Reese Witherspoon mulling potential $1B sale of media company Hello Sunshine
Earlier this year, Time included Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine, in its list of the world’s 100 most influential companies. Now, Hello Sunshine seems poised to become one of Hollywood’s most lucrative private media machines, too. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Reese and her business partners, Seth Rodsky, and Reese’s husband, CAA alum Jim Toth, are “exploring” the possibility of selling Hello Sunshine for what WSJ’s sources say could be as much as $1 billion.One source tells the outlet there’s already interest from Apple Inc. — Hello Sunshine produces Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” — and Apple isn’t the only potential buyer that’s been sniffing around. Founded in 2016 as a platform for telling female-driven stories, Reese’s company counts Pacific Standard — her previous production company — as a subsidiary. And as Time noted in April, Hello Sunshine isn’t part of a “vanity” project for the actress to acquire roles for herself. Rather, “she wants to build a media empire,” according to the magazine’s Lucy Feldman. A $1 billion sale could certainly help get her closer to that goal. News of a possible sale comes less than a week before the 2021 Emmy nominations are announced on July 13. Last July, Hello Sunshine’s power-trio of “The Morning Show,” “Big Little Lies” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” garnered 18 Emmy nominations between them.
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Jada Pinkett Smith recalls struggles with drugs, alcohol on sets in the ’90s
At 49, Jada Pinkett Smith has learned her lesson about how abusing drugs and alcohol will eventually catch up with you. But it took a few scary experiences, one of which she shared on the July 7 edition of her Facebook Watch series, “Red Table Talk.” During a discussion about the rising rate of heavy drinking among women since the pandemic began, Jada recalled how she was a binge drinker in her 20s. When she saw it took more alcohol to get the same desired effect, she eventually added hard drugs including ecstasy. “Drinking red wine for me was like drinking glasses of water,” Jada said, explaining that she “was used to the hard hit” of liquor. Though she’d started adding drugs to the mix by the 90s, she was only indulging from Thursday through Monday, and believed what she was doing wasn’t addictive. That eventually changed. “Once I was going for that third bottle of wine, I said, ‘You’ve got a problem,’ and it was cold turkey that day,” Jada admitted (via ET). “That day I just stopped.” Things were already going south by that point, though. Looking back on one “eye-opening” experience she said contributed to her decision to sober up, Jada recalled passing out in the makeup trailer while filming the 1996 comedy, “The Nutty Professor.” “I went to work high and it was a bad batch of ecstasy,” Jada said. “And I passed out and I told everybody that I must have had old medication in a vitamin bottle. But I’ll tell you what I did, though. I got my a– together and got on that set. That was the last time.”
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Gretchen Carlson reflects on taking down Roger Ailes five years after her landmark lawsuit
July 6 marked five years since Gretchen Carlson filed suit against Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, alleging he’d “sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.” Looking back on the lawsuit — which inspired more women at Fox to come forward, sharing similar experiences, before Ailes resigned within a matter of weeks — Carlson, 55, sees “immense progress” being made in the landscape of sexual misconduct in the workplace and beyond. “First of all, women are being believed,” the veteran journalist told Variety in a recent interview about the milestone anniversary. “Perpetrators are being held accountable. They’re not able to just hide behind a denial. They’re actually in many cases being fired. And payouts to predators are stopping.” She went on to credit the work of reporters who started covering stories about sexual harassment more frequently than they ever had before, and pointed to the role social media played in helping the #MeToo movement grow, giving more people the ability to speak out and protect themselves. In a post on Instagram marking the significance of July 6, Carlson wrote, “We are far from our goal of equality, but the world seems a bit brighter 5 years later.”
Eric Johnson wishes ’empowered, beautiful’ wife, Jessica Simpson, a happy anniversary
Talk about swoon-worthy … In honor of their seventh wedding anniversary, Eric Johnson paid tribute to Jessica Simpson with a gallery of previously unseen throwback pics from the day they said “I do,” and a message that left no question about how deep his feelings are for his wife. “Jessica, I love you,” he captioned the photos, most of which showed him gazing lovingly at her on their wedding day. “7 years into marriage and you still make me laugh just as hard as day one,” he continued. “I had fun yesterday celebrating us. Our kids bring us so much joy and they could not be luckier to have such a fiercely empowered, unique, beautiful mama. I love you, babe!!! Happy Anniversary! E.” The former NFL player and singer-turned-designer got hitched on July 5, 2014, about four years after they started dating. They share three children, Maxwell, 9, Ace, 8, and Birdie, 2.
