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Celebrity news and blog articles from The Huffington Post

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    Last year, Hank Baskett and wife Kendra Wilkinson were the subject of major media frenzy surrounding his alleged affair with a transgender model while Wilkinson was still pregnant. Now, the couple are ready to reveal what really happened and how they managed to protect their relationship.

    "I messed up," Baskett told People magazine. "I put myself in a bad situation. And everything through me brought pain upon this family."

    On the day of the alleged events, the former football player explains he approached a couple in a grocery-store parking lot with the intention of buying pot -- they gave him a phone number to call, and when he did, he was given an address. Baskett says he arrived and asked to use the bathroom, though once he came out, he "saw something I thought I would never see in my life."

    Baskett told People the person who had answered the door, a transgender woman, was outside the bathroom, nude and making out with another transgender woman. Then, that same woman approached him and fondled him through his basketball shorts. "I didn't engage in anything," he said.

    The whole incident left Baskett humiliated and Wilkinson blindsided. The mother of two tells People she "went ballistic" and flushed her wedding rings down the toilet. "I couldn't control my emotions," she said.

    But when her husband finally explained the entire situation with honesty, the former Playboy playmate was understanding and sympathetic. "Hank was very naïve and gullible," she said. "He thinks everybody is his friend. That led him to the hell that we've lived."

    Even though the couple went through a very tough period, Wilkinson admits divorce was "not even a question."

    Wilkinson told People that she was determined to work through all the issues, knowing it would be much better for their children, Hank IV, 5, and Alijah, 13 months.

    "Of course everybody's going to go through tough times in life. It's how you deal with it," she said.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Prince pulled a Beyoncé on Wednesday when he dropped a new song with no promotion. The track, "HARDROCKLOVER," features a lot of Prince screaming about making a woman scream, and it's pretty damn sexy. 

    "Sade and Babyface/R&B ain't got no place," Prince sings on the track. "Put some hard rock on/you better cover your ears, 'cause you're 'bout to hear a woman just scream."

    "HARDROCKLOVER" is the third song the singer has released this year, following "Baltimore" and "What If."

    Also on HuffPost:

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Fresh off the announcement of an unauthorized "Beverly Hills, 90210" movie, Lifetime has given the greenlight to an equally unauthorized pic about "Melrose Place."



    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Sandra Bullock was recently named People’s Most Beautiful Woman of 2015, and she’s using her title to share that being a woman in the spotlight isn't always so beautiful.

    In an interview with E! News, the Oscar-winning actress described how women are treated in the media, specifically how they're often judged based on their appearance and age.

    "I feel like it’s become open hunting season in how women are attacked, and it’s not because of who we are as people," she said. "It’s because of how we look or our age."

    Bullock went on to explain how this harsh treatment of women affects younger generations, including her son Louis. She said she's trying to teach her son to treat women with respect when disrespectful media representations often dominate the headlines.

    I'm shocked -- and maybe I was just naive. But I’m embarrassed by it because my son is getting ready to grow up in this world and I’m trying to raise a good man who values and appreciates women and here we have this attack on women in the media that I don’t see a stop happening.

    She also noted the pressure young girls face in a social media age. "Little girls are having the hardest time with bullying and the Internet," Bullock said. "Somebody with a very large hand and big voice needs to put a stop to it."

    To lend a hand in this battle, Bullock decided to accept People's Most Beautiful Woman title so she could offer a different take on what it means to be beautiful. She told the magazine that "real beauty is quiet."

    "Especially in this town, it's just so hard not to say, 'Oh, I need to look like that,'" she said. "No, be a good person, be a good mom, do a good job with the lunch, let someone cut in front of you who looks like they're in a bigger hurry. The people I find most beautiful are the ones who aren't trying."


    Bullock admits she did find the "Most Beautiful" title humorous, but she's using the platform to highlight women whose beauty is rooted in more than their appearance.

    I laughed when they said they’re going to be generous and bestow me this wonderful privilege, but I said if I can talk about the amazing women that I find beautiful, which are these women who rise above and take care of business and do wonderful things and take care of each other, then I’m more than honored to be on the cover of this.

    Most beautiful? More like most inspiring.

    H/T BuzzFeed

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Carrie Underwood may be a country singer, but this southern belle sure knows how to rap.

    While performing at the Big Barrel Country Music Festival in Delaware last weekend, the former American Idol contestant put her own unique spin on her 2012 ballad "See You Again." Instead of just singing the song as she usually does, the superstar remixed it with Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's tune of the same name.

    In the video above, Underwood starts by singing the chorus, then moves into the rap portion, which she totally nails. Of course, the crowd went nuts as the new mom started spitting the verse, barely skipping a beat.

