Lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge is celebrating the news gay people can now wed legally in California by planning her own nuptials. Minutes after U.S. Supreme Court judges declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) "unconstitutional" and High Court officials also overturned California's Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage, on Wednesday (26Jun13), Etheridge went public with her plans to wed fiancee Linda Wallem.
The singer/songwriter told CNN, "It is about family and I love my four kids. I called my now-fiancee. I'm looking forward to marrying my partner of three years... I'm going to get married in the state of California. I woke (the kids) up this morning telling them the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA... I love everybody out there. It's a great day.
"Love is love and America is beautiful... I'm proud to be an American."
The Come to My Window singer also shared her wedding news with followers on Twitter.com, writing, "I look forward to exercising my American civil liberties and getting fully, completely and legally married this year to my true love of over three years, Linda Wallem."
Etheridge split from her former partner, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, in 2010. The couple shares custody of seven-year-old twins Johnnie and Miller. She also has two kids from a previous relationship with director Julie Cypher.
Have you ever written something really long like a term paper or a business proposal or a reality television program recap and you forget to save it and your computer goes on the fritz and you lose the whole thing and have to start over again from the beginning? That always sucks. Writing it the second time is never as good or as interesting as the first time. That's what I felt when we started the most recent episode of Big Brother, which rehashed the fast-forward episode and the HoH competition, nominations, veto, and voting. We already know what happened! It just couldn't be as good. Boy, was I wrong!
First we have Frank cussing out everyone because they just kicked out his man lover Boogie. He's going after Ian, asking how Boogie didn't buy his loyalty with the $3,000 he gave Ian when he won a coachs' competition. If you remember, Frank, the only reason Ian even got the money was because you told Boogie to give it to Ian and that other girl on your team, so it's not like Boogie even wanted to give it to Ian in the first place.
Then Ian goes and wins HoH. He says he was trying to throw it so he wouldn't have to make any decisions and make Frank mad at him by kicking him out. Then he's all frazzled and taking everyone in to the ball machine room one at a time. He's all serious with Britney and Dan. "Shane and Joe or Frank and Ashley?" he shouts, knowing that the way to get Frank out is to backdoor him, not to give him a chance to play Veto. Britney doesn't think that is wise. Then he takes Frank in the room and they have an intense confrontation. Then the same with Shane and Danielle. Then it's Ashley turn. "Congratulations," she says. "I don't really have anything to say." God, I love Ashley. Why did they have to kick this girl out? Couldn't they just keep her around to not play the game and say stupid things and keep us all amused?
Then Frank wins Veto and takes himself off the block and Ashley's portrait goes grey (which is the one shade that this professional spray tan technician has never actually been). Ian is pissed at Britney for making him put up Frank instead of backdooring him. And he should be, since that probably would have been a smarter move. To Britney's credit, she tries to make it better when a rampaging Frank tells Ian that he's a bad person for voting out blond bombshells Boogs and Ashley. She's about to shed tears for poor Ian while he's roaming around the house like a junkie looking for a $20 bill that he dreamed was somewhere in his house but doesn't actually exist. That's the funny thing is that Ian does feel like a bad person. He says he's going to hell for getting people voted out. Um, sorry, Ian, but did you think you were going to go on this show and Julie Chen was going to say, "The twist this year is that you all get to live in the house all summer and no one is voted out. You're all going to heaven!"
Frank doesn't waste a second and pulls Shane and Danielle into a room to talk strategy. This was the best scene all night, because it was something out of an existential French drama. There's Frank talking about how life isn't fair. Shane doesn't know what to think because Britney isn't there to tell him. He's just an empty cypher trying to figure life out while not fully engaging in it. Then there's Danielle, who is crying for no apparent reason whatsoever. She's just stricken by grief, the great emotional weight of taking breath after breath after breath and trying to make it through the day. Then there's Britney, who is saying not to be mean to the common man (Ian) because he can't handle it and doesn't know what he did. If Sartre ever stooped so low as to imagine what reality television would be like, this is exactly it.
Frank is trying to scare people into thinking about what is going to happen if he wins HoH, which he is going to because the producers love him so much that they have saved him from the block multiple times in order to continue to make the season more exciting. Frank tells Shane that he'll be up on the block if Shane and Britney don't make a deal with him. Britney goes to Frank alone (because Shane, at this point, is only good for winning challenges and then carrying out Britney's orders like her prematurely balding pool boy) and makes a deal that she will help him get Dan out of the house and work with him as far as she can.
