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Celebrity train wrecks fascinate and appal. But could they be our fault? | Celebrity

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Nine years ago, I flew to Detroit for what had by then become an international spectator sport: watching Charlie Sheen have a mental breakdown. In the previous months, Sheen had gone from “beloved bad boy cheeky chappie” to shattered wreck. He posted unhinged webcam videos in which he claimed to have “tiger blood”, and these proved so popular that he took the show on the road, in a tour titled Violent Torpedo Of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option.

As a child, my parents took me to what was then the USSR, and we visited the Moscow State Circus. No one goes to a circus expecting to see happy wildlife, but the Moscow State Circus in 1988 took it to the next level. The animals were ragged, their fur patchy. I enjoyed a bear on a bicycle as much as the next 10-year-old, but watching that muzzled animal, so thin and bald I could see his bones working as he frantically pedalled, tested even my enthusiasm. Meanwhile, the crowds bayed.

It’s rare that you experience the literalisation of a cliche, so I long assumed that this was as close to bear-baiting as I would get. And it was, until I sat in the audience of Sheen’s tour. Sheen, who has since said he’s bipolar and HIV positive, lurched around the stage while the crowd called for anecdotes about porn stars and crack. When he failed to provide to their liking, they booed. Afterwards, I asked some audience members what they thought. “I wanted to see a train wreck. [But] I thought he’d be funnier,” one told me.

It is no revelation that being famous is rarely conducive to good mental health, nor is wanting to be famous generally a sign of personal stability. As a result, celebrity train wrecks come along with the regularity of actual trains, and yet they still fascinate, like a bear on a bicycle. Britney Spears shaving her head; Amy Winehouse in blood-stained ballet slippers; David Hasselhoff drunkenly trying to eat a cheeseburger while talking about loneliness – all of these happened in full view of the public, and we, the public, made them iconic, referencing, satirising and, later, meme-ing them into posterity.

Kanye West has long been an anomaly: a celebrity who goes off-script in an era when even “reality” TV shows have screenplays. Sometimes this has been for the good, such as in 2005 when, while raising money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, he announced on TV, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” At the time, he was pilloried, but now he would probably get his deserved plaudits. (I would like to take this moment to add that he was also right in 2009, when he said that Beyoncé’s still legendary Single Ladies video should have won the MTV Music award, and not Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me. But this topic may still be too controversial to discuss.)

Sometimes, especially since the death of his mother, Donda, in 2007, this going off-script has been for the less-good. The footage last month of West launching his presidential bid by talking about the time God told him through his laptop not to abort his oldest child (a sentence not even Hunter S Thompson could have come up with at his most hysterically surreal) did not suggest he is an entirely well man. As I write, his wife, Kim Kardashian West, has released a statement acknowledging her husband’s bipolar disorder and pleading for “compassion and empathy”. It feels especially poignant that this episode should have happened the same week West released his new album, Donda, named after his mother.

For all the talk these days about mental health, fans have a push-pull-push relationship with the mental health of celebrities. Women are envied for their extreme thinness, and then snarked at for looking anorexic; child stars are celebrated for faking emotions, and then derided when they grow up and have a confused relationship with reality, as detailed in the fascinating recent documentary Showbiz Kids, by former child actor Alex Winter. This was also gently touched on in Judy, last year’s biopic about Judy Garland, in which fans are shown alternately loving Garland for her frailty and then resenting it when she can’t sing about that rainbow again. It’s a dynamic that would be familiar to many other stars, from Marilyn Monroe to Pete Doherty. Train-wrecks are fun, as long as they’re still sexy, cool and funny.

When I interviewed Sheen in 2016, I asked him whether the public’s expectations exacerbated his behaviour. “I think it led me to being something I wasn’t,” he said. “I guess it comes down to a measure of people-pleasing,” he said. Sheen took his bad-boy image to the extreme endpoint; Garland never stopped being a helpless little girl, to the delight and frustration of those around her; West is the brave truth-teller. As bystanders, we are fascinated, then mocking, then disgusted. But aren’t they just giving us what we want? Given how frequently this happens, and how we are surprised by it, again and again, you have to wonder.



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Timothée Chalamet And 11 Other Celebrities Who Are Actually Wrestling Fans

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Stephen Amell

While it’s doubtful we’ll ever see Timothée Chalamet step into the squared circle, one longtime celebrity wrestling fan has taken part in not one, but three different matches. That celebrity? None other than Arrow lead Stephen Amell

In May 2015, the TV action star was sitting front row at a WWE event when he was confronted by former WWE superstar Cody Rhodes (wrestling under the Stardust gimmick at the time), which ultimately led to two squaring off in opposite sides in a tag-team match at that year’s SummerSlam event. Two years later, however, Amell and Rhodes found themselves on the same team in a 5-on-4 tag-team match at in the Ring of Honor promotion, and then the Arrow star saw himself step back into the ring in 2018 in a losing effort against Christopher Daniels at Cody Rhodes’ All In event.

