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Halle Berry, Diahann Carroll, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Taraji P. Henson were announced as honorees for the second annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, to be held Feb. 19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.


       The star-studded event commemorates the magazine’s annual Hollywood issue by saluting four of Hollywood’s finest who have helped to change and inspire positive images of black women in television and film–both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes.       

       Berry will receive the Power Award, Prince-Bythewood the Visionary Award, Carroll the Legend Award and Henson the Lexus Star to Watch Award.      

       “By presenting the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, we continue our legacy of supporting and celebrating the accomplishments of actresses such as Halle, Diahann and Taraji and filmmakers such as Gina, who all embody excellence in Hollywood both in front of and behind the camera,” said Essence editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray.


       The 2008 inaugural event, which honored Jada Pinkett-Smith (Power Award), Ruby Dee (Legend Award), Suzanne de Passe (Visionary Award) and Jurnee Smollett (Lexus Star to Watch Award), hosted A-List stars including Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Kerry Washington, Star Jones and more.




Michael Jordan, Russell Simmons, Wesley Snipes, Bob Johnson and Butch Lewis were at Diddy’s big birthday bash/Obama watch party Tuesday night at a club in New York when the Illinois democrat was elected president.


       According to Page Six, “A huge roar shook the dining room” where they had all gathered to watch the returns. Jordan and Snipes later partied at Tenjune with fellow Chicagoan Larenz Tate, Knicks Jared Jeffries and Jerome James, and “Last Comic Standing” host Bill Bellamy, the surprise emcee for the night who shouted with excitement: “We are officially a country of change.”


       Meanwhile, Forrest and Keisha Whitaker, Common, will.i.am, Star Jones, Hill Harper and Kevin Liles (Warner Music VP) celebrated Barack Obama’s victory until 4 a.m. at The Underground in Chicago, Page Six reported.      

       Television cameras captured Oprah Winfrey watching Obama’s victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park, but Brad Pitt – also at Grant Park – managed to escape the night undetected by media, as well as Oprah.      

       “I was looking for you and would have invited you down to sit with the rest of us,” Oprah told the actor during a taping of her talk show that will air later this month.      

       “You mean the non-VIP area?” Brad joked, before assuring his host that he took public transportation to be at the rally “just like everyone else.”      

       The show, on which Brad will promote his movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” alongside co-star Cate Blanchett, is due to air on Nov 17, according to Star magazine.


       In Los Angeles, Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Reggie Bush, both Obama supporters, ended up in a heated argument over some of his policies following his announcement as president.       

       “Reggie and I had this two-hour long conversation at the end of the night,” Kardashian told People. “We got so carried away that we had to call his mom. We had to call my mom, it ended up in this huge conference call.”      

       And, even after the outcome was clear, “We were going off on tangents about politics, different theories, the Bible,” Kardashian admitted. “It was pretty intense, but then we passed out.”



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:36 pm
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Barbara Walters says she doesn’t understand why her former co-host on “The View,” Star Jones, would tell Essence magazine that she and the other co-hosts were “hateful” toward her as she was leaving the show.


       As previously reported, Jones is featured in the November issue of the monthly saying of her former co-workers “Those girls were hateful” during her final days in 2006.      

       Walters, whose “View” run with Jones was shared with co-hosts Joy Behar, Meredith Viera and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, told the Associated Press: “Star had wonderful years with us on ‘The View.’ And, I think ‘The View’ made Star a star.” Walters added that she wishes “her well.”      

       Jones left “The View” in June 2006 after her contract was not renewed. She’d been one of the show’s co-hosts for 9 years. The former prosecutor is currently in talks to make a non-scripted TV comeback, and was photographed kissing executive chef Herb Wilson in the stands at last month’s U.S. Open.


Star Jones on The View: ‘Those Girls Were Hateful’ October 13, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 12:48 am
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Star Jones is speaking out about how she was treated during her departure from The View in 2006.

“Those girls were hateful,” Jones says of her former co-hosts.

In a new interview in the November issue of Essence magazine, Jones also opens up about “falling into a depression” after losing her self-titled Court TV show last year; her ongoing dispute with Barbara Walters (“Barbara set me up”); and her divorce from Al Reynolds, which was finalized in September.

