THE TOP FOUR STORIES IN CELEBRITY SCOOP 2020
4. MEGHAN MARKLE AND PRINCE HARRY STEP DOWN FROM ROYAL ROLES
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry started 2020 with a bang by announcing they were leaving their senior royal posts in January, in a bid to become financially independent and pursue their own lives. After a brief stopover in Canada, they moved to California, and within a matter of months, bought a $14 million home in Montecito and signed a multi-million deal to create content with Netflix. They also launched their new philanthropy, dubbed Archewell, celebrated their son Archie’s first birthday, and volunteered during the pandemic.
Their exit from the Royal Family was far from smooth though, with reports emerging that Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William, responding with horror and shock to their plans. Relations since then have reportedly been tense, and Harry has smarted at some of the effects of the decision, including his being forced to give up all of his royal appointments.
It hasn’t been easy for Meghan either, who, she revealed in The New York Times in November, suffered a miscarriage in July. “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times.
“Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?’,” she wrote. “This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points. Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating.”
3. LORI LOUGHLIN PLEADS GUILTY, HEADS TO PRISON
After months of declaring their innocence, Full House star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in May for their roles in the college admissions case. Both were accused of shelling out $500K in a scheme to get their daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella into University of Southern California as fake crew recruits.
Loughlin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and Giannulli pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. In August, they were sentenced to two (Loughlin) and five months (Giannulli) in federal prison. During her sentencing, Loughlin said: “While I wish I could go back and do things differently, I can only take responsibility and move forward. I am truly, profoundly and deeply sorry. I’m ready to face the consequences and make amends.”
Loughlin served her two months’ time, and was released in December, while Giannulli entered prison in November and is set to be out in April.
2. HARVEY WEINSTEIN FACES NEW CHARGES, JAIL TIME
In March, Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual assault and rape. He was convicted on February 24th after a jury trial in a Manhattan court that included graphic testimony from his victims, including Annabella Sciorra. His case ignited the #MeToo movement.
In January, before his conviction, he was charged with raping and assaulting women in L.A. In October, he was charged with raping two more women in L.A.; in total, he faces 11 counts of assault in Los Angeles County involving five women. The 68-year-old has denied the allegations.
Weinstein has faced a number of health setbacks behind bars, including heart issues and COVID, which he reportedly contracted in March. Extradition to California has been put on hold due to the pandemic, and his legal team has repeatedly tried to prevent it, citing his ill health.
1. ELLEN DEGENERES KINDNESS BACKLASH
Ellen DeGeneres built her lofty reputation on not just being super-funny, but also by being super-kind. But her reputation—and her entire empire, including her eponymous show—were put on the line when YouTuber Nikkie de Jager called our out, saying the host was “cold and distant” to her during her appearance on the show. After that, the floodgates opened.
In April, a Twitter thread asking for people to share anecdotes about DeGeneres being “one of the meanest people alive” garnered thousands of replies from people describing bad experiences with her. Then, crew members from The Ellen DeGeneres Show began speaking out, and allegations of extreme behavior—including threats, harassment and racism—on the part of producers whom she oversaw started coming out.
After reports emerged that CBS was considering canceling the show, she sent a letter of apology to her staff; several top producers were also let go.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” DeGeneres wrote.
She also addressed the scandal when the show returned in September.
“I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she said. “The truth is I am that person that you see on TV.”
Ratings for the premiere week were down about 37% compared with the previous season, which observers say may show the scandal affected her reputation.
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