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“President Biden signed the law making Juneteenth a federal holiday” links

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Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday! President Joe Biden signed it into law yesterday. Republicans are big mad for… reasons. [Buzzfeed]


This man made a whole tiny bedroom for his tuxedo kitty and I want all of it, the man, the cat and the kitty bedroom. [OMG Blog]


Jennifer Hudson drops a single for her Aretha Franklin bio-pic. [Just Jared]


Recap (with spoilers) for Loki Ep. 2, “The Variant.” [Pajiba]


Scott Disick spent $50K on a birthday gift for Amelia Hamlin. [Dlisted]


Zoe Kravitz will make her directorial debut with a film (that has a great name) starring the charming potato, Channing Tatum. [LaineyGossip]


Emily Ratajkowski’s shirt-vest thing is awful. [Go Fug Yourself]


Soulja Boy shoots his shot with Kim Kardashian. [Egotastic]


Meg Ryan posted some beauty shots of herself. [Seriously OMG]


ABC never aired their excellent profile of James Baldwin. [Towleroad]


Rafael Nadal & Naomi Osaka pulled out of Wimbledon. Rafa is skipping the Olympics, while Osaka will play in Tokyo. [CNBC]

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Nicholas Braun

Nicholas Braun subsisted on ‘only candy and coffee’ while filming ‘Zola’

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Nicholas Braun is best known for his role as “Cousin Greg” on Succession, but he covers the latest issue of British GQ for another supporting role: the crazy boyfriend in Zola, the movie based on the viral “ho trip” Twitter thread. As I dove into this GQ profile, I realized that I didn’t know anything about Braun. Like, at all. He’s 33 years old, he’s been working since he was a kid, he’s a Disney contemporary of Selena Gomez, and he’s 6’7”. He’s also just kind of loose and weird, but in a nice way. Like, you can tell, he’s happy where he is. He’s just famous enough to be recognized but not famous enough to be swarmed. He runs his own social media, he hangs out with friends and makes dumb videos and he’s into music. It’s kind of charming how quirky, nice and well-adjusted he comes across. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

He doesn’t find his self-worth in being famous: “I do love when people love the show but if it makes me feel so much better about myself that someone said this to me, I think I need to work on my self-esteem more.”

He’s an anxious person: “I guess I’m one of those people who is not, like, instantly comfortable with people; it takes me a while to know what version of myself I’m going to be with somebody. When there’s any kind of awkward silence, I’m like, ‘OK, probably time to go.’ But I think Greg doesn’t have that voice in his head.”

Being a Disney kid with Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. “When you do a movie with Selena or Demi, you know, and they’re, like, being groomed in a way for being the next big thing, you kind of sense it.” At 13 he turned down the opportunity to test for a lead role in a major sitcom that might have made his name because of the implications it would have on the back end of his adolescence. “The opportunities to be the lead of a Disney Channel series felt scary to me. It felt like a commitment that might come around to bite me in the ass.”

He still questions his choice to spend his late teens as a normal kid: “I was looking at the Twilight people and I was like, ‘Man, that must be awesome.’ But then, you know, it dies down and it changes. I think I’ve just believed in the slow rise and to make sure that I focus on my work and that I remain an artist and not necessarily go towards the thing that would get me the most fame the most quickly.”

On his character in Zola: “I felt this relationship was kind of eating him up,” he says. Braun lost some weight. He put lesions on his skin. He subsisted on only candy and coffee. “I was just on this really weird, thin, kind of manic energy.”

Why he wore Crocs to the Emmys: “It doesn’t feel good when you’re wearing stuff you don’t like – you feel like a mannequin or something. You’re like, ‘Yeah, they put the clothes on me and here I am looking nice and slick, but it doesn’t actually feel like me.’ So I guess I’m trying to find ways to do this that feel good to me and in brands that I like and, I mean, Crocs felt like the right thing for an at-home Emmys.” He now owns ten pairs of Crocs, wearing them three to four times a week, and is expanding into more straightforwardly fashionable footwear thanks to his new pal Virgil Abloh, as he makes deeper forays into the world of high fashion. “I still don’t feel like I’m made to be in the fashion world but it gets more fun the more you learn about it.”

[From British GQ]

It was probably pretty smart for him to decide, when he was like 13-14, that he didn’t want to be a Disney kid forever and he didn’t want that kind of stardom at that age. It probably helped that he came from what sounds like a wealthy family, with a dad who was in the industry too. The thing about how “method” he is with his characters though… some of those stories were kind of terrible. He partied with Juggalos as research and lived on candy and coffee while they were filming Zola? Gross. And the Crocs… well, I hate Crocs, but God bless.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Covers courtesy of British GQ.