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Rihanna Invited These Celebrities to Return For Their Second Savage X Fenty Show

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The second annual Savage X Fenty fashion show is upon us, and fans couldn’t be more excited — not just about the fact that Rihanna is returning to our screens, but that they’ll get to see the different celebrities and models that she brings in for the big event.

Rihanna attending a charity event
Rihanna on the red carpet | Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Rihanna filmed the 2020 Savage X Fenty Show during the coronavirus pandemic

Like every other production and event in the United States in the last few months, Rihanna had to adapt her plans for the 2020 Savage X Fenty Show after the COVID-19 outbreak. In a preview for the event, Rihanna can be seen walking into the show venue wearing a mask and face shield.

While details around the actual show have been sparse, it’s safe to assume that the show will either have a small audience this year or no audience at all, and Rihanna took as many precautions as possible to protect the models, the talent, and the crew backstage.

Rihanna always hires diverse models for every Savage X Fenty show

Rihanna has always made it a point to hire models of all kinds for every Savage X Fenty show or campaign. Last year’s show alone featured trans models, plus-size models, drag queens, and disabled models. She’s also included people like Aaron Philip, a young trans disabled model, as brand ambassadors.

Aquaria, a RuPaul’s Drag Race winner who modeled in last year’s Savage X Fenty Show, had nothing but kind words about Rihanna and her casting practices. “Rihanna is really doing what she has to do to make fashion and the entire world open to inclusivity,” she gushed. “There is no reason not to include people of all walks of life in casting.”

Rihanna
Rihanna | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Rihanna is welcoming some new members to the Savage X Fenty family

The 2020 Savage X Fenty show will be the first time many celebrities work with the lingerie brand. Demi Moore and Paris Hilton, for example, will be making their Savage X Fenty debut when the show premieres on Amazon Prime Video. Even Erika Jayne is joining the party.

Lizzo has been a longtime admirer of Savage X Fenty, and she’s set to appear in the 2020 fashion show. Other artists like Willow Smith and Rico Nasty will also be making their first Savage X Fenty appearance this year.

Newcomers like RuPaul’s Drag Race winners Jaida Essence Hall and Shea Couleé will be joining the Savage X Fenty Show for the first time this year, as well as models like Irina Shayk and Miss 5th Avenue.

RELATED: Rihanna Wouldn’t Allow Cameras at Her Savage X Fenty NYFW Show For This Reason

Rihanna invited some Savage X Fenty alumni back for the 2020 show

Other celebrities have walked in the Savage X Fenty Show or worked as a brand ambassador in the past, and Rihanna made sure to include them in this year’s festivities as well. Normani, who danced in last year’s show and later became the first Savage X Fenty brand ambassador, is returning for this year’s show.

Rihanna invited several models from the 2019 Savage X Fenty show to reprise their roles this year. Bella Hadid, Paloma Elsesser, Cara Delevingne, and Christian Combs will all be in the 2020 show, and are sure to deliver the same sass and sex appeal that both they and Savage X Fenty are known for.



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Politicians, celebrities react to death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Politicians, journalists and celebrities offered their condolences to the family of Ginsburg, 87, who died due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

Among them were her fellow justices.

“Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

In a statement, President Donald Trump highlighted that Ginsburg was just the second woman ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court. He referred to her as a “titan of the law,” who was “renowned for her brilliant mind and her powerful dissents.”

“A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg battled cancer, and other very long odds, throughout her remarkable life,” Trump said. “May her memory be a great and magnificent blessing to the world.”

In a proclamation, Trump ordered U.S. flags at the White House, all public buildings and grounds and military bases throughout the country to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of her internment.

Several former presidents shared their remembrances in statements.

Ginsburg, according to President Barack Obama, helped inspire future generations’ pursuit of justice.

“Over a long career on both sides of the bench – as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist – Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are – and who we can be,” Obama said in a statement Friday night.

President Bill Clinton, who appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993, called her “one of the most extraordinary Justices ever,” who had “boundless courage in the face of her own adversity.”

“Her 27 years on the Court exceeded even my highest expectations when I appointed her,” he said. “Her landmark opinions advancing gender equality, marriage equality, the rights of people with disabilities, the rights of immigrants, and so many more moved us closer to ‘a more perfect union.'”

President George W. Bush said he and his wife, Laura Bush, were “fortunate to have known this smart and humorous trailblazer.”

“She dedicated many of her 87 remarkable years to the pursuit of justice and equality, and she inspired more than one generation of women and girls,” he said. “Justice Ginsburg loved our country and the law.”

President Jimmy Carter, who appointed Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980, called her a “truly great woman.”

“A powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality, she has been a beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career,” he said.

Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president and former vice president, read a statement to reporters upon landing in Delaware Friday night.

“We learned of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was not only a giant in the legal profession, but a beloved figure, and my heart goes out to all those who cared for her and care about her,” Biden said. “And she practiced the highest American ideals as a justice: equality and justice under the law.”

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg stood for all of us,” he added.

Here are more tributes to Ginsburg:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

“Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.”