Two things. First, Frank is unnaturally obsessed with getting Dan out of the house. Sure, he's gunning for Frank, but so is everyone in the house right now. He's too blind to see who the real danger is. It's not Dan, who won't ever win an HoH. It's not Ian, who got rid of Boogie. It's not Danielle, who spends all her time applying mascara so she can cry and let it run down her cheeks. It's not pink tank top scion Shane, the competition king. It's not even diary room shouter Joe or that other thing whose name I can't really remember that is somehow still in the house. It is Britney. That is the other thing: Britney is running this game right now. Not only does she control Shane like a sock puppet, she also can sway the rest of the Quack Pack as easy as you can order pancakes at Denny's (which you can do 24 hours a day as long as you have a Denny's, $4.95, and no gluten allergy). Now she has a deal with Frank too. She is totally in charge of everything that is happening.
This makes me really happy because I am a huge Britney fan. "Slave 4 U" is one of my all time favorite jams. I also want Britney to win this game. The last time she played, she let another alliance take over the house without including her and they kicked her out when they didn't need her anymore. She's not making the same mistake twice, and she is running her entire alliance and Frank! This is the girl to watch out for.
Because the producers love Frank so much, they brought out their favorite "there's an outsider that we love" HoH challenge. Everyone uses an elaborate pulley machine to hoist a ball to the top and is ranked on their performance. Then the people who were the worst at the machine square off against each other and the victor takes on the person who did better than them until the last person remaining is the HoH. This challenge is rigged so that the person who comes in last ends up running the whole game. (If I remember correctly, this kept Daniele Donato in the game last time she played, but it might have been another player with no friends.) The people who are in the first round have to use this crazy machine so many times to get to the top that they get to practice each time and get better and better. It allows the underdog to come from behind and take the prize. Getting a low seat in this challenge is actually a strategic benefit. Korean Olypmic badminton players would rule at this challenge.
Yes, Frank wins and he's going to nominate Dan and Danielle. That makes sense if he really wants Dan out. Then he goes and opens Pandora's Box. Now, I'm not saying BB shouldn't have Pandora's Box, but I think they should stop pretending like the HoH isn't going to open it. That is like putting a bag of white powder in front of Lindsay Lohan and expecting it to be there when you get back. No, she'll be in the bathroom stall faster than you can say, Herbie the Love Bug 2: Fully Unloaded.
Frank opens it and wins some money and is locked inside Pandora's Box for an hour. Meanwhile the rest of the house guests find out that there's another veto in the ball machine in the arcade and they just need quarters to operate it. Then balls start falling from heaven (which is just what happens every night at a gay strip club) with quarters in them and everyone rushes to win the Veto. Dan is kind of a jerk about it and keeps trying to get people to let him win. They're annoyed, and so am I. Dan, you're not good when you're being a pain in the ass. Stick to your whole inspirational speeches and Successories posters schtick.
Eventually Ian wins the veto. Frank is threatening to put Ian up just so he has to use the veto on himself and not on someone else, which is probably the smartest thing Frank cold do at this point. However, Britney, who, like the Beyoncé song says, is running this mother, convinces Frank not to do that. She tells Ian that if he uses it on Dan, then she will go up. Britney's brilliant plan is for Frank to put up Dan and Danielle (which he eventually does) and for her or Shane to win the regular Power of Veto. Then if Ian takes down Dan and Shane takes down Danielle (because, honestly, Britney has the same chance of winning a competition as you do leaving Lindsay with your eight ball), then all four of them will be safe. Even if Frank puts up Britney, he'll also have to nominated either Joe or that other bag of hair that still fills up one of the beds in the house and that person will be the one to go home.
That's kind of a genius plan, and I really hope it works out. However, since it would subvert what Frank is planning, the producers will never allow it to happen. The Veto Competition on Wednesday is probably going to be a challenge where you have to rub balloons against your hair to get enough status electricity to shock Julie Chen into showing an emotion. Of course those with curly red mop on their head will have an advantage in that competition. Yes, Britney is working to win this whole thing, but Frank seems like he's a sure thing at this point.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo credit: CBS]
'Big Brother' Recap: Quick Quack
'Big Brother' Recap: A Wolf in Geek's Clothing
'Big Brother' Recap: Quack Pack Attack
Top Story: "Chicago" Becomes Miramax's Top Grossing Pic
Miramax Films announced Tuesday that Chicago, which last month picked up six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, is now the highest domestic grossing film in the studio's history. The hit musical's box office take reach the $157.1 million mark Monday night, passing previous record holder Scary Movie, which grossed $157 million in 2000 and was distributed by Miramax's genre arm, Dimension Films. Prior to that, Miramax's top grosser was Good Will Hunting, which took in $139 million in 1997. Chicago, directed by Rob Marshall, stars Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.