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Jay-Z

Jay-Z only learned how to swim in his 40s, when Blue Ivy was born

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The Black American community has been fighting the racist stereotype that “Black folks don’t swim” for some time. It’s true that many Black kids are not taught how to swim, but there is a long, racist backstory that goes along with those statistics. Before and after the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Black folks were banned from community pools and Black children were often targeted by violent hate for even attempting to swim in public-access pools. Lack of accessibility is a huge factor even now. But I thought that Jay-Z, someone with money and access, who is constantly on yachts and beach vacations, would know how to swim, right? Jay-Z didn’t learn how to swim until his daughter Blue Ivy was born!

Jay-Z did not jump into fatherhood unprepared. During a recent appearance on “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” the 51-year-old rapper explained how the birth of his first child, daughter Blue Ivy Carter, changed everything.

“I didn’t learn how to swim until Blue was born,” he responded when asked about being a father. “There goes everything you need to know. This is a metaphor for our relationship. If she ever fell in the water and I couldn’t get her, I couldn’t even fathom that thought. I gotta learn how to swim. That’s it. That was the beginning of our relationship.”

Blue Ivy, who is now 9 years old, is the eldest of Jay-Z’s three children with wife Beyoncé. The couple’s twins, daughter Rumi and son Sir, will turn 4 in June.

Jay-Z also revealed how Blue Ivy reacted to her father being nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in February.

“I got the [Hall of Fame] announcement, I was taking Blue to school, I was like, ‘This ain’t no celebration,’” he shared, suggesting Blue Ivy was less than impressed with the exciting news he had to share that morning. “She walked away, I was like, ‘Yo, give me a kiss I’m in the Hall of Fame!’ She’s like ‘Bye, dad.’”

[From Page Six]

I get the feeling that Blue Ivy might think that her parents are pretty uncool, just in general. But it’s awesome that Jay learned how to swim as an adult, and that he did it for his daughter. I would love to know if he actually took swimming lessons or he did more of a general pool-safety class, maybe combined with a CPR class? He probably had homes/mansions with pools for many years before he learned how to swim, and that makes me sad. He would just sit by the pool and never get in before Blue was born? I hope he enjoys pool time now with his kids. Blue probably rolls her eyes when dad brings out his pool noodles.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and Getty.

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Ben Affleck jennifer lopez

Ben Affleck ‘won’t let the intense media attention get in the way’ of the Bennifer redux

Ben Affleck looks Happy and Tired leaving Jennifer Lopez's LA home

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have been photographed consistently since the very start of their love redux. It was because of exclusive paparazzi photos that Ben and J.Lo even confirmed (through sources) that they were spending time together just weeks after her breakup with A-Rod. In recent weeks, Affleck and Lopez have been pap’d together in Miami and LA and the message seems to be: we’re not hiding. But they also haven’t gone “full pap stroll” if that makes sense. Sure, Jennifer has been seen exiting Ben’s house and Ben has been seen exiting Jen’s house. Sure, they posed for those Miami balcony photos. But they’re not walking down Robertson together, which is what used to happen back in 2003. It’s early days and maybe it will happen. But if and when that does happen, they have a better understanding of what it is:

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck discussed how they’d handle swarms of paparazzi photographing their every move as they entered their rekindled romance, according to sources. And this time around, Affleck won’t let the intense media attention get in the way of his relationship with Lopez, we hear.

A source tells Page Six that one of the big issues between Affleck, 48, and his reignited flame JLo, 51, when they first dated back in the early aughts was how many photographers were always around the high-profile relationship.

A source says that today the “Batman” star knows what he is in for. “Ben and JLo had a discussion about paparazzi,” says a source. “JLo warned him they would be followed by paparazzi again, and he knew and understood.”

We’re told that while Affleck is private, he’s accepting it as “it is what it is.”

Last weekend, the “Argo” filmmaker was spotted looking forlorn while leaving Lopez’s house, reviving a “Sad Affleck,” meme that kicked off five years ago focusing on his seemingly bummed out reaction to one of his movies flopping at the box office. Affleck was also snapped endlessly during his last relationship with Ana de Armas, 33, as they walked a dog and ran other errands in the pandemic.