Vice President Mike Pence

“Today, America mourns the passing of a true public, servant, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Ginsburg led an inspiring life, and her storied career paved the way for women in the law. As an advocate and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, she was a champion for women whose tireless determination reshaped our national life. A fierce defender of her judicial philosophy, Justice Ginsburg will always be remembered as a jurist who respected and commanded the respect of her colleagues.”

Sen. Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who possessed tremendous passion for her causes. She served with honor and distinction as a member of the Supreme Court.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

“NY’s heart breaks with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. During her extraordinary career, this Brooklyn native broke barriers & the letters RBG took on new meaning—as battle cry & inspiration. Her legal mind & dedication to justice leave an indelible mark on America.”

Dan Rather

“A shock. A sadness. A great loss. The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a hole in a nation already reeling. She is an American hero, in every sense. We can honor her by joining to carry forth her legacy of equality, empathy, and justice. May she Rest in Peace.”

Megan Rapinoe

“This is devastating, an incalculable loss. We owe so much to RBG. Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #RIPRBG”

Janet Mock

“Rest in power to a feminist icon and American hero! Thank you Ruth Bader Ginsburg for your service, for working well BEYOND retirement until the very end because our country needed you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life. Justice Ginsburg overcame one personal challenge and professional barrier after another. She climbed from a modest Brooklyn upbringing to a seat on our nation’s highest court and into the pages of American history. Justice Ginsburg was thoroughly dedicated to the legal profession and to her 27 years of service on the Supreme Court. Her intelligence and determination earned her respect and admiration throughout the legal world, and indeed throughout the entire nation, which now grieves alongside her family, friends, and colleagues.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is devasting. Justice Ginsberg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness, and her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who sacrifice and strive to build a better future for our children.

“Every family in America benefited from her brilliant legacy and courage. Over the course of her quarter century as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsberg became an icon, inspiring people around the world with her tenacity, towering intellect and devotion to the American promise of equality and opportunity for all. Her tireless advocacy in the fight for gender equality, whether working at the ACLU, arguing cases before the Supreme Court or authoring thoughtful and historic opinions and dissents as an Associate Justice, leaves an enduring legacy of progress for all women. Her opinions have unequivocally cemented the precedent that all men and women are created equal.

“We must honor Justice Ginsburg’s trailblazing career and safeguard her powerful legacy by ensuring that the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court upholds her commitment to equality, opportunity and justice for all. May it be a source of comfort to her children, Jane and James, her grandchildren Paul, Clara, Miranda and Abigail, and loved ones that so many people around the world mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

“Tonight, we mourn the passing of a giant in American history, a champion for justice, a trailblazer for women. She would want us all to fight as hard as we can to preserve her legacy.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

“Ruthie was my friend and I will miss her terribly. The t-shirts simply labeled “RBG” made her notorious. But it was her wit, her tenaciousness, and her skill as a jurist that made her an icon.

“As a young mom heading off to Rutgers law school, I saw so few examples of female lawyers or law professors. But Ruthie blazed the trail. I’m forever grateful for her example — to me, and to millions of young women who saw her as a role model.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders

“The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tremendous loss to our country. She was an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights, and will be remembered as one of the great justices in modern American history.”

Mindy Kaling

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the kind of scholar and patriot you get excited about explaining to your kids. The kind of person who you say ‘who knows, one day you could be HER.’ I hope you rest well, RBG, you must have been tired from changing the world.”

Sen. Cory Booker

“I am so, so saddened by the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer and an extraordinary jurist who devoted her life to advancing the causes of equality and justice. We are in her debt.

May her memory be a blessing to us all.”

Eric Trump

“Justice Ginsburg was a remarkable woman with an astonishing work ethic. She was a warrior with true conviction and she has my absolute respect! #RIP”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows

“Joining the whole nation tonight in mourning the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a trailblazer, a dedicated public servant, and an inspiration to so many. My prayers are with her family and friends.”

Bill Gates

“Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer who devoted her entire career to fighting for equal justice for women, because she knew it would improve life for everyone. America is a better place because of her service. I am inspired by her life and legacy.”

Attorney General William Barr

“On behalf of the Department of Justice, I extend my deepest sympathy on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg led one of the great lives in the history of American law. She was a brilliant and successful litigator, an admired court of appeals judge, and a profoundly influential Supreme Court Justice. For all her achievements in those roles, she will perhaps be remembered most for inspiring women in the legal profession and beyond. She and I did not agree on every issue, but her legal ability, personal integrity, and determination were beyond doubt. She leaves a towering legacy, and all who seek justice mourn her loss.”

Stacey Abrams

“May the Lord see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to her well-earned rest. May we continue fight for Justice here with her passion, brilliance and extraordinary mischief. Until good is done. #RBG”

Rep. Katie Porter

“I’m thinking today about Justice Ginsburg’s remark that there will be enough women on the Supreme Court when there are nine. History will remember #RBG as a trailblazer and a voice for liberty and equality.”

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