    Following the show, the 32-year-old tweeted to her fans, “Thanks to all who came out to the @BigBarrelFest! You were such an amazing crowd! I’m so happy there’s no way I’m gonna to [sic] sleep tonight!”

    Check out her awesome performance for yourself in the video.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Last week, I attended one of ABC's open casting calls for "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." Thanks to her recent visit to the HuffPost office, I received some pre-casting advice from current Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe: 1) Wear something comfortable, and 2) Tell a joke if you're funny. I wore the heels that give me blisters, and I did not tell a joke. Turns out being the Bachelorette is a LOT harder than it looks.

    Arriving at a "Bachelor" casting is kind of like arriving at a Vegas club ... but without the flashing lights and money falling from the sky.

    You show up, and a line of humans in semi-scandalous attire waits to get in the door. The line wraps around the block. You're not sure if you're gonna make it into the "club," aka ABC Studios. Unlike in Vegas, it is raining.

    I'm not here to make friends, you think to yourself. Which is weird, 'cuz all these girls look nice enough to be your friends. But that's what they say on "The Bachelor," so you say it to get in the mood. You join the line and edit some Instagrams quietly. 'Cuz you're not here to make friends.

    That's me in line. I'm flashing a peace sign, because I'm secretly here to make friends.

    The line moves like a slow loris. If you're lucky, you have a friend who shows up to wait with you. If you're not lucky, you wait alone and try to make friends. But nobody's here to make friends, you remind yourself, 'cuz it's "The Bachelor." So you just ignore those peripheral humans.

    After what seems like hours (and probably IS hours), you enter the studio and go through security. It's like airport security, only the guards compliment you on how pretty you are in a semi-uncomfortable manner. ("Heeey girl. You have a great face, girl.") The guards know you are weak. They know you are vulnerable. They know you are here to be judged. They are taking advantage of the situation, I think.

    Then, The Girl At The Front Table gives you an application with the Sacred Questions. And you get a Sacred "Bachelor" Pen to fill them out with. (This pen will probably be the only thing you ever receive from the "Bachelor" franchise, so hold on to it.) You begin to answer the Sacred Questions with zest.

    Those are the Sacred Questions, obviously.

    Next, The Wee Intern Who Is Here For The Summer takes your picture. He tells you that you look like a celebrity, and he seems totally starstruck to see you. Acting all pose-y for his camera is easy, on account of this kid being the same age as the small child whom you babysit.

    That's the photo station, along with a REALLY crowded room of potential Bachelorettes.

    Then you have lots of sitting time to answer the Sacred Questions with your Sacred Pen. Questions include, but are not limited to, "What's your favorite drink?" (Um ... whiskey?), "Describe your dating history" (Um ... Tinder?) and "What's your greatest achievement?" (IDK, JUST MAKING IT PAST THIS CONFUSING QUESTIONNAIRE AND ONTO YOUR TELEVISION SHOW WOULD BE NICE, THANK YOU).

    When you're done, the Questions Warden checks to make sure you answered all of the Sacred Questions and didn't leave any blanks. She staples your application with the Sacred Stapler.

    Sadly, I did not steal the Sacred Stapler ... I think it could get you disqualified.

    Next, there is Musical Chairs. Musical Chairs is when you sit in a bunch of chairs waiting to go in front of the cameras. Everyone in the chairs pretends to chat and be friends. But you are not here to make friends. 'Cuz this is "The Bachelor."

    When it's time to go in front of the cameras, you get to wear a real microphone like a real "Bachelor" contestant. It will be hard to affix the microphone to your shirt. Do not panic. Just smile and say you're here for the right reasons. Bachelorettes are always here for the right reasons.

    When the microphone is on, the Camera Person will ask you some of the same Sacred Questions that were on the application. Only this time, you will have to say them with your actual voice, which is apparently difficult to do after waiting for, like, three hours and getting all nervous. (Pro tip: If asked to describe your dating history, do NOT say "none." You will probably not become The Bachelorette. Not that I did that or anything.)

    That's my friend Allison being LOVED by producers. She did great!

    After that, you will leave the camera area. You will cry a little on the inside, on account of you will feel that you did not act bubbly enough, nor flirty enough, nor Bachelorette-y enough to be the next Bachelorette. If I only had one more chance, you will think, I would win America's heart.

    But that would require making friends. And you are NOT here to make friends.