Bob Hope's 100th Birthday Bash
Celebs, including Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Miller, showed up at the first of several events to celebrate Bob Hope's 100th birthday next month, but the legendary entertainer himself was in poor health and was not able to attend. Hope's birthday is May 29, but Hollywood got a head start with Universal Studios Home Video release of The Bob Hope 100th Birthday Tribute Collection, the NBC special 100 Years of Hope and Humor and the unveiling of a plaque on one of the actor's four Walk of Fame stars, Reuters reports.
Steve Bing Wins Libel Damages
Film producer Steve Bing won libel damages Wednesday against the UK tabloid Daily Mail over an article claiming he had tried to tarnish the reputation of his former lover, actress Elizabeth Hurley, Reuters reports. The article, titled "Private eyes and sexual slurs--how Bing is trying to destroy Liz," said the producer and his co-claimant, Los Angeles lawyer Martin Singer, had "orchestrated a vicious campaign" to destroy Hurley's reputation. The Mail apologized for the embarrassment and distress it caused and agreed to pay substantial but undisclosed damages to British children's charities chosen by Bing.
Melissa Ethridge To Wed Girlfriend
Rocker Melissa Ethridge plans to marry her companion of two years, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, at the end of this year, The Associated Press reports. Etheridge's publicist, Marcel Pariseau, declined to reveal plans for the ceremony but said it would take place in Los Angeles. Ethridge and her former partner Julie Cypher share custody of their two children. The two revealed in 2000 that musician David Crosby was the sperm donor for their children.
More Money for "Will & Grace" Cast
Will & Grace stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes will stay on board the NBC comedy at least through the 2004-05 season under a new salary pact. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the stars are due for hefty salary bumps under the deal that will carry them through the show's seventh season. McCormack and Messing will reportedly increase the $250,000-$275,000 they earn per episode for the current season to about $400,000 per episode by the seventh season. Mullally and Hayes are set to receive only slightly less than the two leads under their revised deals.
TNN Rebrands Itself
Viacom will call the TNN network Spike TV beginning June 16. The move reflects the cable channel's intent to recast itself as a programming source for young men. TNN president Albie Hecht told the The Hollywood Reporter that adopting the male name Spike is intended to evoke the aggressive, irreverent tone the network is taking on. The network will launch a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign that will encompass on-air, outdoor and print to spread awareness for the name change and the channel's new logo, currently in the works.
Zahn Out of CNN's "American Morning"
Paula Zahn, anchor of CNN's American Morning With Paula Zahn, is getting the boot to primetime, Reuters reports. The network is moving Zahn in a 7-9 p.m. ET show titled American Evening With Paula Zahn, the time slot formerly belonging to Connie Chung's tabloid-style interview program. CNN did not name a morning replacement for Zahn but sources confirmed reports that CNN has interviewed CBS News' Jane Clayson for Zahn's slot. For the time being, Bill Hemmer will anchor the show by himself
The Dead, Dylan, Hit the Road
Bob Dylan will co-headline the second leg of The Dead and Summer Getaway Tour, set to kick off July 29 in a yet-to-be-announced location, Billboard.com reports. The two last hit the road together in 1987 on a co-headlining stadium tour that spawned the critically acclaimed 1989 live album Dylan & the Dead, which featured collaborative versions of such Dylan classics as "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "All Along the Watchtower."
Role Call: Scorsese Embarks on Western Epic, Aniston Joins Dark Comedy
Martin Scorsese will direct the feature adaptation of Thomas Eidson's Western epic St. Agnes' Stand for DreamWorks. The novel, which revolves around a reluctant hero who saves a nun and a group of children from Apache Indians in the 1860s, will adapted by Life of David Gale scribe Charles Randolph ... Jennifer Aniston is set to star and produce a dark comedy for New Line Cinema. The Friends star would play the wife of a wealthy politician who is confronted with her past when the 10-year-old son she gave up for adoption resurfaces in her life.
Singer Melissa Etheridge, to ABC's 20/20, on how children did not strengthen her relationship with Julie Cypher:
"You wake up one morning and you're on complete opposite sides of the bed and it's all about the children … and your partner is just someone who is there to pick up the kids when you can't."
It’s over for another one of Hollywood’s Golden Gay Couples. Rocker Melissa Etheridge and her partner, director Julie Cypher, announced today that they are calling it quits after 12 years together, USA Today reports.
The couple has two small children.
“With the utmost of love and respect for one another, we have decided to separate,” the pair announced in a statement released by Island Records, Etheridge’s label. “As committed parents, our top priority continues to be what is in the best interest of our children. Though elements of our lives will change, our family will always remain intact.”
