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Meghan Markle launches female-empowering initiative to highlight her 40th birthday, with Melissa McCarthy's help

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To help celebrate her 40th birthday Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has launched a campaign called 40x40 -- dedicated to help women who have lost their jobs since the pandemic began. And in a video announcement, Markle tapped one of her famous friends, Melissa McCarthy, to help explain her unique birthday gift. 

McCarthy was just looking to party, trying to guess what Meghan wanted, including, "another photo shoot under a tree where you're looking very peaceful?"

Another was a "Suits reunion," in the vein of the recent Friends special, which McCarthy claimed was her birthday gift from the cast. 

"Yacht party!" was another suggestion. 

Instead, Meghan explained her plan was to have 40 of her friends mentor 40 women to coach them back into the workforce, and her hopes it will have a "ripple effect" that spreads globally. 

"Two million women in the U.S and tens of million around the world have lost their jobs due to COVID," Markle explained to the Bridesmaids star. 

The video ends with a short gag reel, in which McCarthy praises her own "hat work" in preparation for the video.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jenna Dewan slams media for taking Channing Tatum remarks out of context

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Jenna Dewan took to Twitter on Tuesday to address media reports suggesting her recent revelations about suffering "postpartum anxiety" implied that her ex-husband Channing Tatum was unavailable following the birth of their daughter, Everly, in 2013.

“It’s unfortunate that countless media outlets have taken an important conversation on a woman’s experience with postpartum issues and pulled quotes to make it appear that I was slamming my daughters’ father, something I would never do,” she wrote.

“As two working parents, we both faced challenges at the time, but I speak only for myself and not about him,” she continued.

“Anyone who actually listens to the interview, something I encourage everyone to do, will clearly see that my words have been distorted for clicks and to push false, salacious gossip with no regard for the actual people involved, or the message intended,” the 40-year-old actress concluded.

Dewan and Tatum divorced in 2019 following nearly nine years of marriage.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Richard Lewis celebrates 27 years of sobriety: "I thought I was near death"

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Comedian and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis is celebrating 27 years sober, a milestone he reached Wednesday. 

"August 3, 1994 I thought that I was near death from alcoholism," the 74-year-old comic tweeted. "Early the next day I was rushed to the ER and turned my life around a day, sometimes a minute at a time." 

To his followers, Lewis added, "If you’re struggling you can get help. I did. 8/4/21 27 years sober."

The post was liked more than 116,000 times as of Wendesday morning and was commented on by many followers, some of whom added their own stories of survival and struggles with addiction.

Mel Brooks to release memoir 'ALL ABOUT ME! My Remarkable Life in Show Business' in November

Penguin Random House

Legendary entertainer and EGOT winner Mel Brooks is releasing a memoir on November 30 called ALL ABOUT ME! My Remarkable Life in Show Business.

The 95-year-old writer, actor, and director will also narrate the audiobook version of his life's story. 

Publisher Random House explains, "the long-awaited memoir from one of the greatest influences ever known to American (and global) comedy" will "cover everything from his childhood...to his service in World War II, to his early years in show business alongside such greats as Sid Caesar, Neil Simon and Carl Reiner, to his array of dazzling films..."

Among those films, of course, are The Producers, for which he won an Oscar for Best Screenplay, and the beloved Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World Part I, and Spaceballs. And that was before Brooks adapted The Producers into a Tony-winning smash.

For his part, Brooks says in a statement, "It was joyous and at times bittersweet writing this book and reliving the peaks and valleys of my incredible journey from Brooklyn to Hollywood to Broadway. I hope fans of comedy will get a kick out of the stories behind my work, and really enjoy taking this remarkable ride with me."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Guests at this year's Met Gala will need to be vaxxed and masked

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Get ready to see some pretty elaborate face masks. The celebrities and other guests at this year's Met Gala on September 13 will need to wear face coverings and prove they're vaccinated against COVID-19, ABC Audio has confirmed.  

A spokesperson for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art noted, "Currently, all attendees at The Met Gala...must provide proof of full vaccination and will also be expected to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking," adding that guidelines will be updated "as needed." 

The news comes a day after New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced vaccines will be required for patrons seeking admittance to restaurants, gyms, and most every indoor space in the city.

The Met Museum itself currently requires face coverings even if visitors are vaccinated.