Bill Cosby wants to stage a comeback tour as new sexual assault trial looms
One week after his controversial release from prison, Bill Cosby is already in comeback tour mode. That’s according to the 83-year-old comic’s rep, Andrew Wyatt, who recently told TMZ his client wants to stage a comedy tour and “several promoters and comedy clubs” have said they’re open to working with him. “The world wants to see Mr. Cosby,” Wyatt declared. Cosby — whose felony sexual assault conviction was overturned on a technicality last month less than three years into his three-to-10-year sentence — has been accused by 60 women of rape, sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Many of those accusers allege “The Cosby Show” star drugged them before attacking them. Meanwhile, the attorney for 33 of those women, Gloria Allred, has announced she’ll pursue a new civil trial in Los Angeles related to claims made by Judy Huth, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Cosby when she was a child. Despite all of this, Cosby is not only mulling a tour — he’s also reportedly working on a five-part docuseries about “his life, legacy, trial and prison experience,” according to TMZ, and hoping to visit communities across the country to discuss “being better citizens and curbing violence.” Finally, he’s pitching in on a book by novelist Frederick Williams about his criminal case and time in prison. Speaking of which, Cosby’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, told Fox News this week a status hearing on the child sexual assault case is scheduled for mid-August.
Sharon Stone is reportedly enjoying a ‘unique friendship’ with 25-year-old rapper RMR
Sharon Stone recently told Drew Barrymore she’s “had it with dating” and would rather be with her friends, her kids and her dog. Those comments haven’t done much to quell chatter about the 63-year-old star’s relationship with 25-year-old rapper RMR, though. Page Six noticed the pair interacting regularly on social media, and though they haven’t shared photos of one another, a source tells the tab they have “a very unique friendship” and “are enjoying each other’s company right now.” People also found a source who confirmed the two “are friends, have been interacting on social media and hanging out on several occasions.” RMR, which is pronounced “rumor,” first made a splash with his song, “Rascals” on YouTube last year. The rapper, singer and songwriter — who keeps his identity hidden beneath a ski mask and grills and has not revealed his name publicly — is currently signed to Warner.
Police investigating alleged trespassing incident at Rihanna’s Los Angeles home
Rihanna spent the holiday weekend in New York City, but there was some commotion at her property in Los Angeles last week, according to TMZ. The outlet reports L.A. police were called to the home after someone allegedly spotted an intruder jumping over the fence early in the morning (it’s not clear what day of the week the incident occurred). The singer’s security team reportedly spoke with police, who arrived after the person had left the premises. Rihanna was not there. Per TMZ’s sources, it was just the latest of multiple trespassing instances and attempts at Rih’s various homes over the years. Police were reportedly still investigating as of July 6.
Robert Downey Jr. mourns the death of his dad, ‘maverick filmmaker’ Robert Downey Sr.
Robert Downey Jr. is mourning the death of his father, Robert Downey Sr., who passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City in the early hours of July 7. The younger star remembered his 85-year-old dad as “a maverick filmmaker” in an Instagram post confirming the news the next day. “RIP Bob D. Sr. 1936-2021…Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s,” Robert captioned a photo of his father. “He was a true maverick filmmaker, and remained remarkably optimistic throughout,” the “Iron Man” star continued, before teasing, “According to my stepmoms calculations, they were happily married for just over 2000 years.” RDJ added, “Rosemary Rogers-Downey, you are a saint, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.” The late actor, writer, director, producer and cinematographer was best known for his 1969 advertising industry meets Hollywood satire, “Putney Swope,” which he wrote and directed. His acting credits included “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “To Live and Die in L.A.” and more.
‘When They See Us,’ ‘Tap’ star Suzanne Douglas dies
Actress Suzzanne Douglas, who starred opposite Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. in 1989’s “Tap,” has died at age 64, her spokesperson confirmed on July 7. Her performance in the dance drama earned her an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, after which she appeared in films including “The Inkwell” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” the popular ’90s sitcom, “The Parent ‘Hood,” and 2019’s “When They See Us.” Honoring her life and career on social media amid news of her death this week, Ava Duvernay remembered Suzanne as “a quiet, elegant force” during production of “When They See Us. “A gentlewoman,” Ava continued. “A gem of a lady. A confident, caring actor who breathed life into the words and made them shimmer. I’m grateful that our paths in this life crossed. May she journey on in peace and love.” Suzanne’s cause of death has not yet been released.
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