[From Page Six]

Yeah, I think the difference now is that Ben understands that people want photos of *him* doing whatever, and that it’s not contingent on which woman he’s with at the moment. That was also one of the issues – although he probably wouldn’t admit that now – back in the original Bennifer era, the fact that he often felt like second-fiddle to Jennifer’s exploding popularity and mega-stardom. Now he understands that he’s famous in his own right, that people are always going to want photos of him no matter what. I think he’s old enough and mature enough to handle that now, and to handle being with someone as famous as J.Lo. She likes that too.

Ben Affleck looks right at home as he steps out on the balcony to smoke a cigarette wearing a Green Monstah while enjoying his Miami getaway with Jennifer Lopez

Ben Affleck steps out for a smoke at he and Jennifer Lopez's Miami Beach Love Nest!

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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Angelina Jolie Jonny Lee Miller

Angelina Jolie & Jonny Lee Miller did have a ‘date night’ in NYC, in his apartment?

'PEACE ONE DAY' SCREENING NY

Angelina Jolie and her kids spent about one full week in New York, in what was described as Angelina’s “belated birthday trip.” They went to museums and did some sight-seeing (fully masked) and Angelina got photographed a lot. Which is how a paparazzo got some photos of Angelina entering and leaving Jonny Lee Miller’s Brooklyn apartment building. We later heard sources claim that Angelina brought Knox over to hang out with JLM’s son Buster, and then there were photos of Angelina bringing Pax over to JLM’s apartment. It was all strangely kid-friendly, which sucks because I had fantasies of Angelina and Jonny enjoying some adults-only time together. But what if this was all the start of something a lot deeper?

Angelina Jolie is “reconnecting” with her ex-husband and “first love” Jonny Lee Miller – who spent time with two of her sons on her recent trip to New York, The Sun can exclusively reveal. The 46-year-old actress, who has been in a years-long court battle with ex Brad Pitt, was pictured visiting Miller at his apartment in the Big Apple last week, clutching an expensive bottle of wine. Following the shocking reunion, new photographs show the Hollywood star returning for a SECOND hangout with her ex, along with son Pax, 17.

The Sun can also reveal Jonny has spent time with Angelina’s son, 12-year-old Knox, during the trip and sources say he has always held a “special place” in Angelina’s heart.

An insider spilled: “On her first evening with Jonny, Angelina only took Knox along, and they got on like a house on fire. Knox is a sweet kid and I imagine she decided he was the easiest one to begin introductions with. She went back the next afternoon with Pax, who was curious to meet this guy she’s always spoken so fondly about. They only hung out for a short while at Jonny’s apartment, but they seemed to get along well.

“Angie is very happy because Pax keeps making noise about moving to New York someday soon, maybe even for school. She’s glad he’ll have someone she trusts around for him to go to for advice or just to see a friendly face.”

The insider says on her “date night” with Jonny, 48, they enjoyed dinner in his “small but stylish two-bedroom apartment,” which boasts sweeping views over the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan.

“Angelia wanted to give her kids an educational trip to the big city, and she wanted to spend some time reconnecting with Jonny, too” they said.

[From The Sun]

So did they have some fun adults-only time or not? That’s the question. The first paparazzi photos definitely suggested that Angelina arrived and exited Jonny’s apartment building alone after a three-hour visit. I want to believe! I want to believe that Angelina and Jonny reconnected physically and then he was interested in meeting her kids, maybe.

The thing about Pax maybe going to school in New York is interesting too! Apparently, Pax just graduated from high school on June 5th, although he didn’t attend his graduation. The Sun had a story about how Pax didn’t want to go because he didn’t want a “circus” atmosphere, because he’s so shy. I wonder if Pax is still into cooking and baking? I wonder if his plan is to go to culinary school? Hm. And no, I don’t think she brought Pax over to JLM’s place because she wants Pax to know someone in New York. Come on, these kids have friends everywhere, all over the world.

Actor Jonny Lee Miller attends the photocall of 'T2 Trainspotting' during the 67th International Berlin Film Festival, Berlinale, at Hotel Hyatt in Berlin, Germany, on 10 February 2017. Photo:

Angelina Jolie and kids are all smiles after lunch at Fig and Olive in West Hollywood

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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Irina Shayk Kanye West

Irina Shayk & Kanye West ‘will date long-distance,’ he has no plans to move to NYC

Sexy Irina Shayk reveals her assets in a black laced bra!