Earlier this year, the organizers behind Vogue's traditionally gonzo gala -- technically called the Costume Institute Benefit -- announced dates for two bashes: The first, a "more intimate" gathering on September 13, will highlight an exhibition of the same name, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," which opens September 18 at the Anna Wintour Costume Center. The 2021 event will also commemorate the Costume Institute's 75th birthday; the festivities were cancelled outright in 2020 over coronavirus concerns.

The 2022 Costume Institute Benefit, the Met Gala's official name, will be held on May 2, 2022. 

Officially, the Met Galas benefit The Costume Institute, "with its primary source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, operations, and capital improvements." Unofficially, the parties have become a place where celebrities show off outrageous red carpet outfits, such as Jared Leto's infamous decapitated head ensemble, and Lady Gaga's 25-foot-long Brandon Maxwell fuchsia pink cape gown.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard admit they wait until their kids are "stinky" before bathing them

ABC/Rick Rowell

Looks like Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis aren't the only celebrity parents who don't wash their children every day.  Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard readily admitted they wait for their daughters smell before throwing them in a bathtub.

When speaking to The View Tuesday, co-host Meghan McCain admitted that Kutcher and Kunis' recent admission made her reevaluate if she is "bathing my child too much."

Shepard hailed his former Armchair Expert guests, who made the reveal on his podcast last week and sparked a nationwide conversation about hygiene.  Joking that the couple are now seen as "bad parents," he and Bell revealed that they're members of the same club.

"What's interesting is, we bathed our children every single night prior to bed as part of a routine -- and then, somehow, they started to go to sleep on their own without the routine," Shepard said in reference to his two young daughters, Delta and Lincoln, who are six and eight, respectively.

Continued the Parenthood star, "[Kristen and I] had to start saying like, 'Hey, when's the last time you bathed them?'"

Bell nodded along to their joint confession and deadpanned, "Yeah, we forget" as her husband jokingly admitted they can go up to nearly a week before they wash their daughters.

"[We go] sometimes five, six days... They don't smell so, you know, it's hard," Shepard quipped.

"I'm a big fan of waiting for the stink," added Bell.  "Once you catch a whiff, that's biology's way of letting you know you need to clean it up.  I don't hate what they're doing.  I wait for the stink!"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Punky Brewster' star Soleil Moon Frye reveals three of her kids have COVID-19

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Amid the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Soleil Moon Frye revealed the virus has impacted her own family.

The 44-year-old Punky Brewster star recently shared on Instagram that three of her four children have tested positive for coronavirus, and she's urging parents to get their kids tested if they begin to show symptoms.

"I thought my son had a cold or a fever," she captioned a photo of herself with her four kids -- Poet, 15, Jagger, 13, Lyric, seven and Story, five -- whom she shares with ex-husband Jason Goldberg.  "I did not know that he had Covid-19. With the encouragement of our doctor, I had him tested."

When the results came back positive, Soleil says she canceled a scheduled work trip and rushed home to discover that two of her other kids had also tested positive for the virus.

"I want to protect my babies, love them, make them all better, take away the burning fever and tummy aches," she said, adding that she has "tried to smile through the fear and nurture them,” and has "shed many tears."

Still, the actress acknowledges "how incredibly fortunate" they are.

"My kids have been able to heal together and support each other through this, we have a doctor we trust, and hospitals close by," she wrote, adding that her "heart breaks for the lives that have been lost," as well as those who "do not have the same things that we have or the chance to be with their loved ones throughout this."

Soleil still hasn't figured out how the kids contracted the virus.

"That is part of the mystery in this," she concludes. "How hard it is often to trace and how easy it is to spread. Please be safe."


A post shared by Soleil Moonfrye (@moonfrye)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jennifer Aniston reveals she cut ties with "a few people" who refused to get vaccinated

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Jennifer Aniston revealed that she cut ties with "a few people" who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Speaking to InStyle for their September cover issue, the Morning Show star expressed disbelief that some people choose to believe in hoaxes rather than research from accredited scientists and health experts.

"There's still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don't listen to the facts. It's a real shame," she remarked. "It's tricky because everyone is entitled to their own opinion — but a lot of opinions don't feel based in anything except fear or propaganda."

Aniston, 52, then revealed she "lost a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose [whether or not they had been vaccinated]."

"It was unfortunate," the Golden Globe winner admitted before making a case why people should be comfortable with revealing whether or not they were vaccinated, adding, "I feel it's your moral and professional obligation to inform, since we're not all podded up and being tested every single day."

