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21 October 2019

“I’m the Meryl Streep of generals.  And, frankly, that sounds pretty good to me.”  
– 
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis referring to the President calling him “the world’s most overrated general”. 
Mattis added, “I have earned my spurs on the battlefield. 
Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor.”  Mike drop.

I can’t stand misleading headlines.  Last week, Felicity Huffman began her 14-day sentence for her part in the college admissions scandal.  But shortly after she entered the hoosegow, I saw a headline stating: “Felicity Huffman won’t serve her full sentence”.  I rolled my eyes.  Turns out Huffman will be in prison for 13 days.  She’s getting a handful of hours knocked off her sentence for the time she spent in jail when she was taken into custody – which is what happens to everyone.  Does the term “time served” ring a bell?  So, everyone, calm down.

This week, Ronan Satchel Allen O’Sullivan Sinatra Farrow has been everywhere – promoting his new book Catch and Kill, giving insight into the Matt Lauer situation, and sporting a new hairdo straight out of Wimbledon.  I noted that he’s been less combative in these recent appearances than in his previous media spots.  That may be because of another change in his life – he’s engaged!  He popped the question to podcast host and former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett (no relation) in an intriguing way.  Jon would read over sections of the book as Ronan was writing it.  One page simply said, “Marriage?  On the moon or even here on earth.”  Ronan said the reply was, “Sure”.  That Lovett’s sure got a way with words.

File this under “And they said it wouldn’t last”.  And by “they”, I mean me.  Colton Haynes and Jeff Leatham are officially divorced.  I know – let’s all put on our surprised faces.  But, there is actually a surprise.  As part of the legal paperwork, the couple signed a non-disclosure agreement.  “Neither party shall discuss, publish or post, or cause to be discussed published or posted, directly or indirectly, any private information pertaining to the other Party, the Parties’ relationship, or this dissolution action on any media, including without limitation, the internet (including, but not limited to social media applications, Websites, blogs, new periodicals, etc.) or in other media in any manner.  Neither party shall authorize, license or create (in whole or in part) a book, article, movie, or television production based upon, or which includes a character based upon, the other Party without the written consent of the other Party, or use the other Party’s name for any publicity related purpose.”  Because you know Ryan Murphy is chomping at the bit to do another season of “Feud” based on this tumultuous affair.

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Many of my readers are familiar with Scotty Bowers – the so-called madam of gay Hollywood.  His memoirs and the subsequent documentary made many allegations about both male and female stars from Tinseltown’s golden age, including such people as Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Rock Hudson, Vivien Leigh, and oodles of others.  Scotty passed away last week at the age of 96 – closing another chapter.

You know who else is dead?  Kevin Spacey’s masseur.  I’m sure you remember the story.  An anonymous man claims that in 2016, he was forced to grab Spacey’s genitals during a massage in Malibu.  He came forward last September with a lawsuit and in May, a federal judge ruled that the case could move forward.  When the trial was scheduled, the masseur’s lawyer told the court that her client “has concern for their safety and/or do not want their names revealed publicly in the media.”  And, poof, the guy dies. Hmmm.

MGM is moving forward with its Aretha Franklin biopic.  “Respect” is currently filming in Georgia and stars Jennifer Hudson as Auntie Re (she’s also doing her own singing).  Joining the cast will be Forest Whitaker in a surely sanitized version of the Reverend Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Aretha’s first husband, Mary J. Blige will play Dinah Washington, Tituss Burgess will star as Rev. Dr. James Cleveland, Audra McDonald will play Aretha’s mother (who left the family when Aretha was 6) and Heather Headley as singer Clara Ward.

Not to be outdone, the National Geographic Channel is making its own Aretha feature as part of their Genius series (last year, Antonio Banderas starred as Pablo Picasso).  Their Aretha will be Cynthia Erivo, best known for starring in The Color Purple on Broadway and who will be playing Harriet Tubman on the big screen next month.  Genius: Aretha is being done in conjunction with the Franklin estate.  Speaking of misleading statements, NatGeo says that this is “the first and only authorized scripted limited series on the Queen of Soul”.  Not to be confused with the first and only authorized scripted featured film – see above.

Kenneth Branagh has announced the cast for his latest Agatha Christie adaptation.  He’s just started filming Death on the Nile with a cast of luminaries, such as Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French.  Yes, we’re getting a French & Saunders reunion.  Whether they will have any scenes together remains to be…well, seen.

Miss Saunders is mighty busy.  In addition to filming with Dawn, she’s going to be touring in Noel Coward’s play Blithe Spirit starting on January 22nd in Brighton, England and winding up in London’s West End next April.

You know what I’m tired of reading?  Stories about Harry Styles being ready to come out.  If you do an online search, everything this lad does puts him on the precipice of a big announcement.  The latest hint of homosexuality is his new single, “Lights Up”, which he happened to release on National Coming Out Day.  And in the video, he’s seen dancing suggestively with women AND men – shirtless.  And then there is this suggestive lyric – “Do you know who you are?”  I will remind people that not only has Styles brandished Pride flags in concert and supported all people, he’s also stated that he doesn’t feel the need to define his sexuality.  So, a big ole whatever.

Since we’re clearly in the British section of the column, I can finally fit in a story I’ve been holding onto for some time.  I’ve previously told you about Gareth Thomas – the gay rugby star who is a very vocal LGBT activist and fundraiser.  Well, a few weeks ago, he came out as HIV-positive.  I didn’t give it much thought, until I learned that he came out because he was being blackmailed by a British tabloid.  Even more interesting is that the British Royal Family is publicly supporting him.  First Prince William congratulated him.  Then Prince Harry posted this on Instagram: “Gareth, you are an absolute legend!  In sharing your story of being HIV+. You are saving lives and shattering stigma, by showing you can be strong and resilient while living with HIV.  We should all be appalled by the way you were forced to speak your truth, it is yours and yours alone to share on your terms and I and millions stand with you.”  While I wouldn’t want to be his grammar teacher, I applaud the Prince – who is waging his own battle with the tabloids.  It should be noted that AIDS was one of William and Harry’s mum’s primary causes.

Our Ask Billy question comes from Liam in London: “Knowing you love The X Factor, you must be loving this new Celebrity season – especially for that trio of hot rugby players.”

The show kinda lost me with the song stylings of Martin Bashir!  But, yes, the rugby blocks are hot.  While Nicole Scherzinger is clearly enamored with Ben Foden (and his chesticles), she might wanna check out our website to see what this hottie’s got south of the border.  As for me, I’ve always had a penchant for Foden’s fellow rugger-turned-singer, Thom Evans (who was previously in the awkwardly named boyband Twen2y 4 Se7en).  If I know my fans, I’m sure many of you remember the nude pictorial Thom did with his lookalike brother, Max.  If you missed it, it is truly a sight to behold.  Take a good LONG look on BillyMasters.com.

When we’re bringing you ripped rugby players’ rods, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  With one of the gayest holidays around the corner – Halloween – it’s time to remind you to check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site that’ll show you some treats that you can trick with.  If I could be of more personal assistance, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Ronan becomes Mrs. Lovett.  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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