    Correction: This article has been updated with the correct spelling of Kaitlyn Bristowe's name. It was previously spelled Katelyn Bristowe.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    "Ant-Man" must be the ultimate underdog movie, because it has had an uphill battle from the beginning. Those struggles don't even consider that while other Marvel heroes shoot arrows and use lightning, actor Paul Rudd's main powers include controlling ants and shrinking so small that Thomas the Tank Engine toys look intimidating. (But if Hydra is hosting a picnic anytime soon, they're going to be in trouble.) Beyond that, original director Edgar Wright left the project, the script has gone through numerous rewrites and Rudd's son even told him, "I can't wait to see how stupid that'll be."

    In the face of all of that, early reactions to the film have been positive and it's now expected to shrink its box-office competition.

    The journey of one "Ant-Man" theory has been equally inspirational. It showed up on Reddit under "ShittyFanTheories," but, unlike most of the terrible ideas there, this one actually makes sense. Everyone seems excited about it. Commentors called it "amazing," and "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed even told The Huffington Post he "loved" it too.

    The theory: Ant-Man has actually been in all Marvel movies, but he's so small that no one noticed.

    Image: Giphy

    The theory comes from Redditor The_Last_Castoff. He explains:

    Ant-Man has been running around trying to help in every Marvel movie, but he is stuck in Ant mode so no one can see him.

    In the Marvel comics, Ant-Man is actually a founding member of the Avengers, so it would make perfect sense for him to have been involved in -- or at least observing -- the action in some way. He doesn't even have to be "stuck in Ant mode" for this to work. He just wouldn't reveal himself.

    This could mean Ant-Man helped the Avengers stop Loki in New York, he could've had a hand in defeating Malekith in "Thor: The Dark World" and he might've even helped Captain America take down Hydra in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Also, given his aforementioned ant powers, this would explain to Hydra why all their company picnics have been so terrible.

    Is this really possible though?

    The evidence:

    Image: Giphy

    HuffPost asked "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed, who replaced Wright last year, for his thoughts on the idea, and he was as excited as anyone. "I love that theory," laughed Reed. "I think it’s a funny theory. I’m not quite sure that the timeline works out, but I like the idea of it."

    If the theory is true, Reed wasn't giving anything away. The director's enthusiasm was encouraging, but his thoughts about timing are a legit concern.

    In the movie, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is the inventor of the Ant-Man technology and takes Scott Lang (Rudd) under his wing to be the new Ant-Man. Given that scenario, it's unlikely that Rudd would have been involved with any avenging, since "Ant-Man" is said to take place after the events of "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Still, that doesn't mean Douglas' character couldn't have been involved.

    tv show gifs
    Image: YouTube

    There's even possible evidence of this in the first trailer. Douglas tells Rudd, "I've been watching you for a while," and he appears to have some sort of tricked-out observation station. (Like, seriously, has West Coast Customs been pimping that out or something?)

    With all that technology, are we really supposed to believe the original Ant-Man has not been observing the Avengers as well? Or even possibly doing some of the avenging himself? Adding some support, Lego reportedly has toys featuring both Lang and Pym in the Ant-Man costume, so it does seem like we'll see Douglas suit up as Ant-Man at some point.

    Nothing is certain yet, but if you rewatch the other Marvel movies and start noticing that a bunch of Thomas the Tank Engines keep getting knocked over, all bets are off.

    Image: Giphy

    "Ant-Man" hits theaters July 17.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Demi Lovato has a hot new song and a fierce look for summer. 

    The former Disney star performed her new song, "Cool For The Summer," at Z100's pool party at the Gansevoort Park Avenue in New York City on Wednesday. Lovato wore a black bra top, high-waisted denim shorts and thigh-high gladiator boots for the performance. 

    The 22-year-old jumped in the pool with all her clothes on to get closer with her fans, who were hanging out in the water. She posted an Instagram taken with her friends in the bathroom afterwards. 


    A photo posted by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on

    Lovato dropped "Cool For The Summer" Wednesday. She hit back at critics claiming her song is a rip off of Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" and Jessie J's "Domino," tweeting: "[S]ounds nothing like it and with all the advances we've made in the LGBT community... I think more than one female artist can kiss a girl and like it."

    The song shot to No. 1 on the iTunes chart.  

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    The new, highly anticipated video for Rihanna’s “#BBHMM” is an epic, 7-minute visual kaleidoscope of style and excess and, as was clearly intended, it’s generated a lot of buzz since debuting online at midnight today. In the video, we watch Rih, accompanied by two silent minions, kidnap the modelesque wife of an accountant (surprise! Mads Mikkelsen) who owes her some serious coin. The sexualized violence in the video is graphic and disturbing (we'll get to that in a minute), but overall the video is everything we love about Rihanna -- it’s ballsy, edgy, explicit, and unapologetic.

    When the “#BBHMM” single first dropped in March, it was lauded by many as a feminist banger that deftly reclaimed the phrase "Bitch better have my money," once synonymous with pimps bossing around their hoes. With the song, Rihanna flipped the script, subverting the original connotation.