Earlier in the interview, Aniston spoke about how she came to reset herself during the pandemic and revealed, "My level of anxiety has gone down by eliminating the unnecessary sort of fat in life that I had thought was necessary. Also realizing that you can't please everybody."

Aniston also expressed sympathy for Britney Spears and reflected on how she was mistreated by the media.

Saying the paparazzi was "feeding on young, impressionable girls," the actress said she felt the "Toxic" singer was manipulated because she was still figuring out who she was.

"They were being defined by this outside source," Aniston said. "The media took advantage of that, capitalized on them, and it ultimately cost them their sanity. It's so heartbreaking."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jenna Dewan says she dealt with "postpartum anxiety" after birth of first child, Everly

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Jenna Dewan is getting candid about her first time experiencing motherhood. 

The 40-year-old actress, who welcomed daughter, Everly, with ex-husband Channing Tatum in 2013, opened up about the "difficult" time following the birth while on the Dear Gabby podcast.

Revealing that she had to travel to Vancouver, Canada to return to work while Tatum remained in London, where she gave birth and where he was working on a project, she explained, "I had to travel with [Everly] and at the time, Chan wasn’t available to be with us for the most part. So, it was me, my doula and Evie all by ourselves traveling at six weeks."

The Witches of the East End alum recalled that it was "really hard because that was long hours" and added that she kept her daughter on set with her "constantly." 

"I had a lot of postpartum anxiety, I would say," she continued. "It was like, I just never stopped. You know, you’re up a couple times in the night and then you’re working all day. I was breastfeeding, I was pumping, I was without a partner, I mean, it was just craziness."

When Dewan welcomed her second child, Callum, in 2020 with fiancé Steve Kazee, it was a much "different" story. 

"This time around, I was so grounded," she recalled. "Even though the world was crazy, I was home and in this love nest and it was different."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Barbershop,' 'Rick and Morty' star Keith David, 'The Craft''s Rachel True ring up thriller 'The Last Call'

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Emmy winning veteran character actor Keith David is teaming up with Oscar nominee Bruce Davison, and The Craft's Rachel True, for the supernatural thriller The Last Call. The movie gets underway this upcoming Monday for director Mike Sargent.

In the film, True plays a documentary filmmaker whose deep dive into what was thought to be a mass cult suicide uncovers that those who survived the incident are being hunted. 

David, a veteran of horror classics including They Live, and The Thing -- and who currently can be heard as the President of the United States on Rick and Morty -- plays a former colleague of the cult leader, played by X-Men series veteran Davison. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Matt Damon denies using gay slur, saying, "I stand with the LGBTQ+ community"

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(NOTE LANGUAGE) Following a headline-making interview with U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times, Matt Damon has issued a statement denying he ever used a gay slur. 

In the article, Damon explained that he quoted a line from his film Stuck on You -- itself derided at the time for poking fun of conjoined twins -- which used the word "f**" -- as "a joke."

What resulted, Damon said, was a "long, beautiful treatise" from his daughter explaining how the word was hurtful.

In a statement to Variety, the Oscar winner explained, "During a recent interview, I recalled a discussion I had with my daughter where I attempted to contextualize for her the progress that has been made -- though by no means completed -- since I was growing up in Boston and, as a child, heard the word 'f**' used on the street before I knew what it even referred to."

He continued, "I explained that that word was used constantly and casually and was even a line of dialogue in a movie of mine as recently as 2003."

Damon said that his daughter, "in turn, expressed incredulity that there could ever have been a time where that word was used unthinkingly." He added, "To my admiration and pride, she was extremely articulate about the extent to which that word would have been painful to someone in the LGBTQ+ community."

To Variety, Damon clarified, "I not only agreed with her but thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice." The Stillwater star then insisted, "I have never called anyone 'f*****' in my personal life and this conversation with my daughter was not a personal awakening. I do not use slurs of any kind."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jack Whitehall says character's "coming out" scene in 'Jungle Cruise' was important "to get right"


In Disney's new movie Jungle Cruise, actor Jack Whitehall plays McGregor, the brother to Emily Blunt's Dr. Lily Houghton, who joins her on a perilous journey into the Amazon.

When Whitehall got the part, he didn't realize the character was gay, but in a scene at a bar, he all but "comes out" to Dwayne Johnson's Frank Wolff. 

For all involved, it was an important scene, said star and co-producer Johnson at a recent press event. "Really, I felt that the scene was really exactly what it was, which was two men talking about what they loved and who they loved, and it was as simple as that. And we were sharing a drink."