Responding directly to Reynolds’s infamous YouTube videos, in which he stated he “still loves” Star, Jones responds bluntly: “I’m not in love with him.”

Jones, who laid low after the abrupt cancellation of her Court TV show, is currently in talks to make a non-scripted TV comeback. The reason she’s ready to start over? A sense of renewal she says she gained after spending an Under The Tuscan Sun-style summer at an Italian villa with girlfriends, including Natalie Cole.

Posing poolside in a white dress and fireside in a slinky black number for the interview, the surprisingly svelte Jones – who dropped 160 lbs. after a 2003 gastric bypass surgery – also talks about getting back to dating.

While she doesn’t directly address her new relationship with executive chef Herb Wilson, whom she was photographed smooching in the stands at last month’s U.S. Open, she tells the magazine, “I want to fall in love again. I’m ready to love 24/7. I want happiness.”


STAR & AL REACH DIVORCE SETTLEMENT: Agreement comes moments before start of their court case September 11, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:26 pm
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Star Jones and her former husband of four years, Al Reynolds, reached a divorce settlement on Wednesday just moments before they were due to appear in a Manhattan court room.      

       Jones’ rep released a statement saying the former couple “reached an amicable settlement in their divorce proceeding… Both parties are moving on with their private lives.”      

       The New York Post is reporting that Reynolds was allegedly upset with the prenuptial agreement he signed, leaving him “basically nothing,” though he gave up the fight in order to avoid higher court costs.


       Jones, 46, filed for divorce on March 26 at Manhattan’s Supreme Court in New York, and it was subsequently labeled an “uncontested matrimonial” case by officials.


       As previously reported, she has recently been linked romantically to chef Herb Wilson.


WHO IS THAT KISSING STAR JONES? Former ‘View’ co-host snapped with new chef boyfriend at the U.S. Open September 4, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 1:40 pm

Photographs of Star Jones and her new man kissing in the stands of the U.S. Open last weekend hit the Internet yesterday morning. By the afternoon, People.com had exposed the mystery man as Herb Wilson, the executive chef at Manhattan’s Soho and Tribeca Grand hotels.


      “This was one of the first times they were out in public together,” a friend of Jones’ tells People. “It’s a new relationship, and he makes her very happy.”


       Jones personal rep would not confirm the relationship after refusing to talk about his client’s personal life. However, another source close to the former “View” host said the two are dating.      

       “He’s a very nice guy,” the source says of Wilson. “She’s never been happier.”      

       Jones, 46, and her husband of 3 1/2 years, Al Reynolds, 38, filed for divorce in March.


NICK AND MARIAH ATTEND WEDDING PARTY IN HAMPTONS: LA Reid opens house for celeb-studded shindig August 13, 2008

Samuel L. Jackson, Mary J. Blige and Star Jones were on hand at the Hamptons home of Def Jam chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid Saturday night to toast the 4-month-old marriage of L.A.” Reid and Nick Cannon.


      Reid “did it up,” a witness told the New York Post. So much so, that neighbors reportedly called police at midnight to complain about the noise.


      Fox.com columnist Roger Freidman described the gathering as “the most elegant, laid-back event of the Hamptons season so far.”


      Freidman wrote Tuesday: “I was talking to Mariah and Nick when the music got fired up, prompting Mariah to declare, ‘I’m going to dance up a storm. It’s the one thing I do really well!’


       “And Mariah did, indeed, dance to DJ Cassidy. She twirled and dipped and had a fine time. Meanwhile, the Reids’ guests chowed down at various stations set up all over their backyard — on four different kinds of gourmet pizza, the best fried chicken and mac-and-cheese I’ve ever tasted and a selection of Greek treats.”


      Other guests included Carey’s manager, Benny Medina, Russell Simmons, Gayle King, Jessica Seinfeld, Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa, opera great Kathleen Battle, producer-director Lee Daniels; Universal Music Chief Doug Morris, Kerzner Resorts’ Jerry Inzerillo, and Gwyneth Paltrow.


       The newlyweds are spending the rest of the week at a farm in East Hampton they rented for $125,000, reports Page Six.