    It's no surprise that the video's plot revolves around a kidnapping -- Rihanna sings again and again on the track, "Your wife's in the backseat of my brand new foreign car," and in her live rendition of the song on SNL back in March, the line was brought to life with a crying, bound and gagged woman utilized as part of the performance.

    And yet, I can't pretend that it wasn't jarring, even a little disturbing to see this motif expanded in the video. Here, the wife is stuffed into a Louis Vuitton chest, which is then stuffed into the trunk of a car. She's dragged into an abandoned building, hung upside down and naked. Later, she's hit over the head with a bottle; and forced to consume an excess of drugs and alcohol by Rihanna and her crew.

    It all sounds pretty terrible, and I can't pretend that my first reaction wasn't one of extreme discomfort with the depiction of violence and sexualized violence in the video itself, and the reaction some people, especially women, had to it -- reveling in its imagery, talking about how awesome it would be if Rihanna kidnapped them. The celebration and applause of a black woman from viewers of the video was beautiful to see, and yet one can't shake how incredibly triggering some of the imagery in this video might be -- how ultimately, it's a cool looking video, but also pretty messed up.

    But there's so much at play here. There's a desire to make some large and sweeping declaration about how "un-feminist" the video is, but to dismiss it based solely on my own discomfort would be to do it a disservice. The feminism of Rihanna, the feminism of black women in general, is consistently scrutinized and policed in a way it isn't with white women. It's important to be aware of that in any discussion about the video's feminist merits or failings.

    Shortly after the video premiered, one online commenter said, "I'm not a feminist. I'm a rihannaist," and it's that idea that's at the core of what makes this video so distinct. This video isn't about feminism, and yet it is about feminism. It isn't about race, and yet it's so very much about race. (And money. Don't forget the money.)

    Rihanna revealed on her Instagram three hours before the video's debut that she had first conceived of its concept eight months ago, and worked closely with co-director Megaforce to bring it to life. The video has echoes of Tarantino and Gregg Araki, with a style and tone that is distinct and well-curated. Its violence and violently dark humor is nuanced, the underlying rage of Rihanna's character (and it is a character) tempered by the saturated, cartoon-candy colors and over-the-top set pieces.

    It's the kind of video that, quite simply, would be lauded and never questioned if a white man (a man like Tarantino) made it. Does the discomfort some are feeling, the discomfort even I initially felt (and still do, faintly, with every rewatch), really have only to do with an aversion to violence? Or does it stem from this idea that a black woman could not only take ownership of this kind of stylized cinematic violence and rage, but also execute it in a way that rivals and challenges the mostly white men who are usually praised for it? Of course, there are people who are triggered and upset by the work of Tarantino and directors like him, who criticize their use of sex and violence. But in spite of all, these men are able to cloak themselves with the title of auteur and visionary, and are very rarely ever held truly accountable.

    Rihanna has always been a difficult artist, a difficult woman. And it's Rihanna's difficultness that has always made her so compelling, especially juxtaposed against the almost saint-like status of Queen Bey. The #BBHMM video is peak Rihanna in that respect -- difficult, because it's imagery is so extreme, and difficult because there's as much to praise in it as there is to condemn. It is difficult, and unselfconscious about that. There's no hesitation, no pandering, but the full unbridled artistic expression. There's power in that. This video proves to be the perfect companion to Kendrick Lamar's video for 'Alright' which dropped yesterday. Both are brilliant visually and conceptually and both, even as they entertain and feed the pop culture beast, are saying brilliant, terrifying, and complicated things about race and gender.

    But with #BBHMM, perhaps it's best, ultimately, not to overthink it. By its last shot, with a naked Rihanna, covered in blood, laying in a trunk full of money, the video is asking you to do only one thing: ease into your discomfort. Embrace it.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Forget "27 Dresses," Katherine Heigl is playing a more diverse character in her new wedding movie.

    In the trailer for "Jenny's Wedding," from writer-director Mary Agnes Donoghue, Heigl plays Jenny, an openly gay woman out to everyone except her family. When her parents and sister (Grace Gummer) question her about her seemingly single life, Jenny finally comes out and reveals she's marrying her roommate and partner Kitty (Alexis Bledel). But her parents, especially her mother (Linda Emond), have a hard time fully accepting her. "Jenny's Wedding" opens July 31 and is available on VOD on Aug. 1.


    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Robin Thicke has been lying pretty low for the past few months, but he's finally ready to talk about the ordeal surrounding his megahit, "Blurred Lines."

