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20 May 2024

“My dad…we saw two men kissing one another in Rodney Square
when I was going to get a license.  And I looked at him and
he said, ‘Joey, it’s simple – they love each other.’”
 
President Joe Biden tells Howard Stern about
the first time he saw two men kissing in public.

Sometimes good things happen to bad people.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  And then there’s Kevin Spacey – who, by all accounts, is not a particularly good person.  And, if one believes in karma, Channel 4 in the UK doing an exposé about his misdeeds (none of which appear to be illegal, according to lawyers) was a bad thing for a bad person.  But karma’s a funny thing, and this bad thing has turned into a good thing for Mr. Spacey.  As previously stated, I came away from Spacey Unmasked feeling almost sympathetic for the thespian.  Apparently I wasn’t alone.  A number of his colleagues came away with the same impression once the doc aired on HBO MaxSharon Stone said, “I can’t wait to see Kevin back at work.  He is a genius.”  Liam Neeson chimed in saying, “Personally speaking, our industry needs him and misses him greatly.”  F. Murray Abraham came out and called the men featured in the doc “vultures”.  Stephen Fry summed it up best.  “To continue to harass and hound him, to devote a whole documentary to accusations that simply do not add up to crimes…how can that be considered proportionate and justified?  Unless I’m missing something, I think he has paid the price.”

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Spacey aside, this week’s column is devoted to divas.  Well, I suppose Kevin qualifies…in his own way.  Much of the entertainment business’ collective eyes were on the Cannes Film Festival.  Front and center were two of our favorite divas – one alive, and one deceased.  You may not believe this, but Faye Dunaway is the living one.  As the subject of her own documentary, FAYE, she came off as credible and sympathetic.  I know – there’s a lot of that going around!  Laurent Bouzereau has made films about Roman Polanski and William Friedkin – so Faye must have been a walk in the park!  Still, she has the ability to surprise people.  Like she pulled a bipolar diagnosis out of her ass.  Not a surprising diagnosis, to be sure, but certainly the revelation was designed to elicit sympathy.  “I don’t mean to make an excuse about it, I am still responsible for my actions,” says a contrite Dunaway.  Her strapping son Liam adds, “If she wasn’t in so much pain, would she have been that good?  You have to take the good with the bad.”  You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and then you have the facts of life.

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Then there’s Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away 14 years ago and still feels as relevant as ever – more so than Miss Dunaway.  Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes is based on 40 hours of in-depth audiotaped interviews Liz did in 1964 with Richard Meryman – the same person who did the last interview with Marilyn Monroe.  These tapes were used for an autobiography Meryman worked on with Taylor.  They provide the backbone of a detailed look at Taylor’s life – at least up until 1964.  The flick is well-assembled by director Nanette Burstein (who worked with the Widow Meryman, who found the tapes), who previously worked on the docs about Hillary Clinton and Robert Evans.  Like the Faye and Spacey films, this will turn up on HBO Max.

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I’m on the record as being Team Sharon when it comes to the hit job done to Mrs. O on The Talk.  Although I continue to believe she was ambushed by “good friend” Sheryl Underwood on the soon-to-be-shuttered talker, Osbourne revealed to Sage Steele that she reached out to her former colleague shortly after the incident.  “I apologized to her.  I didn’t want to because I felt I didn’t do anything wrong.  But my kid said to me, ‘Just apologize to her.  Maybe you’re wrong and she read you wrong or something.  Just in case, apologize.’  And I did.  I apologized to her.  I called her.  She wouldn’t pick up my calls.  And then she lied and said I never apologized.  I have it all documented on my phone.  You can never say that anymore because your ass is busted.”