As a Virgo, I hate chaos. I love order, organization and people behaving rationally and responsibly. But as a gossip-purveyor, I love chaos. I have to love chaos. I have to embrace celebrities and their chaotic messiness. And that’s how I think everyone should just come into Hot Vaxx Summer. Between the Bennifer Revival, the possible Jonny Lee Miller-Angelina Jolie redux, and the IrinYe thing, we just have to sit back and enjoy it. Yes, they’re all making mistakes. Yes, it will end in tears and drama. But let them do it! So, with that, here’s an update on Kanye West and Irina Shayk. They either started up a few months ago or a few weeks ago, and they’ve been on separate coasts since their three-day trip to France last week. Irina has been strutting around New York in a series of… um, eye-catching ensembles and Kanye is apparently in LA. That’s the way it will stay for a while too, I guess.

Kanye West is having a good time with Irina Shayk. After West, 44, was spotted strolling alongside Shayk, 35, in France, a source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue that he enjoys his time with the Russian supermodel but that he has no plans of leaving Los Angeles. (She lives in New York City.)

“Kanye is doing well. He had a great trip to France with Irina. They will date long distance,” the source tells PEOPLE. “Kanye will continue to be L.A.-based. He has no plans to move to NYC.”

“His kids live in L.A,” the source adds, referring to his children with ex-wife Kim Kardashian – daughters North, 8, and Chicago, 3, and sons Saint, 5, and Psalm, 2. “He is very focused on business in LA too. He likes spending time with Irina though and plans to see her soon again.”

[From People]

I think that’s probably closer to the truth? Although I don’t think Kanye is even really LA-based anymore, he has a few homes in the LA area. He spends most of his time in Wyoming, where he’s (literally) building a dome to house all of his business ventures and music stuff. He comes into LA every now and then to see his kids, and for months, he and Kim Kardashian have been communicating through third-parties. My point? He’s interested in pursuing Irina but he’s got other stuff going on too.

Us Weekly’s update on IrinYe was more over-the-top. Us Weekly’s source claims “Kanye and Irina are in a honeymoon, lovey-dovey phase right now. They’re getting to know each other and having a lot of fun. It’s not serious yet, but they like each other a lot.” There’s also an emphasis on Kanye reaching out to Irina and not the other way around, which I also believe. I don’t think Irina pursues. She is Russian! She is the pursued.

Irina Shayk puts her model hips on display wearing a sexy laced bodysuit

Irina Shayk puts her model hips on display wearing a sexy laced bodysuit

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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Kate Middleton royals

Duchess Kate’s ‘Big Changes Start Small’ commercial looks like an SNL parody

The Duchess Of Cambridge Hosts Gala Dinner For The 25th Anniversary Of Place2Be

Remember how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released that denim commercial for their tenth wedding anniversary? It was really bizarre, like it was a genuine ad for their “happy marriage.” It raised more questions than it answered. Questions like “are you two even living together?” And: “How much is your office spending on these cheesy commercials?” It’s true that Kensington Palace has increased their staff in recent years, especially for social media, videographers, and keen busy-workers. Which explains why Kate’s Early Years “work” in the past two years has been all gloss and no substance. She genuinely believes that she can make a few videos and suddenly she’s an expert on child development. She has zero goals, zero expertise, zero accomplishments in this field. She wants all the praise and all the photo-ops, and frankly she’d rather skip the photo-ops.

So, as we learned in the past 24 hours, Kate’s big new project is the Keenwell Centre for Buttons, Wiglets and Early Years. The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will be housed in Kensington Palace, and it will be under the Royal Foundation umbrella. Kate has zero goals here. The stated “goal” is vague, “research” and “raising awareness.” Wouldn’t you know, they made a big dumb commercial for the center too. I guess she’s going to call the project Big Change Starts Small, which is what the “report” is called too. Here’s the commercial:

I truly believe that #BigChangeStartsSmall. pic.twitter.com/sGjPwuQz5J

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) June 18, 2021

I started laughing when Nelson Mandela came on the screen. Is this bitch for real? I’m seriously asking. Keen Mandela used footage from the 1963 March on Washington too, during the Civil Rights Movement. I… can’t. And JFK and Malala!! OH MY GOD. Malala is like “I would like to be excluded from this narrative, please.”

Beyond all of that – which is entirely inappropriate and ghastly – the message of the commercial is what, exactly? Babies are important! The Early Years are important! Kate Thee Keen has raised awareness, okay? You need to know that child development is super-important. Linchpin Mandela has spoken. Except she’s not even in this. In case you were wondering who did the voiceover, it’s Dean Andrews. How much did they spend on this??

Duchess of Cambridge

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, WENN, Kensington Palace.