Cypher gave birth to the couple’s daughter, 2, and son, 1. They told Rolling Stone magazine in January that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young legend David Crosby was the children’s biological father, donating his sperm so that the pair could give birth through artificial insemination.
Cypher was previously married to “La Bamba” actor Lou Diamond Phillips. Etheridge’s hits include “Come to My Window” and the album “Yes, I Am,” a reference to her sexual orientation.
The Etheridge-Cypher split comes on the heels of the breakup of and Anne Heche, who called it quits in August after 2 ½ years together.
Heche recently has been linked with men ranging from a co-star (Vince Vaughn) to a director (Nick Cassavetes).
Columnist Liz Smith reports today that Heche's current love interest is actually a 28-year-old cameraman, a man Heche met during DeGeneres' concert tour who was working for the pair as they recorded a documentary about the concert for HBO.
Rocker Melissa Etheridge has finally revealed the identity of the man who fathered her two children -- and it's not Brad Pitt.
Etheridge has long talked about her crush on good friend Pitt, whom she once said was good-looking enough to make any woman switch teams. (Etheridge outed herself in 1992.) Anyway, the Pitt connection fueled rumors that the actor's DNA was involved when Etheridge's partner, Julie Cypher (ex-wife of Lou Diamond Phillips) became pregnant.
But alas, Pitt has not passed along his good-looking genes to Etheridge-Cypher. Surprisingly, Etheridge reveals to this month's Rolling Stone that the biological father is sorta the anti-Brad Pitt -- David Crosby, the balding, pudgy folkie best known for his hard-livin' days with 1960s stalwarts Crosby, Stills & Nash.
"He's musical, which means a lot to me," Etheridge says of Crosby in Rolling Stone, "and I admire his work."
Cypher became pregnant through artificial insemination and gave birth to daughter Bailey, now 3, and son Beckett, who's 1. The entire, extended family appears on the cover of the new Rolling Stone, including Crosby, 58, and wife Jan, who recommended him for the paternity job.
"No kitchen implements were involved,'' assures Cypher.
Well, that's a relief.
EXODUS: Woody Allen leaving "Manhattan"?!?
The notorious New Yorker has decided to leave the Big Apple for London -- at least for a year, according to reports. Manhattan is, of course, the city in which nearly all Allen's films are set -- and not just the ones named after Manhattan ("Manhattan Murder Mystery", "Manhattan").
Allen, 65, wife Soon-Yi, 29, and their baby daughter, Bechet Dumaine, plan to move to Britain so Allen can direct one-act plays in the foggy city's fashionable "boutique" theaters, according to Sunday's London Times. Producers rejected a similar plan in New York because it was deemed too expensive.
OBLIGATORY DOUGLAS/ZETA-JONES ITEM OF THE DAY: Yes, the wedding is still on for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, -- in fact, Britain's Sun reports that the two will tie the knot in Majorca, a Spanish resort island.
Douglas owns a remote mountain villa there, and an unnamed source tells the tab, "They want to keep the wedding private. Michael's estate in Majorca is perfect because it is so isolated."
But not too private: The Welsh actress reportedly was considering holding the wedding in a chapel near her hometown but nixed it because the venue was too small.
The Sun, by the way, says the Douglas/Zeta-Jones nuptials will go down Sept. 25, which also happens to be the couple's shared birthday (he'll be turning 56, she'll be turning 31).
That would prove convenient; Douglas would only have to remember one date out of the year.
STUPID, BUT OK: Paul Newman suffered bruised ribs after crashing his racecar into a tire barrier at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday.
"I got overconfident on a fresh set of tires," Newman, 74, said. "The tires weren't warm enough, and I slipped."
Newman, an avid and accomplished racecar driver, was examined on the scene by a doctor and further evaluated at Hallifax Medical Center.
"I'm angry at myself," Newman said. "It was a stupid thing to do."
But it's not slowing him down: Newman still plans to run the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race next month.
GLOBAL PRESENCE: Steven Spielberg, who won a best director Golden Globe (and later the Oscar) for "Saving Private Ryan," and Gwyneth Paltrow, who scored a Globe and an Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love," have been tapped as presenters for the 57th Annual Golden Globes on Jan. 23 in Beverly Hills.
Also presenting awards are Catherine Deneuve, Winona Ryder and the (very) aforementioned Michael Douglas.
THE WRITE STUFF: Michael Caine, currently seen in "The Cider House Rules," has decided to do a little John Irving of his own.
The Oscar-winning actor ("Hannah and Her Sisters") has completed his debut novel -- a thriller -- but says he must go back for rewrites after realizing he killed off one of his characters, er, twice.
"I've got to the end in a mad dash. Now I've got to go back and do it properly," Caine told reporters.