honest,” Gibson said. “We didn't know if there was anything inside there to steal.”

Police said Walker was planning to turn himself into police Tuesday, but that didn't happen.

>> Related: Twitter celebrates Time’s choice of ‘silence breakers’ as Person of the Year

He's facing a number of charges, including burglary and theft by deception.

Kelly’s representative did return requests for comments.