    The funky tune, which featured Pharrell Williams and T.I., stirred up quite the controversy when it was released in 2013. Many found the lyrics and accompanying video (which made Emily Ratajkowski famous) suggestive and "rapey," claiming it promoted a "worrying attitude towards sex and consent."

    (Video is NSFW)

    Then the song and its creators became the subject of a major lawsuit, which didn't help change the public's opinion. Thicke and Pharrell Williams sued Gaye's estate in a preemptive move to block a lawsuit from Gaye's family claiming they copied his song "Got To Give It Up." Then, two of Marvin Gaye's children responded by suing Thicke and Williams for copyright infringement.

    Things got messy, to say the least, but now, the 38-year-old American-Canadian singer has come out saying he "would never steal."

    In an interview with the New York Times, Thicke explains, "I know the difference between inspiration and theft. I’m constantly inspired, but I would never steal. And neither would Pharrell."

    He continues, "As a songwriter, you’re obviously trying to create a brand-new feeling that comes from your heart. But you can’t help but be inspired by all of the greatness that came before you."

    Thicke admits to being "careless" during the trial, as he was going through a very messy public divorce with his former wife, Paula Patton.

    robin thicke paula patton

    "My personal issues were all that mattered to me at the time. That’s why I use the word 'careless' to describe my attitude at the time. Obviously, I didn’t give my all to the trial. It simply wasn’t as important to me as what was going on in my personal life."

    Thicke and Williams ultimately lost the case and the jury awarded Gaye's children $4 million in damages plus $3.4 million in profits the two artists had made from their copyright infringement. They went on to appeal the case.

    Thicke notes the verdict could have a negative effect on the music industry as a whole, saying, "If the verdict holds up, I believe that it will have a ripple effect on the arts and the industry in general. I mean, if you made the first superhero movie, do you own the concept of the superhero?"

    "I sure hope it comes out a different way for Pharrell and me, and also for the future of creativity. You know, there are friends of mine, other musicians, that have spoken out publicly about this, about the injustice of the decision. Adam Levine, John Legend, Stevie Wonder. Unfortunately, they’re not on the jury."

    NOTE: This article has been updated to include mention of the musicians' initial lawsuit against Gaye's family.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    It seems the rumors that Miley Cyrus is at least more than friends with Victoria's Secret model Stella Maxwell could be true  

    On Tuesday night, the 22-year-old singer was spotted passionately kissing the 24-year-old model while taking a break from filming a music video in Hollywood.

    The pair were pressed up against a trailer as they made out, seemingly unconcerned with who witnessed their public display of affection. 


    Rumors of their relationship started last month after they both started making appearances on each other's social media accounts. 


    MEOW-TZ @stellamaxwell

    A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

    The ladies @mileycyrus @katyweaver

    A photo posted by Stella! (@stellamaxwell) on

    In a recent interview with V magazine, Maxwell joked that the pair met through Grindr, before explaining the two were introduced by Cyrus' close friend Cheyne Thomas, and went on to say that it was friendship at first sight. 

    Cyrus, who recently launched a nonprofit organization to help homeless LGBTQ youth, recently opened up to Paper magazine about her sexuality

    "I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal and everyone is of age," she said. "Everything that's legal, I'm down with. Yo, I'm down with any adult -- anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me. I don't relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl."

    Cyrus also spoke of telling her mother she was interested in women. "I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, I love them. I love them like I love boys," she said. "And it was so hard for her to understand. She didn't want me to be judged and she didn't want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any god. I just asked for her to accept me. And she has."

    Cyrus who publicly dated Patrick Schwarzenegger, Justin Gaston, Nick Jonas, and was engaged to Liam Hemsworth, previously said that not all of her relationships were "straight, heterosexual" ones.  

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    It seems like most celebrities either launch a lifestyle brand or start a clothing line these days. Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, Reese Witherspoon and Melissa McCarthy have all done one or the other and now we can another name to the list -- Ellen DeGeneres.

    According to its website, the "ED By Ellen" line consists of "beautifully designed, high quality collection of women’s apparel, accessories and decorative home" items. The line debuted on June 30 and will be sold exclusively on


    According to a press release, the items range from reasonable to really pricey, as apparel and accessories will run for $25 to $395 and home items will sell for $25 to $365 (you can view that $365 cake plate here).

    “I set out to fill a void in the marketplace of high quality, comfortable yet chic and easy-to-wear pieces with impeccable detailing," said DeGeneres in a statement. "That’s what makes it so special and why I’m so thrilled my ED line is launching and everyone can finally have a piece of me… You know what I mean."

