‘Playboy’ founder Hugh Hefner dead at 91

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 11:23 PM

Five Fast Facts: Hugh Hefner

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has died at age 91. Playboy confirmed the news on Twitter.

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“Playboy” confirmed the death was of natural causes in a statement to E! News and other outlets:

“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1952 introduced the world to “Playboy” magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes in his home, surrounded by loved ones. He was 91 years old.”

Hugh Hefner poses at Playboy's 60th Anniversary special event on January 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Hefner died at age 91 in 2017.(Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy/Getty Images for Playboy)

Hefner’s son and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, Cooper Hefner, issued the following statement:

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom. He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston and all of us at Playboy Enterprises.

Born in 1926 in Chicago, Hefner joined the Army as an infantry clerk after he graduated high school in 1944. He created cartoons for Army newspapers. After serving in World War II, he was honorably discharged in 1946.

Started in 1953, “Playboy” initially included short stories and cartoons, but eventually became famous and synonymous with nude centerfold photographs. Famously, the publication’s first centerfold was Marilyn Monroe.

The publication reached a height in the 1970s when it had more than 7 million readers. Its success made Hefner synonymous with silk robes, pipes and extravagant parties with women in bow-ties and bunny ears.

Although the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles is the most famous, the original mansion was bought in Chicago in 1960. 

Reactions to Hefner’s death have poured in on social media:

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, girlfriend Lauren Hashian are expecting again

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:43 AM

What You Need to Know: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

The daughter of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and girlfriend Lauren Hashian was part of a very special announcement the actor posted to Instagram Monday.

Sitting in front of a Christmas tree, Jasmine sat beneath a sign that read “It’s a girl! Can’t wait to be a big sister!!! And finally be the boss!”

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In the caption, Johnson gushed over the family’s newest addition.

“Our Jasmine Lia would like to make a big announcement – IT’S A GIRL!  @laurenhashianofficial and I are boundlessly grateful for this blessing as this spring we’ll welcome our second baby. Plus, Jazzy is excited to boss around and protect her lil’ sis,” he wrote. “And once again, big daddy is completely surrounded by beautiful estrogen and loving, powerful female mana. All girls. One dude. And a boy dog. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

After the public announcement, the couple walked the red carpet at the premiere of Johnson’s upcoming film, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

People reported that the couple were engaged in a little bit of PDA as they walked the red carpet. Hashian stunned in a festive velvet red gown and cradled her baby bump as they posed for photos together. 

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 11: Lauren Hashian (L) and Dwayne Johnson attend the premiere of Columbia Pictures' "Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle" on December 11, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)(Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Johnson will be the proud papa of three girls. His eldest daughter is Simone Garcia Johnson, 16, from his previous marriage to Dany Garcia. His first child with Hashian, Jasmine, was born two years ago in Dec. 2015.

Ex-Disney actress Bella Thorne reveals abuse as child star

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:28 AM

Actress Bella Thorne.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for H&M
Actress Bella Thorne.(Jason Kempin/Getty Images for H&M)

Actress Bella Thorne is opening up about the abuse she faced growing up in Hollywood.

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On Friday, Thorne shocked fans when she tweeted that she was a victim of molestation while working as a child star.

It all started when a fan tweeted at Thorne, “What did Disney do to this girl?! I think she was molested,” in the comments section of one of her photos. Thorne responded by retweeting the fan and writing, “Yeah I was. So it wasn’t Disney.”

Thorne did not comment on any further details of the alleged abuse, though she did respond when pals like YouTube star Tana Mongeau and her “Famous in Love” co-star Georgie Flores applauded her for sharing her story.

Thorne is best known for roles on HBO’s “Big Love” and Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up.”

Her news comes in the wake of other stars who have spoken out against sexual abuse in Hollywood. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer were all accused of sexual misconduct and fired from their respective companies.

Ellen DeGeneres’ California home threatened by wildfires

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 11:51 AM

At Least Six Wildfires Burning Across Southern California

The Thomas Fire is impacting thousands of California residents, including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

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DeGeneres tweeted Sunday night that her Santa Barbara home is in danger from the raging wildfire.

“We just had to evacuate our pets,” she wrote. “I’m praying for everyone in our community and thankful to all the incredible firefighters.”

The Thomas Fire has burned through at least 200,000 acres through Sunday evening and also interrupted transmission lines in the Santa Barbara area, leaving more than 85,000 customers without power.

>> PHOTOS: California wildfires burn thousands of acres

The fire began seven days ago and has forced more than 88,000 people to evacuate their homes, KCBS reported.

More than 4,000 firefighters have been deployed to the firefight.

Round 3: Jimmy Kimmel continues criticism of GOP’s health-care bill

Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 1:27 AM

For the third straight night, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel  devoted his monologue to criticize the Republicans' proposed bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images
For the third straight night, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel devoted his monologue to criticize the Republicans' proposed bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.(Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)

For the third straight night, Jimmy Kimmel used his opening monologue to criticize the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill in the Senate. 

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Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the talk show host did not back down, responding to Republicans who keep bringing him up as the GOP tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Kimmel began with President Donald Trump getting involved on Twitter on Wednesday night. Kimmel said the president probably didn’t know that the bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) does not protect people with pre-existing conditions. But Trump would “sign copies of the Koran at the Barnes and Noble in Fallujah if it meant he could get rid of Obamacare,” he said.

Cassidy had appeared on Kimmel’s show shortly after the host revealed that his infant son had undergone open heart surgery, the Huffington Post reported. Kimmel said Wednesday that on that emotional night, “I learned there are kids with no insurance in the same situation.”

Cassidy had pledged that no family would be denied medical care because they couldn’t afford it. “This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied to my face,” Kimmel said Tuesday night.

Cassidy responded by saying he was “sorry” Kimmel didn’t understand the legislation, and Kimmel answered several hours later. Cassidy had referenced Kimmel on CNN, asking if principles he believed were necessary to pass a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

"I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test?" Cassidy said. 

Thursday on “Fox & Friends,” Cassidy repeated his claim that Kimmel does not understand the bill, the Huffington Post reported.

“Yeah, so Jimmy doesn’t understand,” Cassidy said. “And not because he’s a talk show host, [but] because we’ve never spoken. He’s only heard from those on the left who are doing their best to preserve Obamacare. He’s not heard from me.”

Kimmel fired back Thursday night. 

“A lot of people have been saying that I’m not qualified to talk about this, and that is true,” he said during Thursday’s monologue. “But I think those people forget, Bill Cassidy named this test after me.”

Kimmel added he’d been told he should give Cassidy the benefit of the doubt.

“I do give him the benefit of the doubt,” Kimmel said. “I doubt all the benefits he claims are part of this new health-care bill.”