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You’d have to be a fool to fuck with Judge Judy.  She’s filed a lawsuit against the owner of the National Enquirer and In Touch for defamation.  “When you fabricate stories about me in order to make money for yourselves with no regard for the truth or the reputation I’ve spent a lifetime cultivating, it’s going to cost you.  When you’ve done it multiple times, it’s unconscionable and will be expensive.  It has to be expensive so that you will stop.”  The suit stems from a story in the April 10th edition of In Touch about Lyle and Erik Menendez seeking a new trial for the 1989 murder of their parents.  The story cites a juror named Judi Zamos.  However, the rag inexplicably identified her as Judith Sheindlin!  “Judge Sheindlin has never gone by the name Judi Zamos, nor was she an alternate juror in the Menendez trial.”  I ask you, in what world would Judge Judy be selected as a juror for the Menendez trial?  And we’re just hearing about it now?  I’d be more inclined to believe that a juror was an alien!  Judy contacted the publication and got them to remove her from the article.  However, it still shows up in internet searches and was part of a front-page story in the April 22nd edition of the National Enquirer, hence the suit.  Stay tuned.

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Any of you out there still fans of Anita Baker?  The crooner has had mounting scandals surrounding her current tour, and the news continues to get worse.  Baker’s Mother’s Day show in Atlanta was cancelled 15 minutes before showtime!  At 6:45PM, ticketholders were sent this e-mail: “Due to late, unforeseen circumstances, tonight’s An Evening with Anita Baker event featuring eight-time Grammy Award-winning superstar Anita Baker set to take place at State Farm Arena has been cancelled.  Refunds will be returned at point of purchase”.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Glenn Close continues to insist that a film version of the musical Sunset Boulevard is imminent.  If one believes Close, it has been imminent for the better part of three decades.  I guess it depends on how you define “imminent”…or “close”.  Last week, she told Us Weekly, “It’s moving forward…The movie is in the works and I’m not giving up on that one.”  Don’t hold your breath.

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Sofia Vergara has gone public with the reasons behind her break with hunky hubby Joe Manganiello.  Turns out, Joe wanted to have a child with her.  And while Vergara looks incredible, that wasn’t in the cards for the 51-year-old.  “I was a mother already.  I know what it means to be a good mother or to try to be the best mother that you can, and that takes a lot of sacrifices, takes a lot of energy…I didn’t think because of my career, the way I live my life, the way my marriage was, that it was fair to bring a kid to this world, and I’m not going to be able to give 100 percent.”  When asked if she would marry again, she said of course.  When asked if there were any dealbreakers, she was pretty succinct.  “No more kids.”

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This week’s Ask Billy question comes from Freddie in Las Vegas: Cher has said she wouldn’t go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after being snubbed for so many years.  Now she’s being inducted – what will happen?”

She’ll do what countless artists before her have done.  She’ll swallow her pride, come off as a hypocrite, and show up.  But you are correct – she told Kelly Clarkson, “I wouldn’t be in it now if they gave me a million dollars…I’m never going to change my mind.  They can go you-know-what themselves.”  Note that she said she wouldn’t be in it – she never said she wouldn’t go.  Maybe she’s gonna go, pull a Littlefeather and turn it down.  Maybe she’ll do that while wearing the Half Breed outfit!  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?  But, I suspect she’ll simply go, make a caustic comment about it, and say she’s only there for Sonny.  And for the fans.  And perhaps she is.

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When Cher really wishes she could turn back time, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  I was recently in Fort Lauderdale for the annual Fleet Week – when thousands of sailors flood our seaside city.  You know what was missing?  The Fleet!  And me, sitting on a crate of Fleet!  At least I was sitting on something!  For the first time since 1990, South Florida’s Fleet Week was moved to Miami due to the Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro – who must be a straight guy.  “As a Cuban-American, I feel very much at home in Miami,” said Del Toro.  You know where I feel very much at home?  Asleep under a pile of sailors!  At least there’s loads of seamen on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that will never leave you in dry dock.  I’m out of the country for the next few weeks, but I’m always just a mouse-click away.  Drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before that film of the Sunset Boulevard musical finally gets made…with Faye playing Norma!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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