    Scroll through more photos of "ED by Ellen" below:

    H/T E! News

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    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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    Just recently there was a public outcry from NPR listeners. Was it about racial inequality? Gay marriage? The Confederate flag? No. It was about Kim Kardashian. Apparently, she appeared on a game show and some listeners were furious. "Had I heard your Saturday show before I made my gift, I wouldn't have donated," one listener wrote to the NPR ombudsman. "The Kardashians represent much of what is wrong with America today -- and I listen to NPR to get AWAY from Kardashian-like garbage."

    He's wrong about Kim Kardashian. And if you agree with him then you're wrong too. The Kardashians, particularly Kim, represent what's right with America. Kim Kardashian is a bona fide, true and real entrepreneur. Her many businesses have created job opportunities, wealth and entertainment for millions of people. Her professional activities have raised awareness for issues ranging from female entrepreneurism to substance abuse to gender identity. She is a smart business woman that we can all learn from. And let me offer a few reasons why.

    She was running businesses since an early age and well before KUWTK. Before becoming famous Kardashian worked at her father's music marketing firm, then at a clothing store for four years. She ran her own successful eBay business buying and selling designer clothing and another successful closet organizing business, catering to both celebrities and non-celebrities. Of course, she came from a wealthy family (her father was a well-known LA lawyer who famously represented O.J. Simpson in his murder trial). But her father, who helped finance her earliest entrepreneurial activities, insisted on being paid back with interest. "Our dad used to say," according to Kim and her sisters in their autobiography. ""Nothing in life is for free, you girls aren't going to get just whatever you want."" Their parents made it "very clear" that they would be totally cut off after they finished school. "So we all learned early on if you want money, you have to earn it." And earn it she did.

    Like every successful entrepreneur, she's not afraid to take risks -- and lumps. Kim Kardashian earned $28 million last year and was considered one of Time's most influential people in 2014. Her mobile app generates hundreds of millions of dollars. She has a chain of stores and earns millions from endorsements. And here's the thing: all of this essentially came from a sex tape! Once some level of minor celebrity status was achieved, Kardashian, like any smart entrepreneur, took risk after risk. She invented and then re-invented her image. She revealed her most private details on a reality TV show and continues to endure the withering abuse from many (like that angry NPR listener) who detest her kind of entrepreneurism. She is as brave as every business owner who makes a living legally selling guns, sex, fatty foods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and law services. Who are we to judge what someone does for a living? The world's greatest entrepreneurs, inventors and artists have also been the target of similar criticisms and abuse from society only to overcome and succeed with their missions. That's what Kim Kardashian is doing.

    She is a marketing and branding expert. She gets flooded with deals and offers every week but only chooses those that will make the best use of her name. She appears at fashion shows, is photographed at celebrity parties and then sits down to talk business and technology with the likes of Kara Swisher at serious tech conferences. She has turned both her marriages and her pregnancies into national media events. She and her sisters wear the latest fashions, the nicest jewelry and vacation at the most fantastic spots because it tells her audience, her customers and her fans that they can be just like her. Just keep watching her show and buying her products. Everything Kim Kardashian does is about keeping her and her family relevant and her brand fresh and innovative. What entrepreneur doesn't aim to do the same?

    She runs a successful family business. In a world where many of my family-run clients are struggling to get along with each other, Kim has found a way to involve her entire, extended family to benefit from the success that she created. This empire has enabled her mother, sisters and step-family members to also earn millions doing everything from appearing at events to launching their own modeling careers. Through her we've learned that we're not the only ones who argue with our siblings, struggle with financial challenges, and endure all those typical family business problems. We've seen her share her wealth and encourage others in her family to succeed. But don't any good senior manager Kim is always there, keeping a wary eye out to make sure that whatever her family members are doing is contributing in some way to the Kardashian brand and fortune.

    Finally, she's made her success more than just about money. Great entrepreneurs like Kardashian are of course focused on making money. But then it goes beyond that. On one episode of KUPWTK (and yes, I watch the show -- it's awesome and impossible to turn off the TV once it starts) a crying, heavy-set woman came backstage at an event to thank Kim's beautiful but also heavy-set sister Khloe for being an inspiration to women like her. We all know that Kim is proud of her larger-than-life derriere. So through those famous photo shoots and magazine covers she is telling women to be proud of theirs too. Through their business activities Kim and her sisters have given women more reasons to be confident about themselves. And their show has given others in their family, particularly their step-dad, the opportunity to raise awareness about issues like gender equality. This all began and continues with Kim.

    So to that NPR listener, and anyone else who faults Kim Kardashian as "what's wrong with America" I say you're the one who's wrong. This is a smart woman and a savvy entrepreneur. To me, a business owner, she's everything that's right about America.

