TV star and former tech billionaire 'bonded' behind bars, more news

Prison pals

“Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” alum Jen Shah has a new friend to lean on in federal prison. That would be convicted tech entrepreneur and former billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, according to People. “They’re friends,” Jen’s rep, Chris Giovanni, recently told the outlet. “They’re both rehabilitating and have bonded over being on this journey of positive change.” Elizabeth is currently serving an 11-year sentence at Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas, for defrauding the government and her Theranos investors out of millions. Earlier this year, Jen surrendered herself to authorities at the same prison to begin serving her six-and-a-half-year sentence for a telemarketing fraud scheme.

“Their situations brought them together, and they have a good understanding of one another. They’re getting through it together,” said Jen’s rep. “Jen’s given her a lot of advice. She’s even met Elizabeth’s baby and held her.” The spokesperson added that both Jen and Elizabeth have “changed a lot behind bars.”

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Oscars slap anger

Sean Penn doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to violent outbursts,That didn’t stop him from unleashing a “furious” rant about the moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars in a September 2023 cover story for Variety. Sean — who spent weeks behind bars in 1987 for punching an extra in the face repeatedly on the set of “Colors” while he was on probation for a misdemeanor battery charge, according to the Los Angeles Times — is promoting his new documentary “Superpower,” about Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Recalling that the Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences wouldn’t give Zelenskyy a platform at the 2022 Oscars to address Russia’s then-recent invasion of Ukraine, Sean suggested producers got Will’s slap “instead.” “I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once,” the star said, adding that Will “seemed very nice” and was “so … good” in “King Richard.” “So why the f*** did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid f****** thing? Why did I go to f****** jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?” he continued.

“This … wouldn’t have happened with Zelenskyy. Will Smith would never have left that chair to be part of stupid violence. It never would have happened,” Sean concluded. He was so angry, in fact, that he wanted to “destroy his Oscars,” according to Variety. Sean said he figured he could “give them to Ukraine” to melt down for bullets in the ongoing war with Russia.

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Private island birthday getaway

Birthday girl Beyoncé turned 42 on Sept. 4, and after wrapping up a celebrity-packed performance in Inglewood, California, she reportedly took a break from her Renaissance World Tour on a private island in French Polynesia. TMZ reports Bey whisked family and friends — including her husband Jay-Z and their kids — off to the remote yet luxe Brando Resort in Mermaid Bay, which Town & Country recently named the world’s “most luxurious eco resort.” Insiders tell TMZ Bey, Jay and their little ones, Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir, stayed in one of 11 villas she rented for the group from Sept. 5 through Sept. 8. The famous family’s four-bedroom pad was believed to have a $20,000-a-night price tag. Beyoncé hopped right back on tour after her quick escape to paradise.

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Another split joke

Sofia Vergara’s love life is off-limits on “America’s Got Talent.” In the wake of her split from husband Joe Manganiello, Sofia’s “AGT” co-star Howie Mandel has taken a number of digs at her romantic status, telling a contestant in August she was single and now, poking fun at her directly. During the Sept. 13 episode of “AGT,” Sofia succumbed to a lie detector test, where she initially answered a handful of light-hearted questions. The lie detector indicated she was fibbing when Heidi Klum asked if Simon Cowell was “like a sweet puppy,” according to Entertainment Tonight. Sofia gave a more honest answer when asked if she preferred working on “AGT” to her tenure on “Modern Family” (she apparently does). Things went downhill abruptly, however, when Howie inquired if Sofia was “interested in” any of the audience members. “That’s it!” Sofia hollered, yanking the lie detector cuff off her arm to end the test and heading back to the judges’ table.

Howie said he was widely criticized online after his last comment about Sofia’s divorce, telling ET “People said it was too soon and it was tasteless.” Sofia and Joe announced they were separating after nearly eight years of marriage in mid-July.

Marital mistakes

Amy Winehouse would have turned 40 on Sept. 14, a milestone her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil reflected on in a candid interview with “Good Morning Britain.”Amy and Blake were married from 2007 until 2009 and their infamously tumultuous marriage often made headlines, as did rumors about Blake’s role in the singer’s drug and alcohol use. Looking back, Blake admitted he would have done “almost everything differently” if he could go back in time to their romance. “If it wasn’t for certain factors I think it could have been a different outcome. Everything happened very quickly for Amy. We were young,” he said, according to the Evening Standard.

He also addressed being blamed for her death — and the “huge mistakes” he made along the way. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to speak today. I do [get blamed] and that’s OK. I can’t change how other people feel about that,” Blake said. “But for me personally, I’ve needed to stop carrying that cross on my own. I’ve carried that burden myself for over 10 years. I feel, to be honest, that I’m the only person within that story that’s ever held any accountability, that’s ever tried to say, ‘Yep, I made some huge mistakes.'”

Asked to elaborate, Blake said: “I was a 20-something-year-old drug addict. So I had absolutely no idea how to make myself clean, let alone somebody else who was a big cog in a machine for a record label, and there were vested interests in Amy carrying on performing.” Amy died in July 2011 at age 27. The coroner ruled she died as an “unintended consequence” of “alcohol toxicity.” Her family recently released a new collection of her writing, doodles and lyrics called “Amy Winehouse: In Her Words,” with proceeds going to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

Sobriety milestone

Ryan Phillippe is celebrating a new personal sobriety record. “Officially the longest I’ve gone since I was a teen without some kind of nicotine or marijuana in my system (among other things…),” the “Shooter” star, 49, wrote on Instagram on Sept. 14. “Feeling thankful for the freedom that comes with breaking addictions and dependency on substance. Sobriety, clarity, and spiritual connectedness feels real good.🙏” His post was met with a slew of encouraging comments, many of which featured references to the sobriety milestones of some of Ryan’s followers.

The star later shared the same selfie on his Instagram Stories, this time with a caption that read, “My only remaining addictions are toothpicks & self-improvement.”

Jen Shah, Elizabeth Holmes

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