Whitehall agreed, declaring, "I think it was a scene that we really wanted to get right."

The actor explained further, "I think what's so great about this movie is that all of the characters feel so fleshed out and all of them have...interesting backstories..."

He adds, "You know, in a lot of movies of this kind of genre, sometimes you'd have characters that are a little bit kind of two-dimensional. But I think it's so great that we get to understand so much about each of these characters and it makes you invested in them, and it makes you care about them, and it makes you really on that journey with them."

Jungle Cruise is currently the number-one movie in America. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch now: Teaser for Disney+'s reboot 'Doogie Kamealoha M.D.'


Disney+ has unveiled the first teaser for Doogie Kamealoha M.D., the reboot of the Neil Patrick Harris medical dramedy Doogie Howser, M.D.

For this version, the setting shifts to O'ahu, Hawaii, and Andi Mack veteran Peyton Elizabeth Lee plays the title role: a 16-year-old child prodigy who's busy "juggling a budding medical career and life as a teenager." 

The teaser shows the series' title sequence: Lahela "Doogie" Kamealoha even gets her own Hawaiian-themed version of the original Doogie Howser theme song, composed by Wendy Wang and performed by famed ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro.

The series, which also stars a diverse cast including Kathleen Rose Perkins, Jason Scott Lee, Matthew Sato, Wes Tian, Emma Meisel and Ronny Chieng, debuts on Disney+ on September 8. 

The original Doogie Howser, M.D. ran for four seasons on ABC, from September 19, 1989, to March 24, 1993.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sandra Oh says she's enjoying transitioning into "the mother stage of my career"

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Sandra Oh, who turned 50 last month, says she realizes that her roles are becoming more matronly as she ages, but says she's not terribly bothered by that.

Speaking to The Cut, the Killing Eve star revealed, "I am moving into the mother stage of my career, and I know classically, a lot of actresses my age are upset and say, 'Oh, I have to play the mother or the wife.'"

Instead, Oh said she's looking forward to the challenge, adding, "There is tremendous richness in all of these experiences and relationships."

The Golden Globe winner said she understands why some actresses may balk at playing the mom, adding, "When Me Too was happening, and many A-list actresses were getting together, and they realized that their experience was so isolated because many times in films, there’s only really one part for a woman."

Oh said that hasn't been her experience and referenced her 10-year run on Grey's Anatomy when explaining, "Cristina Yang changed in real time, she developed in real time, and it was believable."

The actress added that, while she's sought roles that offered "dimensionality," the pandemic further influenced her decision making.

"The pandemic shifted so many things for everyone, and I definitely opened and deepened and questioned my points of view and belief systems," she said.  "I feel in great creative shape and grateful to work on projects that are challenging the unbelievable pressure of being a modern woman."

Oh will play Ming, an overprotective mom, in the upcoming Disney/Pixar animated film Seeing Red, due out March 11, 2022.  

On the dramatic side, Oh's set to star as Amanda in the supernatural horror Umma, which she says delves into "generational trauma" and will "question how mothering is challenging."  A release date is forthcoming.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

The Property Brothers reveal what inspired them to evolve and improve their brand over the years


The Property Brothers celebrated the 10th anniversary of their eponymous first show this year, which they reveal experienced some turbulence when they tried getting it off the ground.

Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott told ABC audio why they continue to challenge themselves to grow and evolve their brand, ten years into the journey.  It stems from not taking "no" for an answer, reveals Jonathan.

"What's interesting is, in the very beginning, [HGTV] actually turned down our show, initially," he explained, saying the network wasn't particularly interested in the idea of two brothers renovating homes.  So, the twins took their concept to Canada, where Property Brothers became a smash hit.

"We brought it here and the same thing happened," said Jonathan.

As for what inspired the Scotts to create Property Brothers, Jonathan said they wanted to create an accessible home renovation show that is "fun, but also educational."  The two also built their brand on positivity, saying they treat every property they touch as "if they were our own home."

"We want to do stuff that actually makes people's lives better," said Jonathan. "And then we evolved it."

The Property Brothers has sparked at least 10 spin-off programs, with both brothers promising more on the way.

Drew remarked how their brand has gone from keeping up with current trends to becoming a trendsetter.

"I think that's something that's really exciting for us to be able to bring forward new innovation and new ideas," he explained, noting how he and Jonathan embraced smart home technology, which is now increasing in popularity. "You know what they've been watching and you know how they got that!"

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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