    A version of this column previously appeared on

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    Matt Damon may have reached maximum badass levels in the "Bourne" films, but his hair is reaching maximum badass levels right now. Ladies and gentlemen, Damon has a ponytail -- we repeat, a ponytail.

    matt damon

    During a Thursday press conference for the 2016 film "The Great Wall," Damon showed off his signature casual style in a button down shirt and jeans. But the real fashion moment came courtesy of his long hair, pulled back into a low pony.

    Just when we thought men with long hair was a trend of the past (aka, 2014), Damon is bringing back the look with as much enthusiasm as Jared Leto's braid.

    Oh, and for guys who are looking for a new 'do, growing out those locks may not be a bad idea. Celebrity groomer Diana Schmidtke told the Huffington Post that long hair is the easiest style for guys. Think of the versatility: man buns, braids, top knots -- the list goes on.

    matt damon

    H/T The Cut

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    Hilaria Baldwin gave birth to her second child just two weeks ago, but that hasn't stopped her from sharing pics of her super fit body.

    Alec Baldwin's wife shared a snap on Instagram in which she's seen posing in her bathroom, wearing nothing but lingerie, while daughter Carmen plays and laughs on the ground. The brunette beauty captioned the photo:

    "Rafael was 2 weeks yesterday and I didn't post my weekly #ShrinkingBaldwinBabyBump. Carmen has come in while I'm showering and getting ready for the day to terrorize my cosmetic products...My lipsticks are shaking in fear #SeeThatFace ???"

    And this isn't the first time the mother of two shared a glimpse at her shrinking belly. Just two days after the birth of her son Rafael, Hilaria posted a similar pic encouraging women to accept and love their bodies after bringing life into the world. She's also been posting weekly updates of her #ShrinkingBaldwinBabyBump to give followers a look at the changes a woman's body endures throughout pregnancy.

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    If you’re jealous of Kim Kardashian’s 37.8 million Instagram followers, don’t be. Many of them are probably fake.

    On June 21, a group of security researchers released a study showing that up to 24 million Instagram accounts could be spambots created in online black markets.

    These bots are fake accounts that interact with other users. Businesses or celebrities often pay money for phony accounts to increase their social media prestige, but even people who don't purchase followers might find a host of spammers bloating up their follower list. Fortunately, it's not too hard to figure out which accounts are fake.

    The researchers, who will publish their work online next week, examined over 10 million Instagram accounts and found that 29.9 percent of them were inactive -- meaning they only ever posted once at the most -- and 7.9 percent behaved like spambots. (For reference, Instagram had 300 million monthly active users as of December 2014, meaning the researchers looked at a very tiny slice of the overall app.)

    To determine what spambot behavior is, the researchers purchased the services of 20,000 bots from 10 different online vendors and monitored their activities over a month. They found that each spambot tends to upload an average of six media posts and have a follower-to-following ratio of 1:41. Real Instagrammers, on the other hand, tend to upload an average of 55 media posts and have a follower-to-following ratio of 1:1.

    instagram spam

    Here's a profile the researchers say is controlled by a spambot. At first glance it might pass for a real person, but it seems less legit once you take into account that is has only nine posts and 258 followers, versus the 6,479 accounts it's following. (Image credit: Andrea Stroppa)

    Fake accounts can be bought and sold online at various prices, depending what kind of engagement -- "likes," follows, comments -- the customer wants.

    “We tend to associate a person’s popularity with the volume of his or her followers or ‘likes’ received on post and photos,” the study said, noting also that spam account vendors compete with one another to attract "customers eager [to] become super-popular in the social media universe."

    instagram spammers
    This account is a more obvious spambot. It hasn't posted any photos or videos, yet it has 144 followers and is following 4,085 accounts. (Image credit: Andrea Stroppa)

    Instagram's terms of use prohibit people from buying or exchanging followers, and the app regularly makes automatic and manual sweeps to locate and block spambots, a company spokesperson told The Huffington Post. But despite its best efforts, spambots haven't gone away.

    In December of 2014, Instagram conducted a purge of inactive and spammy accounts, causing some users, including celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian, to lose millions of followers overnight.

    instagram spambots
    An example of an online Instagram spambot black marketplace, where fake followers are bought and sold. (Image credit: Andrea Stroppa)

    But spammers aren't just looking for celebrities. If you’ve never bought Instagram followers, you could still wind up with a bunch of fake followers.

    “Some software used by spambot creators have an option that allows bots to automatically follow people based on #hashtag,” lead researcher Andrea Stroppa, who also blogs for Huffington Post Italia and the World Economic Forum, told The Huffington Post via email. “Someone that manages bots can decide to follow all people that uploaded picture using the hashtag #Football.”

    The comforting news is that by following your account, spambots won't explicitly take or compromise your data. However, if you happen to visit a spambot profile, don't click on the links it posts -- they may lead to malicious websites or apps, Stroppa noted. If you happen to have bought spambot accounts, Stroppa says you run the risk of "reputation damage" if your real followers find out.

    There's a silver lining, though: It's pretty easy for us laypeople to detect spambots. According to Stroppa, you can simply dig around in your follower list -- and if some of them have almost no photo uploads or followers, yet are following over 1,000 accounts, you can assume that they're bots.

    The simplest way to avoid spambots from following your accounts, for now, is to make your Instagram account private. (Someone out there could be selling your public Instagram photos for their own gain, after all.)

    H/T Motherboard

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    Arctic Monkeys Drummer Matt Helders paid top dollar for Zooey Deschanel's house in Los Angeles. The New Girl actress got $135,000 more than the original asking price from Helder, who paid $2.33 million for the property this month.

    The 29-year-old drummer is now the proud owner of the three-bedroom home, which was built in 1933. The traditional estate has a lot of original detail, including French doors throughout the property that allow plenty of natural light to flood many of the rooms. The formal dining room is a bit more rustic, with a pitched wooden ceiling and a dark wood dining room table set. The dining room seamlessly flows into the living room, which is also full of character. There's a wood-burning fireplace, a wood-beamed ceiling and a dark wood floor.

    Deschanel is a musician herself, so it's no surprise that the living room features a piano. We bet that will soon be replaced by a drum set. The 2,957-square-foot home sits on half an acre with a separate guest house on the property. Maybe Helders will use the guesthouse for band practice!

    According to property records, the New Girl star owned the home with her former husband, Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard. The two split back in 2011.

    Deschanel has already moved on from her former abode. The actress recently scooped up another property with her fiancé, producer Jacob Pechenik. The Cape Cod style home in Manhattan Beach was more expensive than Deschanel's former home, at $4.569 million. It's also a bit bigger, which makes sense; the couple is expecting their first child soon and will most likely need the extra space for their growing family.

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    Here's some fun sibling rivalry for you. The day after Kim Kardashian called for more gun control, her sister Kourtney went and posted a photo of herself at a shooting range. 

    Don't mess.

    A photo posted by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on

    Kourtney captioned the photo, "Don't mess," and it's hard to tell if the message was meant for Kim, though the timing is certainly strange. What's more is that it's not even a new photo, as Gossip Cop pointed out.

    It's actually a screenshot from a 2007 episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" where Kris Jenner brought Kourtney, Khloe and Kim to the shooting range for target practice. On the episode, Kim was nervous about shooting guns, but suddenly felt "empowered" once she started accessorizing with safety gear. The episode later showed her learning to shoot a massive assault rifle. 


    The subject of the purchase of guns has been a plot point on the family's reality show several times throughout the series. And while Kim also spoke out when her stepparent Caitlyn Jenner decided to buy a gun for protection on a 2013 episode after the family members were the victims of a swatting prank, Kourtney's throwback Instagram certainly strikes as a little shady. 

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    For years, Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson seemed to be part of a secret sisterhood. But a lot has changed since the women ended their relationships with Hugh Hefner, and the former stars of "The Girls Next Door" have opened up about what life was really like at the Playboy Mansion.

    Madison and Wilkinson have been trading barbs since writing their dueling memoirs, with Wilkinson recently saying Madison published her new tell-all book, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny, for "revenge."

    Madison has her own view. In the above clip from her upcoming interview on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?," she discusses how her relationship with Wilkinson has changed over the years.

    "Kendra's and my relationship has definitely been weird," Madison says in the above video. "I feel like, over the years, I've known like three different people."

    holly madison and kendra wilkinson

    When they first met, Madison says Wilkinson "started off as this girl who seemed nice."

    In 2005, "The Girls Next Door" premiered to huge ratings on E! and Madison and Wilkinson became household names. The breakout hit focused on lives of Hefner's then-girlfriends, Madison, Wilkinson and Bridget Marquardt. For five seasons, cameras documented the drama that unfolded inside the Playboy Mansion walls.

    Madison says Wilkinson changed into "this girl who's not a girl's girl and is very competitive and pushes away other girls."

    holly madison and kendra wilkinson

    By 2009, all three women had left the mansion and ended their relationships with Hefner. Wilkinson married former wide receiver Hank Baskett in 2009 and Madison went on to marry Pasquale Rotella in 2013.

    "When she met her husband she was very nice and seemed to have grown into this really different person," Madison says.

    kendra wilkinson and hank baskett

    But once again, their friendship didn't last. "And then later down the road we had a falling out, so it's been all over the place," she says. "I want viewers to pick up the book and read the whole story."

    Madison's memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny, is available now.

    "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

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